what to leave behind this new year

How much negativity are you carrying around in your designer bag? Ringing in the new year we can only start so fresh and go so far as the path we set ourselves on. Carrying negativity around will get us about as far as February. Start the year off right and banish these toxins from your life!
The horrible job: Let’s face it, the majority of our time when we are most alert and indulgent, is time we spend at work. We work to make a living. What kind of living are we making if we are spending most of our receptive time in a miserable place? Jobs are not like relationships in the way that loyalty is key and it is good to be alone for a while. You usually have to have something else set up before you leave, and you move on immediately. If you feel unhappy to the point of tears when it’s time to drive to work, or if you are not making a reasonable amount of money to support yourself, start straying and set up interviews elsewhere. It can be so easy to make this decision mentally on a Monday and then by Friday forget all about it, afraid and lazy to leave your comfort zone. Don’t make this mistake. You’re only delaying your happiness, it’s time to move on! 

The toxic friendship: The loss of a friendship can feel so much like the loss of a lover. Even a bad one. The important thing to recognize is that any relationship in your life has the potential to be too toxic for your well being, this includes long time friends and family members. Don’t allow people to tag along in your life just because they’ve been around forever or that’s “just how they are.” If you know someone in your life is constantly bashing you behind your back or always giving you negative unsolicited criticism, it’s time for a nice long break. Maybe forever. You might miss them after a while, but remind yourself why they had to go in the first place. Without a toxic person dragging you down, you’re free to rise on to better relationships.  

The unrealistic and unnecessary expectations: “I have to be married before I’m 28.” “I have to start having kids by the time I’m 30.” “I have to visit each continent before I start having kids.” “I have to make “x” amount of money before “y” or else I’m a loser”. Ew can someone give this girl a lunch break and a glass of wine? Who says we have to do what by when to be who? Who says?! We are most certainly our own worst critics and we need to stop working off this imaginary ticking timeline in our minds. Stop comparing your accomplishments to your mother, sister, neighbor, cousin of your co-worker, etc. I swear sometimes we will compare ourselves to anyone just to feel bad. “My ex-boyfriend’s sister’s best friend just passed the bar. And she has two kids. And abs.” Why? Make goals you feel are achievable to you, exclusive to you. No good ever came from making plans, especially not irrational ones.   

The negative self talk- Where do all of these unruly expectations of ourselves root from? All the negative self talk we do. Every time you want to blame yourself, stop. Every time you want to criticize your looks, weight, achievements, lack of achievements, or intelligence out loud, stop. We cannot love anyone, or expect to receive love from anyone, until we love ourselves. Great things happen when we love ourselves and realize we can trust ourselves to always get through the day and everything will be okay, no matter what arises. When we understand we need positivity from ourselves, we begin to heal our past and change our future. We will only accept the love we think we deserve and when we love ourselves we place a higher value on what we truly deserve. Acknowledge your amazing traits and believe in yourself to see just how much can change in one year. 

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More about Erika Lauren

Erika Lauren is a Boston born French girl spending her days as a workin girl and dog mom, and her nights as a nocturnal writer. She's a content creator for The Haute Mess, XOJane, and Narrative.ly. Email: ErikaLauren9@yahoo.com

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