Change is one of those weird things that can be good, bad, ugly and beautiful all at the same time. Some changes feel like ends, and others feel like new beginnings. What do they all have in common? They’re usually at least a little bit bittersweet.
Even though change can be hard (and to be honest, change has felt really hard lately), the thing I know change does bring is the promise of newness. New relationships, new challenges, and new experiences are the only thing change truly promises. Change is the wrench that gets thrown in our smooth operation and requires us to adapt, rethink and innovate.
The changes that have taken place in my life over the last year have made me realize just how much I had lost and gained in one year’s time—I lost some friends and gained new ones that feel like family. I left my hometown but now I have two places that feel like home. A year ago I was in high school full time, and now I’m about to graduate early so I can pursue my career. With every change came a loss, but also a gain.
I’m realizing how many of these changes required me to build new habits, which is something I am fascinated by. The psychology behind building habits requires a fair bit of change, and also discipline (if you’re trying to consciously build a habit).
We build habits whether we intend to or not. If we get into the routine of speaking negatively to ourselves and others, we will continue to speak that way, because it’s what our brain has become accustomed to. If we eat junk food everyday, our body will naturally crave sugar and sodium rather than nutrients because it’s what we’ve told it to do through repetition. However, we also have the power to build positive habits!
The recent changes in my life have forced me to build all sorts of new habits. From becoming an independent learner after spending my whole life in traditional school (which I think plenty of us can relate to thanks to covid), to having to adjust to taking conference calls and meetings instead of spending time with friends. One of the habits I have had to work hardest at is how I speak to myself, and how I allow others to speak to me. I think a lot of people forget that I didn’t grow up in this industry, and that I’m 17. People see the views and likes on my videos and assume their words can’t touch me, but now and again, they do. I’ve had to get into the habit of speaking nicely to myself, even when others don’t, and also into the habit of remembering that things people say to and about me, have everything to do with them and almost nothing to do with me.
There’s something really transformative that happens in your life when you start spending more time alone and begin to focus on cultivating a relationship with yourself that feels good. I think it’s because when you seek that relationship with yourself, it manifests itself into your relationships with others as well. I notice my social habits are changing, I spend more time with a small circle. We spend time outside together surfing, hiking, and dancing. We laugh together, cry together, and pray together. I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
I realized today that even if everything I have on social media went away, I would be okay. Not because I would have money or because people know who I am, but because I’m starting to really like who I am becoming, and because I am confident in my own goodness.
Shifting your mindset is a habit, and choosing to look at things through a lens of positivity is just that: a choice. It’s not always easy, but when you make it part of your routine, it starts to become second nature, and suddenly, all at once, it’s not so hard anymore. The daylight rolls in, your problems seem smaller, and you feel like you’re aligned in the best way possible.
I hope this next year brings abundant changes for all of us. Some of it will be good, some will be bad, some will challenge us… and all of it will help us grow. <3