New Year’s Resolution—I Am Enough

Year after year I make New Year’s Resolutions for change. I have numbered them, listed them on paper, entered them into Outlook pop-ups, carried them in my pockets, put them around on Post-Its, told people about them, kept them close if they were personal, repeated them as a mantra, and other methods that have been forgotten just as the resolutions themselves have.

This year, I am planning something different. Rather than try for change, I am going to do just the opposite—accept what already is.

With my appreciation for Reflective Practice as a disciplinary methodology and my need to blog to help realize the results and the process itself, I am sharing my thinking on this resolution this year.

My resolution is a mantra I have tried out for the past few days and it feels right for me. It seems to fit in a way that I can understand and will try to incorporate into my life. In this regard, I understand I Am Enough as meaning that I will focus on appreciating what I have, already am, have accomplished, think, and feel. For some background, I at times think about what I am not or have not done or thought or felt, more than what I am, have done, thought, or felt. I tend to apologize (at least to myself) for my omissions and lack of, rather than appreciating and accepting what I already am all about.  I tend to think I am not smart enough, not in shape enough, have not written enough, have not worked enough, relaxed enough, socialized enough, taught enough, traveled enough, and on and on.

I am resolving to accept what I have done, not perhaps as being the best or most or highest or grandest or what have you, but in a much simpler way:  they are enough. This recalls a colleague years ago who was told by a professor, after slaving away on a paper that seemed to be going nowhere, that “sometimes good enough is good enough.” This is what I mean by I Am Enough.

Yes, this is a resolution that does involve some change I suppose, and changes in perspective can be as challenging as changing behaviors. However, I think this perspective is one that just feels like it may be the one that will help me move forward with my life by grounding me in my own very real experiences.

I hope my explanation does not appear as an apology, as it is not. I am explaining this to try to put words to what I have already decided. This is my resolution, and it is a good enough one as any.

8 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution—I Am Enough

  1. Thanks for this post, Jeffrey – you’ve put in words my exact thoughts over the last few days. With my new job and wanting to move more into consultancy & project management, I’ve been thinking about how I can be more of this and more of that, or change completely. But it suddenly hit me yesterday, that I shouldn’t change at all, because what/who I am is what has got me where I am now. Maybe there are a few corners I could smooth off and I’ll continue to change as I learn life’s lessons, but essentially I’m not too bad as I am . Thanks for reminding me of that, Jeffrey.

  2. @Sarah Stewart

    Thank you for the feedback, Sarah. I have been catching reading feeds, and just saw that you will be changing jobs for the next 6 months. How exciting! We should chat more about this. Perhaps via Twitter Direct Tweets?

  3. Hi Jeffrey, I found your web page after a search for reflective practice and auto-ethnography, and I love your blog it looks fantastic. I will try and spend a bit more time here and I look forward to getting to know you better.
    Cheers
    Helen in Australia

  4. @Derek Chirnside

    Derek, thank you for the check-in and encouragement! Appreciate such support over such a distance. Yes, so far, so good. It is very easy to fall into old and established patterns of behavior, and this is one that I have had lots of practice developing.

    Now, a month later, so far, so good. Starting a new academic program and a new role at work, I have been satisfied, which is what this is all about.

    Perhaps next year will go from satisfaction to happiness!!

  5. I have been thinking this exact phrase, “I am enough” on and off for about a year, and it is a powerful one. Not only have I begun to realize that it is true, but that my mistakes are also valuable. They are a part of who I am also, and some times a good thing, when looked at from a different perspective. It’s all about how you view or think of yourself or your life.

    We are enough, just as we are. It’s enough just to stop the self criticism. 🙂

  6. @Carin Fausett

    Of course, self-criticism can lead to personal development as well as despair. I wonder where that boundary is . . .

    4 months later, how are you doing with this, Carin?

    Jeffrey

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