I’m pretty sure that the year 2020 will go down in history as one of the craziest, most challenging years EVER for most of us. And while it was insanely challenging + exhausting at times, it didn’t go without some lessons learned that I’m incredibly grateful for.
Do I want to necessarily repeat this year? Hell no! Haha. But I also think that in some weird way, there was a purpose for this year and there are some incredible truths that I learned from it. So let’s make some limoncello out of the lemons that were thrown at us. Here are my 8 lessons learned in 2020 that I plan to carry with me into 2021.
Lesson #1 – Nothing is guaranteed.
Not the big birthday trip that you were so freakin’ pumped for. Not the jobs you had booked on your calendar. Not the quality time with your loved one. Or even your health. It can be easy for you to expect things to be a certain way because that’s how it’s always been, but sometimes the universe has another plan for us. And as much as you want to resist it because it’s not what you wanted or what you deserve, the best thing you can do is accept it and move forward. Because what IS right now, is what was always meant to be.
Lesson #2 – Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is where true growth lies.
I’m pretty sure you will all agree, this year was unimaginably uncomfortable for us all. Change for the better doesn’t come from sitting back and relaxing in your easy chair. It comes from being put in situations you didn’t think you’d survive. If you are anything like me, you felt the fear of death this year. The fear of not having a job tomorrow. Or your home. The fear of losing a loved one. The fear of hate from a divided nation. But if you are also like me, it caused you to rethink how you are working/doing your business/job. How you are keeping up with your health + fitness. How often you make that extra effort to show love + attention to your friends and family because you never know when they will leave this earth. Or how you have decided to listen more to opposing viewpoints instead of shutting them out because you know change comes from open communication. This year was full of a LOT of uncomfortable moments, and next year will be full of them as well. Learn to embrace the uncomfortable (instead of resisting it), and you will see change for the better.
Lesson #3 – Accept the help + kindness of strangers.
If you are stubborn like me, sometimes you just want to go at it alone. You don’t want the help. You want to prove to yourself you can do it all alone. But why not take the kindness of strangers? You are not meant to do life in this world by yourself. When help is offered that you could use, take it. This will bring happiness to both you and the giver. And the more kindness you take, the more you will likely have to offer to keep the cycle of providing joy continually moving.
Lesson #4 – The smallest act of kindness can create a ripple effect.
Continuing on from lesson 3, kindness doesn’t have to be some big superhero act. It can be a simple gesture. A quick smile. A comment, like, or share of someone’s social media post. Connecting two people when you see a match that needs to be made. When you do something nice for others, it could be exactly what they needed that day and for many of us, it inspires us to want to continue it forward.
Lesson #5 – Surround yourself with those that lift you up
I’m sure you saw a lot of “unfollowing” and “unfriending” happening during all the crazy, trying times that this year had to offer. And I know many would say, “don’t drop a person just because they have opposing beliefs”, and I can understand where they are coming from with that point, but I also think keeping company with negativity generally does more harm than good.
But instead of just focusing on letting go of the “bad”, make sure you also take some time to add some good by surrounding yourself with people that lift you up and also keep you inspired + full of joy. Like your friends + family who are always in your corner cheering you on. Or maybe add people you find online that inspire you to be a better version of yourself + can provide the knowledge to help you get closer to your goals. They say you are the culmination of the people you surround yourself with, so choose wisely.
Lesson #6 – Throw away the idea of perfection
“If only things would have gone according to plan”…is never going to get you anywhere. Having this vision of a perfect life, with a perfect body, with a perfect lover, and perfect kids in your perfect home are never going to happen. Can you truly say that 2020 happened perfectly + exactly as you wanted it to? Likely not. And 2021 will not go perfectly either. So let go of your perfect vision of what tomorrow looks like, and live in the imperfect joy of today. I promise it will feel like a huge weight lifted.
Lesson #7 – Stop trying to control people + circumstances
If only we could make the world exactly as we want it to be or make the people around us do things exactly as we want them to do it. Life would be amazing, right? Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret, you can’t control people or the circumstances around you. Like NEVER! The more you try to force people + things to do exactly as you say, the more frustration + anger you will likely find instead.
So how do you deal with the bad? You change your thoughts. Focus on how you want to think and what you can do to change your future. COVID is likely to be here a little while longer, unfortunately, so what can you do + think to find happiness + joy in this crazy world? You will always have people that have opposing views from you when it comes to heated matters, so what can you personally do to create the change you want to see? When you work on changing your thoughts (which will ultimately lead to your actions + results) instead of the people + things around you, you will be amazed at how much farther along you get and how much happier you will be.
Lesson #8 – Where your attention goes, energy flows
Yes, there is so much negativity floating around these days it can be overwhelming! But when you focus more on the bad, guess what happens…you keep finding more proof that bad exists. It’s a crazy little thing called confirmation bias. We humans like to seek new evidence to confirm our existing beliefs. So instead of focusing on all that is wrong in this world and all the horrible people not doing the right thing or how terrible business is or how little money you have, or how unhealthy you are, etc., focus on the good. What can you be grateful for? Where do you find abundance in your life? Who + what are the things that provide you with joy? What is the positive growth that you see? I promise you, the more you focus on the good, the more that the good will find you.
Tell me about your best lessons learned from 2020!
Have any lessons that that really stood out for you in the crazy, insane year? Post in the comments below! Or feel free to email me if you want to chat it out!