Preparing for the new year is like suiting up to play in an All-Star game featuring all of your friends on social media. We see the lists of who will be dropping who and what people will be leaving behind. However, if your follow lists look anything like mine, there are Queens all over starting businesses, writing proposals, launching products and simply being great in preparation for our year.
With that amount of winning on my timeline, I used it to geek myself up. What took me a few days to realize, however, was that I had overwhelmed myself with the idea of what all I needed to be doing or needed to have done in January. So much that I didn’t trust myself or my inner voice (that is damn near always right, might I add).
I allowed for my sisters in melanin to geek me up into overload, which, coupled with my anxiety, is dangerous territory. Instead of moving at my own pace, I let my mind tumble into the abyss of "How do I move faster/on their speed?" In the first week, I tried to launch a product that I had been working on for a while. Even though I knew the execution of the launch wasn’t right, I decided to just toss it out there anyway.
Everything was telling me not to press send, from my inner-voice to my phone that physically would not upload the content. I got frustrated, I screamed, I cried, I threw my phone. Then I stopped, collected myself and tried to understand where that extreme feeling of urgency came from. Once I realized that no one was anticipating this product’s arrival given that I’m not a “coming soon” girl, I knew that I was falling into the trap of trying to “keep up.” Keeping up, or moving at any pace that’s not my own, is something that I said I’d never do. So once I identified that, I told myself three things to remind me of my humanness in that moment, and to calm me.
1. There is No Rush & There is No Race
The top of the year naturally brings about this anxious feeling of rebirth, restart and refresh. Given the “new year, new me" culture, we almost feel as if we literally need to be reborn and on some new-new ish come January first. However, the distance between 12/31 and 1/1 is the same distance between today and tomorrow. Meaning that you literally have every day at your disposal to turn a new leaf, to follow your passions or to just believe in yourself.
2. Move At Your Own Pace
Listen to your inner voice, and tune out that mad dash! Yes, by all means, please be happy for your sisters, but don’t allow for their pace to deter you from yours. It's very possible to be inspired by your own lane. Trust yourself and move at the pace that you know works for both you and your work style.
3. It’s Better to Move Strategically than Quickly
But I tip my hat to those who can do both. In many and most industries, being great is only half the battle, because the test comes from being great consistently. When you're simply worried about pace, this allows for you to make mistakes, to not use strategy, and in a lot of cases, to burn out. Don’t worry though, because you can always take a step back and reassess. Maybe not the move itself, but the steps that it takes, and the order in which you take them.
So sis, if you're feeling overwhelmed right now, you're not alone. Just remind yourself that there is no race, to continue to move at your own pace, and that it’s okay to slow down and reassess your steps. You will win, and we are rooting for you because 2018 is the year of the black woman.