Last year around this time – and after years and years of failed New Year's Resolutions – I finally found an idea I felt like I could get behind for the new year. A brand new tradition.
The idea was basically to take a big mason jar, decorate it, and then fill it throughout the year with all of my good experiences. This could be trinkets, concert wristbands, a little piece of paper where I wrote about something that happened, a picture. Anything really.
I fell in love with this idea immediately.
I went to Target and bought a big mason jar.
I went on Pinterest to learn how to color it. I dyed it purple.
I was so excited to fill this mason jar. I couldn’t wait!
And, then guess what happened?
It sat on my dresser for eight months. After I moved, it sat on my kitchen counter for the next four months.
This is what it looked like when I emptied it last night. My 2015.
My jar was as effective as my past New Year’s resolutions. How could that be?
I told this story to a good friend who knows about what kind of year I have had and she looked completely shocked.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to feel sorry for myself. I am not trying to collect pity because I had such a miserable year and my jar was empty.
In fact, that could not be further from the truth. I had the most epic year of my life. I had some of the coolest, most amazing experiences.
2015 was truly unreal for me.
But, this mason jar taught me even more about something I had discovered about myself in the middle of the year with the help of success coach Christine Kane’s UpLevel You program.
I finally had to face down a really big fear. It’s not one that is talked about often. In fact, we usually talk about its opposite – the fear of failure. But, it turned out I have a fear of success.
I have done a lot of research on it and it turns out that so do a lot of people! (More on that in another blog post.)
Perhaps Marianne Williamson might have said it best when she aptly stated:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?“
My mason jar showed me that I still clung tightly to that fear of success. Of happiness. Of fulfillment. Even with all of the strides I had made throughout the year. Even though I teach my one-on-one clients to face down this fear. My inner saboteur still managed to do her thing!
Upon closer evaluation, I realized that I spent much of 2015 waiting for the other shoe to drop. When something went really good, I was always waiting for it to go wrong.
And, when something was going wrong, I sat there waiting for it to really go up in flames.
I was afraid that my jar of happy, awesome reminders would ultimately remind me of the things that eventually fell apart, the people who walked away, the things that disappeared, or something that in one way or another would end up leaving me feeling empty.
I didn’t want that kind of end of the year reminder.
I can state it now -- that is no way to live a life.
It produces anxiety. Depression. Confusion.
You don’t enjoy the moment or the day-to-day experiences because you are always ready to catastrophize and worry about what might go wrong next.
As Randy Armstrong said:
“Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.”
Not to mention basic law of attraction principles. After all, we are what we think and our thoughts attract our outcomes. So what exactly was I attracting there?
Needless to say, this was a very eye-opening experience for me.
I hope it will be for you, too.
Think about it for a minute: What negative things and beliefs are you holding on to? In what ways are you limiting yourself? Are you letting your fear of failure or your fear of success dictate your life? Are you dimming your light? Are you worrying about what *might* happen at the expense of what *is* happening?
I will never let this experience happen again. I am going to add some glitter to that mason jar and start over in 2016.
And, I plan on that jar being so full that I will need to empty it out and start again by mid-year.
I hope you’ll do the same.
New year. New me.