I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt a degree of pressure on January 1st. It’s the first official day you face your list of resolutions. Your first day of getting out of your comfort zone in hopes to grow. Your first chance to mess up a clean slate.

That probably sounds a little grim, but it’s spoken like a true perfectionist. Even if you don’t suffer from chronic perfectionism, you have probably heard it. The voice.

“You’ll never succeed. Just quit now.”

“This is too hard. You’re not cut out for this.”

“You’ve tried this before and failed. Why is this time any different?”

I am well acquainted with that voice. If you’re anything like me, that voice has not only spoken to you, but it has moved in, rearranged the furniture, and set up house right inside your mind. This “roommate” of mine has even seemed friendly at times–like a well-meaning advisor who keeps your reality in check.

But it’s an advisor who leaves me feeling defeated.

It took my whole life to recognize that I would never speak to one of my friends the way I speak to myself. This “special treatment” that I give myself is pride and hypocrisy in their sneakiest forms. Being the good little church-going girl that I am, you’ll hear me speaking against such infractions, but when I expect myself to be perfect….when I expect myself to sail through 2017 without offending, transgressing, or antagonizing, I’m expecting myself to perform on the same level as God himself.

If you’ve already messed up this new year, forgive yourself. Move past the voice—it’s not your friend. Do the best thing you can do for yourself and the ones you love: get past your pride and be willing to mess up, improve, and move on. There is nothing magical about January 1, Monday, or the beginning of the month, but there is some magic in gaining the confidence to overcome deeply rooted habits—no matter how many times you have failed before.

Awilda Vega

Gateway YWCA