Toxic things I left in 2019


man smiling in photo
We all have attachments to things that are toxic in our lives. Well, this year it’s time to let some of those things go.

Congratulations on surviving the first four weeks of the new year! With each year, I always make time to write a letter to myself to reflect on the previous year and what I look forward to in the new year. Here are some things I decided couldn’t come with me in 2020.


Friends who never reciprocate my efforts

This is a tricky one. When it comes to who I spend my time with, I always think of my grandmother quoting the Bible, “Bad associations spoil useful habits,” (1 Cor. 15:33). I try to make sure that my inner circle only contains people who I can uplift and people who can uplift me.

Keeping your inner circle with uplifting people can be challenging because everyone won’t understand your perspective. As we grow older, our perspectives on things change so our association needs to reflect the person we want to become, not the person we once were. It’s never easy removing someone out of your life, but I learned that people will oftentimes remove themselves without any extra effort on your part. So those friends who no longer fill up your figurative cup will weed themselves out.


I no longer try to force people to stay in my life. Those who are meant to be there for you will always find a way. Friends who can’t reciprocate the effort you put in the relationship may not even notice when you stop reaching out or going the extra mile. So slowly find a way to remove yourself from all toxic people and the universe will make sure that it is a smooth process.


Fast Food binging

I think everyone tells themselves that they are going to be healthier each year. I believe the reason why we quit before we even get started is that we try to set unrealistic goals. For example, forcing yourself to work out every day when you haven’t worked out in months is not going to work for everyone. So I decided to start taking baby steps to improve my physical health.


I’m limiting the amount of fast food that I get weekly. I only allow myself to eat out during weekends and I no longer rewarding myself with food because I “survived” the week. My physical health is more important to me now that I’m getting older. My goal is to live a more active lifestyle so I’m going to be more intentional about how much time I’m sitting at work and find more active activities outside of work.


Sharing private moments

Some of y’all who keep up with me on social media may have noticed that I don’t post as often as I used to. The reason behind that is that I’m learning to value my privacy more. I don’t like everyone knowing everything about me via social media. I have high regard for interpersonal interactions so I want people to get to know me outside of my digital presence.


There are still many things I will share publicly, but my boundaries have certainly changed. I don’t want to be one of those people who have inappropriate or unfavorable posts resurface and have to face social media trolls and lose business opportunities because I was “living in the moment.” Several times throughout the year I will take a deep dive into my old posts to make sure that the person I want to become is not put in danger of the person I used to be.


People-pleasing

As a society at large, I think we have become so gluttonous. When we want something, we want it as soon as possible with minimal effort and without moderation. This translates to many parts of our lives when you think about it especially in the workplace. We forget that we can tell others no, without a long explanation. I’m continuing to practice saying “no” as a complete sentence. I know this can be difficult for some because we want to be good team players and we want others to be able to help us when we are in need.


What helps me from people-pleasing is setting clear boundaries. Boundaries that I don’t necessarily tell others. For example, I refuse to bring to work home with me. My time is valuable especially outside of work. So if someone asks me to do something that I can’t fit into my workday (or week), I’ll just politely tell them I won’t be able to do it. I also have boundaries at home. I choose not to do personal work or projects in my bedroom as that space is solely for relaxing. Setting boundaries is a trial and error process. So if a boundary no longer works for you, you can give yourself permission to change it. The benefit of not telling people about all of your boundaries is that as they change, no one knows and can try to influence you into doing things that aren’t fair for you.


Fear of failure

This is probably the most difficult for me as I’m a recovering perfectionist. I have high expectations for myself so when I commit to different projects, I want them to succeed. I realized that my fear of failure was keeping me from even starting things that I developed an interest in. Creating this blog was a perfect example. I sat on the idea for over a year until I actually forced myself to take action. Fear keeps us stagnant and I’m determined to grow in every way.


There are so many things I want to do and I don’t want to keep pushing things off because I’m afraid the end result may not be what I hoped. This blog was more than I imagined. It unlocked multiple opportunities that I am forever grateful for. This year, I plan to take more leaps of faith and doing more things that scare me. I can’t wait to share this journey with y’all.


What did you leave behind in 2019?