THE BLOG

Why the Start of a New Year Can be a Daunting Prospect for Many of Us

31/12/2015 11:11 GMT | Updated 30/12/2016 10:12 GMT

A brand new year should be a fresh start, like stepping into fresh snow, ‎but for many the notion is more like jumping into a scary black hole.

We all have ups and downs but for some of us there are more downs and the new year seems to offers us a brighter future.

Resolutions are flying around social media - drink more green tea, sleep more, eat less chocolate - and these are all well and good, but for those with severely low confidence or insecurities they offer little solace.

I remember some of my worst ones, stuck in a toxic relationship or crushed by an overbearing boss who emailed me all through the holidays. Then, 1 January was downright disappointing. Nothing changed because I wasn't ready for it.

It took me a few knocks to the system - getting divorced and losing my job - for me to turn over a new leaf. And it wasn't as simple as making a list of resolutions.

I had to do some serious therapy, as well as healing and yoga sessions to unwind my overwrought mind.

For at the end of the year there is a tendency for low self-esteemers like I used to be to look back with grey tinted glasses. 'I didn't go on that diet', 'I didn't get promoted', 'I didn't meet the one'. Social networks compound this by focussing on the glossy sides of life, making the gloomy crew feel even more useless, rubbish.

None of these self-criticisms will do very much to build your confidence, if anything they quosh it. For self-esteem comes from the actualisation of your true passions and dreams, doing what you love best. It doesn't come from losing that extra kilo or having botox, or buying a new car or getting a higher salary.

The positive psychologist Seligman claims that it comes from identifying your purpose in life and then doing it, whether it's helping others, creating, communicating, etc. But often we go for jobs or lifestyle choices for other reasons - ‎money, ease, chance even and this is where we come unstuck. I was in a socially acceptable job for years and then got the so-called 'ultimate job offer' working for a movie company.

I thought it was the job of my dreams but it turned into my worst nightmare. Having to manage politics, deal with pressure and run a team all left little room for my true passion - writing. Once I was booted out I finally found my voice, and I haven't looked back since. Blogging then writing novels has fulfilled me more than any weighty pay package or slap on the back down the pub. Simply because I love it and I'm able to do it reasonably enough. It's as if the knowledge that I'm doing the right thing for me gives me armour, to weather the bumps in life. People will come and go, events like new year will happen, but my writing stays with me throughout. Some people may not get to use their talent in work every day but there is always a way to develop it. Take night classes, go on a course in the holidays, do it on the train as JK Rowling did at first.

So this New Year don't get phased by the onslaught of do this and do that. It rarely works as most often it's not what we want. Instead, spend a moment contemplating whether you are doing what you love or who you're doing it with, and ask yourself, is it making me feel good about myself? If the answer is no then there is your resolution.....