2022: Let the new you be the real you

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Published: Wed 29 Dec 2021, 3:52 PM

New Year 2022 is within reach! This is the perfect pivot for most of us to turn a new leaf, with proactive resolutions and “reinventing” ourselves. We try and learn from the past mistakes and move forward boldly, hoping to leave our old selves behind. Starting afresh, giving ourselves new hope, and then again, by the first quarter is over, we usually find ourselves in the same boat as the previous year, waiting for another transition point, to reinvent ourselves. This is more common than any of us would like to believe. We start this right from our school days, we try to reinvent ourselves in our teen years, then in college, in our jobs and in every new relationship. How often have you promised yourself that henceforth, you will change your behaviour so that you do not find yourself in unfavourable circumstances. In this regret lies our desire to be better, to be seen, be popular or assertive. We often find ourselves making these assurances, and yet being unhappy with the change, so we try another self-reinvention. It’s almost as if we are never completely satisfied.

By Jyotika Aggarwal

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One of the main reasons for this is we do not change ourselves for the right reasons, we do not change ourselves in the direction of our own authentic selves, instead we chase an idea that we have glamorised in our minds. Take a few minutes right now, close your eyes, and think. Think of the first time in school someone made fun of you, ignored you or put you down for not having the best grades. How did you change your self based on the judgements you were subjected to? How did you try and reinvent yourself from one professional opportunity to the next? What changes did you make in yourself from one partner to another? What negative ramifications pushed you to believe that you needed to transform? What were the feelings that you wanted to avoid? Ask yourself, did these changes bring you the results you wanted? Did they bring you happiness? Today, are you satisfied with the version of yourself you have become? It would be wonderful if you are, but for those who still don’t feel absolutely sure, let this new year be a point when you reinvent yourself, but on the lines of your true inner self.

Rather than seeking external goals, how about seeking internal goals that would lead you to your genuine self. This new year, let the “new you” also be the real you.

Start your year with introspection, try to understand your healthy and unhealthy reactions to people and situations. Why you behave a certain way and what stimuli elicits that response? What are your core values? If you stuck to these values, how would the situations in your life change? What type of relationships would you choose? In what activities would you spend your time? Prioritise the people and activities that bring you joy, doesn’t matter what other friends think. Another social pressure is the need to look perfect. We let this notion control our lives to a large extent. Having to colour coordinate the attire, the need to display a higher social status, how much time and effort go into doing this every single day, every single situation? In the larger picture, is it really making you happier? Instead, if you created your own version of what perfect means to you, it would help you be more present and comfortable. With awareness, you will be able to express and create actions that are in line with your authentic self.

A very important part of this journey as well as most resolutions is the desire to communicate with honesty, without being judged or misconstrued. Most of us get stuck in a passive or aggressive style of communication. We either want to make sure we are not coming across as too strong and the person doesn’t get offended or we try to assert our authority by coming across strongly and letting others know, who the boss is. In either case, we are off balance and trying to focus on an external emotion. Instead, we can find a healthy communication style in an assertive pattern, expressing our needs honestly, confidently yet with kindness.

Learning to say no is also an essential part of an honest conversation. Communication has two components. Most of us only focus on how we pass on the message, but what about how we allow ourselves to receive a message? In order to be authentic in our communication, we also need to allow ourselves to receive the message with an open mind. Be mindful of the instant conclusions we come to while people are still talking to us. Listen, without judgment or past interference, that is when genuine and healthy communication can happen.

This new year, take back charge of your true self by differentiating between external and internal motivators. We get so caught up in trying to fit in, because we are programmed to believe if we don’t, the consequences will be dire. In this fear we mould ourselves into the social fabric of society, and let external factors like recognition, fame, money adversely influence our core beliefs and life decisions.

Instead, from today, reflect on your dreams and desires that come from within. Focus on the goals that make you happier and bring you closer to your authentic self. Let go of the cliché of “reinventing yourself” or creating resolutions year after year, with the hope of a better life. Instead, this year and every year ahead, embrace your true self, spend the time and energy in gaining insight of your inner world. Empower yourself with a focused desire to be on the path that you genuinely want. When we are true to ourselves, our creativity flows, our strengths are optimised, and our skills heightened. We feel innate hope, are attracted to emotionally healthier people, we work with passion and purpose. We naturally inculcate a zest for life and compassion for the people around us. Love, laughter, healing and happiness authentically follow. Isn’t this the end game of why we reinvent ourselves anyway?

Another reason for stress that may thwart our efforts towards this endeavour is the anxiety that is coming about due to the rise in cases of Omicron around the world, the unanswered question of how will the new year be affected by this. While this dark cloud does loom over our heads, let your ferocious need for authenticity be your focus through the ups and downs. In fact, with the changing environment, there is no better time to find ourselves and hone our inner true self.


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