Ladies, 2020 was hard. It was really, really scary and difficult and messy and painful in a lot of ways, for a lot of people. Whether you were locked in at home, you lost someone special to you, you spent time anxious over the news, or you found yourself facing things that you’d pushed to the side this year, it was one of those years that changed a lot of lives. In fact, I think it was one of those years that changed everyone’s lives in some really magnified ways.
The thing is, scary, long years like 2020 will beat you down and push you into the ground. They’ll stop you from moving forward and invite you to stick your head in the sand, waiting for it all to be over. Did you feel like that in 2020?
Because, there were definitely some times I did.
But, while I was taking some time to reflect on 2020 and set goals for 2021, I realized one thing: I don’t want to let 2020 push me into 2021 scared and quiet. In fact, I want to leap into 2021 powerfully — and I want you to join me. Who’s in?
Finding beauty in the mess
I know that a lot of us are walking into 2021 hesitantly, seeing if we can test the ice before we step on it. After all, 2020 dealt us tons of bad cards… from political turmoil to a global pandemic to the launch of a world that many of us thought would only show up in a bad science fiction movie.
But I have a challenge for all of us: what if we take all of that and turn it on its head? I think people focus on this idea that a lack of expectations is what’s going to create a lack of disappointment. The way I see it? That is no way to live, my friend. Cautiously tiptoeing into every moment, expecting the world in front of you to crumble at each step so that IF it happens to… you’re not as hurt?
HECK no, my girl. That is cheating yourself out of joy. That is turning away from movement. That is shaking your head at change and beauty and love. That’s living life without… living it.
I don’t want that for you, and I know you don’t want that for yourself.
Here’s the thing: 2020 might have been hard, but it taught us so much — and we owe it to ourselves to find beauty in the mess. We owe it to ourselves not to let a year — 365 days — cheat us out of dreams, joy, and the visions for our future lives. You see, 2020 taught us what truly matters. It showed us that we don’t have to fly across the globe to find happiness and joy (even though I cannot wait to travel again), it taught us to care for our brothers and sisters and neighbors, and it reminded us that there is power in connection, even if it happens on Zoom or in a handwritten letter.
Most importantly, 2020 gave us the very important push to remember that we are all in this together. Our job isn’t to wait and to see what bad thing happens next — our job is to harness community, lean into the uncertainty, and let our paths take us where they will. In fact, WE have the power to create the paths we want with the time we have.
So, here’s how to turn 2020 on its side and leap into 2020 like the strong, world-changing, powerhouse woman you are:
01. Come to peace with your feelings.
Your first step into letting 2021 serve you? Coming to peace with your feelings, realizing that they’re valid and deserve space, and then letting them go. So often, we’re scared of our emotions and of feeling them, worried that they’re going to get in the way of our lives. We push them away, we cover them up, we try to save them for another day.
Let’s stop doing that in 2021, okay?
It’s okay to feel, friend. More than that, feeling is BEAUTIFUL and wonderful and everything we need to keep being humans that don’t get hardened and worn down by the world around us. So, in 2021, challenge yourself to come to peace with your feelings. Instead of pushing them aside and covering them up, sit with them. Be okay with them. Let them teach you. Ask them: “what are you trying to teach me?”
This year, I struggled with this a lot. I am a major, major empath — like, I will literally not watch true crime because I truly can’t deal — and the hurt and pain the world was collectively feeling was devastating to me. I didn’t know how to deal with it, so for a while I just… didn’t. Then, I realized that it wasn’t supposed to be that way. We were made to feel, and feel it all. That’s what life is about. We have to let go of the idea that we have to be happy every second of every day. That’s not living.
Now, I see that being sensitive is kinda my superpower… which the Nicole-growing-up would never have guessed. But, it wasn’t until I started to ask myself: “what are my emotions telling me?” that I started to view them differently. Today, start sitting with those feelings. Ask yourself:
- Is there more to this feeling of anxiety or sadness than what I instantly see on the surface level?
- What can I do to change my circumstances so I feel this emotion less?
- What can I do to honor my feelings in this moment, then let it go?
- Where are these feelings coming from?
- What are these feelings telling me?
2. Ruthlessly let go of what is not serving you
Now, it’s time to take those feelings — to really, really sit with them — and then to send the ones you don’t need on their way out the door. You can be devastatingly sad for someone (I’ve been there and stay there, especially these days), you can honor the hurt, and then you can let it go. You can be overwhelmingly scared, you can sit with the fear, and then you can push it away.
To make change and to chase dreams, you have to be willing to keep living anyways. You have to be willing to take the fear and the anxiety and the joy that you feel, let go of what’s not serving you, and then move along with your life anyways. This is hard, don’t get me wrong. It’s super tough to sit with things, but it’s also key to creating a life you’re proud of.
At the same time, letting go of what’s not serving you and honoring what does looks different for everyone, which makes huge sense. It’s all about finding methods and steps that work for you. Last year, honoring my emotions meant I needed to unfollow social media accounts that stressed me out. It meant I needed to cut ties with relationships that didn’t value me. It meant I needed to turn off the dang news and instead read books that filled me with inspiration and nourished my heart instead of freaking it out.
Your job? Take a pause from this blog, and write down (yes, write! It’s good for you, I promise) down the emotions you know aren’t serving you. Now, decide on 3 simple switches you can make to honor them and then to let them go.
The pattern you’ll see? A reminder that life moves towards your intended destination a LOT quicker when you lean with the curves and trust the turns.
03. Harness that fear, and then JUMP.
There will always, always be moments in life when things don’t go how you expected them to. There will always be years that feel hard, months that feel forever long, and days that are packed with tricky emotions. It’s the nature of life — there are ups, there are downs, and there are long plateaus. But, those hard moments? Those are where we reflect. They’re where we get inspired to change.
Really, they’re how we decide how we want to live.
It’s our job as creatives and entrepreneurs and as HUMANS to harness the fear that we all feel from time to time and use it to jump anyways. It’s time for us to welcome that uncertainty that we got so close with in 2020, and then take the lessons we learned from it into 2021 so that we can remember that, no matter what life throws at us, we can rise above and move towards the future we want.
I want you to take that fear and honor those emotions by unapologetically setting your goals for 2021 — no holding back here, okay? I want you to dream your biggest dreams, step into your power any way you can, and create that life I know you can build.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from 2020, it’s three simple things: we have to love other people, we have to honor ourselves, and we have to move forward anyways. Are you with me?
I know you are, which is why I created this graphic to help you dig into your heart and discover what’s going to lead you into what I just know is going to be a killer year.
So, think about what you want to accomplish, speak it out loud (even if your dog is the only one listening), and come share it with your Horizon Found private Facebook community — yes, your community, friend. We’re all here for you! — so that you can bring those goals of yours to life. I started a thread in the Facebook Group today for us all to share this graphic sharing our hopes and dreams for the year with each other.
And, I want each and every one of you to remember that, no matter what your goals are or your fears might be, we built Horizon Found with the intention to help everyone uncover the best part of themselves. Come hang out with us, and we’ll reach — heck, SMASH — your goals together.
Let’s bring some fire to 2021, okay?!