In 2018, I had a New Year’s resolution: “Don’t fuck up.”
That was because I had made a lot of big decisions in 2017. I got a job and moved to Japan. I was afraid that if I made a mistake I’d lose what I had.
It turns out that making that resolution was the bigger mistake. Whenever I made the slightest error in my research, I’d start stressing and thinking I wasn’t good enough for my job. It would get so bad that I would think about quitting my job every few weeks.
It wasn’t that anyone at work had treated me poorly, or that I don’t enjoy my job. I hardly ever receive online harassment either. It was all inside my own head.
I’ve known for a long time that my perfectionism is a bad habit. I was saying back in February that I needed to change my outlook, and I’ve talked mentioned this problem in other blog posts too. Although I tell myself frequently that I don’t need to be perfect in order to be happy, I doubt that this aspect of my personality will ever go away entirely. But I shouldn’t go around making things harder by putting pressure on myself with my “don’t fuck up” resolution.
That’s why my resolution for 2019 is “chill out.” I’ll stop assuming that my reputation will burn to cinders if I make a mistake, because after all the mistakes I made in 2018 I haven’t even come close to losing my job. Even though I write for a popular website that gets a lot of public scrutiny, I’ve got to come to terms with the fact that most people don’t actually care about my mistakes as much as I do.
I’m comforted by the fact that I’m not the only person who has this problem, and that people are actually rather forgiving of your mistakes if you’re earnest and transparent. Social media gives the impression that everyone is watching you, ready to jeer if you screw up, but you’ll always be your own worst critic. Unless you’re a celebrity with no private life, the only person who watches you constantly is you. So you’d best get along with yourself.
At any rate, we’re six days into the new year and so far, so good. I don’t start work again until tomorrow, and I’ve spent most of the time lazing about on holiday. I’ve been reading The Promised Neverland lately, and it’s really, really good. The anime looks amazing as well. Maybe I’ll actually get around to watching anime this year!
What’s your New Year’s Resolution?