How To Make The Most of 2023
We have been on a roller coaster ride for the past few years. As much as we would like for everything to be normal, change is ever present. So as New Year’s rolls around, it is okay if you are feeling a whole host of emotions bubbling up from within. We don’t know what 2023 has in store for us however, we do know that it’s up to us to make the most of it!
Here are the essential skills you need for a happier year!
Your mindset matters
According to Penny Locaso, the author of Hacking Happiness, there is a type of mindset that allows people to lean into uncertainty while embracing both positive and negative emotions. In “What You Were Taught About ‘Happiness’ Isn’t True,” she writes that “while you may not have control over every aspect of your environment, you do have control over yourself and the choices you make, including those that affect your mental and emotional health.”
The key is to actually believe that we have control over the choices that we make. In 1977, psychologist Albert Bandura came up with the term “self-efficacy” to describe one’s belief in his/her ability to succeed in a given situation. Furthermore, researchers like Einar Skaalvik from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Ralf Schwarzer from Freie Universität Berlin found that teachers suffer less from job-related stress and burnout when they have high self-efficacy. In other words, the can-do attitude can help us ward off unnecessary stress.
However, self-efficacy is not about how good or skilled we are at a particular subject, it is all about our perception. Plus, we don’t need a magic wand to align with a self-efficacious mindset! All we need is a little bit of curiosity and courage.
Albert Einstein once said that “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
Having a sense of curiosity about our life can open up possibilities that were once unavailable to us. Locaso notes that curiosity helps us to imagine a future that is different from what is.
According to Dr. Todd Kashdan from George Mason University and Dr. Paul Silvia from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, curiosity motivates people to explore the world. Moreover, cross-sectional and laboratory research designs demonstrate that people scoring higher on trait curiosity consistently report greater psychological well-being.
Locaso suggests that fear is the biggest barrier to creating meaningful change in our lives. World-renowned vulnerability and shame researcher Brené Brown invites us to consider the possibility that it is also the armors we wear that get in the way of wholehearted living.
She asks, “When things get tough, do we lean into vulnerability and get curious, or do we self-protect in ways that move us away from our values?” According to Brown, we cannot grow out of our comfort zone while moving through life with a heavy shield. However, we can start building courage by practicing micro bravery or doing something each day to stretch out of our comfort zone.
What is your micro brave action going to be this year?
Stay open to possibilities and have a great new year!
- 1. https://hbr.org/2021/01/what-you-were-taught-about-happiness-isnt-true
- 2. Bandura, A (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change. Psychological Review. 84 (2): 191–215.
- 3. https://www.berkeleywellbeing.com/self-efficacy.html
- 4. Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2007). Dimensions of teacher self-efficacy and relations with strain factors, perceived collective teacher efficacy, and teacher burnout. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 611–625. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0618.104.22.1681
- 5. Schwarzer, Ralf & Hallum, Suhair. (2008). Perceived Teacher Self‐Efficacy as a Predictor of Job Stress and Burnout: Mediation Analyses. Applied Psychology. 57. 152 - 171. 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2008.00359.x.
- 6. Kashdan, T. B., & Silvia, P. J. (2009). Curiosity and interest: The benefits of thriving on novelty and challenge. Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, 2, 367-374.
- 7. https://brenebrown.com/articles/2020/02/13/the-courage-to-not-know/