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What 2018 Taught me.

Updated: Feb 8, 2019

Ann Vos on a boat in Ghent, Belgium

What a year! 2018 has been an end of an era and I am quite sad to see it ending.

After twelve years I am leaving behind my hometown, my school, old friends and memories with the knowledge that my life will never be the same. But is that such a bad thing? I guess 2019 will provide some clarity on the subject. Goodbye familiarity, hello adulthood.

Adults always go on about the lessons they learned in their "youth".

Now it's my turn to reflect on what 2018 taught me.


1. Don’t feed the what-if monster

I am currently on a “grace” year after finishing school. Before March of 2018 the thought of taking a break between finishing school and starting university never crossed my mind. But as the months went on I realized that a break is the most logical path ahead. The reason being that after being Ann, the small town girl who was a busy bee in school, I had to be Ann, the girl who tried new thing, so that I could ultimately be Ann, the girl who knows what she wants. It took me a little bit of time to come to terms with this realization, because of my insecurities. What would people think if I didn’t go to university right away? Will I be left behind by all my friends who are going to start studying right a way? What if I never go to university? These negative what-if’s morphed into this monster that didn’t want to leave me alone. And the more I doubted myself the bigger the problem became. Luckily I discovered the power of positive thought and I’ve been starving the monster ever since.


2. Not all problems are my problems

I tend to be one of those people who worry for others or take others’ responsibilities upon themselves. This is an extremely unhealthy habit that I am constantly working on.

I tend to forget that there are things going on around me that I have zero control over and thus have no responsibility to fix. That is why through 2018 I asked myself a few questions occasionally : do I have control over what other people decide to do? Can I change people who have no interest in changing their ways? Do I have control over this situation? Is this my problem to solve? If the answer is no I take a deep breath and move on. This trick has made me a more content person.


3. Baby steps are essential

Have you ever said: “There is now way!” or “I can’t.” ? I know I have said it loads.

I have figure out a way to turn “I can’t” into “I can”. You can do big scary things by focusing on the small steps to getting to the finish line. For example:

I sometimes dread going to a party where I know almost no one. I mean who enjoys awkward conversation? I get through these situations by taking one baby step at a time. I focus on getting through the door, then I turn my attention to simply cracking a smile, next comes meeting one new person and before I know it being at the party isn’t so intimidating as it was before I started tacking baby steps to overcome my mild social anxiety. This principle can be applied to almost anything you deem impossible for yourself. I know it isn’t always easy but one has to start somewhere.

I am definitely going to use these lessons in 2019 and I hope that you can use some of my experiences and lessons and find them helpful as well. I would love to hear from you guys so please let me know what 2018 taught you or if you found any of my personal lessons helpful. I wish you all a prosperous new year.



Ann Vos Portrait

#self_development #reflect #life_lessons #life #life_tips #new_year

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Ann Vos

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