Home · Health & Wellness

Sheryl Lee Ralph: 'A New Year and New You'

"Leave the past behind and give yourself permission to make a change and start all over again," writes actress Sheryl Lee Ralph.

I love the New Year because there is such amazing potential in giving yourself permission to start all over again and make a change. I guess it’s the looking back while moving forward thing that I love, learning from the past, enjoying the gift of the present and excited by the future believing that my best days are ahead of me. I love the idea of being able to leave the past in the past and recreate a new me.

As I travel across the country speaking to groups and organizations, I often meet people who hate their lives, hate their jobs. They don’t like the people they live and work with, don’t like what they do. In a word, they are UNHAPPY! Asking themselves, “Why me? How did I get in this position? When will things change?”  Well the answer is so simple it’s complicated because simply put nothing will change for you until you change and then you can change things in your life. Simple!  

Look, if you’re working at something; a job, a relationship and it isn’t making you truly happy then you need to find yourself another job another relationship. If you don’t wake up in the morning with a feeling that you want just can’t wait to see that person or get to work and be the best you, you can possibly be…well, you probably know what I’m going to say to that, MAKE A CHANGE! There is one thing unhappy people are very good at and that is making everyone else unhappy. You’ve heard the saying, Misery loves company? Well it is often times true, so change.

Now, there are a million and two reasons and excuses to keep you from making a change this year that leads to your finding your joy, your love and the work that fulfills you; the fear of rejection, people telling you that it is impossible because it hasn’t been possible for them. Folks thinking that you have lost your mind or are just plain crazy because you want to make a change. This leads you to think, “Maybe they’re right. I am crazy.” And so you continue with the daily unhappiness, unchanged thinking, “Well, I guess that’s it for me.” Oh, H to the NO!!! It is a brand new year and you need to give yourself permission to make that change! Rise to the challenge of your own life!!

Well, you might be thinking, that’s easy for me to say. But I did NOT get to where I am by taking the easy unchanged route. I have made many changes in my life. I have changed and then had to change again. Change wasn’t easy for me, and it might not be easy for you. The hardest part of change is the first step like making the choice to be happy. Living a happy life is a choice and you are the one to make it. Once you make that choice, everything will change. Your walk, your talk, your smile, your choices all change because you have changed. You are happy.

So leave the past behind and give yourself permission to make a change and start all over again. Learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them. The change probably won’t happen overnight but little by little you will see the change in yourself for the better if you stay committed to your change. Don’t give up because you are worth it. Remember, New Year, New You and only YOU can do it!

Original DREAMGIRL and author, Sheryl Lee Ralph currently stars in the new Nick at Night series Instant Mom with Tia Mowry and can be seen in the new SHOWTIME series, Ray Donovan