Well, it’s 2017 and you tell yourself it’s a new year filled with so many new possibilities! Time to take part in tradition and make those resolutions, set some goals and start turning a new leaf! Done, done, and done!
That is…unless you’re like me.
Truth be told, I have never really invested in this practice. Not because I think it isn’t a worthwhile endeavor, but simply because I never really felt compelled to do so. This year though, I wanted to try something different. I decided it was time to take more of a lead role in the way this year will play out for me. You may have seen this thing on social media where people are picking a “word of the year” and the purpose of this is to help them focus on the improvements they’d like to see in their lives.
A word of the year. Isn’t that a great idea? Just one word to help motivate and drive you through whatever process that will help you become a better you?
It was an idea that really resonated with me and so I thought I would pick out my own to live by as the year unfolds. After spending a not-so-insignificant amount of time thinking about what my word would be, I finally found the perfect one…
- not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible rebuff
- necessitating courage or daring; challenging
This is a big word for me. Generally, I am the type of person that is afraid to fail. If I feel that I can’t accomplish a task perfectly then I usually choose not to do it.
What if I let others down?
What if I let myself down?
I realized that was NOT a great way to think about things…to always be imagining the worst that could happen and never seeing that taking opportunities could lead to something really awesome. I mean, seriously, if everyone in the world thought that way I can only imagine that this world would be so much further behind than where it is today.
“Defeat is not the worst of failures.
Not to have tried is the true failure.”
George Edward Woodberry
Now, I’m not saying that by making this decision to lead with boldness that I’m going to do anything world changing (feel free to sit on the edge of those seats in anticipation, people), but I am hoping that it could lead to something life changing for me.
By making “bold” my word of the year I can see how it might lead to trying and failing. Yeah, it’s true…I might fail. But if I can learn to be okay with that, that it isn’t the end of the world, that I can always try again, then I think that I would already be making great strides in my life.
A number of years ago, I was having a conversation with my dad and I remember it pertained to something potentially earth shattering like, choosing a college to attend or whatever. I remember feeling almost paralyzed, like I just couldn’t choose because I was so worried about making the wrong decision.
I felt this need to be right the first time because I didn’t want to make a mistake.
So there I was…in tears…just waiting for the heavens to open and the answer to lie before me.
But then my Dad said, “Mary, you can’t let life happen to you. Sometimes, you have to happen to life.”
Wow. Happen to life.
What an awesome, kind, to-the-point way of saying “Just make a decision already! Just DO something!”… am I right?
But guys, how true is that? How many of us just let the days, weeks, and even years roll by, only for us to look on the past and see that not much has changed? Oftentimes, primarily due to our decisions to stay in our comfort zone? *Ahem. Raising my hand over here.*
This year, finally, I am choosing to step outside of that comfort zone. I want this year to be different. I want to have the courage to challenge myself in new ways. I don’t want to avoid opportunities merely because they bring the possibility of failure with them.
“Take chances, make mistakes.
That’s how you grow.Pain nourishes your courage.
You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”
Mary Tyler Moore
Because while that may be true and failure may indeed happen, it is also true that these opportunities bring the possibility of success. I want to reach for that success. I want to challenge myself so that maybe, just maybe, I might surprise myself, realizing that I can accomplish so much more than I ever thought possible. And so with all of that in mind I am setting a few goals for myself this year that will require boldness (more on that later).
So, what about you? What are you hoping to achieve this year? Would choosing a word of the year help you to realize those goals you have set for yourself? If so, I would love to hear about it! Share your word of the year in the comments below!