At the beginning of this year I challenged myself to do hard things and do things that scared me. Things that would make me grow. Sometimes in exciting ways and sometimes in terribly uncomfortable ways, like a bad pair of underwear.
It started with a word and turned into a phrase that stares at me everyday at work and home. It goes like this.
My word: Challenge
Be more vulnerable than ever before. Be more compassionate than ever before. Be more challenged than ever before. Be more courageous than ever before. Be more confident than ever before.
And I’ve been doing it.
very mindful trying to be more compassionate towards people who I have very little patience for. I spoke at a conference. I’ve been on tv. I’ve written an article and got it published (in several places!). I’ve said yes to offering training to my agency on an ongoing basis on service delivery as well as putting together a 3 hour workshop on disability awareness this fall.
All of those things scared the crap out of me (ok, being compassionate doesn’t scare me but it is holy-freakin-hard sometimes), but I did it. I’m doing it.
A few years ago I couldn’t speak up in a room full of more than 5 people. A few years ago I could not lead a team of 9 staff in a very successful program. Last year I would have been scared to have certain conversations. Last week I would never have worn this: (I know it looks like an ordinary dress, but it’s not something I would normally wear; It’s short, thin and feels little. I felt very self-conscious in it and naked for the majority of the day, but I did it. And I just might even do it again). And no, I don’t make my bed).
Last year I would not have said yes.
I cannot lie, the anti anxiety medication helps. But that’s only a piece of it.
Things still scare me, a lot of things still scare me. But the more I say yes to things that scare me, even if they suck in the end and I promise myself I will never ever ever do it again even if reward myself with a giant Starbucks for being so brave, the more confidence I get to say yes to other things that scare me and that sometimes, sometimes, turn out to not suck and are actually kind of fun.
And let’s face it, I don’t need a reason to buy myself a giant Starbucks but I’m a simple gal motivated by simple things and I’ll trick myself into believing whatever helps get me through being vulnerable and being courageous and any other challenges I take on this year.
What are you going to say yes to?