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I follow a lot of people on social media whom I consider to be extremely inspirational. I’ve noticed that many of them seem to choose a word to represent their year.
I’ve never been one to follow the crowds – even as a teenager when I was absolutely desperate to be part of the ‘popular’ groups at high school and college, I just didn’t agree with most of the stuff they said or did – I didn’t want to smoke, or drink, or use drugs. I tried dressing like a goth but a/ I never mastered the art of black eyeliner and b/ the strawberry blonde hair didn’t really work. I enjoyed sports but not enough to be part of the sporty gang. And I DEFINITELY wasn’t cool enough to be part of the cool gang – I was waaaay too ‘goody-two-shoes’ for that. I wanted to do well in my education, not bunk off class and wander aimlessly round the local shopping centre. And so I never did become part of any of the popular gangs.
Instead I did my own thing (and still do). I don’t follow fashion trends – I know what I like and what I don’t, regardless of whether it’s on the catwalks or in the magazines. I don’t have to have the latest phone or gadget, I certainly don’t follow the newest diets or exercise crazes, and I couldn’t give a stuff about what’s happening in the celebrity world.
However, I think that some trends are worth following, and I really like this idea of picking a word and living your life accordingly for 12 months.
The thought of it has been on my mind for some time now, since way before Christmas – which word to choose?! I didn’t want to just pick one randomly – it had to actually mean something to me. So I read back over the last couple of months worth of blogs that I’ve written and published and almost instantly two words jumped out at me:
‘BRAVE’ and ‘BALANCE’.
“That’s it!”, I thought, “2015 will be my year of Bravery and Balance”.
(After all, even though I’m following a trend I still have to do it my way – why limit myself to just one word when I can have two?!) 😉
Bravery and Balance are two things that I’ve talked about a lot over the last few months. But although I’ve talked about them in various different contexts, I haven’t really felt like I’ve been living them. I haven’t felt Brave. I haven’t felt Balanced. I’ve felt scared and, well, pretty unbalanced (just ask my girls, who have witnessed me dramatically lose my temper far too often recently for my liking).
And it needs to change.
I used to be Brave. I’ve done things in my past that now, looking back, I could never imagine being able to do again. I still have no idea how I did them. I don’t know when that bravery vanished. Maybe it hasn’t? Maybe it’s just changed into something else, transformed into an alternative version of itself that I’ve labelled as something completely different? Who knows. I guess it doesn’t really matter. I want that Brave feeling back. Here’s why:
> I have Brave decisions to make.
> I need to be Brave in order to remain authentic and honest and ME.
> I need Bravery to live the life I want to live, not the life that other people think I should be living.
> I need to be Brave so I can take the plunge and try new things.
> I need Bravery so I can put myself out into the unknown and risk failing and making mistakes and not being good enough (yet).
> I need to be Brave to let go of people and things that I no longer want in my life.
> I need to be Brave to say no to the things that I don’t really want to do but think I ‘should’ do.
> I need to be Brave to say yes to more of the things that I do want to do.
Then I started to wonder… is there a difference between ‘bravery’ and ‘courage’?
The definition of the word ‘brave’ is: “being ready to face and endure danger and pain”. The definition of the word ‘courage’ is: “the ability to do something that frightens you”.
It struck me that being brave is the first step – having the intention to face something that is going to be difficult. Having courage is the second step – actually taking action and using your ability to do that difficult thing. One feeds into the other, and that can only be a good thing.
Honestly I’m not sure whether I’ve ever had true balance in my life. I’ve always leaned towards more work and less play. More giving to others than I am to myself. I’m not sure what Balance feels like. I imagine it’s a sort of calm, quiet confidence that I can handle whatever I encounter. Or maybe I’m way off the mark. I’m trusting that I’ll know it when I feel it.
> I need to have balance between all of my different roles – mother, wife, therapist, daughter, friend – and just being me.
> I need to have balance between work and play.
> I need to have balance between time spent alone and time spent with others.
> I need to have a balance between energy and rest.
> I need to have a balance between thinking and feeling.
> I need to have a balance between serious and fun.
> I need to have a balance between yes and no.
Re-reading over the words I’ve just written, all I can see is ‘need, need, need, need, need’. What’s really interesting is that as soon as I realised that, the words “I already have those things” popped into my head.
And I’m right.
I already have all the bravery I need. I already have the balance that I need.
I just have to make the choice to use them.
And really that’s what this whole blog is about. Whatever word you choose for 2015, know this: You already have it in your life. All you need to do now is be intentional about choosing to use it.
I have no idea how this year is going to manifest yet. I have lots of plans and hopes and ideas to put into action. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.
2015 – my year of bravery and balance.
I’d love to find out your thoughts on this blog, and if you’ve chosen a word to live by this year and would like to share it with me, please do leave a comment below.