It’s the New Year and a lot of people will be taking the next few weeks to set their New Year’s resolutions. I used to think this was stupid, because people (myself included) start out the year with high hopes and dreams of the weight we are going to lose, the debt we’ll pay off, the great new job we’ll get, then… by Feb 1st, it all comes to a halt and we go back to our normal way of life because, let’s face it, it’s just easier that way.
In 2012, I tried something new. In lieu of setting specific goals, I set a theme for my entire year. 2012 became the year of Facing My Fears. I really didn’t know what to expect, except that if I stayed true to my theme, there may be some moments in the course of the following 12 months where I may poop my pants from the rush of adrenaline.
2012 was the best year of my life. And here’s why:
I gained incredible amounts of confidence and became a courageous woman.
Through facing my fears I did things I could only have dreamed doing before. I…
…Approached a person I felt at odds with, invited her to lunch, and spoke honestly about the tension I felt in our relationship. We had great conversation and things have generally been smooth sailing since then. I didn’t ask her this directly, but I’m guessing as a result of our conversation two things happened: 1). She respected me more because I respected myself enough to initiate this difficult conversation, and 2). She respected me more because I respected her enough to have a conversation about it.
…Spoke to senior college students about personality types and the importance of truly understanding your own strengths before looking for a job – that way you can find the best fit for you, but also be equipped to share about the strengths you can bring to a potential employer. This opportunity presented itself through a casual conversation with a previous professor of mine. When I told her what I had been up to since college, (starting this blog and now career and life coaching others), it piqued her interest. She made a passing comment about how I should come speak to her students. The old Alana would have gotten excited about this, but would have been too fearful to pursue it further – and the opportunity would have been lost. The new, I’m-going-to-face-my-fears Alana immediately went home, followed up with the professor via e-mail and continued the conversation that eventually led to a public speaking engagement on Nov 29, 2012! Awesome. I was very nervous leading up to the presentation, but 5 minutes in, I was engaged, my audience was engaged and I was on cloud nine. What a rush! I plan to continue to be aware of and to pursue public speaking opportunities.
… Took on a project where I knew much about some areas of the project and very little about other areas. Fear of the unknown in the areas I did not know as much almost kept me from taking on the project altogether. But, I did it anyway! There were people on my team who I found difficult to work with, and through this, I discovered my voice. I learned how to speak directly, clearly, and confidently to make sure my thoughts were shared effectively. This was a huge hurdle for me, because I want people to like me. In the past, I have backed down to keep the peace. I gained more confidence in my abilities and in my own voice through this experience.
…And now to the biggie – which this one is more of an intangible – I started the journey toward loving myself. This was scary! Over the past few months, I have realized how much I do to numb the pain – both of my past and the frustrations I experience in my daily life. I have essentially become aloof to people and experiences because it is too painful and too much work to feel everything that comes along with these relationships.
Which leads me to my theme for 2013. I’m still working out what my focus will be, but these are the key words that are coming to mind:
I’ll update you once I land on the specific theme.
How about you?
Do you have a theme for 2013? I’d love to hear what it is and why you chose it! Please share in the comment section.