You know that feeling when you’re on a rollercoaster and you are lingering, for a slight second, at the very top of a giant peak. Your heart races, your hands shake, and time stands still as you prepare yourself for the fall. With a single swoosh, you plunge forward and the rush overtakes you.
That is a bit how 2015 felt. Exhilarating, at moments terrifying, joy filled and surreal.
In January, I packed up and left home for the entire first month of the year – traveling to California, Hawaii and New Zealand. I documented love stories in new places. I stepped to the edge of my comfort zone: hiked up mountains, swam through coral reefs, walked through fields of sheep, watched the sunrise from the top of a volcano, and photographed in the pouring rain. I spoke at conferences from Charleston to Scottsdale to Carmel and met the most inspiring people along the way. I launched the Rising Tide Society alongside my best friends and found myself speechless as I witnessed a dream become a reality.
I worked harder than I have ever worked in my entire life. Too hard, actually. I found myself overwhelmed by the very thing I love most and shared my greatest struggle as an entrepreneur in November. Oh friends, sharing that post was downright scary, but so unbelievably worth it.
Shortly thereafter, I started making tough choices and giving myself the permission to say no. I set stricter boundaries around my time and began outlining what my definition of success should truly look like.
Last week, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the year and dreaming about the possibilities for 2016. When we went to my in laws house for breakfast, my mother in law was talking about choosing a word for the year and she asked me:
What is your word for 2016?
It took me a moment and without hesitation I responded… “Fearless. This year, I want to be fearless.”
The minute the word escaped my lips, I wanted so badly to take it back. Why couldn’t I have said something easier or perhaps safer? Being fearless means taking big risks… And that terrifies me. Ironic, huh?
So that got me to thinking, what does it truly mean to be fearless? Other than jumping out of a plane or walking on flaming hot coals in my bare feet – how can I live fearlessly in my day to day life?
The answer came in the form of my favorite twenty-first century philosopher… Taylor Swift.
“Fearless is not the absense of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid.
To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them.
To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”
― Taylor Swift
Oh, how I love that girl. She’s right. Being fearless doesn’t mean living without fear. It means charging forward towards the things that scare you with hands shaking and knees weak… And doing them anyway.
Loving people who have hurt you, forgiving those who have wronged you is fearless. Looking in the mirror and choosing to love the flawed person staring back is fearless. Building a business, raising a family, fighting for your marriage when times get tough… I believe there is nothing more courageous than that.
The fearless ones are the people who get up every day and take the path less chosen because they know it is the right thing to do. They have integrity when there is an easy way out. The choose love when others choose hate. They understand that the odds are stacked against them and yet they chase after their dreams anyway.
So what would you choose? If you had to pick a single word to guide your goals for the New Year, what would it be? Tranquility, balance, or mindful perhaps? Or maybe it’s creativity, renewal, or imagination?
What is your word for the New Year?
And in the spirit of being fearless, a lot of my goals this year involve stepping outside of my comfort zone and dreaming even bigger with the Rising Tide Society. We have a brand new website design today including an interactive Tuesdays Together Map + Webinars to sign up for!