Ahh, I’m so excited to share this little word of the year with you today. I missed sharing it in January because we were so busy with the Less of a Hot Mess decluttering challenge! And the funny thing is that the decluttering challenge only came about because of my word for the year. (We call that a full circle moment.)
Have you ever even heard of this phenomenon? The Word of the Year thing? It’s sometimes called your “One Little Word,” penned by designer, blogger and memory keeper extraordinaire, Ali Edwards. She says this about the practice…
A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.
In 2006 I [Ali] began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word to focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. My words have included play, peace, vitality, nurture, story, light, up, open, thrive, give, and whole. These words have each become a part of my life in one way or another. They’ve been imbedded into who I am and into who I’m becoming. They’ve been what I’ve needed most (and didn’t know I needed). They’ve helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, to navigate challenges, and to grow.
I, Laura, have been enjoying this practice and choosing a Word of the Year since 2013.
And now this year’s word is (drumroll please) …
I love seeing how my words of the year reflect the journey that I was on that year. It’s almost like a capsule of what was happening in my life at that time. And now that I’ve done it for a few years, I can see similar patterns and themes. The word, Fearless, actually started forming in my mind during the summer last year, so it’s been on my heart and mind for at least 7 months now.
It’s permeated the books I’ve read and the lectures I’ve listened to. And it’s definitely seeped into my actions and goals.
Let me explain.
I’m an introvert by nature and can be shy in person until I get to know people. And even still, my shyness is oftentimes perceived as cold and aloof. I’m really not like that, but I just don’t want to be the center of attention. As a child it was sometimes debilitating, but as I’ve grown older and cared less and less about what others thought of me, I’ve managed to shake some of the fears.
These aren’t fears of tragedy or something bad happening. I don’t often worry about getting in an accident or a loved one perishing.
My fears are more personal than that. Like, what if I write a book and nobody reads it? What if I start something, and can’t finish it and then everything thinks I’m a failure? What if I’m not qualified to teach about this subject because everything I know is already common knowledge or people feel like they have been ripped off?
Or I’m afraid that I’ll offend someone or step into their personal space, so I won’t offer encouragement or care. I’m afraid of bothering people, so I keep to myself. I’m afraid of stirring up controversy or conflict, so I keep my opinions to myself.
It all plays a lot into putting myself out there in my business. I have been afraid to truly put myself out there for far too long.
Here’s a prime example of my fear in action …
I’ve wanted to do a 30 Day Challenge of some sort for as long as I can remember, but I had always talked myself out of it. I kept thinking it would be too much work (which it was a TON of work) and that I wouldn’t be able to finish it and I would be seen as a fraud. Or someone who couldn’t keep their word.
But one of the BEST decisions I made in 2016 was hiring my friend Emily as my social media manager and assistant. Not only does she have great ideas and keeps all of the social media plates spinning, she’s a fabulous encourager. It is her gift!
So, I got brave and shared with her my idea of having an organizational challenge at the beginning of the year. And basically she told me that I HAD to do it and that people would love it! If it were left up to me, I would have never put myself out there, but she encouraged me and helped me, so I did it! And she was there along the way doing the projects with me and encouraging me every step of the way when I would call her and vent about how hard it was to keep going. Ha! (Thanks Em! You’re the best!)
The Less of a Hot Mess Challenge was everything I hoped it would be and more. I connected to my read readers (you) who have a felt need for decluttering and organization. And you all were so encouraging as well. I’m absolutely honored that it meant so much to so many of you. Yes, there were bumps on the road – like me getting the flu the weekend before a HUGE sponsored post was due. But it was worth ALL of the hard work and stress, just to be able to serve you guys!
So this year when I come up against those negative voices and fears, I’m just going to put myself out there and go for it! It’s already worked fabulously so far this year!
Be Strong; Be Brave; Be Fearless Free Printable
So, as a thank you for helping me on my journey to reach my goals and put the fearful lies to rest, I created a free printable for you!
When I was decluttering my office last month, I bought this chalkboard organizer from Kirkland’s. It needs some chalkboard art, so I search far and wide for the perfect phrase or quote. When I happened upon the paraphrase of Joshua 1:9, I knew it was perfect for my word of the year!
I love the last line, too, “you are never alone.” God is always with me and I have nothing to fear. I love that He is the reason for my fearlessness.
And I recreated it into a printable in 6 different colors for you!
I hope you love displaying it as much as I do! Thank you for being on this journey with me!!
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