If you are that risk-taking, challenge-accepting, daredevil who boldly embraces change and takes life by the horns, let me be the first to say I applaud you! I tip my hat to you all. However, this post may or may not be for you.
This post, is however, for folks like me. You know, those of us who may be just a little afraid to take that next big step. Those of us who are shaken by the thought of trying something new. Those of us who could be getting a lot further in life if we only had the nerve. Though I'm no cowardly lion, and I'm sure you're not either, it's probably evident that we both could use a push when it comes to living fearlessly. And since my main focus in 2014 is being fearless, I've decided to share with you guys my personal list-- the five ways in which I have began my fearless way of living. These are indeed small, yet very measurable tasks. Though I'm only a few months in, I'm already seeing a change in my way of living. Read on to catch the deets and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!
1. Say yes. How many times have you prayed feverishly for better opportunities--only to turn them down once they come? I, for one, have been guilty of this on several occasions in the past. I've dismissed ideas of golden opportunities being mine, letting excuses and fear get in my way more times than I'm willing to admit. The fear of not being "prepared" had become my chief excuse. Even when asked out to social events and networking opportunities, I've given reasons such as not having a sitter or not being able to get there. But once those opportunities and invitations began running few and far in between, I wondered why I didn't get them more often. I was practically giving them away! So lately, I've been GOING. And trust me, when you want to get out and go somewhere you will find a way!
2. Go alone. This is a hard one for me. And I can imagine it may be a hard one for others as well. There's just something about braving uncharted territory alone that scares me. There's no familiar faces to share knowing smiles across the room with. There's no one to spark a quick conversation with to break the ice. Or is there?
After going to a few events solo, I can't believe I didn't start sooner! I was able to network with new people and it was much easier doing so alone. Always depending on someone to be my "wing man" can make me a bit too comfortable-- too comfortable to start conversations with others, too comfortable to speak out in the crowd during ice-breakers, and too comfortable to fully engage in the company of others around me. I will admit, it's still a task to get out there and go to events by myself. But it's a rewarding experience each time I do so, because I'm able to prove to myself that it can be done! It really helps to diminish the fear of being alone as well as the fear of the "unknown."
3. Meet new people (or interact with the people we know in different ways). Now for me, this is one of the harder tasks. While I believe myself to be a rather friendly person, I find it hard to approach people I don't know. So I started by reaching out to people that I come in contact with on an everyday basis. I would compliment another woman attending the same event I was. I would ask other parents about possible extra-curricular activities I could sign my children up for. And since I'm a "new" parent in my children's school system, asking questions about the school, the area, and ways to get involved have really helped spark conversations among new people. I can even see a couple of new friendships forming between myself and other moms. And remember, even if you are a bit too shy to spark up a conversation with someone you don't know, a smile can go a long way. Simply smiling at a seemingly friendly person in the workplace, in class, or other place I frequented has been the start of many of my relationships to this day!
5. Go new places (or see familiar places with fresh eyes). I will admit to guys now that I've used the excuse of not having the resources, the funds, and or the connections to travel too many times in the past. Little did I know that MY affirmation with MY words that I was unable to travel put a message out into the world. Therefore, I made myself unable to go out and see new things because I professed it. So one day, I decided to stop using my words to limit myself. Back when I first started making vision boards and planning vacations (whether I knew I could actually take them or not) I felt the power to believe. I began to envision myself visiting new places that I read about in books or magazines. And before long, I was taking flights and packing bathing suits! Though fear of the unknown threatened to "shut the party down" on more than a few occasions, I said my prayers, repeated 2 Timothy 1:7, and trusted that the Lord would take care of me wherever I ventured to. And he did!
Nowadays, however, I don't get to travel too often---especially with the new baby. But I dare not speak that I CAN'T travel. I simply refer to that list I spoke of in #4 and find a new place to check out in my town or the next town over. Once I stepped out of the box and created new experiences for myself, I realized how confining it was to limit myself all this time!
In what ways do you practice living fearlessly?
I would love to hear about them in the comments.
Ideas, experiences, and words of encouragement
are welcomed and greatly appreciated!