fearless: My Word for the Year.

Fearless: My Word for the Year.

For 2022, I’ve decided to be fearless. It’s going to be hard and tricky at times, but I’ve thought really hard about it and I’m determined to make it happen. Not only determined, but excited. I’m done holding myself back because I’m afraid of what might happen. 2022 is going to be different. I’m going to be different.

I’ve decided not to make a resolution.

Every year, the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, we make a whole lot of noise, and we say goodbye to another year. Then on January 1st, we get our fresh start. We make a resolution- maybe it’s to lose weight or to go to the gym or to work harder in school or to save money or quit smoking to get a better job. We vow to make a change- to either start something or give something up that we think will make us better or happier. Maybe we’re super into it for a little while, but the more time that goes on, the harder it gets. Soon, we aren’t trying so hard. Eventually, we give up all together.  Does this sound familiar?

You’re not alone!

I’ve read studies that said less than half of people are actually able to keep their resolutions. In fact, I read one report that said it was less than ten percent who succeeded. I’m usually not one of those people. Don’t get me wrong- I’ve made improvements. But I tended to set unrealistic goals or maybe too many goals. I’d start feeling like I wasn’t making enough progress quickly enough and I’d lose momentum. It was disheartening to say the least.

This year, I’m setting a word instead.

I had never heard of choosing a word for the year until recently. Someone posted about it in a facebook group that I’m apart of for mom entrepreneurs and I thought it was interesting. Then suddenly, I started seeing it everywhere! So many amazing powerhouse women that I’d connected with were sharing the words they’d chosen to start off 2022 with. I was inspired and decided that I’m going to try it.

Why a word instead of a resolution?

Choosing a word helps you set the framework for the year. You choose a word and then are able to use it as a guide for your decisions and for how you spend your time and thoughts. It helps you to stay present; to be in the now. It’s how you are deciding to show up. Rather than committing to something unrealistic or to something that might not hold your interest for long, you’re choosing something that can adapt with you. This makes is more achievable, but still powerful.

Why I chose fearless…

I have spent most of my life being afraid and acting in response to that fear. The fear of not being enough, the fear of not being loved and the fear of not being perfect. I was constantly trying to be everything for everyone and had trouble taking time for myself or asking for help, because I was terrified that if I did, I would be deemed as needy and people wouldn’t want to be around me. (Thanks for that programming dad!) My trauma brain made life uncomfortable for a long time, and eventually led to me being in situations that almost destroyed me.

There were a few situations caused by this living in fear that I almost didn’t survive. Sometimes I’m still amazed that I made it through. If it weren’t for my determination and a lot of therapy, I probably wouldn’t have. But through my healing journey, I’ve been able to pinpoint my fears as the source of a lot of pain and as the reason for a lot of the decisions that led me down that dangerous road.

I will probably always have some fear of not being enough.

It’s like it’s ingrained in my DNA- something I’ve struggled with through my entire life. I know now that it isn’t true and that I’ve learned all about imposter syndrome, but it’s still there in the back of my head. It’s still trying to weasel it’s way into my decision making process and my first instinct is to listen to it. But I’m stronger now and I’m able to pause and to counter that inner voice. I can point out why it’s wrong and remind myself that I am enough. That I always was.

I’ve had some new fears join the fold over the last few years, and they’ve guided me more than I’d like. The fear of letting people down, of being a bad mom… But mostly, the fear of things from my past happening again. I haven’t let myself fully embrace or enjoy parts of my life because I’m so scared that if I do, something bad will happen. It’s silly because let’s face it: if something bad is going to happen, it’s gonna happen regardless of whether I’m happy right now or not. Being worried about it is only stealing possible precious moments from myself and torturing myself unnecessarily. Besides, I’m so much stronger now that I know the past can’t happen again. The things that happened to me can’t happen again because I won’t let them.

I’m going to be braver this year.

I refuse to let my fear or anxiety rule my life anymore. It’s affected my relationships, my career, my health and more. I’ve let it hold me back for so long… but no more! From now on, I’m going to let myself be present rather than worrying about all of the possible side effects or outcomes of my choice. When faced with a decision, I’ll be sure to think, what would fearless Danielle do?

I’m going to let this word inspire me throughout the year. It will help to encourage me to be myself and to believe in myself. To enjoy myself. Rather than setting a resolution to be better which will only further encourage that not-enough-fear, I’m going to embrace me and everything that I already am.

I’m going to be more vulnerable, more free, and more me.  And I’m really fucking excited about it.

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