2014: The Year of Fearlessness

Afri-love-Year-of-Fearlessness-2014

 

Happy new year everybody! I have an amazing feeling about this one – this moment is pregnant with the raw energy of a boiling pot of water that’s just about to pop its lid off! It’s that exciting.

 

Last year in review

stopped making resolutions a few years back. Instead, I pick a quality/action/intention to use as my guiding philosophy for the year. Last year it was kindness. The verdict:

Kindness to body: The results of my paleo Whole30 + Autoimmune Protocol experiment were way way beyond my expectations. In the space of a month, my body changed in unprecedented ways. I also got back into a more regular yoga practice. Although some phases of the year consisted of a more consistent practice than others, overall, I practiced much more than I had in the previous year and, I discovered that hot yoga truly is an ideal exercise for me. However, in other ways, I was not kind enough to my body. I’m going to be addressing that next week by initiating a health reset challenge that I’d love for you to join!

Kindness to others: I tried to be very conscious, especially of the seemingly throw-away but ultimately judgemental comments that are too easily made. And to always consider what lies behind somebody else’s attitude and behaviour. Things are rarely simply black or white. The members of my Asilia team have been great teachers regarding being a better person, as well as a better leader.

Kindness to my community and environment: I think I need to create more specific goals for this to be measurable. Action point for 2014!

In general, kindness to self: There are two things that had an incredible impact in this regard. One – I started my daily journalling practice again. I don’t know if I can adequately communicate just how transformational this simple act can be. I will try one day. Until then, trust me! Two – I started a new business that is truly stretching me with regards to my personal development. It’s having a positive impact on all aspects of my life.

 

This year’s intention

A few weeks ago, in the middle of some task or another, I realised what quality/action would be my focus for 2014.

I’ve never really considered myself to be a fearful person but, as I interrogate my behaviour in my daily journalling, I realise that fear is at the root of a lot of my action (and inaction). Will it work? Will it be amazing? Will they like it? How will I be judged? Will they say “no”?

In the book I’m currently reading, Jim Rohn’s 7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness, he lists what he sees as the “negative children of fear”: worry, low self-esteem, envy, greed, resentment, prejudice and hatred. Those are some nasty kids that I don’t want to be around! So, I take a closer look at those questions that have held me back in the past.

 

Will it work?

I’ll never know unless I try and I could be missing a huge opportunity by delaying that effort. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have learned something and I can take that knowledge with me as I move on. It’s a win-win situation.

 

Will it be amazing?

The perfectionist in me demands nothing less but, she’s got to cut me some slack. ‘Amazing’ is rarely the result of a first attempt. In fact, it often takes thousands of hours of practice (as one of my favourite books, Talent is Overrated, explains). So, as in the paragraph above, the more I take action, the more I improve on it and the closer I am to mastery and excellence.

 

Will they like it?

They might and they might not. The sooner I find out, the sooner I can do something about it. Depending on the context, sometimes it’s simply about appreciating different perspectives and preferences and leaving it at that. Sometimes it’s discovering why and seeing how I can better address the requirements in the next round. Sometimes it’s asserting the rationale for my actions, being confident and standing firm by my conviction.

 

How will I be judged?

Who cares?! I think it truly is as simple as that. I’m constantly reminding myself to not let other people, who oftentimes know very little about what’s really going on in my life, determine how I live it. At the end of the day, I alone will remain with the consequences of my choices. Making them based on what other people want or expect will surely leave me consumed with those brats – resentment, low self-esteem, envy and possibly even hatred.

I think this is a really hard one because, everywhere we turn, it feels like we are being judged. Whether it’s being judged by the social norms of our culture; being judged against the lives of our age-mates and other peers or; even being judged against illusions (e.g. celebrities and other icons of so-called perfection and success. Images that are often one-dimensional and not representative of the full and complex story of a person’s life).

 

Will they say no?

As an entrepreneur, “no” is a word that I should have long time ago embraced. However, it feels like it’s only in the past few months of working my new network marketing business that I’ve truly been up close and personal with this fear. You’d have thought that over 10 years of being in positions where my work is being critiqued would have better prepared me for rejection. Perhaps it has.

Stepping outside of my comfort zone and putting myself out there has been the greatest teacher for how to deal with this, one of the most debilitating of fears. I can now appreciate that a “no” has nothing at all to do with me and thus, it makes no sense for me to be attached to that outcome. A “no” from somebody can mean a whole load of things. “No” because they just don’t want it. “No” because they don’t want to take a cold hard look at their status quo. “No” because there are obstacles in their line of vision and they cannot see the bigger picture and amazing opportunities that are in store for them, if they were to just take one step. “No” because they’re not ready. “No” because they’re scared to take a leap, face their fears and make a change.

 

Fears. Those dastardly things!

This year I choose to ignore them. This year I choose fearlessness.

 

Shall we soldier on together? What fears are you throwing in the trash in 2014?

 

————————————————————————

Related

 

Don’t miss an installment – different ways to get your Afri-love delivered. You can also stay up to date by liking the Afri-love Facebook page or following Afri-love (@afrilove) on Twitter or on Google+

Check out my many Africa-related Pinterest boards covering the arts, design, music and more.

Subscribe for monthly updates with Afri-love highlights and developments, as well as info on interesting events, must-reads and more for you to check out elsewhere.

 

SIGN UP FOR EXTRA STORIES, TIPS AND INSPIRATION

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.