Part of Kathy’s series “Finding Brave To Build a Better Life”
Every year at this time, I love to identify a “theme” for the coming year – a word or phrase that represents what I want to cultivate more of in my life, work, relationships, and in the world directly around me. I’ve found that what we focus on truly expands, so focusing on an exciting and meaningful new element in my life brings it closer to me, and in greater abundance.
My theme for 2018 is “finding brave.” It’s amazing that, from the minute these two little words came into my sphere (and I thank my dear friend and author Avril McDonald for that), I’ve truly experienced more bravery, resilience, strength and hope, and I can see more clearly how I’m on the Finding Brave path.
I remember just when this term was birthed. It was in Mykonos, Greece this past September, while I was co-hosting a women’s retreat Light From the Dawn with Avril, Miisa Mink, Kaisa Peltola, and Charlotte Gillbanks. For the past year, I had been using the term “Brave Up” extensively in my work, writing, TEDx talk and other places. But in September as I was working on launching my new podcast (hope you’ll check it out on January 4th), I discovered that someone had trademarked the term.
I felt so angry and truly gutted. But there was no one to blame but myself. Even though I had been using this term for a full year and had made my mark on it, I hadn’t protected the term legally (this is something we all should learn from.) The year before, I had even published a great interview with business and branding attorney Ashley Brewer on my Forbes.com blog about not waiting to protect your intellectual property, but failed to take my own advice! Now I’ve learned.
I was with Avril in Greece talking about wanting to come up with a new phrase that represented my work at its core, and Avril said, “What about ‘Finding Brave’?” And it hit me right between the eyes. Yes! That’s it. As I got thinking about bravery and what we need to cultivate in order to be our true selves powerfully and transparently, I realized It’s not about “braving up” in one isolated moment, and then falling off the brave journey. It’s about Finding Brave every week, every day, every minute. It’s a holistic, heart-and-soul journey that grabs you by the collar and won’t let go, and keeps fueling you to be and share more of yourself, in open, honest, and transformative ways.
In 2018, I’ll be focusing on Finding Brave even more, from what I choose to do in my business (stretching out of my comfort zone and starting new ventures and expanding my focus), in my relationships, with how I invest my time and money to ensure growth, and in seeing my own potential more powerfully.
Here are three core ways I’ll be focusing on Finding Brave in 2018 that might be of help to you in your life:
While I have a good bit of confidence in myself and my work, I realize (if I’m really honest with myself) that I’ve hesitated moving in some new directions because of fear – fear of failure, fear of success and overwhelm, and even a bit of fear around how “hard” this new work will be. But my focus on Brave Sight helps me see myself in a different light – as someone who has reinvented herself numerous times throughout life, relished the process, and grew exponentially throughout it. I’m ready to see myself as more competent, confident and ready for more. I hope you are too.
Are you ready to tap into more confidence and trust about what you’re capable of?
While we hear every day (and I teach and coach) that “the riches are in the niches” – meaning, you need a very tight and narrow focus to be profitable in your business – I feel that it’s also important to be of brave service in ways that might stretch you out of your tight niche. For me, for instance, that means that I can be of help to people not only with career growth strategies but also by offering them all that I’ve learned, about psychology, marketing, client development, business growth, management, writing and thought leadership. So why wouldn’t I do that?
I’m going to put a new stake in the ground in 2018 and offer more of what I’ve learned throughout my 32-year career, leveraging my corporate and marketing background, therapy training, and business development experience. I can’t wait to stretch to new domains that I hope will serve others in a brave new way.
What can you do in your work that will stretch you beyond how you see yourself today?
I recently divorced, and this experience has opened my eyes and my heart to so much. I’ve experienced firsthand what society views is the “right way” to live, and the negative projections other people put on you about their judgments and fears around divorce. I’ve seen too what it is to live as an independent individual outside of marriage, and how enlightening it is to begin to understand yourself more deeply in a new context of being single.
I have a great deal more compassion now for single people, and the challenges we/they face in loving and accepting themselves fully when the world pressures us to see married people as the model to aspire to (even when so many marriages are miserable and harmful to the couple and to the children, and in fact should end in divorce).
In 2018 I’m committed to expanding my experience of love, compassion and connection – with myself and with others. I’m ready to become braver in loving, and letting out into the world the most authentic, real and honest version of myself than ever before, which I hope will help others do the same.
I’ve seen that when we feel forced to hide, suppress or alter our most authentic, real selves and our most loving, positive spirits in order to be accepted or appreciated – that’s when we suffer the most.
How can you love and connect to yourself more deeply this year, and start letting out the more authentic, real version of who you are?
In 2018, I hope that “finding brave” in your life will also be a theme that will pave the way for more joy, fulfillment and meaning in your life, career and relationships.
Happy 2018 to you, with (brave) love.