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What I Learned From My Year Of Yes

I am a true introvert, and to be honest I like it. Staying in my comfort zone has always been important to me ever since I can remember, and anything or anyone that challenged that had to go. Have I sometimes wished I were different? Yes. Did watching all the outgoing people with tons of friends make me envious? Yes. Was my fear of failing a potential reason for not stepping out of my comfy space? Likely so. However, in 2021 I decided to step out a little bit and see what saying ‘yes’ to more things would create.

I have always been shy and chosen to stick to what was familiar to me. My immediate family is who I am most comfortable with, and I have a handful of friends who I have I let down some of my walls with, but I know this enclosed nature of mine has kept me from stepping out in many ways. Maybe it was the fact I excelled as a child and student (8th grade valedictorian here) and the pressure to constantly please could have potentially created a fear of failure mindset. Even though I can't be certain of these characteristics being natural or created overtime, I know it has settled into me deeply.

So much shifted when I decided to try saying yes to different events and ideas that presented themselves to me. Let's start with my braces. For years I wanted to straighten my teeth. Initially, I think I was just plain scared, and to be honest I don't know of what, but after a certain point my excuse became I was too old. Well guess what? The clock just ticked on and on, until at the age of 44 I decided I was going to do it. I had my last child’s braces removed on December 30th, and my appointment was scheduled for January 4th. Talk about a ball of nerves and being highly uncomfortable, but after some weeks of getting used to it I realized it wasn't so bad. I even gave myself some grief for waiting so long, and now a year later I'll be getting them removed soon but I'm so glad I got past my fear and did it. The experience has been good for me, and I'll be a little sad to see them go AND I have no regrets.

Shawana and I began this cool journey on social media last January after discussing it for a few months. Has it been scary? Heck yes. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. But has it been worth it? It truly has, and it has pushed me in a way I never could have imagined. I have wanted to quit several times and yet the more I learn (and I still have a LOT to learn), the more something in me has the desire to keep moving forward. The amount of information I've picked up, and the connections I've made thus far have been rewarding. Now that's not to say that I don't still think about quitting like every other day, but I'm in too deep to not see what the end result will be.

Saying yes and allowing myself to be pushed out of my comfort zone hasn't been easy, but it has been a blessing. I was invited to do a podcast, I’m sitting here writing this post, and I’m excited about new opportunities already presenting themselves this year. I'm proud of myself, and I've seen how much I can do versus what I can't. One thing I've also learned is to start even before I'm ready because if I wait to be ready, it's highly possible I never will be because I have talked myself out of it. Besides, one thing I know and believe is that in my making a decision to move, my gift will make room for me. What are you saying yes to this year?


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