It is hard to know where to start after a year like 2020. Hard to plan for the unexpected and for the known even. It is hard to know the direction when the environment is fluid, but it is also hard to lose direction when the north is clear. It is easy to get lost in the details of home-schooling, no-travelling and what are the rules today again? But it is also easy to remember that we connected with ourselves. And in that connectivity, we found strength. In that strength, there is no space for fear. My word of the year for 2021 is fearless.
From Believe to Fearless
In 2020, my word of the year was BELIEVE. And that belief helped me hold it together. I acted through the year (or most of it) with a belief in myself that I did not think was possible. One I had not lived before. Believing in myself in a way that was sometimes blinding (or dumb) but also re-energising. It made me float through ideas, see the positive in all the crazy times, find new avenues, unleash dreams. When was the last time you believed that your dreams would be possible. That YOU are possible?
Somehow along the way, my beliefs have been shaken. I fought hard to dig out the word back towards the year end. And I am not letting go of it. In all honesty, I almost thought of keeping it for 2021. However, that would be lame. And then, how could I justify a new article on the same word?
Therefore, I took the next step on the belief highway. Believing can only lead to one thing – no fear.
A theme of change
The other reason I had to have a new word was that when I first started thinking of a word of the year, many came to mind. And as I looked at a (helpful) list, even more words called my attention.
The first theme that emerged was clearly one of change. And as such, change was needed. No sticking to the same word. That would also sound lazy in my guilty eyes. I thought deeply about the first 3 words and whether I wanted change to be the word. I concluded that change was something I needed this year, but only in targeted ways. There was so much that worked out for me in 2020, so much that I don’t want to change! So no matter how much I do want to transform significant parts of life, I didn’t want it to mean an absolute change from the good stuff of 2020.
A theme of energy
The second set of words brought me energy. I find I went after them because that is what I crave. I crave more energy. Physical and mental. I have lacked quite a bit of that lately. And I crave to have the enthusiasm that I have had through the lockdown months. I guess as a 3rd national lockdown is announced, I can’t help but feel like I really do need to get that back. Enthusiasm (and a high dose of patience) are the only things that can keep me sane through lockdown on dark winter months.
Flourish was interesting. I don’t even think I had thought of this word before. But it made me think of spring, of growth, of letting something new emerge and develop. So I keep it in my “secondary” list as well.
A theme of courage
I landed on a theme of courage. One that stems from a newly built belief in the possibilities. And one that I feel I need, in order to feel stronger and stand up again. As I debated through bold, brave and fearless, I hesitated. I was afraid (see, fear) that fearless could be too negative. The absence of something. Is that a real word even? Bravery is the absence of fear. Then why bring the fear word into the equation? After a year where we recognisably lived with more fear for life than in many of the past years – even if not ours, for those of our loved ones. Why keep fear in my life?
Ultimately, I recognised I can’t be bold or brave if I have fears. And the last 3 months have brought many fears. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of resentment. Fear of not being brave enough. Fear of failing. Fear I would not make it.
As I face 2021, I want my year to be fearless. I will face my fears and then kick then in the b*t. That is how I want 2021 to be. FEARLESS.