Fearless. Well, that’s a word for you. And, no I don’t mean this:
That picture above (in my definition of fearless) is batshit. Seriously. For those of you who have a desire to do that, all the more power to you. I’ll pass, thanks.
Fearless factors into my All+SUM LIFE with the intent of not changing who I am or what I truly want because of my fears. If you allow your life to be run by your fear, then you’ll always be holding back, slowly editing away what makes you truly you (someone that no one else in the world is).
That being said, if you’re an asshole, maybe you should want to “edit that away” and become more considerate of your fellow human. Because in that case you’re actually causing harm to the people around you.
Fearlessness in my life has manifested itself in a lot of different ways. One was saying goodbye to some unhealthy friendships. And it wasn’t like I called them up and told them “hey, we’re not friends anymore.” That’s stupid and it’s a really fantastic way to cause unnecessary drama. It was more of an intentional decision (there are those words again) to stop investing time & energy into those relationships. I wouldn’t shut them out, but I stopped being the one who called. I stopped constantly making an effort. I stopped rearranging the commitments in my life to ensure I spent time with them. And they slowly drifted away. On one hand, it’s sort of sad but on the other, those relationships served their purpose. I learned a lot. And now I have time for other people in my life who provide me with encouragement, challenge me and make me a better person. But back when I first started thinking about that choice: Oh boy, it was scary thinking about letting go.
Another way it’s manifested itself (and I’m still working on this one) is voicing my ideas & concerns at work and even in my personal life. When I first started my career, I worked with one lady who was just plain awful. She. was. a. bitch. I was miserable. When they introduced alternate work arrangements (one being working from home one day a week) I intentionally arranged my schedule so that my work from home day was different than hers so I only had to see her 3 times a week. And I didn’t talk to my boss about it because I was scared of being labeled as a complainer. It was my first job. You don’t rock the boat in the first six months. When I did finally speak up, it was when I’d taken a new role in the company and my boss wanted to know what factored into my decision. He felt bad because he’d have done something about it had I just said something. Over the years in my career I slowly learned how to voice my concerns & ideas in a way that was respectful and yet firm. But it wasn’t easy and it took a lot of “swallowing my fear” in order to get where I am today.
A large part of living fearlessly is finding the courage to share my hopes & fears for my life on this blog.
Here’s what successfully living fearlessly looks like in my life: I’m embracing who I am and believing that I have value to offer. I’m courageously living authentically (yep like the photo above). I’m speaking up at the appropriate time and choosing my words wisely.
Wishing you an All+SUM LIFE,
– SUM Sarah