One Word: A Look Back & Moving Forward

01 January, 2016

For the last couple of years, I, like many others, have started the year by picking one word, a simple reminder for the next 365 days to keep us on our individual tracks.

To be honest, I had to go back through the archives to find my word from last year. It’s not that I didn’t remember writing about it, it’s just that….you know, to be honest, I don’t know why I didn’t remember the actual word. But looking back on it, I definitely feel like I lived that word in more ways than one.

My word for 2015 was trust.

I put a lot of trust in the process of things; trusted that things would work out the way they were supposed to personally and professionally. I changed jobs, met a lot of really great people and tried new things that would have otherwise completely freaked me out (i.e. dating!).

I put a lot of trust in people who were able to help push and guide me through some challenges. Sounds a bit shallow, but I found this to be mostly true at the CrossFit box I go to. I can't even tell you how many times I have taken a deep breath and said "Ok, I trust you" to the coaches when they've talked me through weights and set-ups. So much of my feeling like I “can’t” do something at the box translates into everyday life. When it seems like something is too much or too hard for me to accomplish, putting a little faith, a little trust in that voice behind you, encouraging you is enough to break through some of those walls.

But above all else, I trusted myself. I trusted my gut more times than not this year and it proved to be an amazing experience. Sure, I still overthink thinks all the time, but even when I do tend to go with my initial gut reaction. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and to remind myself that I know what is best for me.

This years word came to me almost immediately after I started thinking about choosing it.

My word for 2016 is…..

Selfish [sel-fish]
1. Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
2. Characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself.

I know, this word is used negatively all the time, but here is the thing.

Why don’t we ever just put ourselves first?

So often we are expected to put the needs of everyone else before our own because “it’s the right thing to do”. It makes us feel good about ourselves. It makes us feel like we are contributing to things and making a difference in the world.

And all of that is great and amazing. I love nothing more than seeing the smiles on peoples faces when I help them, in my profession and personal life. It makes me feel amazing to know that I was able to provide some kind of happiness for someone, even if it is for a small moment in time.

I recently had someone ask me, “What do you want?” That was it. Four words that felt like a hundred.

That tiny little question of course got the wheels spinning. Obviously, in the context of the conversation we were having it was very different than what I came up with, but still, what did I want?

As I rolled his question around in my head, every time I came up with an answer, I immediately thought to myself, "I can't tell him what I want! He'll think I'm crazy, self-absorbed."

But I think it's time to be a little crazy, a little self-absorbed, a little selfish.

This year, I am putting myself first. I am doing things that make me happy. I'm going to surround myself with people who love and support me. And I'm going to take more chances just to see what happens.

It's going to be a year of growth as I learn what it feels like to ask for what I want and to not feel ashamed of asking for it.

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