The superintendent of our school district this week encouraged all staff to pick “one word” to serve as our theme for the year. As I read the challenge a wave of words flooded my head… dream, peace, hope, kindness. Each word having an important place in my daily living and a focus over the last decade, but I realized I needed to a pick a word to challenge, grow me this year. As I continued to think one word continued to come to mind even though I kept trying to push it aside. It seemed no matter what word to which I tried to divert my focus, the word ACTION kept coming to the front of my mind.
Why would I try to push a simple world like action aside? Why would I rather pick a word like kindness or hope over action? What about a simple word terrifies me?
I struggle with anxiety. I have my entire life. I honestly don’t remember a time when my life hasn’t involved unnecessary worry. I have been to years (yes years) of counseling and take medication. With treatment, my anxiety is managed and I am able to live with more peace, but my anxiety always is around… often like an unwelcome companion. I have learned to live with this part of myself and not hate it.
So what does my anxiety have to do with me picking the word action? Anyone who also is friends with anxiety knows action often is fuel for the anxiety fire. It is not an underestimate to say I live in my head. Constantly I am thinking of things I could do, ways I could be helpful, ways I could grow my career, ways I can make an impact. In my mind I daily change the world for good. Daily I succeed in new and unfathomable ways in my head. But often my head is where it all stops. It is safe to dream and imagine the things I might do. It takes no risk and there is no chance for failure if it merely stays as an idea. The minute I decide to move from idea to action, my anxiety starts to speak up. The voices of uncertainty and insecurity get louder. Throughout my life I have been paralyzed by such voices. As long as I don’t take any big risks, I am able to silent the voices.
So this year I have decided I am tired of living as a fraction of myself. I can continue to live with my head in clouds or actually decide to put tangible actions to so many thoughts in my head. I have glorious plans and it is time they happen. I know I am the only one stopping me from living to my full potential.
Now I know this will not be an easy journey. Picking the word ACTION is merely the first step in what I know will be a long journey, but I am ready for this new chapter of life. So here we go 2018, a year for ACTION.