It has become my own little tradition to pick a word that represents the past year in reflection. When you’ve had as full a year as I, it’s not an easy decision to pick just one – if you think so, just try it for yourself. That said, this year my word is undeniably, “FEARLESS”.
Late last June I was in the process of wrapping-up 5 months of chemotherapy treatments and debating whether or not I should quit chemo one treatment early due to the neuropathy (temporary/permanent pain, numbness and tingling – a side effect from certain types of chemo) that was heavily setting into my hands and feet. Do I risk the possibility of permanent neuropathy or do I risk the possibility that cancer may not get fully gone if I shorten the known course of treatment? The choice was mine to make. Another not so easy decision later, I opted to end chemo one treatment shy of completion. My past year was riddled with decisions just like this one.
So you might be asking, how can my word of 2013 be FEARLESS?
Rather ironically, one of my favorite fellow blogger/marketers, Seth Godin, posted this last June 23rd (right as I was making my decision)…
The fearless person is well aware of the fear she faces. The fear, though, becomes a compass, not a barrier. It becomes a way to know what to do next, not an evil demon to be extinguished.
When we deny our fear, we make it stronger.
When we reassure the voice in our head by rationally reminding it of everything that will go right, we actually reinforce it.
Pushing back on fear doesn’t make us brave and it doesn’t make us fearless. Acknowledging fear and moving on is a very different approach, one that permits it to exist without strengthening it.
Life without fear doesn’t last very long–you’ll be run over by a bus (or a boss) before you know it. The fearless person, on the other hand, sees the world as it is (fear included) and then makes smart (and brave) decisions.
That about sums it up. I never claimed to be fear-free this past year.
And if I broke my own rule and allowed myself to pick a second word it would be FAITH. Cancer may’ve slowed me down but my faith – the ability to fully rely on God – got me through it and made me fearless more often than not. Though Seth doesn’t write of faith here, he best articulates my frame of mind this past year. Life isn’t easy. Or at least it has never been easy for me. But with the underpinnings of FAITH, I’ve always been able to see my situation as it is (fear included), make brave decisions and move on.
So what’s your word for 2013? Please post your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
If you are a follower of my blog, please forgive my latency this past year. My hope is that 2014 will bring much more opportunity to catch-up. If you’re new to my blog and like what you’re reading here, please subscribe (above).
Happy New Year!
The Back Story: Exactly one year ago, December 31, 2012, I was at the Mayo Clinic getting breast biopsies on a breast lump I found during a mission trip in November. By January 2nd of this year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Today, through the grace of God and the prayers, love and support of friends and family, I am cancer free and in the final stages of my return to “normalcy”. Much has changed and much has not. To learn more about my journey with cancer read more here on CaringBridge.
Elizabeth (Eli) Mansfield
Founder and Principal Business Development Consultant
Strengths Finder 2.0: Woo } Activator } Strategic } Ideation } Communication