A year of learning

2015 was a big year. It was full of change, which brings stress, even when it's good.

After all, stress is stress.

I learned so much about myself, what I want, where I see myself in the future, how I want to grow and evolve as a person, and the things I am willing to spend time on.

When I look back at 2015, no matter where I am in life, it will always be a pivotal year for me for the mere fact that I've learned a great deal about what I am capable of doing. 

There's something extremely satisfying in discovering that you have certain capacities you'd never explored in any great depth. Once you dip your toe in, you may find something far more substantial than a mere puddle.

Today I'd like to share with you the three big lessons I am taking away from 2015. 

Fear can be used as a motivational tool

My friend Lara Galloway, the one and only Mom Biz Coach, once did a podcast on f-words. The one that remains stuck in my mind is "fear". Lara's advice on the podcast, which I'm going to very, very liberal about paraphrasing, was to stop trying to bulldoze through the fear as if it's not there; ignoring it won't make it go away. She said to acknowledge it and stop letting it rule your decisions. 

I listened to that podcast almost two years ago, but it wasn't until this year that I finally acted on it regularly. I have done things just about every week that required me to face one fear or another, acknowledge the fear was there, and push ahead anyway. The outcome of these instances aren't the point - they were a mixed bag anyway. The real victory was that I kept moving forward. I allowed myself the opportunity to grow, despite the fear. 

People who believe in you give you power

Have you ever been in a position where you had a specific set of expectations applied to you, or perhaps your role, and any deviation from those expectations would send the boat teeter tottering dangerously close to the point of sinking? 

It can become a habit to let others put you into a box. Over time,  you establish a cozy little home in your box that is comfortable and safe. But the walls are beige, there's no inspiring artwork, and no one wants to visit because it's boring. 

In the last few years, I've had mentors and friends who challenge and push me from a place of belief in my ability to contribute good things to them and others. That is such an incredibly uplifting and powerful place to be. 2015 led me to a relationship with a new mentor that I believe will be one of the most important I've had to this point in my life. I'm incredibly thankful for the woman who is helping me grow and challenging me to be the very best person I can be.

There is a certain peace in the early morning hours

Last July, I started re-programming my sleep habits and morning routine. Though I slip back into my night owl work tendencies on occasion, I've come to really enjoy the dark quiet of the early morning.

Just as a blank page is filled with potential, so is a new day a blank slate on which to make your mark. 

I've adopted the phrase "dwell in possibility" as my personal motus operandi for life and getting up in the wee hours of the morning when I can creep out of bed while everyone else is asleep (other than the cat) to get started has helped me to see more potential and actually realize that potential on a daily basis. When I sleep in, I lose that in the hustle of getting out the door on time.

Plus, on the days when I am able to make it out of the house early, it's an absolute pleasure to commute to work. 

2016 is going to be a great year

I know it's late to post a "New Year" introspective piece, but it's taken weeks for me to nail down exactly what I wanted to say. 

I have this strong feeling of anticipation and expectation since the calendar has flipped to 2016. There is so much possibility that I want to harness to create and do. The outcomes will come and I believe they'll be good. 

I'm excited. Are you?