A Brave New You: 10 Bold Moves for Making 2016 Your Best Year Yet



  
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
~Marcel Proust~

How many times in 2015 did you keep your mouth shut when you had a fresh perspective on a situation that would have added value to a conversation? How often did you hold yourself back from pursuing something you really wanted in 2015 because you were afraid to fail or be ridiculed by others? Have you, like so many people, bought into the opinion that most of us are battling with the “not enough syndrome” or the “imposter syndrome”?

I’m not denying that there are many among us who are challenged with disempowering thoughts that limit them from having the courage to face their fear head on and demonstrate the bravery that is necessary to rise above their limiting stories and soar with their strengths. Deep down, we know that it is usually fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt that keeps us from speaking up and standing up and declaring our intentions to pursue goals beyond our comfort zone while seeing ourselves with a high sense of positive regard.

Contrary to a common belief, regardless of our level of education and success, none of us are immune to fear, uncertainty and self-doubt. So, our challenge this year and beyond is to approach fear, uncertainty and self-doubt with a more empowering perspective so that we don’t get in our own way for manifesting more happiness, joy, peace and success in our life.



 Bravery Leaves Clues
As a result of the research, I’m conducting for the Brave Life Project launching in the spring of 2016, I’ve found that one of the most common threads among those who are brave has to do with the following trait. In the midst of the naysayers, the haters and critics and daunting odds, when their passion for what they want to achieve creates a burning desire to bend their reality through consistent and effective effort, they are willing to be vulnerable and brave in pursuit of creating a new reality. Instead of believing that their fate is beyond their control, they make a conscious choice to believe that their destiny is defined by the power of their choices and their willingness to initiate bold actions.

As I reviewed the personal stories I share in my book, Get Unstuck Now and those in my eBook, Lead to Succeed from the lens that bravery is the physical expression of courage, I was taken back by how I had not made this conscious connection while writing my books. It was during this time of discovery I realized that it is this lack of connection to the bold actions that many of us have taken and continue to take during our life and perceive as, “doing what I have to do” that creates this disconnect from the strength and courage within our spirit.

This dismissive attitude of our personal brand of bravery has too many of us playing small when we know we’re capable of more. It is this disconnect from those brave moments in our lives that quiets our voice when we should speak up and prevent us from sharing our ideas because we fear the comments of others. It is this disconnect from our brave moments that have made many of us cowards instead of courageous warriors for good that I believe we can be, and become.


What I Know for Sure
I know that by taking action towards a meaningful goal, no matter how small the action, fuels our intrinsic motivation. I know that we spend too much time focusing on what we can’t do and undervalue what we can do in most of the situations we face. I know that when we focus too much energy and attention on that which we cannot control it only frustrates us and zaps our energy. I know that we spend way too much time talking about what needs to change in our life, our work, our family and community, yet, we are too timid or afraid to become and initiate the change we want to see. I know that too many of us have allowed fear to create a wall around our hearts, so we don’t show the kindness and compassion that we have in our hearts towards one another as often as we can. I know that when we embody the energy of unconditional love towards ourselves and others and our world, we expand our capacity to attract more of what we will love in our lives.

It’s time we own our power to create positive shifts in our lives with intention. Instead of banking on hoping and wishing or chance to make it happen. It’s time for us to develop a brave heart and pursue aspirations that allow us to become the bravest version of our highest self in 2016 and beyond.



The Ball is In Your Court
So, I challenge you with the following bold moves. I dare you to start initiating these actions on a consistent basis in your life for the first 90 days of this year to discover a brave new you!

1.     Decide on what you stand for. Margie Warrell writes in Brave, “Knowing what you stand for is the foundation stone upon which bravery is built.” When you take the time to write down what your life will stand for based on your values and desire to make a difference in your unique way, you efforts to build your influence and have impact will come from a place of genuineness and power. This state of mind and being will influence you to make powerful choices and take bolder actions towards being in alignment with your authentic truth and power.

2.   Expand your vision of what’s possible in this area of your life. A vision of new possibilities will expand your capacity to lead yourself and influence others as you begin to step beyond your comfort zone into your courage zone. Expanding your vision of what’s possible in this area of your life requires you to challenge any limiting belief, assumption or opinion that dominates your thoughts about who you are, who you can become, what you are smart and strong enough to handle and what you are worthy of experiencing in life. Here’s a resource that can help you with that.

3.   Stop overthinking and be decisive. When we allow ourselves to get in the habit of overthinking actions we are inspired to take, we start to rationalize our excuses as to why we can’t do something, i.e. “it’s not the perfect time,” “we don’t know the right people,” “I’m not ready”, which causes us to miss out on opportunities and develop the habit of procrastination. Our efforts towards what we desire begin to stall, and over time our life begins to stagnate. Taking daily action, no matter how small, towards what we truly desire in life prevent us from going down this path. Make a list of the inspired actions you sensed you should have taken in 2015. Determine which of these actions are related to the area of your life you want to create momentum in for the next 90 days. Decide on which of these actions are necessary for the forward progress you intend to make in the first 90 days of this year and schedule them in your weekly planner. Make them a priority and complete them as you have scheduled them. Instead of waiting on inspiration take action on the inspired thoughts you have already had.

4.   Interact with brave hearted individuals on a regular basis. The people we associate with have a huge influence on our mindset and behaviors. It’s easier for us to master our courage zone when we develop and nurture relationships with like-minded folks. Identify people within your circle of influence that you see as individuals making bold moves and who you respect. Reach out to them. Figure out how you can interact with them on a regular basis. Iron sharpens iron. Courage is contagious.

5.    Seek advice but never allow someone’s perspective overshadow the wisdom of your inner guide. Great teachers and leaders help those they serve connect with the seeds of greatness within them. They understand that living a life of significance is not a cookie cutter process. So, they will equip you with information that enable you to discover what works best for you, not them. Schedule time on a daily basis to tune out the distractions in your life, so that you are able to get quiet and tune-in to the wisdom of your inner guide.

6.   Volunteer your time and energy towards a cause that is important to you. So many people underestimate the power of volunteering. Their limited mindset would have them believe that because they are not getting paid for their time, there is no benefit for doing so. The opposite is the truth. When you volunteer your time and energy towards creating meaningful change in the lives of others, the results that you experience from your efforts boost your confidence, help you develop leadership and communication skills and build supportive relationships with people you would have never known. Let 2016 be the year that you stop talking about the change you want to see and start doing something about it by volunteering in your local community.

7.    Develop a personal learning and development plan. Our capacity to be more and do more is linked to the quality of the information we use to make a decision and the effectiveness of our skills towards the achievement of our goals. Developing the habit of lifelong learning helps you remain relevant in an era when change is the new normal. Make time this week to determine the following. Who do you need to become to manifest the change you desire to achieve in the next 90 days? What additional information and skills will you need to be successful? What do you need to do to acquire the information and skills you need to be successful? Your answers to these questions will help you determine the actions you need to schedule on your daily agenda. Remember, what gets scheduled gets done.

8.   Reclaim your daily agenda. Our level of effectiveness towards the management of our daily agenda plays a major role in our ability to achieve the milestones necessary to reach our goals. Think about the vision you have for yourself in 2016. What routines do you need to establish to increase your effectiveness in planning this quarter, month, week and day? Do you normally plan your next day in the morning or night? What key strategic activities do you need to take on a daily and weekly basis to accomplish your first quarter 90-day goals in 2016? Which activities do you need to stop doing to make sure your key strategic activities take center stage in 2016? Where do you need to establish boundaries in relationships? What activities do you need to engage to keep your mind renewed, spirit strong and physical body energized? As you organize your daily agenda, be sure to include the activities you’ve identified. Focused and effective action produces forward progress.

9.   Celebrate small and big wins. Any level of success that we experience in life involves a process of actions executed consistently over time. While we strive to achieve a specific goal, we should make it a habit of celebrating our wins. Making progress fuels our intrinsic motivation. Celebrating our progress allows us to stop and acknowledge ourselves for the efforts we are making. Do not underestimate how taking this action will increase your capacity to embody more confidence and demonstrate bravery in the face of your fear, uncertainty and self-doubt. Don’t wait for others to acknowledge your progress. Respect the time and energy you are expending towards your goals by celebrating your wins. This habit helps you develop a “can do” mentality. Logging your wins in a journal, daily planner or as a memo on your smartphone will provide a record of your efforts and serve as a reminder of what you are capable of doing when you are fully committed to the achievement of a meaningful goal.

10.          Keep the BIG picture in mind. At the end of 2016, who do you want to have become? What experiences do you want to most have? Who do you want to have developed a relationship with? What will you need to learn? What skills will you need to master to increase your effectiveness and productivity? What impact do you want your contributions of time, energy, and resources to have on the lives of others? How will you be a role model of someone taking bold and brave action in 2016? Your answers to these questions should be closely tied to the question: what do you stand for? Keeping the end in mind helps you get clear about what you stand for and the impact you want your life to have in 2016 and beyond. Clarity reduces internal resistance and frees up our energy so that we can move forward with a quiet confidence built on a foundation of brave actions.

Brendon Burchard wrote in The Motivation Manifesto, “When our hearts yearn for action and growth, we should care little about what society says is possible or prudent. Let us judge for ourselves what is worth the risk. Let us decide what progress really means in life, as it surely means more than inching along like snails. Let us decide to take our first steps without knowing how the journey will turn out. If that defines us as reckless and crazy, then let us accept that fate and celebrate the fact that we shall not be cowards. Let us declare: We Shall Advance with Abandon.”

In Conclusion
Let us set an intention to demand more of ourselves. Let us not become weary in well-doing while we pursue our goals with a passionate and consistent commitment towards them. Let us embrace this New Year with courage expressed in our refusal to stop allowing fear, uncertainty and self-doubt rob us of the precious time we can never get back so that we become the bravest version of our best self. Get your game face on. Let’s turn it up in 2016.


Here’s to Your Best Year Yet!
 Jackie

Author Bio: Jackie Capers-Brown is the CEO of Grow Forward & Flourish Training and Consulting and the Founder of the Brave New YOU Project. She is an Author, Leadership and Career Mentor, Personal Growth Teacher and Keynote Empowerment Speaker. Jackie’s latest book, Get Unstuck Now: Changing Your Story, Unleashes Your Power to Move On and Be Happy is available on Amazon.com. Jackie can be reached at jackiecapersbrown@gmail.com.

Click on this link and download the first chapter of "Get Unstuck Now" by Jackie Capers-Brown.



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