I’ve always thought of myself a brave person. Or maybe just one that wasn’t necessarily brave, but extroverted. And not extroverted because it was a brave thing to do, but because of a need for consistent praise.

So really, in the past, being audacious wasn’t so much about stepping out to do something courageous, while it may have appeared that way, as it was that I was actually totally in my comfort zone of people pleasing.

See, for me, the limelight is where I thrived.
Performing - bring it.
Public speaking - just tell me when.
Racing - show me a challenge.

I was a top level runner, a dance team performer, and a fitness instructor, all before turning 20. Fitness became my platform to be in the spotlight, and eventually, I became a fitness presenter. Even a larger audience, better pay, and travel! But I wanted more. I had written a post a long time ago, “My quest for fame.” In fact, I have had three blogs and an online business -- further trying to get in front of an audience.

But this was not audacious. No, this was coming from a place of needing to be seen. Needing to please. Needing to be important to someone or something in order to feel whole.

And when you come from THIS place, it can be detrimental to your psyche and health. Your Ego continually shouting at you to do more and be more.

Do it right or no one will like you.
Do it perfect or you aren’t good enough.
Do it like that person over there, because if she has it all together, then you should too.

It fueled my fire for perfectionism. And put out my fire for life.

I became totally burnt out, to the point of disease. My adrenals were shot, my thyroid stopped working properly, and I had to spend most of my time sleeping. This lasted 7 months and has required chronic management ever since. Going on year 5.

Since then, I have grown. I’ve stopped pretending to be someone I’m not.

I don’t need to please people. I don’t need to fix people.

I need to be right with who I am, what MY needs are, and chase my dreams despite being told it is “not responsible” or “not a good use of my time.”

I’ve lost friends. I’ve pissed off family. I say NO more than ever.

And I’ve gained myself back.

I don’t have to TRY to receive praise, make friends, or please people.

By being genuine, open, and honest, I’ve created a new relationship with myself and am now attracting the people meant to be in my life so we can grow each other.

So what is audacious?

Audacious is being bold and brave in stepping forward unveiled and raw.
Audacious is sharing the shit that’s bringing you down.
Audacious is asking for what you need without guilt or apology.
Audacious is allowing your heart to feel and in that, heal.
Audacious is my second feeling word for 2017. (Feminine being my first)

I will show more of ME to inspire others to do the same.

I will not let my ego/mind keep me small by wrapping my entire identity around pleasing other people.

I will be my heart and my spirit and my truth.
And that, my lovelies, is AUDACIOUS.

What are your feeling words for 2017?