Today, I'd love to share two stories that were sent to me of remarkable women who have taken part of my Do Something challenge. The first is my dear friend, Adrienne. She has been through some drastic life changes the past year and has been facing them head-on, with more courage and grace than I've ever seen in her situation. Adrienne is also a beautiful writer, so I'll let her words speak for herself:
"When I first read about the "Do Something That Scares You” challenge, I was 100% on board. After all, not only did it fall in line with my goal for the year (trying new things), but Monica has always felt like a kindred spirit to me. We go way back, and when she talks, I listen.
"During 2016, I faced a LOT of things that scared me. Some were simple – a wind tunnel to see if I would ever be interested in skydiving. A date. Standing up for myself on something small.
"Others were big. This has been a terrifying year in general – my first as a single mom. It hasn’t been easy. But facing myself – and facing my fears – has given me a strength and confidence I didn’t have before.
"I’ve realized that so often, we work ourselves up about things we fear. Our fears become huge, and overwhelming, and intimidating. But when we face them, we often realize that maybe our fears were bigger than fact. Nobody at the party you were nervous about attending is really paying that much attention to you or judging you. So maybe traveling alone was scary, but look at how much fun you had. Your ex’s new girlfriend is probably as nervous about running into you as you are for her (at least that’s what I’m telling myself, since November’s challenge to myself is to attend something where I know she’ll be there, and that doesn’t just scare me, it terrifies me).
"Some of the things you try may not ‘stick’ – but you’ll know you did it. There’s nothing to be afraid of anymore. And the fewer things there are to fear, the more we can enjoy life as it is. The more we give ourselves permission to be brave, the easier it is to accept ourselves. The easier it is to teach our kids about reaching outside of their comfort zones. So, for me, doing something that scares me is going to be a regular thing from here on out."
Adrienne! Seriously, I'll just *mic drop* that one. If you all only knew how many adventurous, brave things this woman has done! I'm so glad to be your friend, Adrienne.
The next inspirational lady is Janice, who posts her beautiful work on Instagram at @janice.creates. I was so thrilled to receive Janice's email because it was my first to write me on this challenge that wasn't a friend or family member. As you can see, Janice is a mother of five beautiful children. I can't even imagine how full her days are! Here is what she said:
"I've been trying to find something that will fill me up. I have five children ages 8 on down to 1, and my days are full of taking care of others. I wanted to do something that would challenge my brain and creativity a bit. I started dabbling with hand lettering. I checked out books from the library, watched youtube videos, and most recently took Hand Lettered Design's online intro to hand lettering class (I'm just starting the brush pens one now.) I have loved it! Lettering is a way for me to be creative, share goodness and fill my walls and mind with uplifting and inspiring messages.
"I started an Instagram account and use it as a way to post my work and see my progress, mostly with lettering but anything creative is fair game. Recently I was asked to teach a hand lettering workshop for our ward's super Saturday next month. I am nervous but super excited!
"This first step of finding a hobby that I enjoy has helped me branch out of my comfort zone even further. I applied for a freelance writing position at a local parenting magazine (and have a follow up phone interview tomorrow! Eek!) and plan on proposing to teach a hand lettering class for our community's continuing education programs. I'm also considering opening an etsy shop to sell my hand lettered creations. A few months ago the idea of all of this would have made me laugh, but I am so glad I tried something new. I have found something that fills me with joy!
"I have learned I don't have to be perfect, or even really good at something to enjoy it. I think when I was younger my fear of failure kept me from trying things that I might have really enjoyed. I'm over that now :) and I'm going to enjoy what speaks to my heart regardless of how I might compare to others."
SO many wise words there. Janice updated me recently, and she got that freelance writing position! How cool is that?! And I'd definitely say go for the Etsy shop--I'd love to buy some of your creations. Janice, thank you for reaching out to me and I hope more follow suit!
If you would like to share the small--or great!--ways in which you are challenging yourself and doing something that scares you, please email me at email@example.com. You can also nominate someone you know to be spotlighted! I'd love for this to be a weekly thing.
PS: My plan is to swim the morning I post this. Wish me luck!