A few days ago, I bought my second “adult” colouring book. I’m thrilled that colouring for stress relief has come into vogue. Now I no longer have to use my son’s Cars, Angry Birds, and Littlest Pet Shop colouring books to enjoy this pastime.

After bringing my purchase home, I began flipping through the pages of mandalas – they range from simple to painstakingly intricate designs and every point in between. For me, those pages are filled with opportunities for me to create something beautiful and satisfying.

Relishing the possibility in a blank page

We each get this opportunity daily in our lives. Each day the page turns and we’re presented with the opportunity to write something new, to colour in a new phase of our journey. We usually tend to think of the possibilities that exist for the next stage of our life only when major changes happen. Making monumental decisions that change our course can be so freeing. That’s what this year has been for me – a freeing change of course.

A few months ago, I was profiled on a friend’s blog and I had to answer the question, “What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career?” I didn’t have to think about it – I conformed to what others thought of me. I let myself be put into a box and got comfortable…until I wanted out.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

~ Steve Jobs

Breaking out of that box wasn’t easy, but it was worth the effort. I was inspired by friends and inspired by the words of leaders. In particular, Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg’s question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?

This question has led me to many decisions that I would have shied away from previously. I didn’t think I was worthy, qualified, or any number of other negative messages I told myself.

My journey hasn’t been straightforward. There have been hills, valleys, twists, and turns along the way. I’ve had to figure out what fears, insecurities, and other limiting beliefs were holding me back – not the most fun process, but it was absolutely necessary.

That, in turn, has freed me to jump in and get involved in the things I’m most passionate about – writing, supporting women in business, and doing my very small volunteer part in helping families touched by autism.

Just do it

This month’s theme of “daring greatly” is one that can be interpreted in many ways. It can speak to every person in a different way. Fifteen years ago, daring greatly was leaving my family in Florida and moving to Canada. Three years ago, it was starting a business. Last spring, it was leaving that same business behind. Next week, it will be taking the torch from Marcia Green and becoming President of the WBN. In three weeks, it will be going to my first writing conference. In a month, six months, a year – who knows? But I will continue to embrace and dwell in possibility.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Whether the result is success or failure, the most important step is to try. Then try again when the next right opportunity presents itself. Before you know it, your life’s canvas will be painted with the rich colours and detail that reflect the journey you’ve taken.

coloured-canvas

*****

Join us on September 15, 2015 at the WBN AGM where we’ll be celebrating the accomplishments of the past year, recognizing members for their contribution to the WBN’s success, and transferring leadership to our new Board members. We’ve also lined up a fantastic panel of speakers, including Frances Mannarino, Terri Storey, and Rosa Maria Iuliano.