2014: Have a Lot, Lot, Lot of Confidence

My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was one thing only: to have a lot, lot, lot of confidence. Not just a little confidence--not even just confidence--but a lot of it.

Going into 2014, I was nervous of all the uncertainty that the year held. Brian and I decided to end our contracts in Japan come spring, but we didn't know where we'd live and whether or not we'd have jobs. I had big plans for myself (become a full-time chemistry teacher), but I didn't know if anyone would give me a chance. I felt undeserving of a chance.

So I decided that my goal was not to get a job, not to plan things out to a T, and not to make sure everything worked out according to plan. My goal was to have a lot of confidence.

When I made the goal, I didn't know what it'd entail exactly. In practice, whenever I was faced with an opportunity to act bigger than I thought I was capable of (like climbing Kota Kinabalu by myself, traveling Australia by myself, and applying for jobs at international schools), I took the plunge, boots shaking and all. The outcome? Many job rejections, even more no-replies, a sore body for days, and many, many mishaps in the world down under. Also, better and better resumes and cover letters with each rejection, inspiration to climb a taller mountain, and the experience of coming across animals I once thought were make believe (dingos? wallaroos? wombats?).

My biggest "yo, self, have more confidence!" moments were in these past 4 months. Only now, mid-November, do I finally understand just what having lots and lots and lots of confidence entails.

Having confidence and acting--doing something--doesn't mean being sure that you're going to succeed. It doesn't mean being sure of the outcome. There was no way I could have known of any of the outcomes of my scary moments in this past year.

Instead, I needed to (and did) have the confidence to try. I showed up to every obstacle and tried, tried, tried. Some days, I failed. Some days, I didn't try as hard as others. Some days, I succeeded. Ever day, I tried.

I used to run away from my fears a lot. I used to be noncommittal and undependable. Now, I don't stress about outcomes. I take a deep breath, and try.

Thanks for the hurdles, 2014. And the opportunities, too.

IMAGE: Son of Groucho

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