January 10, 2017

persevere


I know it was super trendy to say that 2016 sucked, and I vaguely recall a similar sentiment at the end of 2015 and probably 2014. So it's not terribly original of me to say that last year was tough for a lot of people.

Though my own woes feel kind of insignificant when you measure them next to others, I had a few toughies. There was having my publisher close suddenly and unexpectedly and my having to figure out what to do. There was the general up and down of learning how to be an Indie author. Then again the ups and downs of querying agents and publishers to see about that side of the business. There were personal issues. And so on. Fears. Doubts. Anger. Sadness. A lot of bummery in general.

It's hard not to let all of that get the best of you. Still, in 2016, I made it my goal to believe. That was my word of the year, and I literally wore it as a badge around my neck with my inscribed necklace from The Giving Keys.


Like a good little wordsmith, I seriously considered the meaning of that word: believe. According to good old Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the definition is simple:
a :  to have a firm religious faith
b :  to accept something as true, genuine, or real 
That's exactly what I needed going from 2015 to 2016. I needed to believe in myself and what I was doing. I needed to have faith that I was on the path I needed to be on in my life. I needed to accept that my actions and feelings and goals were true, genuine, and real. Whenever I got down on myself or where I was in my journey, I'd remind myself to believe. It didn't magically make things better, but it helped. A lot. Slowly but surely, I've come to truly and fully believe that I am on the path I need to be on at this point in my life. I've come to believe that I have stories to tell and that they matter.

And in a year that had some big downs for me--and others--I still found a lot to be happy and thankful for, because I could keep things in perspective. Because I believed, I had more confidence. (Most of the time, because let's be real. I'm a tad dramatic and am quick to feel like the sky is falling--though I've managed to minimize how often I jump to that place. So, progress.)

Still, there's a lot of self-doubt. There are a lot of unanswered questions. I get fearful often and question myself and my world. Sometimes, I feel so out of control--and so anxious about it--I get overwhelmed. That's when I remind myself that everything will work out and I have to do my best. I have to persevere.
to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement
Meriam-Websters got this definition exactly right for me again. This year, I need to persist no matter what life throws at me. I need to carry on even when the unknowns seem daunting. In 2017, I am going to persevere.


I wrote about some of my goals for 2017 in last week's post. A lot of these are comparable to resolutions I've made in years past. I'm still such a big work in progress that I have to persevere, to carry on in the pursuit of being my best and doing my best.

In the spirit of The Giving Keys, I passed my old necklace on to someone else. I'll admit, it wasn't easy to do. I wore that necklace every day for a year, and in a way, it kind of felt like I was giving away a piece of me. But it wouldn't have been right for me to hold onto it when someone else maybe needed it more at this point in his or her life.

I asked my Facebook and Instagram followers to contact me if they needed a little extra reminder to believe, and I randomly selected one to send it to for the new year.

During the week submissions were open, I carefully read each message. Every person had a different and truly unique reason for needing to believe. There were personal goals, wishes for others, and desires for belief at large. While I'd known how important that word was for me, it struck something within me to realize just how much we all need to believe.

I wish I could have sent the necklace to every person who sent me their stories. Seriously. If you are reading this and are one of the people who sent me your story, please know that I truly appreciate your getting in touch and sharing your story with me. Each one gave me something to consider in myself, and I'm still thinking about the words you sent. So thank you for that gift to me.

Whether you're needing to believe in yourself or persevere this year--or maybe your primary goal is something entirely different--I wish you lots of luck on your journey.

(Disclaimer: Though the link to The Giving Keys is a referral link--you get one for having an account and can earn points by referring people--I am not directly affiliated with the company and have not received monetary or gift compensation. I just really love their product and believe in the mission and message.)


*** Let's keep in touch! You can find out what's going on in my world between blog posts by following my daily adventures on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I post new videos on YouTube every Thursday and you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter here. You can also find out more about my books by visiting my website, www.laurachapmanbooks.com. Whew. ***

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