I came about this word fairly quickly during the last two weeks of 2014.
I started by making a list.
The first word on that list was "confident". Then, came a stream of words and short phrases - assertive, confidence, be myself, just do it!, health, communication, exercise, and change. My methodical but slow search for the perfect OLW for 2015, made me realize that the word "confident" addressed or subsumed all the other words on my list quite nicely.
In order to be assertive and stand up for myself, I need to be confident in my professional abilities and expertise. That way I can speak eloquently for whatever I want to accomplish in my job.
In order to focus on my health during 2015, such as exercising more, I need to be confident that I can develop a daily 30 minute exercise routine, whatever shape or form that happens to take.
In order to be myself, I need the confidence to trust in whatever gifts I can bring to the table and that these gifts will be welcomed by others. This last self-knowledge has always been hard for me; it's connected to communicating what I want and need in my personal and professional relationships.
"Just do it!" and "Be myself" are really about the same thing - going after what I want and deserve rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting for it to be delivered to me. An administrator once said, "If you want something, go after it. Don't expect others to come to you. It doesn't work that way."
After I chose my OLW, I searched for a dictionary definition of confidence and found the following three definitions - (1) the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust; (2) the state of feeling certain about the truth of something; (3) a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. Of these three definitions, the third one was the one that resonated the most with me. My dirty little secret, according to my family, is that I don't have a full appreciation for my own abilities and expertise. In fact, I am in awe of people who seem to have this quality or at least pretend that they do. In the big scheme of things, is there a difference between the two? I read somewhere that "if you act as if", then that "acting" will become reality.
Therefore, a focus on building my "confidence" in 2015 will mean taking risks with the knowledge that if I want something, I better go after it. No one is going to give it to me on a silver platter.
Maybe 2015 will be the year that I focus on writing that professional book that has been incubating inside me for years? Who knows? The only way I will know is to confront my fears with confidence and grace.
There! I said it! Wish me luck.