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She Who Dares, Wins

Daring greatly is being brave and afraid every minute of the day at the exact same time. – Brené Brown

Do you ever feel like your life is on auto-pilot mode? Where you wake up, go to work, eat, (in my case) watch a lot of Korean drama, go to bed, and do it all over again? After the wedding, that was me. I was like Jim Carrey on the Truman Show, before he realized he was on simulated television. I was stuck and purposeless, and I didn’t even know it, until…

After a few dozen Korean dramas later (trust me – I’m not exaggerating), my sister-in-law sent me an email about enrolling herself into a Life Coaching program.

You would think that the very first thought would be “Amazing! Good for you!” – But it wasn’t… (I’m so ashamed to say it, but) it was judgement and it stemmed from jealousy. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was because I also wanted to be a life coach. I wanted to help and serve people, but I had a million reasons in my head telling me why I shouldn’t or couldn’t.

Being the loving and giving person that my sister-in-law is, she asked me to come with her as a guest to her first three-day coaching workshop. Knowing that this was going to catapult my life in a possibly different direction, I reluctantly agreed.

Because up until that point, I had my life figured out. My five-year plan included (hopefully) two maternity leaves at my current job – a job that gave me financial freedom, good benefits, and a generous pension plan.

I was secretly excited, but I pretended to dread the workshop in front of my friends and colleagues. Deep down, I was scared about how much I was going to like it. But I was wrong. I didn’t like it – I loved it. It was life changing, and it severely disrupted my fool-proof (and safe) five-year agenda.

Great – now I was confused, with more options of what my life could look like, and I was challenged to dream big. I finally understood where my judgement came from.

Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgement, sorrow, shame. – Brené Brown

My creative complacency was growing into a large malignant tumor of judgement, shame and guilt. I was judging to make myself feel better about not using my creativity, or sharing my gifts. I wasn’t writing anymore, I hadn’t picked up a book in almost a year, and I wasn’t connecting with anything other than Drama Fever. What was even worse, was that I had forgotten my dream – I wanted to make a difference.

Yes, dreaming big means increasing the possibility of failure. Yes, it also means opening myself up to criticism. But more importantly, following my passion also means embracing my vulnerability, being courageous, and daring greatly.

It’s been almost two months since the workshop, and I am officially enrolled as a student with my sister-in-law! I’ve decided to let go of the fears that limit me to a mundane life, and work on building courage so that I can live a life I love.

This year, I plan to live with intention and goals that will stretch me and challenge me in ways that I’ve never experienced before. I am going to become a life coach, and I am going to make a difference. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it because –

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 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 – Theodore Roosevelt

I want to live daring greatly. I want to be the woman in the arena.