I am fascinated by bravery and confidence – how do we find the courage to do something out of the ordinary, something risky, something that, whisper it quietly, might fail? I’m not the only one, and over the past year (and more) conversations around bravery, risk and feeling vulnerable have been brought to a bigger stage by amazing women like Brené Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert who between them have inspired me book, by book, for years with their no holds barred advice.
And that’s great, anything that inspires more of us to go out there and chase those dreams can only be a good thing, but I realised, as I dream away, that I’m interested in the detail. In fact, I need the detail. Not my detail, not the detail of how I will get to my dreams, that will come, but stories of how others got to theirs. For reassurance, for inspiration. What if we don’t have a Brené or an Elizabeth on speed dial? There are loads of ‘if you can dream it you can do it’ memes out there, and you can’t move on Instagram for motivational quotes (of which I am fond, I must admit) but I often find myself thinking: “That’s great, and I do believe we are capable of achieving anything but…HOW?!”. I’m a tangible person, and I often need examples, stories, proof before I wade into something. This can be useful but I fear it can also hold me back, and I know, from speaking with friends, I am not alone.
I’m a big fan of breaking things down, I do this in work all the time – if this is what good looks like at the end, what are the tiny steps that build on each other to lead us there? Best-selling author? Quit your job one day for a freelance career? Moved continents? Did a TED Talk? Yes there’ll be ‘fuck it’ moments of impulsive decision involved but these successes don’t happen overnight, huge life decisions like that are made up of tiny actions laid brick by brick.
So, this year I’m going in search of inspirational women who can inspire me, and hopefully you, to push past any fears and take the plunge, be it starting a business, changing career, being any kind of brave – moving in a direction that scares you and that is hard. I want to hear from women who have felt the fear and done it anyway (which incidentally, is my original ‘fuck it’ bible before Brené and Liz, get a copy if you haven’t already). We’ve all got a story to tell, and by sharing and talking and getting practical – how did it make you feel? What did you tell yourself to get over your fears? What support did you have? – we can all possibly get a bit more practical about our own dreams, wants and wishes.
‘She believed she could so she did’ is fast becoming the female ‘go do it’ meme of our generation, and I love it, but it’s the so she did part I’m interested in.
So, the So She Did Diaries will launch next month: a monthly interview with a woman who has an interesting story to tell us, and can be honest about how they became someone who can say ‘been there, got the t-shirt’.
I’ve got lots of plans for women to interview, some you will know, some you won’t but if you have any suggestions for women I can call on to inspire, with stories big or small, please do get in touch.
actualanna at yahoo dot com
Thank you 🙂