I ended 2017 by making a significant life decision; one that would mean I would need to walk on the other side of fear. To me, that was huge and scary. It was the elephant in the room. It meant walking away, but it also signified walking towards something.

Walking on the other side of fear meant going way outside of my comfort zone, and that led to change (and it also scared the hell out of me). But most of all, it meant that I needed to invest in faith; which hasn’t always been easy for me.

At times, weighing my decision kept me up at nights; and other times I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. And some days, I just struggled. I wrestled with that elephant. But deep down, where it mattered, I knew. So, I opened the door. I made my decision. I leaped. And I am happy that I did.

It wasn’t an easy road getting here. And for a long time, I lamented and beat myself up believing that I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t have “it” whatever the hell “it” was. I watched as others found theirs and I was happy for them. But all the while, I couldn’t help but wonder why I hadn’t discovered mine.

I read rejection email after rejection email. I went on interviews and second interviews and even third meetings but didn’t get the job. I often felt defeated. And I can’t help but wonder how often I may have let the comfort of what I knew hold me back from stepping into something that could bring me great satisfaction.

Looking back, I realize that there can be a victory in defeat; especially when you get back up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward — and take that step toward something instead of away from it. I also realize that mindset makes a big difference. Nurture it friends, every chance you get.

In late summer/early fall of last year, a catalyst burst into my atmosphere, and I decided that it was time to take action and mean it. I had enough. I was tired and disappointed and judged and perceived as someone other than who I am. But most of all I was ready; and even if that meant walking on the other side of the fear that I let hold me back for so long, I opened my mind and my heart. And I followed through. The rest just fell into place.

While cleaning this weekend, I came across the slip of paper with the word “faith” on it pictured in the headline photo. I took it from a sign in the post office at the beginning of 2017 that said, “Take which one you need.” I chose faith or perhaps faith chose me. While it wouldn’t all come to fruition immediately, things blossomed. I blossomed. Not without challenges, of course, but its all part of the process.

And so here I am on a bitterly cold winter night happy and proud that I walked on the other side of fear. It’s enlightening to me how much doing that has changed aspects of my mindset and how taking that walk has helped me in such a short time.

My friend Melissa chooses a word each year. I’ve always admired her for doing so, but I’ve never done it. Well, this year I’m following her lead and choosing a word.

And my word is faith.

Faith in myself and in the people who are part of my life.

Faith that there are better times and better days ahead.

Faith that no matter where this new adventure leads me, that I embrace it and write the chapters for better or worse.

Faith that regardless of the challenge, I’ll tap into my strength, gumption, and humor and face it head-on.

Faith that I’ll worry less, and live more.

To all of you, I hope you find your word. I hope you find whatever it is that you are seeking this year. And if you don’t, trust that it will happen. For years, I didn’t think it would. Until I changed my mindset and put some stock in faith. Then it did. Maybe not when you want it to or need it to, but when it is supposed to. 

Never be afraid to write your own story. Never be afraid to share it. Never be scared just to be you.

Originally published at medium.com