The Next Big Thing

At last month’s local WordPress meet-up, I met lovely and vivacious local writer/blogger, Sharon, who blogs beautifully at Midlife Moments. Sharon has conned me into asked me to join her in the blog meme, The Next Big Thing, currently making the rounds in various blogging circles. Thanks, Sharon, for including me in the fun and exploration! I’ll get you back some day.

For the enlightenment of newer readers and a reminder to longer term readers, my last two Big Things were losing 100 pounds and (mostly) keeping it off, and walking away from soul-sucking-but-cushy Corporate America, hanging out my freelance shingle, and (almost) making a living out of it.

Earlier this year, when I was trying to formulate my goals for the year, I was bothered by a couple of items that are carry-overs from last year (and the year before that), namely: wrapping up my house remodel and finishing my book. I make progress in fits and starts, but eventually self-doubt and self-criticism take over and I’m stuck again until I get re-centered.

Along with that, I was uncomfortable (read: terrified) by my business goals this year, modest though they may be, and was just generally feeling scared. In other words, the perfect time to read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, which is about learning to embrace risk and uncertainty so that we can better open ourselves up to opportunities, relationships, and whatever else life has to offer. The title is from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 Citizenship in a Republicspeech:

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 errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.

Now, I’ll confess that at first I felt a tiny bit silly comparing a kitchen update, a tiny book, and a tiny-by-design business as “daring greatly”. These are small things in the greater scheme of life.

But the more I thought about it, I realized that the thought patterns behind those self-doubts and self-criticisms were the same ones that prevented me from successfully losing weight for many years and, to some extent, what kept me in a job I no longer loved instead of pursuing my passions:

  • Comparing myself to others
  • Expecting perfection
  • Trying to follow other people’s plans
  • Trying to tackle everything all at once
  • And so on

And now we have history repeating itself. Or maybe that’s, I hope history repeats itself, because in my previous Big Things I figured out a way to turn the tables on self-limitations and step into the process boldly, knowing that I would have successes and failures, welcoming (eventually) the challenges and missteps for what they taught me, and accepting that even if I didn’t succeed, I had at least tried with all my heart.

All of that is to say that my Next Big Thing is to live this year daring greatly. Like small steps, small things add up and working wholeheartedly toward my goals will be a very Big Thing, even if they don’t turn out exactly like I envisioned. It’s going to be a fairly awesome year, I think! If nothing else, it won’t be boring! :)

Feel free to share your thoughts or lessons learned with respect to self-limitations, your inner critic, or how you’re “daring greatly” in your life. (I love to celebrate vicariously!)

And now it’s my turn to tag someone else. I “pre-tagged” Lynn, who blogs so insightfully at Lynn’s Weigh, who will be sharing her Next Big Thing. I’m excited to find out what she’s up to, aren’t you?

24 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing

  1. Awesome! I love Brene Brown. I do find that my patterns and self-limitations follow me in project after project. I just experienced it in buying my new car. Fear kept me from getting what I need to feel safe. I just kept investing in something that was going downhill…similar to my continual reluctance to leave an unsafe, failing marriage.

    • Thanks for your comment, Sharon! I’ve always loved (and lived) the Cherie Carter Scott quote: “Lessons are repeated until they are learned.” These days I’m wondering if some of these repeats are supposed to be learned, or if there’s some wise inner voice that sees something I don’t. I suppose if no one is harmed in the making of this life, it will all work out okay in the end. :)

      It just occurred to me that both my friends named Sharon have the same car! If I’m not mistaken, Sharon at Gains and Losses also has a shiny blue Rav4, although hers is way old now. :)

  2. Wow, Cammy. Now I want to watch that Brene/Oprah thing. I actually tried before when you linked to it. But I didn’t get anywhere. Do you have the link for me to try again.

    I look forward to watching your BIG YEAR!!

    • It might be an ordinary year, but it will be extraordinary in my efforts! (Today has started out well, and it’s already 9:00. :) )

      I’m sorry the link didn’t work for you earlier. Let’s try again: Own Super Soul Sunday Videos. Let me know if you still can’t access it.

      There’s a second video, shown yesterday, which I haven’t yet watched.

  3. I was just hoping you didn’t decide you have one too many friends named Sharon….and I’m happy to report that MY RAV4 (shiny and blue that it is NOT right now. Think dirty and muddy) turns one year old this week. And I love her dearly! Love the next big thing idea and can’t wait to check out my namesake’s blog. I know exactly what my 2013 “next big thing” should be, but I’m too scared to move forward with it. Hmmm.. kind of a contradiction to the whole idea, isn’t it??

    • Happy Birthday to the Rav4! Maybe a bath would be a good birthday treat? :)

      I do understand the fear thing, which is why I tend to think of it in terms of bunches of small things bunched together. It doesn’t seem so overwhelming that way. :)

  4. Man your bullet points hit home. I find myself at a stressful crossroads and knowing I need to do something big and feeling resentful that what worked before isn’t working now. You go through this journey knowing “someday this won’t work and a radical change will need to be implemented but until then I’ll ride the wave.” Well, the wave is flat. Time to jump in…albeit begrudgingly.

    • You know what’s best for you, Anele, but I wonder if you need “radical change” or a few tweaks here and there. Whatever you decide, I hope you know how much I’m pulling for you!

  5. You go with your Daring Greatly bad self! To me, you’re the little engine that could. Step by step, you think your way through things, and you don’t make decisions lightly. But the decisions you make, the choices you make, seem to fit perfectly with the life you live. I admire that :)

    • Thank you, Lynn. I probably over-think most things and sometimes I end up in a muddle, but eventually I get my mind around it and can move on. But by then, it’s usually bed time. :)

  6. This is a great mentality and judging by your previous “big things” I think you will accomplish whatever you set your mind to and most certainly will surprise yourself with what you are able to achieve. :)

  7. I LOVE this…and the “daring greatly” theme is so perfect for any aspect of life. I “dare”say that your goals are not silly at all…

    Anyway, what you strive for is what I strive for too…I am all about daring greatly these days and it feels really good. I’ve got a similar post brewing right now, as a matter of fact!

  8. I loved this post, Cammy! It takes awareness and thought to break free, and I love what you’re doing. Great goals… I recently find myself trying to break out of my old patterns and behaviors that seem to continue to manifest themselves in my decision making. No wonder I have been making the same bad decisions for decades. Fear is such a motivator–usually in favor of the status quo, so “daring greatly” is a very worthwhile endeavor.

  9. Love this Cammy! I always need this reminder as much as I know what you rote here as I get caught up in the craziness of life & life stresses! I am excited for you!!!

    I am not even going to begin to write my “thoughts or lessons learned with respect to self-limitations, your inner critic”… I could write a book on that! 😉

  10. I love this post! I myself am getting ready to be daring – I’ve been studying with Tony Robbins. The giant within is about to debut…

  11. Wow some excellent comments and replies.

    My two bits worth … you wrote

    ‘a kitchen update, a tiny book, and a tiny-by-design business’

    I am surprised you look on your efforts as being so minor. That’s the danger of comparison I suppose. There are times when we all try not to make ourselves, our work, seem more important than we are. It does help keep things in perspective if we don’t take ourselves to seriously.

    On the other hand the life we live is vitally important to us and if you were to mark those things on a scale I’m guessing they would come up high on your personal list.

    Love the motto Daring Greatly and Lynn’s comment that “you are the little engine that can.”

    I can see you doing some astounding things, amazingy yourself with this post i mind.


    • Margie Anne! Thank you so much for your insightful comments. I hadn’t intended to trivialize my efforts, but as you wisely (and gently) pointed out, that’s exactly what I was doing! Thank you so much for helping me see that!

      (I’ll be checking out your Hawaiian adventures after I’ve cooked supper.

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