The Year of Yes

As 2018 is winds down, I’ve found myself reflecting on where I started, how I’ve traveled, and and where I’ve arrived in the past year. The overarching theme is that this has been my “Year of Yes.” More significantly, a year of saying “yes” when my fear wanted me to say “no”...over and over.

In the last year, I’ve said “yes” to:

Teaching yoga at my favorite local yoga home. Thank you, Kimberly, for the opportunity, and for your belief in me. I hadn’t taught in many years (Hello, fear of failure and 5th chakra block!), and I thank myself on the daily for having the courage to step back into the seat of teacher. In doing so, I have also returned to my student heart, one of vulnerability and not knowing. I’ve devoted  my time and energy to thoughtful and playful class sequencing, stepped into the role of facilitator of processing circles for yoga teacher training students, and expanded my knowledge by completing Yin Yoga Level One Training. While I feel more comfortable teaching than I did one year ago, I still feel the creep of imposter syndrome many days. But now, I feel those fears, make them my friends, and teach anyway.

At the end of last January, I said goodbye to my full-time nursing job of three years and said “yes” to stepping more fully into growing my life coaching business. Being an entrepreneur has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Bye, bye, steady paycheck...hello, it’s all on you, girlfriend! With all the work comes myriad of reward: I get to choose WHAT I do, WHEN I do it, HOW I do it, and WITH whom. That level of freedom makes it all worth it. In the last year, I’ve organized three retreats (all with attendees), coached private clients, and navigated the art of owning my own business that feels authentic to me. I’ve enriched myself as a human and coach by enrolling in several online coaching programs (thanks, Rock Your Bliss and Gioconda Yoga!). I’m stoked to take things to a new level in 2019.

With all of the big ways I’ve said “yes” when fear told me to say “no” over the last year, what’s even more meaningful is all of the little “yes’s” I’ve spoken over the last year. I’ve learned and acknowledged over the past few years that I have spent a lot of my life living within some level of fear or anxiety. I’ve battled physical symptoms and honestly, it’s an ongoing struggle for me to say “yes” to things that come so easily for others. I continue to work on making friends with my inner critic, using her to fuel my fire rather than extinguish it; to keep saying “yes”, over and over.

I know I’m not alone. You are not alone. If you also struggle with saying “yes” over “no” because of fear, I challenge you to pause. Pause and reflect on a time when you felt like you weren’t good enough, didn’t have the training, the experience, the money, whatever it was that fear was using to hold you back. And then I want you to remember when you felt courageous around that decision and you said “yes” anyway. What did that feel like? What was the outcome? Were your worst fears realized, or did you triumph? I’ll bet it was the latter.

Could you allow yourself to return to that space of success, of being ok (maybe even more than ok?), to that feeling of being so much more than what your inner critic said you would be? What if 2019 was your “Year of Yes”?

Angie Hildebrand