Turning 40 was just one of those milestones. I wasn’t even dreading the whole “turning 40” thing. It was just another birthday. A time to celebrate with family. But then I started getting all introspective. I started thinking differently about myself. I wasn’t liking the “me” I saw in the mirror at all. Who was this person?
Why was I always so timid all the time? Why did I not correct people when I knew what they were saying was wrong? Why did I let others make me feel less? I’m sure these “others” weren’t even aware of my angst. I looked at the world around me and felt fearful. I was fearful of making a mistake…of going out of my comfort zone…of making big decisions…of putting my neck on the line…of being proud of myself. I wasn’t quite afraid of my own shadow, but almost.
I gave myself permission to be proud of myself. Turning 40 was a good a time to think differently about myself as any other. I had always minimized my achievements. I would say to myself “Anyone can do that…nothing special.” But, really, I wasn’t just “anyone” and I needed to give myself credit. Slowly, but surely, I changed the way I looked at myself. Gone was the fear…or at least most of it…and instead I started going out of my comfort zone. Doing things I had never done before. Conquering my fears never felt so good.
Last weekend I was fierce. I stepped outside of my comfort zone. Big time. A blogging friend asked me over the summer to speak on a panel at the conference for digital families with tweens and teens. My first response when I read the email was an emphatic “NO!!!” I made excuses for why I couldn’t speak on such a panel every which way to Sunday. Who am I to think that I can speak in front of a group? What do I even have to say on the subject anyway? Wouldn’t I be tongue tied?
I took a breath. There I went again…selling myself short. I KNEW all about the subject matter of the panel. Why wouldn’t I lend my voice to this conference panel? I have a voice and I jolly well need to use it. Why would I hold myself back from getting a chance to speak about a subject I know well to a group of people who want to hear what I have to say? Now was not the time to let self-doubt get in my way.
I am SO glad that I agreed to be on the panel. It was an awesome experience. I was prepared. I had anecdotes and tips to share. The audience was genuinely interested in what all the panelists had to say. We were a small enough group that we were able to have a conversation about the topic.
So what’s with the blue wig? Well, I modeled the blue wig for my kids today in my kitchen. My middle child took the photo, while my oldest child looked at me with horror. And my youngest child photobombed with his multicolored curly wig. Though I was really fierce at the conference, I wasn’t ready to rock my blue wig. I may not have been wearing a blue wig as I sat on that panel, but I was was rocking that wig in spirit. There’s something freeing about wearing a wig, or a pair of sunglasses, or even a disguise.
Are you fierce, too? I’m sure you are…even a little bit is enough! I’m proud to be one of the Clever Girls Collective’s Fierce Fund Bloggers. I’m very excited to be a part of the Traveling Blue Wig Project. You can be a part of the Fierce Fund, too, by voting for who should be the Fierce Fund grant winner. Go to the Fierce Fund Voting page. And Vote!
Have a story of a time you were Fierce? Want to help Clever Girls Collective support women and girls to be Fierce? Visit www.clevergirlscollective.com/fiercefund to learn more about this girl-power project!