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2016: Next Step

When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

In 2010, it was about dream making. In 2011, it was about sticking to my boundaries. In 2012, it was about being true. In 2013, it was about embracing fear. In 2014, it was sitting my butt down and writing.

This coming year? I hadn’t written about next steps in the last two years, mostly because I didn’t have that desire to have a next step as I always had it. Partly, I don’t want to be accountable for the declaration of a next step if halfway through the year, I decide that I didn’t like that next step, that it wasn’t true to me.

But I want my next step to be leading. I want to stop quibbling about my issues of following. I want to make a difference, and the best way to make impact is by leading. Although some may say that I should be my own boss, I am past just following directions—whether for my career or my career.

Yesterday, during dinner with female colleagues, I openly spoke about upcoming challenges in my career. I didn’t intend to fall into a trap (that I must have felt myself falling toward), but I essentially asked, “What should I do?”

Perhaps all I wanted at that moment was that I wanted to be assured that the decision that I was going make was the right one. Yet I suddenly found myself in that dark, expensive farm-to-table restaurant where I felt conflicted about the menu full of foods that didn’t fit my appetite nor fit my pickiness (too much kale, too much flowery vegetables, too many olives, too much food that required wine, etc.), one colleague started telling me what to do and then everyone else followed. I found myself inviting people to tell me what to do—the shoulds and the coulds. My fingers tightened, and I gazed at the black leather billfold. But my politeness was leading the way. And so I followed.

I need to be leading. I need to stop let others keep me trapped or even falling into the trap. Some would say calling it being authentic. But rather, I would do it with the empathy that I truly want

So lead. Make a difference. Be fearless. That’s all I really want for the next year. Job. Writing. Personal life. And find those who can support me the way it should be.