Audacity. My word for 2024. I got the idea to choose a word of the year from See Jane Write founder, Javacia Harris Bowser. I’m excited about having a single word of the year to guide me through the new year with intention and focus.
I searched places like Good Good Good in search of the perfect word for 2024. But none of the words on the list spoke to me. So I made an audacious move and chose my own word. (That’s the whole purpose of this anyway, right?)
Why did I choose audacity as my word?
The very essence of audacity is a daring readiness to take bold risks, a trait I’ve often tiptoed around in favor of playing it safe. While occasional ventures beyond my comfort zone aren’t unfamiliar, I’ve generally shied away from truly rocking the boat.
This year, I vowed to take more risks and to put my work- particularly my writing – out there more. Yet, after encountering rejection from two back-to-back pitch submissions to publications, I allowed self-doubt to creep in.
I told myself that it wasn’t my season. I told myself that my writing wasn’t good enough.
I’m not even sure I believe either of those things. In reality, these falsehoods have created an unwarranted distance between me and my aspirations.
As the months of 2023 went by, I watched people in my circle celebrate successes. And because cheerleading is my thing, I cheered for their accomplishments. Person after person kept achieving big, bold, goals. But not me. Why? Because I got caught up in the comfortable.
I’m not new to audacity. In fact, I’ve very much reaped the benefits of it. Back in 2020, I started a blog in a very saturated market. (Everybody and her sister has a blog, y’all.) Somehow, I found space. That space has allowed me to meet people and go places that I may not have if I had not been audacious.
So, why audacity for 2024? Because audacity fuels innovation, nurtures personal growth, and empowers us to conquer challenges. It breeds resilience and creativity, often paving the way for groundbreaking achievements. Despite past accomplishments, I harbor unfulfilled ambitions, and audacity will be my driving force to reach them. In 2024, I am determined to be bold, to take risks, and to embody audacity in all aspects of my life.
How can I have more audacity in 2024?
Maybe you’re reading this and you’ve decided that you want to be more audacious in 2024, too. Here is a list of ways I plan to have more audacity next year. Feel free to grab any (or all) of these ideas and join me in preparing for the new year:
- Fearless Goal Setting: Identify ambitious, yet achievable, goals that push you beyond your comfort zone. Whether it’s in your career, personal development, or creative pursuits, set objectives that demand audacity.
- Pitch Bold Ideas: Don’t shy away from expressing your unique perspectives and innovative ideas. Pitch them to colleagues, superiors, or collaborators, showcasing your audacity in contributing to discussions and projects.
- Network Unapologetically: Connect with people who inspire you or can contribute to your goals. Attend events, reach out on social media, and engage in conversations with professionals in your field. Audacity often thrives in expansive networks.
- Public Speaking: Conquer any fear of public speaking by volunteering to present at conferences, workshops, or local events. Share your knowledge and insights boldly, establishing yourself as an authority in your domain.
- Publish Regularly: Whether it’s a blog, articles, or social media content, commit to sharing your thoughts consistently. The audacity to put your ideas out into the world can lead to unforeseen opportunities and connections.
- Take Creative Risks: Experiment with your creative pursuits, be it writing, art, music, or any other form of expression. Challenge conventional norms and explore new styles, pushing the boundaries of your creativity.
- Travel Beyond Comfort Zones: Venture to places that challenge your perceptions and broaden your worldview. Immerse yourself in unfamiliar cultures, fostering personal growth and expanding your understanding of the world.
- Start a Side Business: If you have a passion or skill you’ve been hesitant to monetize, consider starting a side business. The audacity to pursue entrepreneurship, even on a small scale, can open new doors and revenue streams.
- Advocate for Yourself: Be your own champion in professional and personal settings. Speak up for your achievements, request the opportunities you deserve, and assert your value confidently.
- Learn Something New: Take on a challenge that requires acquiring a new skill or knowledge. Whether it’s learning a language, mastering a musical instrument, or delving into a technical field, audaciously embrace the journey of continuous learning.
- Volunteer for Leadership Roles: Offer to lead projects or initiatives within your workplace or community. Demonstrating leadership showcases your audacity and ability to take charge.
- Challenge Status Quo: Question established norms and challenge the status quo in your industry or community. Advocate for change when necessary, contributing to progress and innovation.
Remember, audacity is not about reckless behavior but rather a deliberate and courageous approach to pursuing your aspirations. Each audacious step you take in 2024 brings you closer to your goals and a more fulfilling life.