How often do you do things that excite you? Challenge you? Scare you? If your answer is anything other than, “All the time!” then this post, and these tips are for you.
I often found myself sitting on the sideline. “Ashlee, do you want to try?” “Oh, no, I’ll just watch.” I’ve said that line a million times. Every single time I watched people trying new things, laughing, failing, and trying again. I’d smile, but inside I was sad and angry. Not with them, but myself. “Why am I not out there? Because they might laugh at you. You might look ridiculous. You could FAIL!”
You either know exactly what my inner monologue sounds like or you’re thinking what’s the worse that can happen? I wanted so desperately to join in, but I’ll tell you what could happen. I could be seriously uncomfortable. I could be vulnerable. At the time, I did everything I could do avoid feeling like that. Even if it meant being a permanent cheerleader, watching life from the stands.
Now, I’m learning to lean in and embrace feeling uncomfortable or scared. The end result is so much more rewarding and worth few moments of agony. I don’t want to be just as spectator, and neither do you. Trust me.
Here are 5 simple tips to help you get out of the stands and embrace your own wild, authentic, vulnerable life.
- Define your core values. What does living wild means to you? What does it feel like? What does it look like? Those descriptions are your core values and the foundation of your wild life. There is no perfect set of core values. Yours will not look like mine. They might not even seem “wild.” They might be words like adventurous, calm, organized, spontaneous, feminine, authentic, creative.
List them all out.
Now, out of that list choose the ones that are most important to you. I keep my list to about five different feelings, but how many you have it totally up to you. Ta – da! Those are your core values and will act like a guide. Start doing and creating things in your life that evoke these feelings.
- Learn to embrace vulnerability. An expert on vulnerability, and one of my favorite authors, is Brene Brown. I am always inspired by her words and love how she defines what vulnerability is in her book Rising Strong.
Vulnerability is not winning or losing: It’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness: It’s our greatest measure of courage.
Being vulnerable will scare you. It might even scare other people. It feels like walking down the street with nothing on and no protective barrier to keep you safe. You risk falling, getting hurt, being embarrassed, but in the end, you find out how strong you truly are.
Outside of their comfort zone is where the wild ones live. They don’t wear a mask. They take risks and make deep connections.
Join the wild ones.
I highly recommend that everyone read this book. If you’re interested, you can check it out here.
- Practice saying, “YES.” You don’t have to jump out of a plane to start living wildly. Although, I highly recommend it! Maybe for you, that is saying yes to leading a project, submitting a piece of writing to a contest, or joining a kickball team. If an opportunity arises that you would normally say no too, stop and think if saying yes means honoring your core values. If it does, lean into the uncomfortable, be wild, and say, “YES!”
- Stop waiting for the perfect time. There is no such thing as the perfect time. Stop saying that. It’s a bullshit excuse. What have you been putting off? Is there something you’ve been dying to try or do but have left it on the back burner? You know, because “you’ll get to it.”
The only time is now. Stop avoiding the things that you feel passionate about and start doing them!
Take that class on something you’ve been dying to learn.
Start that blog.
Volunteer for that cause you’re passionate about.
The brilliant F.S. Fitzgerald once said,
For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.
- Hold annual reviews and keep yourself accountable. If you follow only one bit of advice, follow this one! It is so important. You can’t possibly know how far you’ve come if you don’t know where you started. Hold yourself accountable. Put a system in place to monitor your progress. At a minimum, conduct a monthly check in with yourself. Review what you’ve accomplished, what you said yes to, and what areas you can improve.
I hope some of these tips help you to live a wild life. If you have any questions or just want to reach out, leave a comment or feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d LOVE to hear from you!
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I want to hear what living wild means to you! Leave a comment or use the hashtag #wildforawhile.