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1.19.2012

RISK: My 2012 Word of the Year

How many of us play the would'a, should'a, could'a game in life... almost daily?
I'm not even talking during big life altering events, just things as simple as...
"Oh, I SHOULD have bought those sparkly high heels, instead of playing it safe with these plain black flats"...
or
 "I totally COULD have cut my hair into that cute little bob I really wanted, if I didn't have such a round face".
Either because of insecurities, self-doubt, or just being afraid of trying something new... a lot of us do this to ourselves from time to time. I know I do.
Starting about 3 or 4 months ago I decided that enough was enough, and I was going to start taking more chances in life. So... I started small. VERY small :)
Until last year, I had never worn bright lipstick. Seems trivial I know. But whenever I tried to walk out of the house wearing it, I would stop myself and think... "What if someone thinks I look like a clown???"... "What if it's too bright? What if I get it on my teeth and don't know it!?"
I REALLY liked the look of  "sassy bold lips" on others, but I could never convince myself to actually follow through, for the fear of looking ridiculous. Well... a few weeks ago (after a little coaxing from my good friend Laci, who is the QUEEN of fabulous lip color) I finally got the courage, bought myself a tube of Mac's Full Fuchsia lipstick and wore those pretty pink lips IN PUBLIC, for the very first time.
And Guess what? Besides an eyebrow raise from my husband (who thought hot-pink lips were just an ulterior motive for something else)... nobody really said anything! The lipstick police didn't pull me over, and not even one person assumed I had rode in on a unicycle.
I quickly realized that I was my own worst critic. The only person who held me back from doing things that I thought I couldn't... was ME.  So I pose this questions...

My word for 2012 is:



The great thing about taking risks in life, is that there are only two possible outcomes:


1. You realize your risk was TOTALLY worth it, you forget about your feelings of inadequacy and become wildly successful and happy...
or
2. You fail and have to go through the full gamut of emotions, from embarrassed to sad, hurt or silly.

I love the quote by Fredrick Wilcox...
Progress always involves risk; you can't expect to steal second base, and still keep your foot on first.



When I started blogging I never even dreamed that it would take me to where I am today. An opportunity to experience new things, meet fabulous new people, make amazing new friends and have a full time job doing something I truly love. But in order for me to get to where I am, I've had to take some pretty big risks. Until this last year, I also realized how many of those "risks" I also shy away from for fear of failing or looking stupid. It wasn't until I found this quote about a month ago, that I really started finding the courage to change all that.
My older brother once said to me... "Nobody happy and successful got that way by playing it safe." It was like a light bulb went off in my brain, and I realized that even in the few times in my life that I HAVE taken risks and they've turned out like outcome #2, where I feel totally silly or embarrassed afterwards, I've also walked away with something else...

Life experience and the overall great feeling of knowing that I TRIED.

When I'm old, wrinkly and grey, I want to be able to look back on my life and know that I did everything that I wanted to do. And even if I didn't succeed... I sure as heck tried my hardest.

So my challenge to YOU this year, is to take some RISKS. Start small if you have to.
* Wear a trendy hair accessory or try sporting skinny jeans with a pair of killer boots, for the first time.
* Call that neighbor who you feel like you could possibly be friends with, and ask her if she wants to meet up for dinner or shopping.
* Stop looking for the 'perfect swatch color' and just paint that DAMN WALL ALREADY!

Quit being a roadblock for yourself. Get out of your own way, and start living a fuller life.
Just simply making the decision to start taking more risks...
is half the battle.

65 comments:

  1. Um, you know how much I love this, Really!!!

    "What would you attempt to accomplish if you knew you could not fail."

    I hold myself back all the time with thoughts of failure. Sometime I don't even try.

    And Black is my signature color. I'm trying to break the habit of that one right now.

    And my living room is naked because I don't dare to design it. What if I hate it. What if someone else hates it.

    I'm an idiot.

    Risk. Such a great word.

    Party it up lady. Wish I was there!!!!

    Erin
    http://www.someoneinmind.blogspot.com/

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  2. You have NO idea how badly I needed this tonight. Thank you!
    PS. You totally ROCKED the full fuchsia lipstick!

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  3. You have NO idea how badly I needed this tonight. Thank you!
    PS. You totally ROCKED the full fuchsia lipstick!

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  4. Perfect! LOVE this encouraging post!

    Mallory @ Classy Clutter

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  5. Oh I have Always wanted to be able to pull the RED lipstick thing off but For many of the same Reasons haven't... I am SURE it will it up ALL over my Teeth and not to mention if ANYONE even looks at me I am sure they would be starring at my Lips... You look ADORABLE with it.. :) Very Striking indeed!!

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  6. I think I need to pin this post on my "inspiration" board. I definitely need to be more willing to take a risk here and there. And be willing to fail so I can learn something new. It's scary, but I'm going to believe I can. ;)

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  7. Woohoo! Love your word and your thoughts. Juuuust do it. :)

    PS your lipstick looks sassy!

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  8. Tiny P.S.

    I pinned your She believed that she could so she did. I love it.

    Also, I'm going to wear lipstick all day tomorrow in my PJ's while I fold laundry, change diapers and clean the house.

    Baby Steps.

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  9. Thank you for this! I actually had a friend over tonight and we were looking at old pictures (before we had babies) and were like "Gah, what happened to us." Well...this just makes me feel so much better. It even makes me want to go and take my hair out of this bun -hot roll it and but one my lipstick just to hope in the best and listen to my husband snore. HeHa! Thank you for this share and yes, your lips look fabulous. Keep sporting them. ;)

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  10. GREAT word. And I agree with you. My big risk is singing in a choir performing Handel's Messiah. I'm in WAY over my head, & after the practices I feel like I've been working out at the gym. But, if I survive it, I'm going to be so much richer for the experience. My word for the year is "Optimism".

    Warmly, Michelle

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  11. sassy! love it! you look like reese witherspoon in that second pic. for reals!

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  12. Hi Shelley!
    I totally understand your words... I feel exactly the same way... I also would love to wear red lipstick and just like you, I don't have the courage to leave my house and show the world my red lips... Maybe I should just follow your example... buy a pretty color this weekend, go out on a date with my husband, and show the world I am not scared anymore!!
    I have been taking more risks lately and pushing my limits... so I will continue doing that, one step at a time!!
    (That lipstick looks great on you!)

    Mercedes @ http://ravenography.blogspot.com/

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  13. What a perfect post for this time of year! I've always been brave in some areas of my life, but too safe in others....this year my word is 'push' and one of the areas i want to push is in risk taking.


    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  14. Wow, such great thoughts. I am usually a play it safe person, and I really need to take more risks. I actually took one recently which may not be big to some people, but it is to me. I'm very self conscious about my exercising and had always wanted to join my gym at work because of the convenience but was too nervous about exercising around people I knew. Well, I got brave and joined last week! It wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined, and I'm loving the convenience. Why didn't I do it sooner? I'm also planning a huge risk for this year: attending a blog conference (where I don't know anyone).

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  15. Love the post Shelly!!! Couldn't agree more with you. Love the lipstick too, I may have to pick up a tube for myself!

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  16. What a great word! Mine is "edit," but I may take editing breaks and borrow yours to shake things up! The lipstick is so sassy. Very pretty! Can't wait to see more of your risks in action.

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  17. Great inspiration and you look FABulous!

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  18. LOVE your lips. i'm pinning this blog; perfect.

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  19. What a great post! So funny about the lipstick - I started wearing brighter lipstick as well about two months ago and I felt so crazy! Little things lead to bigger things, right? PS: I started with Nars Heat Wave, but I'm going to try that Mac color!

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  20. YOU Go Girl!!! Way to get fired up and get everyone else fired up too.
    This post is packed with ooodles of inspiration. I know you lit a fire under my butt. Praise God for YOU!!!! The pink lips are smokin' hot. Love it, love it, love it.

    PS. My favorite quote, which I am posting up in my studio, "Progress always involves risk; you can't expect to steal second base, and still keep your foot on first."

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  21. YOU Go Girl!!! Way to get fired up and inspire everyone else to do the same. Love the pink lips, they are smokin' hot!!! This post is just packed with ooodles of inspiration. Praise God for YOU!!! I am hanging this quote up in my studio "Progress always involves risk; you can't expect to steal second base, and still keep your foot on first."
    And could not stop laughing at "* Stop looking for the 'perfect swatch color' and just paint that DAMN WALL ALREADY!" that is just too funny and so true. Love it, love it, love it. I know you lit a fire under my butt :)

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  22. i think if i were as gorgeous as you are, i might wear fuchsia lipstick in public, too! this is a great word... we all need to take more risks. we would get nowhere creatively or spiritually if we didn't just push ourselves to take those chances.

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  23. I love this. So inspirational! I know that I definitely need to jump on board with "Risks in 2012". Thanks girl!

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  24. Love your post....love your lipstick! 2011 was my Year of Risk and it has SO paid off. Left a 20-year long financial career that I had grown to hate and 2011 was the year I figured out the basics again and realize I am truly happy when being my "creative" self. "Leap and the net will appear" was the best advice I received...and I am in my hammock-style net now enjoying all the positive life changes that came my way because I was open to it!

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  25. I love your new word for 2012 very inspiring and your lip shade was / is the perfect choice!! :)

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  26. Blonde hair, bright blue eyes, fair skin + bold lipstick...I think you look stunning! Your risks are definitely paying off, girl! :)

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  27. Love this post so much! I will make this year a year of risks! I recently started wearing red lipstick too :) I felt silly at first, but then I LOVED it. Even when I found it on my teeth later :D

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  28. right on! my husband always says "you can't have 'this is awesome moments', if you don't have 'this is crazy moments' beforehand!"

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  29. I have always felt the same way about bold lip color on my lips. I always just buy neutral gloss and call it a day. I think I will take your advice and live on the wild side of lip color! Thanks girl :)

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  30. You're crazy, those lips look FAB on you!! Taking more personal risk is a GREAT goal, you've inspired me!

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  31. Perfect word for 2012! I hear ya on the waiting to find the perfect swatch color.... I'm FINALLY painting my living room this weekend! ;)

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  32. AWESOME POST... DID I SAY AWESOME! seriously, I am thinking of all the risks I could take or have had opportunities to take and did not. You have put some kind of fire under my butt... so bravo. P.S. you are a doll and you totally are rocking the pink lips. XO, jen

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  33. Amen, sister friend! I am so with you on this. Life is way too short to not do what you really want.

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  34. Great job friend! You look killer in that lipstick and are so sassy you must wear it! I'm glad I could be a little inspiration. P.S That face of yours is looking might skinny!! xox

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  35. Ahhhhh... i was meant to be killing time at work today reading your blog. Thanks! Love it!

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  36. You are SO right....sometimes we are our own worst critics & holding ourselves back from taking risks in life. Thank you for an awesome & inspiring post. Now I'm off to buy some bold lipstick (it's actually been on my list of things to "risk" lately...and you've pushed me to actually DO IT!!) :)

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  37. Love love love this post! Funnily enough, I just found your blog through Pinterest. I was looking at home decor photos because I wanted to finally spice up my boring neutral living room with some risky, bold colors. And it led me to your post...exactly what I needed. Thanks you.

    http://krystallitt.blogspot.com

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  38. Awesome post!!! I think we can all benefit for taking a few more risks in life. Oh and by the way, the trick to keeping red (or any other bright color) lipstick off your teeth is once you apply it, take your index finger and put it in your mouth, lightly cup your lips around it and slide it back out. By doing this you wipe off the lipstick along the inner rim of your lips so there's none of those lipstick on the teeth awkward moments.

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  39. Thank you Shelley! This is just what I needed. I did take a big risk today and I am going to remember what you said so that I don't chicken out!

    P.S. Keep wearing the lipstick! :)

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  40. Thank you,thank you, thank you! You have no idea how much I needed to read this! You have left me completely inspired. Recently, alot of new opportunities have been knocking at my door, and many times I have hesitated, over thought it, or completely neglected it. This has left me wanting to embrace it with open arms! Preach it, sister! :)

    oohh,and the lipstick = Fantastic!

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  41. LOVE the red lips!! I just sported that look this week too!!

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  42. Thank you...I needed this today. It's amazing to me how we stumble upon words of wisdom in places we aren't expecting it. Here I was thinking I'd check out some DIY projects and the first thing I read is this post. I have BIG aspirations and unfortunately a BIG fear of failure. You are so right about being able to look back and realize that you at least "tried something." Again, thank you!!

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  43. all i know is that you look SO PRETTY in that lipstick!

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  44. Preach on, sister.... It is blog post like these that are the reminders for us all to start living. Just think about how many lives you've just improved because of this post? At the very least, you have just inspired a crap load of women to get their sexy lips on! Yeah, baby! I'm going shopping for lipstick, too! *Hercules Hercules!* LOL

    Serena
    From House to Home
    http://rehab2fab.blogspot.com

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  45. Preach on, sister.... It is blog post like these that are the reminders for us all to start living. Just think about how many lives you've just improved because of this post? At the very least, you have just inspired a crap load of women to get their sexy lips on! Yeah, baby! I'm going shopping for lipstick, too! *Hercules Hercules!* LOL

    Serena
    From House to Home
    http://rehab2fab.blogspot.com

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  46. I love this post! I made the decision last night that I am letting a friend give me face framing bangs and she is going to make them hot pink! A total change from my normal "out of the box brown mommy ponytail" that I have been sporting for the last 4 years! I even bought silver eyeliner!! I am a rebel!

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  47. I rarely comment but his post really hit home for me. I found it incredibly inspirational and I wanted to thank you very much for writing it.

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  48. I LOVE this!
    And Those lips too cute!

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  49. I love this post! My word of the year in 2010 was DARE!!! (three exclamation points were for the triple dog dare!) It is amazing how opportunities come when you're willing to risk looking like a fool. I've been blessed to enjoy so many awesome experiences when I allowed myself to be brave.

    I love the bright lipstick- not a bad place to start! Clearly you've upgraded the risk factor a lot since then!

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  50. Shelley! what a great post! My word is YES, which is very similar to your word. By YES, I will be taking risks, but even so... I would have been afraid to CHOOSE the word risk! hahaha does that make sense? I am not a risk taker, but I will be saying yes (to those risks) yikes!
    I enjoyed reading this post, and I love those pics!
    here's to 2012 being the year to say yes and take risks!
    gail

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  51. My word is Deliberate. Because I need to be more aware and careful. Are you as devastated as I am the Picnik is closing? Let me know what other photo software you like, I need to start doing me research I guess.

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  52. I seriously love this idea of using a word for the year! My creative/design word is BOLD. There are so many ways that I need to be BOLD! Love your post and your 2012 word :)

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  53. Wow! What a great post, thank you for the inspiration!

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  54. I am just so glad we have you!!! Thank you for the inspiration Shelley!

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  55. Best post ever. What a great message to everyone! Your lips look amazing by the way!

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  56. Perfect work for 2012. This is what I need. This year for me is to get out of my comfort zone...that's why I am going solo to SNAP. Hoping that I will meet lot of nice people there :)

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  57. I've only been reading your blog regularly since meeting you at Creative Estates, and I have to say - I always thought bold lips were your signature, and I was kind of jealous at how amazingly you pull them off! One of my resolutions this year is to wear red lipstick, but I'm expanding that to bright pinks as well (http://leilasmom.blogspot.com/2012/01/resolutions.html)

    Love your post!

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  58. Love this... I can so relate. I teach spin at a gym and am by far the heaviest instructor and find myself being judged instead off on my ability but by the way I look. You are beautiful and strong woman. Keep up the great work... :)I have been feeling this way for a while myself. I turn 35 this year and need to get in gear. Thanks for the motivation. :)

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  59. Yes, I realize this is months after the fact. However when I read it the first time it didn't quite sink in like it has today. It has hit that spot, the spot that I've needed to be energized! So what if someone doesn't like the risk I'm willing to take? I needed this today. Book marking this for my umph!!!!!
    Thanks :)

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  60. Reading this a year after you wrote it and It is so timely for me RIGHT NOW! You've nailed it and now I need to commit to taking risks too. Thank you for the inspiration!
    Meg
    www.clickhappylife.com

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