I just spent New Year’s Day with an amazing group of women. I mean amazing. Warm, creative, accomplished, vulnerable, giving… All of them.
On this first day of 2018, I asked them to share their biggest dare, challenge or first.
In a circle of trust, a few spoke of ending relationships as the most difficult thing they’ve ever done, surviving life-threatening illnesses, changing careers, finding new love, birthing books, new adventures, becoming a mother, becoming a widow. All of that life, loss, and wonder in one year was shared among women, most who didn’t know each other until New Years Day.
At the end, I just asked them to pass along the idea of firsts, of daring to do the new, being bold, paying it forward. I said, “Let’s do this again next year”.
They looked at me like I was crazy.
“What about next month?”
“Next month? Really?”
So, we’ll see if this first, becomes a second. We’ll see.
This might surprise you but I’m not really a natural joiner, group creator person. Leading my own little “I Dare Me” group is actually a good dare for me.
I know some of you have been leading and creating your own groups for awhile and I’m always so excited to hear from you.
I checked in with some of my favorite daresters to see what they did in 2017.
Kandi Van Iperen in South Dakota has a whole group of people ziplining upside down, food fighting, 5-k running while she tries out blue and purple hair after a daring career change.
Martha Kadas from Chicago wrote me from a trip to China about joining a ukulele meetup. “I realized no one seemed to care when I lost my place, sang off-key or played a wrong chord! We even played together at an outdoor neighborhood festival…!”
Cindy Lauderdale in Joplin, Missouri on her own journey of firsts for four years with family and friends. “This year I toured Italy for the first time. Amazing trip!!”
Bente Jokumsen in Denmark walked the glass floors up Tower Bridge in London. Yikes.
Shannon Rhodes in California wrote to tell me I Dare Me helped her reboot her life after losing her fiancé to an unexpected and sudden death. Her friend was more recently in Las Vegas and survived that horrendous mass shooting. Shannon is sharing her book with her and together they are taking small steps to reboot and find meaning in the day.
I love the small dares, the giving dares, the simple dares. They add up to a life of curiosity, growth, risk-taking, and courage to move forward, past loss, past changes, past things that can derail you in your life and career.
When we stop doing firsts; when we stop growing, when we feel like we’ve lost our best selves, we can’t create, we can’t lead, we can’t live the life we were meant to live.
And so dear friends, I hope in 2018 you’ll dare on and pass it on too. Share your dares.
Stay tuned: I’m working on creating a little something for daily daring inspiration.
Meanwhile, I hope you know, you don’t have to wait for New Years to start something new. Any day can be the first day; every day can be a first day.
Happy New Year.