This year’s word did not come to me easily. It was something that wasn’t solidified until the next to the

day, of the last month, of the last year, of the decade.

I thought it would be easy to select a word to start 2020.

After all 20-20 is perfect vision right?

Words relating to that seemed not just clever but logical too.

Words like clarity, focus, vision.

Yes, I need all of what those words offer, but none seemed to resonate with me.

And so I prayed for my word, and tried my best to sit and listen for the answer.

It just wasn’t coming to me. But then quietly, the word “COURAGE” came to me. And I thought about it.

Why the word “courage”?

Why was this the word that came to me?

I thought about it and thought about the times, I was afraid to speak up, or speak out, or speak my truth. About the times in life I have settled for safe rather than taking a risk, or have compromised my dreams or desires for the sake of others.

All those things I have not done or said or experienced, all because I was afraid.

I let the fear of what others might say or think stop me. I let the fear of failure or success stop me. I let the fear of rejection, or the fear of not being liked stop me.

There are so many times I let FEAR stop me from living my BEST life that it is truly embarrassing. And is probably surprising to quite a few of you now reading this.

So, why then wouldn’t my word be FEARLESS instead?

I thought about that long and hard, as you would think that should be my word. But it isn’t and here is why?

Most people are afraid. Most people don’t take chances because they are afraid or they wait for the fear to subside before making a move. if that’s the case, then you are most likely waiting for something that will never happen.

That is why I had to select COURAGE as my word.

For it is the courageous person who decides to make the move despite being afraid.

I choose the word courage to be my compass for the New Year, and the new decade.

For courage is what is needed to speak about things, most people don’t want to hear or discuss.

Courage is needed to make decisions that are not going to please those who are likely to have their feathers ruffled a bit.

Courage is needed to take a chance on my skills, talents and abilities despite what my self-talk is telling me.

Courage is needed to step out of my comfort zone and continue to step out, when I feel like no one wants to hear what I have to say, is interested in the products and opportunities I have to offer or cares about the kind of work I am doing.

Courage is needed to take leaps of faith needed to meet the people I need to meet, and to help the people I need to help, when emails and calls are not returned and doors are being slammed in my face.

Courage is needed to step out of the stories I tell myself so I can step into the woman God called me to be.

It takes courage, not, fearlessness.

There will always be things that will make me feel uncomfortable and scared.

What I need is the COURAGE to do them anyway.

In order to live the life I feel I was created to live, it is going to require me to step up, step out, and live it bravely, boldly, and without apology. I do not have the time to wait until I can become fearless, that is why I must choose COURAGE.

Sherrie Dunlevy is an author, speaker and Inspirationista. For more information, to order her best selling book “How Can I Help?” or to hire Sherrie to speak at your conference, workshop or special event go to or contact her at

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