I chose Courage, as a theme word for the year, and in this article, I will share with you the purpose behind choosing a theme word and why it’s beneficial for you to do it too.
Why a Theme Word?
Have you ever heard of the concept of selecting a theme word for the year? I first came across this idea through Melinda Gates, who starts each year with a single word that sets the tone for her goals and intentions. It intrigued me, and I decided to give it a try. But here’s the twist: I decided to apply this concept not only to my personal life but also to my business endeavours.
My Role as a Moderator
Recently, I was honoured to be chosen as the moderator for my EO Sydney group, which is a leadership organization. As the captain of this group for the financial year (July to June), I had a crucial decision to make: What theme should I choose for my team, my community, and my company, Outsourcing Angel?
The Choice: Courage
After some soul-searching, it became clear to me that “courage” was the word that resonated most deeply. Courage was already one of the core values of my company, Outsourcing Angel. I wanted my team to embrace the courage to speak up, learn new things, and break free from their comfort zones. So, it was only natural to choose this word as our guiding principle for the year ahead.
A Personal Example of Courage
But why courage, you may ask? Well, let me take you back to a time when I was just 11 years old, in the fifth grade. I was your typical schoolgirl, hanging out with my friends. In school, as in life, there are always different cliques. You have the popular kids, the smart ones, and those who may not quite fit in. I found myself relating more to the “smart” group, who were humble but didn’t always fit the conventional mold of “cool.”
One day, I witnessed a popular girl bullying a friend of mine based on her appearance. It bothered me to my core. I knew I had a choice to make: stand up for my friend or remain silent, fearing that I might become their target too. But I couldn’t ignore what was right. So, I summoned the courage within me, pushed back against the bullies, and defended my friend.
To my surprise, the bullies backed down, and a strange thing happened. They respected me for standing up to them, realizing they were in the wrong. This experience taught me that often, bullies are not as strong as they appear. It also reinforced my values of justice, equality, and treating others with respect.
Courage in Business
These values have stayed with me throughout my life and have played a significant role in my business journey. When it comes to business, courage is essential. One of the first courageous decisions I made was quitting my job to focus on my first e-commerce business, even when it wasn’t guaranteed success. I knew I had to take that leap and go all in to make it work.
Later on, I faced another moment of truth. I had a stable client who provided financial security, but it came at the cost of my freedom and dream to build a scalable business. I had to let go of that security and take a risk, despite the doubts of those around me, including my husband. It was a leap of faith, but it paid off. I hustled, gained more clients, and achieved my dream of running a business that didn’t rely solely on my personal time.
Finding Courage through Heroes
In my recent retreat with my team and EO Sydney group, I had everyone identify their heroes – people they looked up to because of their courage. My hero is Arnold Schwarzenegger. He overcame numerous challenges, including a language barrier and unconventional looks, to excel in multiple fields. This exercise helped us identify the traits and characteristics of our heroes, which we could then emulate in our own lives.
Setting Your Own Theme Word
So, why am I sharing all of this with you? I want to encourage you to consider setting a theme word for your year, whether it’s “courage” or another word that resonates with you. When you have that word, it becomes a compass, guiding your actions and decisions. It can also unite your team or community, aligning everyone with a common purpose.
As for me, “courage” is not just a word; it’s a way of life. It’s about having the courage to take risks, stand up for what’s right, and never settle for a life that doesn’t align with your dreams and values.
Whether it’s “courage” or another word, I believe that setting a powerful intention can change your life and your business for the better.