As I was thinking about coming up with my word of the year for 2022 – a word that would guide my year, this word blew into my mind: knowing.
I confess. I had to spend some thinking “Why knowing?” until I finally I realized that it was critically important to me to pick a word that serves as an affirmation of me instead of an aspiration for me – a 180 from how we’re encouraged to choose our words of the year.
Maybe you’re wondering why an affirmation and why it’s important for 2022? As I pondered why I’m so invested in affirming myself this year instead of aspiring to be better, I realized that only an affirmational word would honor my experience over the last several years, particularly my experience since March 2020 when the world shut down.
Here’s why I chose knowing. I hope it helps you dig deep and figure out your word.
Knowing is my word of the year because it defines one of my most powerful and lasting character attributes – I know things. I’ve been around for a long time, gathering people and experiences, reading books (literally thousands of books) and magazines, and paying deep attention to everyone around me. Also, deep in my core, I trust myself.
I’ve found when I bring all of that experience and knowledge to bear, it serves me well. It underpins both my riskiest decisions (doubling my co-working space business on January 31, 2020) and handling my trickiest situations (holding onto that co-working space during COVID).
It makes you you.
It also informs my interactions with every person I encounter. Frequently, I find myself offering an opinion or advice with no idea of how I arrived at my conclusion – I just knew – you could even call it a gut reaction. And those conclusions frequently shift the way the people I’m talking to think about themselves and their circumstances.
Since I’ve had clients who were uncomfortable with the idea of gut reactions, I’ve developed a language around the educated gut. My idea is that the real power of our gut reactions stems from combining the power of our experience and our instincts. And, for me, the best word to describe this occurrence is knowing.
I shared the story of choosing my word of the year and the idea of using an aspirational word with a couple of my groups, explaining my rationale and refining my language. Here are my thoughts about the power of aspirational language at this particular moment in time.
We’re always, always, always encouraged to be better – whether it’s through meditating, or mindfulness, or developing good habits, or learning something new every day. It’s all about doing better.
But what if – like I believe and coach on every day – we are perfect, we are plenty, – exactly as we are today. We are perfect right this minute.
Which led me to realize that this echoes my favorite and most popular self-created meme – relentless grace towards yourself. The idea is so potent that every time I post this on social I get likes and hallelujahs and praise hands (my personal favorite).
A Global Couple of Years
Here’s my reasoning. No. Here’s my knowing. For the first time in 100 years, every human being on the planet earth has struggled to cope with a situation – COVID. And, those of you reading this made it through. Not only did you make it through, you’re still standing, working, and functioning in the world.
So, my question to you is what is the thing, the personal attribute that brought you here? What did you call on when you didn’t think you could handle one more day of thinking about masking or not masking? What did you bring forward when it felt like you could not make it through one more day of teaching school or answering calls or running your business or working from home with the kids in the next room? What allowed you to keep going when you were tending someone who was sick? What held you erect as your children asked you repeatedly, “Why can’t we…?”
That thing is your word of the year. When we choose a word that affirms the power of our experience we are acknowledging the experience and our agency in dealing with it.
So, let’s look inward with wonder. Let’s ask ourselves, “How did I get through to this moment?”
You did it!
When you find that word, embrace it – even if it feels uncomfortable – and post it all over the place: in your car, on your mirror, on your phone, on your desk, your laptop, everywhere. And, please, please, share it with me via email or on social.
Then, as you encounter the word repeatedly through your day-to-day in 2022, I want you to smile (or grin) and say to yourself “That is so me!” and be delighted with yourself.
Here’s the thing. You are plenty. You are perfect right this minute. You deserve to delight in your most amazing self every single day.