You can’t live the life you owe yourself without living it loudly, boldly, and without apology. We all have the power to do so, but we become restrained and limited by fear when in actuality, we should be using our fears to our advantage and recognizing how they expose our real desires, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

Venturing into the unknown is terrifying because we run the risk of failure, but we need to stop thinking of failure as the opposite of success and see it as a necessary component to live up to our fullest potential. We must also dare to stop caring what others think of us by staying true to ourselves, even if that means challenging convention or saying the things other people are afraid of saying.

No one owes us more than we owe ourselves, therefore we must honor ourselves by living the life we want unapologetically.

Embark on this 30-day journey to challenge yourself to be as authentic and vulnerable as you can, while doing and keeping the following in mind:

1. Be you. Don’t hide who you are, what you think, or how you feel. Don’t play pretend for your sake, or that of others.

2. Speak up. Voice your concerns, feelings, thoughts, needs, and opinions. Ask for what you want and don’t wait to be recognized for your efforts. It isn’t selfish, needy, or greedy to ask for what you deserve.

3. Don’t overanalyze. Stop trying to make sense of life and of every situation. You will never be able to. You need to accept you don’t always and won’t always have all the information. Stop trying to resist things as they are and just embrace what is. You give and create your own meaning to make sense of the world.

4. Be purposeful. Pinpoint your motivation, connect with it, and use it as your inner resource. Be purposeful in your actions instead of acting out of doubt, uncertainty, or fear.

5. Take risks. Being bold means taking risks when you’re well aware of what they are, it does not mean being reckless. Be daring. Do the things you’re afraid to do. Unleash the burning desire to go after what you want. Yes, it may turn out being a mistake, but there is no greater regret than inaction. Don’t settle for living less than you are capable of.

6. Don’t fear failure. Remember that failure and regret are essential for success and personal growth.

7. Dare to do the unpredictable and venture into the unknown.

8. Challenge convention and stop caring what others think.

9. Embrace vulnerability. Vulnerability is your biggest strength, you can’t take risks without being vulnerable, and you can’t honor yourself and pursue what you value most without taking risks.

10. Trust yourself. Accept yourself. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Rediscover who you are. You must do these things to be able to stand in your power.

THE CHALLENGE

Day 1: Write down 5 things you’ve always been afraid to do. Ask yourself why and write that down too. What’s the worst that could happen? If you did do those things, how would you feel afterward? Keep this for later.

Day 2: Let go of something or someone who no longer serves you.

It could be something as small as throwing away something you’ve been hoarding, cutting off a subscription to a service you don’t really use, or cleaning out your closet to make room for new things. Try to think about something, though, that you’ve had an emotional attachment to and that in some way has enabled you to cling to some emotion and disabled you from processing it. Maybe a shoebox full of mementos you keep from a past relationship. Throw it away. Burn it if being symbolic would help.

If you really want to challenge yourself, then think of a person in your life that is keeping you from growing or moving on, or bringing you negativity, or someone with whom there is no longer a mutual benefit. A significant other. A friend. A toxic family member. Cut them out completely, or begin to distance yourself from them on this day.

Day 3: What is something you’ve always wanted to say but have held yourself back from doing so, whether it was out of fear, cowardice, or not wanting to come face to face with the repercussions? Say it today. Just say it. Whether it is telling your friend her lying, manipulative, cheating boyfriend is never going to change, or telling your coworker you’re uncomfortable with the way they speak to you, or telling someone you’re really attracted to that you can’t stop thinking of them. Today, just say the thing.

Day 4: Take a shameless, banging photograph or selfie you and post it. If you like the way you look, flaunt it.

Day 5: Buy something that you never before could see yourself wearing, whether it’s in a color or style, but that you really like, or you’ve really wanted to try before. The only one making up any rules is you. Be your own trendsetter. Own what appeals to you. Be your own authentic self, don’t let anyone else tell you who that is.

Day 6: What is something you’ve been afraid of asking for? A promotion at work? A raise? More commitment from your boyfriend? More space from your girlfriend? Support? Help? Whatever it is, ask for it today. Remember that you’re not being greedy or selfish

Day 7: Is there an apology you deserved but never got? Has this somehow held you back from healing an emotional wound or moving forward?

Today, either ask for that apology or choose to forgive them. Send them a text, and email, or call them. Tell them how they hurt you or express how you feel that you were owed an apology. You can also just keep it simple and simply say “I forgive you.” If you don’t want to forgive them, that’s fine, not everything or everyone deserves your forgiveness, but do choose to stop carrying whatever pain it caused you with you. If reaching out isn’t beneficial for your mental health, then write down what you would say to them on a piece of paper and then throw it away, burn it, or wash it down the sink.

Day 8: Learn something new. Sign up for that self-defense class you always thought about taking. Register for those painting lessons. Buy Rosetta Stone and start learning Italian. Print out a difficult recipe you’ve always wanted to try, go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, and make that roasted lamb or crème brûlée tonight.

Day 9: Do one of those things you wrote about on Day 1. Ask that guy for his phone number. Go skydiving. Book that solo trip to Barcelona. If it’s something bigger like starting your own business or writing a book, then today start planning for it. Do the research. Put your plan into motion.

Day 10: Have you been thinking about cutting or dying your hair? Have you been thinking about getting a tattoo? Is there some sort of alteration you’ve been wanting on your appearance? It can be something as simple as trying a new shade of lipstick. Go to the salon today. Go buy that new lip color. Go to the tattoo shop. Stop thinking about it and do it.

Day 11: Write 20 things you love about yourself and write 20 other things that make you unique.

Day 12: Do something alone today and keep your phone in your pocket or purse. Go out to dinner and a movie alone. Go sit at the bar alone and have a drink. Play hooky and go to the beach.

Day 13: Start a conversation with a stranger.

Day 14: Do or plan for two more things from your list on Day 1.

Day 15: Make the first move. Whether it’s asking someone out on a date, going in for the first kiss, making up with someone you’re estranged with and miss, or making plans with your friends or significant other. Just make the first move.

Day 16: Make a list of ways you want to stop playing it small.

Day 17: Put on something that makes you feel sexy. Walk around the house in it. Look in the mirror and admire yourself. Write down the 7 things you love most about your appearance. Take pictures, even if they’re only for yourself. Send them to someone if you’re feeling flirty.

Day 18: Go out for drinks to a place you’ve never been to before and strike up a conversation with three different strangers.

Day 19: Ask someone you look up to or admire, a mentor, or a superior for any advice or suggestions in ways in which you could improve at your job or in your craft. Talk to them about your aspirations, passions, or long-term goals and share what you would like to learn from them.

Day 20: Today, practice saying no. Say no to things you don’t want to do, don’t have time for, or simply aren’t any responsibility of yours. In fact, adopt this habit.

Day 21: Do or plan for one more thing you wrote about on day 1.

Day 22: Plan an out of town trip for the next upcoming weekend. Meet and make 3 new friends in that city.

Day 23: Do something unpredictable today.

Day 24: Is there something you haven’t forgiven yourself for? Write a letter to yourself about this and really forgive yourself.

Day 25: Write a list of things you want to do and places you want to visit over the following year. Can you visit one or do one today?

Day 26: Write a list of ways in which you refuse to continue remaining silent.

Day 27: Is there someone you’ve hurt? Acknowledge that today. This is one of the only times you have an obligation to be apologetic.

Day 28: Do or plan for the last thing on your list from Day 1.

Day 29: Say fuck you, literally or metaphorically, to someone who really broke your heart.

Day 30: Just have fun today. Blast your favorite song and dance in your underwear,  pour some wine or go out for some drinks, or take the city by storm. TC mark


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