As a person with anxiety, I have a lot of fear. In addition to the basic fears that most people share like the health and safety of loved ones and paying their bills on time, I also fear that while standing in line for my coffee, a stranger might strike up conversation and by the time I get to the front I won’t know what I want because I was too distracted to make my selection while I was in line, and a line of strangers will be angry that I’m holding them up and my coffee won’t be right anyway. I fear that I might actually have to confront a conflict in the work place and by the time I get the nerve to do it it’s really not a conflict but I’ve now come off as confrontational because I’ve built a mountain from a molehill. I fear that because my dog chose a different toy to play with than normal that he doesn’t feel good and if I don’t watch his every move I will miss some vital signal to take him to the vet and he will fall gravely ill and we are now digging ourselves out of massive vet bills because I had to save him because he is the love of my life.
This is my real life. Until now. A few weeks ago I ordered something I’ve had my eye on for a friend of mine in my wedding party and one for myself. What the heck, right? This is where I insert the customary “YOLO” because I’m a grown-up and I pay my bills. #sorrynotsorry It’s called a Passion Planner. The point of the planner is to help you map your goals, professional and personal, and achieve them. It sounds simple. Why do you need to buy a $30.00 planner to do it? I suppose you don’t. But I’m very type A and I love to organize myself a million different ways to get one task done. So for me, this was super exciting!
I bought the undated planner so I can start it on September 1st. It begins with features like “Your Passion Roadmap” and “Passion Plan” to help you to zero in on your goals. I found these to be more beneficial than I thought they’d be, in all honesty. Then the first section of the planner contains the monthly spread page followed by a couple of “Monthly Reflection” questions. Each monthly page has space to help you to focus yourself on things you are doing and things that perhaps are not the most beneficial to your goal. Headings here include “People to See”, “Places to Go” and (my favorite) “Not To-Do List”. Once you get through the monthly spread you move onto the weekly spread. This is laid out vertically by the half hour with other various spaces on the page. These headlines include, “This Week’s Focus”, “Good Things That Happened” and even an inspirational quote. I dig this.
The last year or so, God has put it on my heart that I want and need to do something with a nonprofit. After keeping my eyes open for an opportunity for months it occurred to me that it won’t happen unless it’s in “The Plan” for me. So I decided to sit back and be grateful for the work I have now and to use it to grow. I could easily translate what I learn at my position for future nonprofit opportunities. And at this point, I found a lot of peace in trusting God’s timing and having a plan that I can actually put on paper and follow. That being said, this planner is the start of my refocusing. Once it came I couldn’t wait to get it all set up. The smell of a new planner, the stiff pages and the super cool teal cover. I love it! In the same package as the planners came a couple of stickers. One specific sticker caught my eye. It read “Action Cures Fear”. I sat holding this sticker for a couple minutes, just thinking about what a jarringly real statement that was. Action DOES cure fear.
I thought about all of the things in my life I could apply this to. I can apply this to my social interactions. I can apply this to facing challenges and conflicts head on. I can apply this directly to my goals that will get me closer and closer to working for a cause I believe in and support. Most importantly, I can apply this to my newest project: becoming a fundraiser for The Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine Prom. Fundraising is something that can be so uncomfortable if you’re not a certain kind of person. I mean, when you think of it, you’re basically asking someone to give you money. I haven’t asked anyone for money since high school! Asking someone for anything isn’t my strong suit. Really though, what is the worst someone can say? “No”? OK, so then I thank them for their time and move on. I suppose the action in this perfectly balanced equation is the part that I get hung up on. I can’t allow myself to over think it, which I’m known for. If I am passionate enough to want to talk about this wonderful and life changing event and then take it even one step further in donating not only my own money but asking others to participate, I should be brave enough to ask if someone is interested, right? I am going to face my fears and reach out to local nonprofits and network. I am going to find new causes to participate in and keep active with the ones I already donate my time and energy to.
So I think, as a new member to the Passion Planner family I am going to adopt this slogan as bumpers for how I live my life, courtesy of Passion Planner designer Angelia Trinidad. I’m going to take it as a literal challenge, anytime I’m afraid of something. Anytime I have an obstacle standing between me and the goals I’ve outlined in color coded pens in my Passion Planner. Action Cures Fear.
If you’d like to donate to my cause please visit the link below. There are no “small” donations. Every penny goes toward the cause.