Everything You’ve Got | Year of Courage
The New England Patriots are going to the Superbowl.
I know, I know. If you aren’t from New England, chances are you’re miffed, upset, and annoyed that TB12 and crew are heading to the Superbowl for the 3rd year in a row (and for the 10th time in his career.) I can understand why that might be a little bit of a bummer for fans outside of Boston (which is why last year’s super bowl loss wasn’t as big of a heartbreak as previous losses were – I was okay to share the trophy with the Eagles.) But, as a girl who grew up 45 minutes outside of Boston, who spent every Sunday afternoon watching the Patriots with her dad and learning the game inside and out, and who met several of her favorite players the year she was sick, I couldn’t be happier that we get another Superbowl experience. Being a Patriot’s fan is in my blood, and I hope we can bring the 6th championship home to our city.
But, this post isn’t about the Patriots or the goat, Tom Brady. It’s about the lesson I learned from watching them this year (and specifically during the AFC championship on Sunday.) It’s about the mantra that they are chanting, posting, and repeating during the playoff season. It’s about my year of courage and how I’m really trying to take it into stride in 2019.
Everything You’ve Got
Looking back on last year, I realized that there was a lot of time in my life where I was doing the bare minimum. And sometimes, I had to do the bare minimum to survive the circumstances I was handed. However, there were a LOT of times where I was in a really healthy and safe space in terms of life and I was STILL doing the bare minimum. When working on a project, or faced with a new idea, I found myself just completing the essentials, or stopping myself from going the extra mile. Why? I was (and still am) afraid! I’m afraid of failure! I’m afraid of what other people might think or say! I’m afraid of wasting my time working on something and not seeing the results that I hoped to see. I’m afraid of putting my heart and soul into something that might not take off in the way I dreamed.
So, I hold back.
I try just a little.
I stop myself short.
I push off my ideas and plans and think “maybe next week, maybe next month” but never get to them.
I sit in my fear.
I find myself watching the days go by, and watching everyone else around me accomplish the things they set out to do (both big and small) and before I know it, months have passed by and I find myself wondering “what if?” What if I pushed myself a little bit harder? What if I tried out that idea? What if I gave it everything I’ve got?
The New England Patriots looked questionable this year – compared to previous years. They lost games that they shouldn’t have lost. People doubted them. Sportscasters claimed that Brady was finally showing his age, that they didn’t have any star playmakers, that they didn’t have the defense to stop other teams. The stream of doubt and hate was relentless and neverending. Even I said to Dustin multiple times: “This isn’t a Superbowl year.” I doubted that they would be able to turn things around and make it through the playoffs (especially against the likes of the KC Chiefs.)
But, in true New England form, they put their heads down, they blocked out the noise, they put in the work, and they gave it everything they had. They put everything out there on the field and they walked away with a ticket to the Superbowl. They could have easily given up. But they kept. going. and they kept. giving. everything they had. You can love ’em or hate ’em (and you probably hate ’em) but I’m sure you can find something admirable in that. Even if they HAD lost, they would have walked away knowing they gave it their all, instead of wondering “what if?”
2019 is my year of courage. It’s time to find the courage to block out the noise, to put my head down, and to show up with everything I’ve got. I need to face my fears (of failure, of others, of change) and dig deep to find my courage. I am tired of wondering “what if” or looking back and feeling like I missed out on opportunities and wasted time. I want to end every day knowing that I gave it EVERYTHING that I’ve got. That might look different every day, depending on circumstances, but as long I find the courage to show up and try, I’ll be making significant progress over where I was last year.
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So. There we are. Win or lose, sink or swim, I’m challenging myself (and you) to find your courage this year and to give it everything you’ve got. This is my second-chance life and I’m going to do my best to make it as courageous and as vibrant as possible. Will you join me?