What I Learned from My Word of the Year

For the past three years, instead of setting goals for the new year, I have focused on choosing one word to guide my year.  See more here or here .

For 2018, I chose the word “Confidence.” At the time, I had really been wrestling with this aspect of my personality. I did not feel confident. I felt small and disconnected. I was tired of feeling that way, so I thought confidence would be a good choice.

As most things, I forgot about my word for awhile. Life got hectic, I was working most of the time, and my thoughts were elsewhere. Then, around May, I began seeing posts shared by friends about confidence, self care, and awareness. I remembered my word, and I began to be more intentional about focusing on it for myself.

I began by describing myself as confident. I began noticing how I interacted with others. I listened to how others described me. I read how others described other people who I found to be confident.

Confidence gets a bad reputation.

Confident people are often seen as intimidating, powerful, scary. Confident people take brave actions and show unwavering commitment to their values and priorities. Confident men are often respected and talked about with positive language, while confident women are often seen as brash and discussed with malice, scorn, fear, or distrust. I have seen some shift in this as more people become aware of sexism still rampant in our society, but the slow rate of change is disheartening.

I began to doubt myself. I began to question whether or not confidence was a quality trait to have. I began to question how I should be interacting with my children and raising both confident daughters and confident sons.

The most amazing thing happened. My community began to grow around me. I reached out to my dearest friends and support system. They rallied around me. They showed me positive examples of confident women and men, themselves, and they encouraged me to reclaim my word, my confidence.

I am confident. I see this as a positive trait, an asset as a woman and mom in the 21st century.

I am worthy of being strong and healthy in my emotions, my mind, my physical body, my relationships. I recognize the impact I have on others, but I let go of their response to me. My confidence is a reflection on myself and my journey. I can’t control how they respond in their own life to that. People who see confidence as a negative will continue to do so until they change their mindset and see it as a positive, and that change must come from within oneself, not from anything anyone else can say or do.

I have learned much about myself from my journey in 2018, and I am thankful I chose the word “Confidence” as my guide. It is almost time for me to choose my next word for 2019.

What word would you choose for yourself?  


Dawn lives life to play! Wife to Bryan and mother of four (ages 17, 14, 12, and 8,) she finds what she most enjoys and does it. Bryan tells people she hates a blank calendar; Dawn says she loves a colorful one. With a BA in Theatre and a certificate in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa, Dawn has successfully run two business and volunteered on numerous community theatre Boards of Directors. She currently colors in her calendar with Youngevity confidence consultation appointments, Chamber Singers of Iowa City board meetings, strength training and kickboxing at NLXF-NL, managing the office at BerganKDV, and setting as many dates with friends as she can. Dawn is passionate about respect and intentional choices. She loves coffee with cream, a good wheat beer, seeing someone discover something for the first time, and listening to audio books while driving.


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