This year has been an incredible year. I've been so blessed to meet so many awesome people who have inspired me in ways they will never know. It's always so refreshing to meet people who have similar interests to yours because the conversations you have with these people keep your spirit burning. This year I spent a lot of time working with a friend of mine whom I have known since grade two. We went to the same school in Zimbabwe and now we study in the same city here in Brisbane. He is so driven and married to his goals its insane. He's the kind of person that does not let you slack and will always push you to do better in a very encouraging way. Friends like these are such keepers!

I think we all need that once in a while because as much as we may have dreams and set goals, sometimes we don't always push ourselves to the max for whatever reasons. So if you surround yourself with people that won't let you slack you will go further.

My reasons for slacking often always revolve around fear; Fear of succeeding and not being able to handle the pressure or weight that comes with success. Fear of not succeeding and having to face failure.

In a speech to more than 10,000 women at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston, Lupita Nyong'o shared with the crowd 7 tools she uses to overcome fear. These tools have forced me to look at fear differently:

  1. Recognize and articulate your fears. Then look for what you love and articulate that to yourself and others. Do this often and your love will grow stronger than your fear.
  2. Reach out to your stretcher bearers. Using a Biblical reference, Lupita urged women to have at least four stretcher bearers. These are people who will carry you to safety when you can’t do it yourself. They will remind you that you are not alone when your emotions get the best of you.
  3. Ask questions. And ask them of yourself and for yourself, then listen everywhere for the right answers. Take reading recommendations from people you respect. Fight Your Fear and Win by Dr. Don Greene helped Lupita muster the courage to attend Yale.
  4. Write down your dreams and goals. On May 4, 2012, Lupita wrote in her diary that she wanted to make meaningful films that effect change in people’s understanding of and commitment to the world we live in. Within weeks, she had booked 12 Years a Slave.
  5. Breathe. Meditate, pray, be still with your soul.
  6. Go forward and allow failure to be an option. In her book Radical Acceptance, Tara Brach explores the teachings of Zen Master Seng-Ts’an, who professes that true freedom is being without anxiety about imperfection. No one who has succeeded has not also failed.
  7. Repeat it all. With each new challenge, expect yourself to learn these lessons again and again. Although things may never be truly comfortable,they do become more familiar.

So next week I am onto my next adventure, I'll be traveling to Sydney for work and again, I have to let go of fear and just embrace life as it comes. I have my friends and family to thank for this. You guys are so amazing and I have nothing but love for you all.