She’s here.

Five years after they promised us the hoverboard and nineteen years prior to the take over of robots, during which a cyborg assassin will travel back in time to take out Sarah Conner – 2020 has finally arrived.

For those of us who grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s, 2020 promised a world as shiny and metallic as a stainless steel kitchen work surface from which we could teleport to and from Mars whilst simultaneously preparing a holographic spag bol.

We’d be grown-ups.

We’d have it figured out.

We’d be established and successful and fearless.

This is what makes the entry into 2020 so different to normal new years.

On usual years, January kicks in and body shame-mania kicks the nation’s backside. The glitz of festivities fade, while mince pie guilt and one too many turkey sandwiches stick stubbornly to the midriff. As fat-phobia/debt/dire political forecasts/the cold light of day start to pound our collective psyche with the fisty finesse of Lennox Lewis, we use our final pennies to buy a cross trainer and weakly hope that this time it won’t become just another place to hang our clothes.

Like a mass ground-hog day, we launch into January with promises to cut the carbs, start running, make more money, quit coffee … but not this year. Because this year is 2020. It’s the year that our 8 year old selves BELIEVED we’d be kicking the arse of LIFE and WINNING.

2020 is Different.

And because of this, I sense it requires a different approach.

For me, this different approach comes in the form of intentions/goals/resolutions.

Rather than dreaming up grand visions and expectations from myself (in a similar way my 8 year old did)  I am using this year to sever the fears that are holding me back.

The sneaky fears that, for years, have stopped me actually growing into the person that I dreamed I would become.

The fears that I assumed would have been overcome by now, but haven’t been, because I’ve been too busy expecting my future self to have them sorted.

The fears that have been floating around for ages and are stale and boring and dull but still limit me from doing the things I want to do.

Now, obviously, fear isn’t the most welcome house guest in our lives but in truth fear is the house guest who is going to most powerfully change our life.

By becoming intimate with our fears means that we are prepared to recognise where we are afraid to go and seeing that this is the framework of who we “allow ourselves to be”. Anything that we consider to be too challenging or too risky, is threatening our comfort zone – our familiar sense of self – so therefore our fears are something we have to confront in order to continue to grow as people.

When we’ve allowed fears to hold us back, entire swathes of our potential are chained to the ground. When we conquer and push through our fears, we experience greater and greater levels of freedom.

This year, 2020, is the last year of my 30s.

Therefore, I am setting myself a challenge called “Forty Before Forty” in which I plan to conquer 40 of my fears. Some of these fears are activities such as fast motorway driving and getting lost in the London Underground. Other fears are social – for example, fears of confrontation or not expressing my full truth in an attempt to become acceptable in another person’s eyes.

It turns out that when you look at your fears through a magnifying glass, the concept of what “makes a fear” becomes blurry. So, for the sake of Forty Before Forty, I’m focusing on the fears that somehow limit me manifesting my full potential as a person (as opposed to fears of, say, something happening to a person that I love).

I’m not expecting this exercise to be easy. The reality is that when we’re birthing anything, from a baby, to a creative project to a new sense of self, that growth is painful. It hurts. However, whilst growth can be painful and scary, the suffering endured by staying the victim of our limiting ideas and beliefs about ourselves is far more uncomfortable.

And I ain’t having it anymore.

Cos I’m a grown up. And it’s 2020. And Marty’s promised hoverboard never showed up, but I’m going to.

What about you? Have you changed/upped your game for 2020 at all?

Which fear limits your life the most and how would you/your world be different without it? Write it down. Challenge yourself to overcome it.

Dare you?!

This year, whatever you choose to do, be, have and create, I’d like to say a big old thank you for continuing to orbit this little pocket of the internet and I’d also like to wish you a very …

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