We don’t do reflection very well as a society.
We’re so in the moment and on to the next thing, we rarely look back and reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve learned. While there is a destructive kind of obsession with the past, I believe we miss out on learning important lessons and recognizing reasons to be grateful because we are so hyper focused on what is now or next.
As I begin work on my 2015 reflections, I’ve been grateful for the 11,500 or so people who’ve visited this site and learned about how they can overcome their fear and live with greater courage and hope. It’s been a privilege to publish about 70 posts and hear about the impact the tens of thousands of words I’ve published here.
I got one email over the weekend, which was a great reminder of why I write.
“I just want to say thank you for the Overcoming Fear series. It has been an encouragement to me this year which can best be summed up with the word CHANGE, as there is little in my life that still is the same as this year closes.”
As I began working on my 2015 reflections, I thought about this blog.
You know, when I hit publish, I have no earthly idea which posts will move the needle for you and those which will fall flat!
However, Google can always tell me after the fact. I’ve scrolled through my analytics this week to identity the Top 10 posts from 2015. Within these posts, there are some incredible insights worth reflecting back on before we turn the page to a new year. I’ve identified 31 lessons from these 10 posts which I’m excited to share with you. (It’s an ironic number because I turned 31 this year.)
If you missed one of these posts or know someone who needs to read one, I’d encourage to dive back into the archives. As I prepared this list, I was reminded of how much I need this site as I overcome fear daily.
Our 10th Most Popular Post – 3 Voices You Need to Evict.
In this post from February 2015, we explored how who we are is often misshaped by the negative voices in our lives.
1. “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” -Maurice Clarett
2. “Too many of us are frivolous when it comes to the kinds of voices we empower.” -Scott Savage
3. “You are what you consume.” -Colin Cowherd
4. “If you dial into fear-driven voices constantly, you will struggle to live with hope and courage.” -Scott Savage
Our 9th Most Popular Post. Own Your Fears: Interview with Amber Wagner.
In this post from October 2015, international opera singer, Amber Wagner, shared her journey of overcoming fear, both on and off the stage.
5. “Fear is the unknown. The great, dense vapid space that I cannot concretely control.” -Amber Wagner
6. “Being fearful about what someone would think or say is never worth the cost.” -Amber Wagner
7. “Fear gets a louder voice when I don’t take it to my ‘people’ and openly admit the struggle.” -Amber Wagner
8. “Fear gains power and momentum when we stay silent and try and battle it on our own.” -Amber Wagner
Our 8th Most Popular Post – The Two Most Important Words in Your Vocabulary.
In this post from January 2015, we explored the power of our “yes” and our “no”. We looked at boundaries, rhythms, and work/life balance.
9. “Saying ‘yes’ to everything that comes our way will not produce comedy (like it did for Jim Carrey’s character) but rather tragedy.” -Scott Savage
10. “Those who can’t respect our boundaries are telling us that they don’t love our no’s. They only love our yeses, our compliance.” -Henry Cloud
11. “You say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.” -Lysa TerKeurst
Our 7th Most Popular Post – What if Your Inner Voice is Your Own Worst Enemy?
In this post from February 2015, we explored the power of the voice within our own heads.
12. “The greatest battle you may face is not forgiving someone else. The greatest battle many of us face is forgiving ourselves.” -Scott Savage
13. “Honesty leads to freedom.” -Scott Savage
Our 6th Most Popular Post – Want to Quit? 5 Habits to Keep Us Going.
In this post from May 2015, we explored what to do on those days when we lose perspective and think about throwing in the towel.
14. “Gratitude doesn’t change your circumstances; gratitude changes your perception of your circumstances.” -Scott Savage
15. “Every story of success is a story of community.” -Jeff Goins
16. “Discovering how far you’ve come fuels you to keep going.” -Scott Savage
17. “People lose their way when they lose their why.” -Gail Hyatt
Our 5th Most Popular Post – 9 Myths We Believe About Forgiveness (And How Busting Them Can Help Us Find Freedom).
In this post from February 2015, we explored the most common (and most dangerous) lies we believe about forgiveness.
18. “When it comes to forgiveness, our bad beliefs prevent us from experiencing the real thing.” -Scott Savage
19. “Our ability to give forgiveness is connected to the depth of forgiveness we’ve received.” -Scott Savage
20. “Forgiveness is a decision AND a process.” -Scott Savage
Our 4th Most Popular Post – Lessons from My Cancer Battle: Interview with Christy Brosman.
In this post from October 2015, my friend and assistant, Christy Brosman, bravely shared about her two battles with ovarian cancer.
21. “When you see God’s providence, it gets easier to not give in to fear.” -Christy Brosman
22. “When I come to the end of myself, God’s grace is sufficient for me.” -Christy Brosman
23. “Be a blessing by recognizing someone else’s pain.” -Christy Brosman
Our 3rd Most Popular Post – Social Media, Affirmation and Validation.
In this post from March 2015, we explored the danger of mixing social media use with our insecurity.
24. “However, the dark side of social media is that likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites, followers, friends, visitors, page views, and subscribers become a way to measure our value.” -Scott Savage
25. “When I realize I’m looking for people I don’t know to let me know if I’m okay, something is off.” -Scott Savage
26. “If you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.” -John Candy in Cool Runnings
Our 2nd Most Popular Post – On the Edge: An Interview with Joanie Faust.
In this post from December 2015, my friend, Joanie Faust, shared about her struggles with miscarriage and her lessons as the mother of a young toddler.
27. “As much as humans are equipped to be afraid, we’re also equipped to be courageous.” -Joanie Faust
28. “We are all walking around completely terrified and once you admit that, the fear starts to go away.” -Joanie Faust
Our Most Popular Post of 2015 – Lessons from the Voice: An Interview with Valerie Peterson.
In this interview from November 2015, my friend and talent manager for NBC’s hit show The Voice, Valerie Peterson, shared about what she’s learned about fear while watching contestants pursue their dreams.
29. “The great thing is, just like we all have the similar doubts and fears, deep down we all have courage and it only takes a spark to light it on fire.” -Valerie Peterson
30. “You just have to be conscious that you’re not leaning on tomorrow as an excuse for today.” -Valerie Peterson
31. “Fear is a terrible form of self-sabotage.” -Valerie Peterson
Thank You for being such a generous community of readers! Your comments, shares and emails have been incredibly helpful and encouraging.
What are your 2015 Reflections?
I hope you pause long enough over the next few days to reflect on where you’ve been and mine your experience for the wealth of wisdom it provides. We waste our lives when we don’t stop long enough to learn from our mistakes and our success.
I’d love to read your 2015 reflections. If you post some online, send them my way. I’d love to know how this post (or others on this site) have provoked you this year!