I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions. I never have been. Sure, I’ve made a few half-minded goals that I set aside and forgot about long before I even tried to resolve them. Most of them to change life-long habits; habits that will never change no matter how many January 1’s I see. None of them ever to change my life, just my actions. It’s easy to go on a diet for a few days, to say you’re going to finally get around to finishing all of the books you forgot to read, to be a better person, in general — whatever that means. A pessimist by heart and a cynic by choice, I can see the piles of ashes from the bridges I built with resolutions and then immediately left behind to burn.

But this year, I have one. It’s been haunting me for the past few weeks. I know — the grinch who cried no resolutions, had an epiphany: I want to be fearless. 
I know I live a lot of my life pictorially through this blog. It seems brave, doesn’t it? To put daily photos and thoughts out there for the world to see. (More importantly, my grandmothers to see). But this is a short, edited version of my reality. And, as much as I don’t want to admit it, in most situations I am a coward. I fear not being perfect. I fear not writing the right words. I fear not being the most fashionable blogger of all (which, ahem, I am not). I am afraid of failure almost as much as I’m afraid of success. I fear what I can’t do will keep me from what I can do.  And then I become terrified of “well, what can I do?” Success, no matter how you define it, can be terrifying, possibly more so than failure. But to every thing I fear, which is a few phobias short of literally everything, I bid you farewell. You’ve done nothing but hold me back.

To this year and every year hereafter, I not only pledge to be fearless I pledge to fear less. I will not be afraid of my inabilities nor afraid of my abilities. I will not be afraid of failure or of success. I will not be afraid to be perfectly flawed or completely imperfect. I will not be afraid of life, no matter how big and scary or small and dull it may be. I will be fearless.

Here’s to 2011 and all you may bring.

Bring it on. 

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103 Responses

  1. Great resolution!

    "Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." John Wooden

    Too often I place the value of me "success" in the opinion of others. Let's work on fashioning an antidote. 🙂

    I love your blog! It's an inspiration to beginners like me. Keep up the fabulous work!

    To kicking fear in the butt…CHEERS!


  2. Nice! I totally agree! There's too many things a lot of us don't do in the name of fear. Fear is the biggest self-sabotage there is. I hope we all get over whatever it is we fear, no matter how big or small it is.

    Happy (Fearless) New Year!

  3. Thank you for posting that!! I am making that my resolution as well- I hadnt really thought of a resolution for the year, but you hit the nail on the head. Fear creeps in and likes to torment us all- but we have the ability to refuse it!

  4. Love this resolution! And I think you are well on your way to being fearless! Thanks for inspiring all of us readers daily. Here's to an amazing 2011. – Katy

  5. *applause* I heartily agree with this decision, and have come to similar epiphanies for myself over the past year or so. I think "resolutions" sound too difficult, and invariably end up forgotten or shamelessly abandoned. There needs to be a better word to describe it, like "goal," or something you can works towards. It sounds a lot more accomplish-able 🙂

    Gung ho!

  6. this is a really great goal for the year.
    I think we could all be with being more fearless!! Fear is so debilitating and often unnecessary.
    good luck :]]

    Charlotte xxx

  7. LOVE. so beautifully written. May your resolution find its way into the every day reality of your life, and fight the lingering temptation to burn along the ashes.


  8. Wow – I think you took the thoughts right out of my head! I have all the same thoughts and fears that you've just written about… Afraid of failure, afraid of success that may later lead to failure… a fear of having fun, perhaps? But at the same time, I have all these dreams of what I want to do, but feel like there is something that stands between me and my dreams… Fear? Best of luck in keeping your resolution – writing a blog post about it is the first step – it now reminds you and makes you a little more liable 🙂

  9. This sounds like a line straight out of a book. You are a wonderful writer and an inspiration. Here's to living life to it's utmost potential and leaving behind nothing unconquered. Here's to falling on your but a time or two (or many) in the process. Here's to learning and sometimes making the same mistake twice, only to find out that it actually turned out right the second time around. Here's to laughter and tears and sweat and glory. May you look back at the tide of 2012 with a sense of overwhelming satisfaction that you left no road untraveled in 2011. Cheers to 2011. May it be your boldest year yet!

  10. I like what you said. Fear is one of my biggies too… it's true people can be afraid of the greatness in themselves. Of success. Fear of standing out because of a gift etc… Good stuff.

  11. This post inspired me more any other post on any other blog ever has. Every day I look forward to reading your blog and getting a good laugh. But today I really payed attention to each and every word. And I think I want that to be my New Year's resolution too. I mean, it's about time I stopped being afraid of everything… Failure, change, the dark. Thank you Kendi!


  12. You hit the nail on the head! I've been doing some thinking about this as well, and couldn't quite put my finger on what it was I wanted to achieve this year. I want "success" so badly (or, should I say, what I think is success…other people may not agree with it, but it's what I want and makes me happy), but I'm crippled by the fear of putting myself out there in the ways that will help me get that success. I'm the biggest coward, and it frustrates me to no end! Well, no more!

    Thanks for articulating what I was thinking. Happy new year!! And best of luck on your resolution.

  13. Wow, a fab resolution. Who was it that said, "the only thing we fear is fear itself"? I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you're planning to face these fears. Happy 2011 Kendi, you're doing a great job.

  14. That sounds like an AWESOME resolution! Go you!

    I started my 'Remixing 2011' project today, totally inspired by your blog. Thank you for that!

  15. Happy new year, kendi! And that's the only resolution we should all be making. Thgere is nothing to stop us in the opportunities of the new year but ourselves and learning to let go of our fears makes all the difference! kudos for the beautiful words! 🙂

    i wander, i wonder

  16. Yay you and the new resolution. It sounds like something I tell myself at the beginning of every year: "I'm not letting fear make my choices for me." Do I? Okay, sure, sometimes… but having made the conscious decision to try to do the opposite makes a universe of difference.

    Good luck to you in this, and much joy in another beautiful year!

  17. I think resolutions are silly and don't make them on NY. But I think goals are great and set lots of them all the time.

    Being fearless will be a tough one to crack. Good luck!

  18. What a frank and eloquent post – and one which I can wholeheartedly relate to. Your sincerity is inspiring, and if you can recognise that, it should help you fight your fears. Please don't ever stop having the courage to write so beautifully on your blog!

  19. This is awesome. To be fearless and to fear less … something I need to strive for more. Thank you for this post, for putting yourself out there, and for your inspiration! Happy New Year!

  20. Oh how I love your resolution. I have had the same outlook you have had and I feel like this year needs to be different. This year needs to be fearless. Fears of our inabilities and like you said, our abilities hold us back from happiness. And, well. It just plain sucks. So let's kick fear straight in the face this year!! This year I am going to try to live with no fear! <3 Thanks for the inspiration!.. (again!) 🙂

  21. It's like you're in my head and can eloquently translate what I feel into a beautiful post. I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you that your blog is my favorite, ever. Now you know I've been loving you from afar, so hopefully you won't consider a restraining order.

  22. What an awesome thing to strive for. Your post made me think of all the things I also fear. And the list is long.

  23. Kendi-

    I emailed you a week or so ago about your hair color because I have always wanted to dye my hair brown but never had the courage. I decided to bite the bullet and try today and I love it. So glad I took the chance you know? One day hair color the next..who knows.

    Have you read the book "Feel the fear and do it anyway?" It's kind of a "self help" book, and if you can get past that label, it's got some really good strategies that one can use to be more fearless in their everyday life. I recommend it. Good luck to you! So glad I found the blog, I hope you keep writing pieces like this. 🙂

  24. LOVE this post. I've come to the same realization about myself lately. My fear of just about everything really stops me from doing so much and fully enjoying life. Here's to failing and having fun doing it.

    Meow & Mwah

  25. I agree with what you said about resolutions. I think if something needs to change, people need to make the change no matter what day it is, and make it a lifestyle modification. Being fearless and choosing to fear less, is a beautiful thing to strive for and I wish you well on that! 🙂



  26. this is truly the perfect resolution. as weird as it sounds, i can completely relate when you say you're afraid of success. it almost sounds like some strange backwards thinking, since success is supposed to be exciting. it's too hard for me to put into words, but basically, i completely relate. happy 2011!

  27. oh how i adore new years resolutions 🙂 good luck with yours! also…i started following your blog a little bit ago and it's basically the most precious thing ever. i love it and it inspires me to remix my wardrobe. so THANK YOU! i will probably join you next time you do a 30 for 30 🙂


  28. Did you ever learn the sunday school tune "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine"? That could be your theme song.

  29. I think that one resolution can lead to a bunch of other changes as well; it's well-put. 🙂

  30. I hear ya, sister. I took a quiz in "O" Magazine a couple of months ago to determine "What's Holding (Me) Back" and apparently, I'm afraid of success. It was a surprise to me as far as what the fear was called, but the description certainly sounded like me.

    Kudos to you for being honest enough with yourself to realize your fear (without having to read a magazine quiz to figure it out).

    Keep in mind, as you probably already know, that fear is sometimes a good thing – it often causes us to react. It's the combination of fear and inaction that keeps us exactly where we are.

    All the best for the new year and good luck with the pledge. You have hundreds of followers that will hold you accountable 😉

  31. I think that to be fearless is one of the BEST resolutions I've ever heard.

    And, I don't think there's such a thing as a single *most* stylish person in the world. You always look great, and very put-together, which I envy, so if you feel good too, who cares if you're not perfect?

    I bet the people in your life love you for all your imperfections as much as they do for your strengths. 🙂

  32. Hurrah, Kendi!
    Even if I only know you in this edited photo-reality, I have to let you know that I applaud your realness and relatability on a daily basis. There is great beauty to someone who wants to share with people and inspire them by what she does every day (and not just what she fantasizes or someone else fantasizes she'd do).

    Cheers to that on the new year.

  33. got to know of your blog from whatwouldanerdwear…and when i read the 'about me' section of yours, i can't help but smile and giggle cause i can relate to "-that you should get pregnant, i started a blog (it's a girl)!

  34. My resolution as well 🙂
    I just started reading your blog, so I'm not sure what your stance is on faith and God and such…BUT, my absolute fav Bible verse this year has been 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

    🙂 Happy new year!

  35. Hell yeah! I've already started it. I dance in public on NYE. Trust me that is a BIG deal. Yay for fearless warrior woman!

  36. This is a great way to kick off the new year. Yours is one of those blogs that I nod my head along with when I'm reading. I love that you're so easy to relate to! Happy New Year, oh fearless one!

  37. A resounding, fist-pumping YES. Great resolution dear, you've got the will and drive to make it a reality. Happy New Year Kendi!

  38. Taking chances is incredibly liberating! Yay for making that decision. Once I realized I was too old to be cool, I stopped worrying about looking ridiculous as I tried new things, and did them poorly. Life is so much more fun now.

    You go for it!

  39. I was the same way. I have let fear be in control for so long and it is such a shame all the great feats of success we never get to accomplish because we are too afraid to try.

    I wish you every success. Fear has no place in your life. Good luck!!

  40. Funny, I pick a word (or words) for each year and this year's is "Be Fearless". Last year was "Leap". Challenging myself to move outside my comfort zone? I think so…. Good luck with your fearless campaign.

  41. Kendi- For weeks now I have been trying to pinpoint what my new year's resolution is and though I had all kinds of examples when someone asked me what it was, I was at a loss. This post sums it up, it is exactly what I have been trying to pinpoint, it is my new year's resolution, so here's to being FEARLESS!!!

  42. I've been struggling with some failure/success thoughts myself, so this really hit home with me… so glad you shared it! Cheers to being fearless!


  43. Great resolution. I was thinking along similar lines when I decided my "mantra" for 2011 was going to be to try my very best to live a courageous life! I think you are doing a great job sharing your passions with the world & you do it with a tone of humor that makes your blog(s) so much fun to read. Happy New Year – without fear!

  44. Love your comments and the way you started the year. You write well, and I happen to love the cynic in you.

  45. LOVE each and every one of these responses. I'm glad I'm not the only coward in the bunch 😉

    I've already done one thing that scares me today. It still scares me, but it's done. So that's fearless right??

  46. I love this. Can I steal your resolution? You articulated beautifully what is less eloquently floating through my head. Thank you!


  47. This sounds like an article in a magazine I just read…shape maybe. Did you read it? 😉 Anyways, here are my thoughts on this topic: You can go places girl! Your blog is the place I go to so I can pretend to know anything about fashion. You are witty and fabulous and true to yourself (as far as I know anyways). Make something of your love for fabulous clothing! When you quit your job I wondered "what will she do now? Something to do with what she does here I'm sure…" the thing is I am so completely clueless when it comes to the entire fashion industry but I know there is a place for you there! Good luck!

  48. Kendi, just had to say that I'm a fairly new reader and this post was amazing. I had a tough 2010 and it left me fearful of so much. Thank you for the inspirational words. I am going to piggy back on your "resolution" and work to be fearless as well. Thanks for sharing and your honesty. I look forward seeing what 2011 brings both of us! Bring it on. 😉

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