What Wearing Dresses for a Month Taught Me

Dressember yoga - camel poseWatching the news and following current events can be overwhelming. It’s easy for me to look at all of the injustices going on in our world and resign myself to just mind my own business — what difference could I make, anyway?

I’m learning that you don’t need to save the world to make a difference.

When I found out about a challenge in December called “Dressember”, I was a little hesitant. To participate, you had to wear a dress every day of the month to raise awareness and money to fight human trafficking. Wearing dresses for an entire month seemed a little much — especially in a PA December!

But to get gusty, sometimes you just need to put yourself out there.

Dressember yoga - headstandI roped one of my good friends into participating in Dressember with me, and we embarked on a month of dress wearing and mourning over our jean and sweatpants withdrawal. I’m not a huge selfie taker, so I also joined an Instagram yoga challenge to give me a reason to post daily about Dressember (and I love yoga, so it was a win-win!).

I was blown away by the support and encouragement of my friends, family, and community during Dressember. I not only met my fundraising goal of $500, but exceeded it to raise a total of $870 to fight human trafficking. Even more valuable to me, however, was people telling me how this challenge inspired them or caused them to do their own research on the issue of human trafficking.

Dressember yoga - arm balanceI read somewhere that awareness doesn’t always cause change, but you can’t have change without awareness. There are millions of people enslaved in human trafficking. Check out International Justice Mission (where the funds raised went) to learn more about the problem and the work they are doing to solve it.

I learned through this challenge that if I waited until I was “ready”, I’d never start. There’s no time like the present, and I’d never know the impact if I had never tried and put myself out there. To get gutsy, I just needed to take the jump! Thanks to everyone who partnered with me through Dressember — you made the dress wearing bearable 😉

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.

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