“I was the least likely person to be adventurous or outgoing,” Kendra Wright pointed out. She grew up in the Midwest and was born with Cerebral Palsy. Most of her childhood was spent in and out of doctor’s offices and learning how to walk, which made her wary of adventure and stepping out of her comfort zone. Her childhood experiences prompted her Year of Fear project and semi-nomadic lifestyle today.
Moving to Austin, Shaking Things Up
Kendra Wright moved to Austin in 2012, while working in the marketing industry. Within her first year here, she fell in love with the quirky events and businesses found in Austin. She decided to dive deep into online business development while starting her Year of Fear in 2013. The stipulations seemed easy on paper: every day for a year, she was determined to do something new, different, and outside of her comfort zone.
It was a huge challenge she was willing to take.
Taking on Challenges During Year of Fear
The Year of Fear project led Wright down different avenues. She woke up one morning at 4 a.m. for a police ride-along with the Austin Police Department, participated in the Lend Your Legs programs for Texas School for the Blind, and volunteered at local soup kitchens, among a year’s worth of other life-changing moments.
While she was accomplishing pretty big things on the outside, inside she was tackling issues like self-esteem. One way she did so was by incorporating skirts into her wardrobe. She had been self-conscious about her legs due to her lifelong condition, and had formerly refused to wear skirts. But between the Austin heat and her determination to get out of her comfort zone, she checked wearing skirts off her list.
Though she took a break from the project in 2014, she focused on getting out of her comfort zone with bigger projects, like moving to Portland for a month (where she didn’t know anyone) to discover what the Pacific Northwest had to offer.
Back in the Live Music Capital of the World, she decided to restart the Year of Fear in 2015, bringing the project to the public. In 2013 and 2014, she had kept the project under wraps. Only a few friends knew what she was doing. But the change in 2015 was Wright’s way of facing one of her biggest fears, as she shared her work with everyone.
Year of Fear Turns Into Lifestyle
Wright has since started a blog and has turned Year of Fear into a lifestyle as she encourages others to get out of their own comfort zones. Her online business and various speaking engagements have taken her all around the globe.
As of now, she’s in an RV with her partner in Minnesota, as the duo travels through the Midwest and Canada. Don’t worry, Austin will get this shining star back before too long.
If you have questions about how to do your own Year of Fear, check out Kendra Wright’s website, HeyKendra.com.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What hurdle would you want to overcome during your own Year of Fear?