Updated: Mar 11, 2020
That’s what it said but what did that mean? This can’t be right. I thought I was bold, adventurous, daring, all of that good stuff. I fly planes, I’ve climbed mountains, I’ve done all sorts of bold stuff. I do the stuff that moves you towards a big goal, where was this coming from and what did it mean?
What is it to be bold?
(of a person, action, or idea) showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous.
"a bold attempt to solve the crisis"
synonyms: daring, intrepid, courageous, brave, valiant, fearless, unafraid, undaunted, dauntless, valorous
(of a colour, design, or shape) having a strong, vivid, or clear appearance.
"a coat with bold polka dots"
synonyms: striking, vivid, bright, strong, eye-catching, conspicuous, distinct, pronounced, prominent, obvious, outstanding, well marked, showy, flashy, gaudy, lurid, garish
I took another sip of my coffee and thought about areas of my life where I am not bold, where I allow myself to be lead, to be directed, when I am afraid to step forward, to take action or unable to make a decision, the times when I hold back.
Common to every single human on earth is that that we live with the 3 Universal Fears:
1. The fear not belonging or being loved
2. The fear of not being enough
3. The fear of being found out.
For a tiny minority of us, these fears have only a small effect on how we live our lives but for the vast majority of humans, one or more of these fears play a part in everything we do. For some, these fears paralyse them into inaction and keep them stuck and living a life they may ultimately come to regret.
I have a fear of success
The funniest thing I ever heard during my study of mindset and the effect on human behaviour is the concept of ‘being afraid of success’. I chuckled to myself when I first learned of this and thought, “Who on earth is afraid of success?!”. That’s like being afraid of kittens or puppies, don’t be ridiculous. Everyone wants success in one or more areas of their lives, don’t they?
Sure they do, but after thinking more about this concept I soon realised that I suffer from the fear of success at least on some level. What if my new business is wildly successful and I start to create a wide sphere of influence and what if I start to make a difference and people really love what I do and what I share? What will this mean for my personal life, for my professional life? Will I be able to give my leagues of followers what they want all the time? What if I can’t, what if I let them down? What will they think of me and what will happen when they find out that I don’t know everything in the way they thought? What will they think of me then? What will be written about me, said about me around the water cooler, in tweets and at dinner parties?
Will anyone be left on my side, loving me, thinking my stuff is great and that I am good enough and smart enough?
I then realised this fear has been quietly stopping me from moving forward with my business planning and actions. They have been undermining my goal and chewing on my shoes like a puppy. Sure I have made some good moves in the right direction and have moments of boldness and tenacity but I don’t own it. I’m holding my most important life goal at arm’s length. Proof of this is my website, which I’m quite proud of, that has been ready to launch for a few weeks now but I’m holding off publishing, putting it and myself out there, for some pretty dumb reasons.
If I am to become bold then I need to become someone who is fearless and unafraid, someone who doesn’t give a puppy’s paw what anyone else thinks, is confident with what she has to put out there and comfortable with herself to make the best decisions and to take the action needed to reach her goals.
To be bold is to be vulnerable. That’s an interesting one, isn’t it? To be innovative and creative is bold but it is also to be vulnerable.
Brene Brown, who in my opinion is the world’s foremost expert on vulnerability says,
“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”
So being bold is not ugly or crass and it’s not to be arrogant. It’s to really own your shit, love it and forgive yourself for whatever has gone in the past. Being bold is knowing that it’s a sign of strength to ask for help and linking arms with those who can give you guidance and support.
Being bold is not a once-off or a decision you make sometimes, it’s a commitment to backing yourself at all times and know that what you do and say matters.
Being bold is to be all in and to do the things needed to make stuff happen. That might mean you stand out from the crowd, but isn’t being noticed what you want and need to grow a business?
Being bold is to be yourself, to have a point of difference that is uniquely you and love that thing the way a puppy loves it’s owner, unconditionally and without judgement. Being bold also means you need to own the failures. Yeah, so you’ll make some mistakes, get over it. A set back or something that someone said about you is not the reason to stop.
Someone who’s bold dusts themselves off and without emotion works out what needs to be done differently. They tweek the compass setting and sail in a new direction.
I know that committing to being bold is not an easy step, you need to stop second guessing yourself and self-sabotaging. It’s not just wearing the t-shirt.
I’ve had a coach for some time now. She is helping me to really understand where my boldness went, how to reclaim it and what’s been holding back the bold woman that lives inside me.
I’m well along on my journey and the boldness is starting to shine through. I know that I’ve achieved another level of boldness when I publish this on my website for all to see.
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