Do you consider yourself bold? Some of us do, but most people I know and work with, myself included, admit that they don’t often think of themselves as a bold person. Or, if we’ve done or said bold things in our lives, they seem to be few and far between…and they also seem to scare us half to death. Hence, we often don’t find ourselves being bold in life – or not nearly as much as we’d like.
Being bold, while scary and challenging for many of us, is essential if we’re going to live an authentic life. Boldness is about stepping up and stepping out onto our “edge” in life – pushing the limits of what we think is possible or appropriate. It’s about living, speaking, and acting in ways that are both courageous and true to who we really are.
Because we’re all unique, our individual versions of boldness will look quite different. Something that might be “bold” for me, may not be so for you – or vice versa. Being bold has to do with us getting in touch with our deepest truths, passions, and desires in life and then having the courage to live and act “out loud” in a way that is congruent with this.
Here are five key reminders of what it takes to be bold in life:
1) Be True to Yourself – Tell and live your truth with courage, vulnerability, and commitment. We must also remain in a constant inquiry with ourselves about who we are and what’s important to us. It’s okay and necessary in this process to admit when we’ve made a mistake, gone off course, or done something that’s out of integrity for with ourselves, as well as if we feel totally lost (which we will at times). Being true to who we are is about being ruthlessly honest and forgiving with ourselves (and with others) in a way that is both fierce and compassionate.
2) Live with Passion – Passion comes from within us, not from the external circumstances, events, activities, or people in our lives. Being bold is about going for it, not holding back, and giving ourselves fully to our work, our relationships, and our lives. To do this we must generate authentic passion, which is both a powerful emotion as well as a state of being as well.
3) Step Out – Challenge yourself to say and do things that are outside of your comfort zone and that scare you. This will force you to “step out” in your life and step in to who you really are. We often don’t think we’re “ready,” we sometimes don’t know exactly what we’re supposed to do, and we almost never have a guarantee that things will work out. So what! As Ray Bradbury famously said, “Jump, and build your wings on the way down.”
4) Lean on Others – Support, inspiration, and accountability from other people are essential along our journey of boldness and authenticity. We can’t do it all by ourselves and it’s imperative that we reach out to others who believe in us, will tell us the truth, and can help us when we get stuck. Create a “dream team” of powerful and supportive people around you who you can share your hopes, dreams, and ideas with. And, be willing to ask for and receive their support, contribution, and generosity.
5) When You Fall Down, Get Back Up – It’s important to make peace with the fact that you will fall down, probably a lot, if you’re really going for it and playing big in life. How we respond to falling down is what truly makes the difference in our lives. When we make a commitment to ourselves to get back up, dust ourselves off, be real about how we feel and what happened, and not let it stop us from being who we are and going for what we want – we tap into what true power, boldness, and authenticity are all about!