Every day you have the opportunity to take risks and demonstrate your willingness to act with confidence, courage and love as you strive to have a positive impact on your co-workers, clients, family and friends. In fact, your success and well-being depend on your ability to consistently choose to act boldly when those moments of truth arrive.
The opposite of being bold is being afraid. Fear is a very powerful emotion and one that is essential to our survival. Your brain creates feelings of fear every time you think about moving out of your comfort zone. Fear can save your life. However, an untrained brain doesn’t distinguish the risks that are life-threatening from the ones that just cause you to be embarrassed.
No matter where you fall on the boldness scale, you can get better at being bold.
Here are 3 practices that will help you be bolder today than you were yesterday:
Be clear that your purpose in life is to serve others. Each of us was born with unique, God-given talents that need to be developed and used to serve others today…not tomorrow. There are people who need your product and service now. Take a risk and call them. You have co-workers, family and friends that could benefit from what you do best. Do something positive for them today. Don’t wait for someone to ask for your help. Be proactive. Always look for new ways to boldly serve with confidence, courage and love.
Base your actions on your commitments…not your feelings. Your feelings go up and down all day. You will never act with boldness if you wait till you feel like being bold. Practice getting yourself to take positive action when your thoughts and feelings try to convince you to wait. The next time you have a fear that tries to stop you, identify one thing you can do immediately that’s a little outside your comfort zone and just do it. Bold action causes negative feelings to vanish and strengthens your ability to take positive action in the future.
Look bold. After you take action in the face of fear, you feel great. You did what needed to be done and your body language tells your world you did it. Your speech, facial expression, body posture and gestures are powerful and positive. In sports, winning teams around the world throw their arms up in a symbolic “V”, which is a universal sign for victory. Even blind athletes in the Special Olympics make the same gesture when they win, and they’ve never seen anyone else do it. There is a good chance you act in similar ways when you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. The good and bad news is being powerful or powerless is influenced by our posture. If you want to be bolder, look bolder. Before you act, hold your head up, put your shoulders back, smile, take deep breaths, stretch your arms in a “V” high over your head, and you will act with more confidence, courage and love. If you want to feel depressed, put your head down, slouch your shoulders, stop smiling, and take shallow breaths. Within minutes, you’ll feel bad and talk yourself out of doing your best to serve others. The negative body language I’ve just described is exactly the posture that is created when you’re looking at your smart phone. I’m sure your intent is to be more productive, but you’re unconsciously putting your body in a depressed state.
You can be bolder today than you were yesterday and bolder tomorrow than you were today if you add those 3 practices to your daily routine and follow this 200-year old advice from the German writer Goethe:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin