I like to live my life the way I like my coffee: bold, strong, multi-faceted and somewhat sweet, with a touch of indulgent, creamy goodness. The above quote really caught me because as I look back over the last few years, I see that through some difficult times and struggles, I have found my rhythm, I am living my life with intention, and I have become bolder. I still have goals I want to reach, and aspirations that need attention. I am a work in progress and have experienced a few blips on the radar screen, but as I observe where I am, I see that I have reached down inside of myself and accessed my strength, even, or maybe especially, in my more fragile moments.
If you really know what you want from life, and you are secure in who you are, you will live your life according to your own principles, and you will get your needs met. Make no mistake, diplomacy is key in most situations, and in no way do I mean to say that you should conduct “in-your-face” confrontations to get what you want from life. The boldness I speak of is derived from internal strength, virtue and goodness that cannot be easily shaken, and possesses a beautiful, warm subtlety.
A friend recently observed that some people’s confidence comes from within and some externalize their confidence to cover up what they are lacking in strength. I understand that one must derive boldness from an internal source in order to go anywhere, let alone to the unknown. In-your-face feels abrasive and uncomfortable, and does not represent true strength or courage; in fact, that kind of behavior usually masks insecurities and fear.
I am very fond of quiet strength. I believe that in knowing who we are, solidly grounded in our own foundation, we can be bold. In my youth, I had what I call “fake strength” that presented as cockiness, and a little bit as steam roller. It was a feeble attempt to protect myself from getting hurt, to build a tough exterior and prevent anyone from getting close to me. However, with life experience and maturity, I have learned to be quietly bold, and to let down that barrier and just be myself. To me, boldness sometimes means planting a seed, sometimes I “just do it” in spite of my fears; yet other times, it means standing tall in the face of something that seems threatening or scary.
Have you discovered your bold self? Are you ready to make some progress and move forward? If so, then keep reading. If you want to boldly take yourself where you have never been before, to where you really want to be, try this on for size.
“If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” - Dr. Shaun Marler
1. Listen to Your Inner Voice. It is not always easy to know which way to move or where to place your foot in order to take the next step. It may take some time to figure that out. Take a few minutes to listen to your inner voice, and really listen to what it is telling you.
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Dr. Benjamin Spock
Pay attention to your feelings, what your inner voice, or “gut” is telling you. When you listen to your internal voice, the part of you that really knows what you need, you can then allow yourself to expand beyond the farthest reaches of what your life has been so far.
2. Be Open to the Unknown. If you give yourself permission to expand, you will inevitably open yourself to all the possibilities, including the wide-open unknown. Meditate, write in a journal, take a class, or find another way to provide yourself the creative freedom to broaden your horizons. As you open yourself up, you will learn to listen to yourself more closely. When you have begun to really listen and trust yourself, you will step forward without fear, because beneath fear and uncertainty lies the inner knowledge that always tells you which step you need to take next. So, open yourself up, dig a little deeper, brace yourself in your core, and move forward.
3. Take a Step. When you know what you want, and you hear the inner voice say it is time to make a change, you will put one foot forward, take just one step, and you will know you are safe to continue. You will only get to where you want to be, however, if you make it happen. You must be the one to put one foot in front of the other and walk.
I once shared part of a recent struggle on Facebook, and when asked if everything was OK, I said, “Oh yes, all is well. Just processing, growing, opening the next chapter and pushing, pulling, crawling, leaping, shoving myself to the next level.”
We all struggle and have moments when we are lacking in confidence, for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reasons, know you are not alone, and keep on going. Move yourself forward, learn from your mistakes, and trudge ahead. Take the first step toward your bold self, learn to be quietly bold, and get yourself where you need to be.
Believe in yourself, trust your instincts, and keep your intention clear. When you are confident in who you are, your boldness will be natural, and you will take the first step effortlessly. May you be virtuous and good, bold and fearless in your life journey.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.