I have a challenge for you. It relates to an intention I’m making.
Of the many useful elements of character, the one that is core to nearly every great action in the world is boldness. Boldness is the mark of a hero, the flag of a revolution, and the foundation of legacy.
When you’re bold, you do not allow past failures to tether you – and those failures even become a source of strength. When you’re bold, fear of what people think shrinks away. When you’re bold, perceptions and preconceptions of possibility do not limit you.
Boldness takes actions of wisdom and mindfulness and gives them focus and power. It lets them have impact on the world.
And without that boldness? The fear is oppressive – robbing you of an ability to unleash your best work in the world. It’s no way to live.
But how does one develop the quality of boldness? How do you become more confident?
By consistently acting as though you were already bold.
There’s a place for doing inner work. Practices like meditation, self-reflection, freewriting, and the like are valuable. Meditation cultivates a friendliness for yourself. Freewriting gives you a look into the narratives playing inside your mind. Self-reflection helps identify the fears and scripts that hold you back.
Yet they are not enough. Cultivating boldness requires outer work.
You can sometimes manufacture an emotion and then use that to direct your actions, but often, it’s more effective to do the actions first and use that to direct your emotion. The way to become bold then, is to act bold first, and let those actions rewrite the narrative in your head.
At the end of each action, you can look and realize you’re still OK. Despite all of your previous fear and anxiety, you’re still alive. And that realization makes you bolder.
I intend to get in the habit of doing this every day. I’m making it a personal mission.
The action doesn’t have to be big. It could be starting a conversation with someone I wouldn’t normally talk to. It could be asking a stranger for help – or for that matter, asking anyone for help. Such seemingly small steps are helpful to practice with because there is no unrecoverable downside – no solid ground for fear to cling to.
But I’m going to need your help.
In the comments below, offer a straightforward challenge that pushes my limits. As long as it’s within reason – doesn’t violate my values or principles, etc. – I’ll do it.
Before my fear gets the better of me, I’m putting this up. Here’s my intention. Bring it on.
PS: If you’re feeling particularly bold yourself, join me.