Earlier this week, I declared a seven day boldness challenge, where the idea was that I would actively choose bold at least once per day for seven days.
It was interesting that, in the days after the challenge, I wasn’t sure that I had successfully taken on the challenge. My attempts at incorporating boldness didn’t seem to be quite as deliberate and obvious as I had intended.
As I reflected on what it meant to choose bold, it occurred to me that I hadn’t actively said at the beginning of each day “Oh, I wonder what I am going to be bold about today”. I also hadn’t consciously stopped and said to myself “This! This is the moment in which I am going to be bold!” Initially, I wondered if this meant that I had neglected to follow through on my declaration. After some reflection, I don’t think that this is the case at all.
I assess that I have been choosing bold, and I feel that my choices have simply been more subtle than I had initially expected. My choice for boldness appears to be coming from my way of being more than from a conscious decision in the moment. I didn’t expect boldness to have made its way into my way of being just yet; I thought it would be more deliberate to start with.
It feels quite cool to look back on the week and observe what has happened since making my declaration.
This week it seems that, in some parts of my life, I am starting to set boundaries around things that I previously would have let slide. This, I think, is choosing bold. I have seen the fear that I may have had in establishing some of those boundaries, and I have gone ahead and set them anyway. I have also become more vocal about things that I feel need a voice. In the past, I wasn’t sure that being vocal was going to be helpful, so I said nothing (which had its own issues). This week, I have been boldly speaking up and people seem to be listening.
Where I have found my biggest display of boldness this week is in my interactions with my coaching colleagues. I have a number of coaching colleagues and friends who so readily share their time with me. For this, I am incredibly grateful. I admire their work, and I respect their years of experience. I see them as wise and knowledgeable and I very much value their opinions and input. What I have learned, however, is that I had developed a habit of devaluing my opinions and input when in their presence. This had everything to do with how I was seeing myself. I saw myself as the junior in the mix, and I was taking that self-image forward into the world, almost apologising for my contribution.
So, I chose bold.
In a catch-up with a colleague, I acknowledged how I felt I had been interacting. I then declared that I was now accepting that my contribution was legitimate and, from now on, I would be interacting as a peer. I described what I felt that meant. We then went on to have what I thought was an amazing conversation that seemed rich and useful. Throughout the conversation, I felt that I was consciously choosing bold and owning who I am (and who I want to be) as a contributor to the coaching world, and I also felt that doing so made a difference to how the conversation unfolded.
In making my declaration to my colleague, what felt huge to me was giving myself permission to interact as a peer, because this meant was that I was going to be backing myself in my interactions. My colleagues were already very much backing me, and had been for a long time. However, I had not been backing myself; it had seemed too risky. Now, I was declaring that I was ready to back myself; the risks were worth it.
It occurred to me that, by choosing bold, I had chosen to no longer give authority to my assessment that my experience and knowledge were worth less than that of my colleagues. Instead, I was going to accept that my different experience and my different knowledge was what made me worthy. What’s more, I was going to value whatever my different experience and different knowledge allowed me to bring to the table. Whatever I bring to the table exists because I am me. In choosing bold, I am giving myself permission to celebrate that.
As I was reflecting on whether I was living up to my boldness challenge declaration, another friend and colleague just happened to mention that none of us has all of the answers and we can all help each other. It occurred to me that, in adding boldness to my way of being, I have given myself permission to accept that I can potentially help others just as much as others can help me. Suddenly, it occurred to me that this is what has been missing for me. I have not been giving myself permission to believe that I can make a difference. This has been true for my interactions with my colleagues, my representation of myself as a coaching offer, even my view of myself in creating this blog. Deanne, be bold. Give yourself permission to believe in yourself.
So, this week, I have been bold enough to give myself permission to believe in myself, and to accept that I can make a difference.
Again, I hear myself repeating those five little words: Thank goodness I chose bold.
- What are some examples of where you have chosen bold this week?
As a leadership and life coach, these points are all points that I am able to help people to explore. If you feel that it would be useful to have a conversation with me, please feel free to view my services on the Leading and Being website.