If you’ve seen me perform you wouldn't think I was a shy person, but although I love people, I’m not really an extrovert. I have to push past my fear of rejection and the sometimes very strong desire to stay in my comfort zone and isolate myself. I know I was created to live in relationship with others, and to thrive in community. So regardless of my feelings, I make healthy decisions not based on my emotions, but on what is right for me.
That takes courage!
So here are my tips on being BOLD -
Take time to get to know yourself. If you don’t know who you are, you don’t know how to take care of yourself, to fight for yourself and to engage with the world.
Find out what your passions are. Write them down, speak them out, share them with your friends, explore, research, workshop, experiment. Getting to know yourself is sometimes trial and error. Give things a go and they either make your heart tick… or they don’t. And if they don’t, that’s cool - move on and try something else.
Acknowledge your insecurities and hurts. Do you have some baggage from your past that you need to address? Do you need to get some help to deal with it? Do you have some behaviours in your life that you want to change? Addictions? Thought patterns? Negative self-talk? I am a big fan of asking for help. I never used to ‘coz I had it all together, right? Wrong!
I needed help to unpack my mind and my heart. I needed someone with fresh eyes and ears to help me pull apart some dysfunctions in my life that I had thought were functional. Asking for help is a sign of strength.
Gather people for advice. In life you will find yourself at different crossroads. You will need to make decisions - sometimes bold, life-changing ones (for me - quit my job, moved interstate, invested thousands of dollars). There is great wisdom in asking for sound advice before making a call.
You don’t want to suddenly have a massive hurdle in your life, need to make a decision straight away and you look around and you’ve got no one there! Do the hard work now, so you have people in your corner for when the circumstances arise.
I’m not saying that you talk the ear off every Tom, Dick and Harry. Us girls (especially) are very good at that. We seem to talk about everything to everyone, because the more we talk about it the more it becomes clear in our minds what we need to do. But the thing is… it actually matters who you share your thoughts with.
Be careful you don’t just gather ‘yes’ people - friends who will say what you want them to say because they just don’t want to offend you or are very biased in their opinions.
I’m a big fan of mentors. Mine have changed over the years as my seasons have come and gone. Currently I have four that I regularly call on, for different areas of my life. These people love me enough to say the hard things - sometimes things that I don’t want to hear.
My mentors are ahead of me in life (experience and years) and their lives reflect what they speak. So I love simply learning from them. I have relationships with them that take time to grow and trust. But I promise you… sooo worth the investment.
Be prepared to face your fears because at the end of the day… fear is just fear! Seriously, say it with me - fear is just fear. Fear will always be there. Fear will always whisper little lies in your ear. Fear will always remind you of what you don’t have, who you could have been, what you can’t do and that you are not enough.
Do yourself a favour and learn the art of kicking fear up the bum, out on the curb, and run over it with your sass and grit. Yup… it’s time to get your warrior on!
Facing your fear is not a walk in the park. It takes courage, guts, rolling up your sleeves… and I still like to think that I have good hair and a slick of lip-gloss doing it… especially when in public!
Fear wants to control you, bind you, make you seize up, hold your breath and paralyse you. Fighting fear means doing everything in your power to laugh, smile, feel free, alive and enjoy where you are. Be present. Be open. You might just surprise yourself.
So there you have it. Some simple tips. Yeah… there are probably more, but these are key for me. So be bold enough to process them and apply them to your life.
Remember… there’s no timeline on this. I’m a grown woman and I’m still figuring this out. Take your time, be patient and kind to yourself. But know that when you put in the hard work, it will release you for greater things. I can’t wait to see what victories you will live out!
Can you relate to Vita? Are you a shy lady who has to push herself out of her comfort zone?
What are you tips for being bold?
Read more from Vita's blog here.