Boldness is a way to becoming MORE of yourself by deciding to be DONE with bending over backwards for EVERYONE!
I always say: ‘No matter who you are and what you do, there will ALWAYS be someone who won’t like what you say, the way you say it and sometimes even your reason for saying it.’
So WHY do we feel the need to constantly water down the way we really are?
I remember last year when I put up a Facebook cover photo that said: ‘Fuck Perfection’. A woman who had just friended me on Facebook (a potential client) called me up telling me how deeply unprofessional that type of language is and how she felt that for the type of business I ran, I definitely should not be showing up on Social Media in that way. What did I do next? I immediately removed the image from my Facebook and apologised to her about 15 times. That for me then triggered a mix of feeling embarrassed for being so unprofessional, but also feeling bad about myself for using the ‘F-word’ to make a point. (To be clear, I still respect that person’s dislike to the F-word BUT I personally really LOVE using it.) Perfection really is a screwed-up concept, isn’t it? Feeling the need to be ‘perfect’ all the time can be our own worst enemy, as quite simply, we will never please everyone, and nor should we want to. ‘Perfection’ doesn’t actually exist anyway, so it’s up to us to choose to forge ahead with our ideas, develop integrity and confidence in what we want to say, and learn to ride the waves of the inevitable comments and viewpoints sharing our way of looking at the world will always bring.
I am convinced that there are literally hundreds of speeches that have NEVER been spoken due to a crazy need of wanting to get it ‘right’. Or the need to please everyone in the audience, perhaps thinking ‘they won’t hire me if I am too brave, bold, honest, ‘out there’, or even just too real.’
So what in fact does it mean to really be BOLD?
True boldness is about having the courage to be more of who you really are. Boldness is the opposite of hesitation.
Hesitation impacts your confidence and impacted confidence clearly dilutes the power you have on your audience. I personally admire people who stand-up for what they believe in, even if I might personally believe the exact opposite. As long as they convey their message with intelligence and power, I am in total awe.
From the stage, it´s powerful and inspirational to say ‘I know that my product can change the way people book holidays online’ compared to ‘I think I have created a product that might make your online bookings for holidays much easier.’
Boldness has nothing to do with imposing your viewpoints or actions on others. Instead, it’s about overcoming your fears, creating a powerful sense of self-belief and then taking that brave and bold action.
So how do you cultivate an attitude of bravery if it´s not something that comes naturally to you?
1. Don´t try to get EVERYONE to like you.
As I mentioned earlier, no matter who you are and what you do, there will ALWAYS be someone who won´t like what you say, the way you say it and sometimes even your reason for saying it. Get to the core of your message, ask yourself ‘What do I REALLY stand for?’ and keep sticking to it by reminding yourself WHY you set out on the path you’re creating. You didn’t start doing what you’re doing or developing ideas around your message because you wanted to conform, fit-in, or blend into the background. You started because you wanted to make a difference. Trying to people-please and get everyone to like you won’t make you stand out from the crowd or allow you to find, and play with, your edge, so have the courage to be the brave, bold unedited you that you are.
2. Use DECISIVE language.
I know how tough this can be when you’re first starting out and finding your confidence as a speaker, but ‘faking it until you make it’ can go a long way to helping you here. Be mindful of the language you’re using when creating your presentation and be on the watch for where your self-doubt might unknowingly be coming through in your speaking style. Remove phrases like ‘I think’, ‘maybe’, or ‘I’d like to’, and be more assertive with your phrasing. Back yourself and your ideas and you’ll have an audience that really takes notice no matter whether they agree with your viewpoints entirely or not.
3. Be MEMORABLE by being you.
We can practice being confident and speaking boldly, but if our key message is watered down, our message might not be remembered. What’s the one thing you want your audience to remember and how do you want them to FEEL after you’ve delivered it? This is crucial when it comes to defining your key message. Work towards defining what you want to say in a succinct sentence. You can use that sentence multiple times in your speech so your message really sinks in with the listener and allows you to lean into that bravery and boldness even more.
Above all, be brave enough to be HONEST about who you are, what you believe in, and back yourself and your views. None of us are perfect [F*** PERFECTION] but when your passion shines through in what you say, people will listen to and respect you no matter what they think or feel about what you’re saying.
Loads of LOVE, Annik & Little Pony