I just watched the film “Me Before You.” (Must-see film, and bring a box of tissues with you.) Something about it grabbed me. Specifically, these words:
[free yourself] from the kinds of choices you have so far felt you had to make………Live boldly. Push Yourself. Don’t settle. Wear those stripy legs with pride.
It made me wonder – do we live our lives boldly? How do we know when we are living boldly, when so much of the time is spent in comfort zones? Do we only live boldly when we, for a moment, take up that challenge to do something different, go someplace new, dive out of a plane…or is our entire life bold, if we are changing the way the world thinks, or just one person. Do we have to travel the world, dive the depths of the oceans, leave bad relationships, buy new wardrobes, run marathons, and change world thinking to be bold? Or, can it be as simple as choosing to go outside instead of staying in?
What does bold mean?
What does bold mean, to you?
I believe bold is something you can do to a font, but it’s also something you can do to your life. However, I believe bold is something different for each of us. I believe boldness is found in the every day choices we choose to make, (or behind the fear that causes us to avoid making choices.) There is boldness in each of us – whether it be to wear a bright color, eat french fries, or to decide to own our choices each day, rather than to avoid them.
Boldness can be found in the conviction to be you – wear funny clothes, smile or frown, fart in public, laugh at your own jokes – no matter what anyone else thinks at a given moment.
Living boldly, I think, can be about a moment, or a series of moments, but I wonder, does anyone really think they have a bold LIFE? If you are the person who has made many bold choices, do you think your entire life is bold? I bet the boldest of the bold emerged from being pushed outside their comfort zones, and possibly not by their own choice – so even if you have not lived boldly up to this very moment you are reading these words, you can make a bold choice. Right now. Whether it be to wear clothes that don’t match, talk to a stranger, stick your tongue out at a policeman, let someone read your deepest thoughts, share your first painting, speak in public, book that trip you’ve been talking about for years, move to a new place….you can choose your own boldness, the one that feels a little scary, and a little different.
What push are you waiting for to make that bold choice?
So, what can you do if you want to live boldly, but you aren’t sure if you are? Or, if you’re not sure what bold means to you? Here are some ideas:
- Journal. I got myself one of those fun journals with black paper. You can draw, you can write, you can paste in images that represent the word “bold” for you. This way, if you can’t find experiences or descriptions that you relate to you being bold, perhaps an image will do the trick.
- Surround yourself with images that represent you being bold. Another thing you can do is to surround yourself with images that connect you to boldness. For me, one of the things that represents boldness is traveling to destinations I’ve never been to before. So, I put a photo I took last year at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland by my desk so I am inspired by it every day. By looking at things you’ve done in the past that you think were bold, you can begin to connect to future ideas of boldness.
- Find mentors/sources of inspiration. Who do you think of as bold? Your parents, a sibling, a movie star, an astronaut? Make a list of all those people and what it is they did that you think was bold. You may find some clues for yourself there. I admire, for example, Richard Branson, for an unconventional life, and boldly knowing what he wanted and trying quirky ideas to live in a way aligned with who he is as a person. So, for me, boldness, in this instance, would be relating to alignment of life to values/personality, and using daring ideas and actions to grow his company. Then, I’d want to think about how I can do the same things in my life to represent that flair of boldness.