Being BOLD

When I was thinking what theme for March, I thought about how fickle March can be.  It’s still pretty wintry, spring teases us with little glimpses before there’s another hail storm and the Easter holidays still feel quite a stretch away.  Also, for us entrepreneurs, March can also be ridiculously busy as the usual financial year ends and people are keen to use up budgets.  Also, the news is full of unnecessary pain and suffering and whilst we absorb that, we are still reeling from the impact of the last couple of years. 

There’s a lot to contend with right now.

With all that in mind I’ve chosen the theme of BOLD.  As much for me as it is for you.  Something to give us power and oomph to be able look March square in the eye and whisper, determinedly, “I’ve got this”.

I write this just after a particularly empowering yoga class.  As my thighs complained as I squatted in goddess pose, I thought about boldness.  I asked myself what does it mean to me, and how can I cultivate greater boldness, without unhelpful impulsiveness and whilst staying kind.

The main thought was not what boldness is, but what it isn’t.  So I’ll start there.

What bold is not, is bossy. 


There’s a difficult word.  A word I have heard a lot throughout my life.  I was talking to my kids about that word last night at dinner.  I said girls are often called bossy when boys are labelled as leaders, when displaying the same behaviour.  But my boys, aged 13 and 10 disagreed with me.  They too say that they are often called bossy and it’s never meant as a compliment.

Although I fervently want greater gender equality, the fact that my boys were also getting told to metaphorically get back in the box, or “dial it down a bit” as my 10yo heard, word for word, last week is really depressing.

It’s a shame that an exuberance and an enthusiastic leadership is seen as a threat and as something to shut down.  The relatively polite way to do so is to tell that person they’re bossy.  It’s a little hint, not a telling off: a subtle put down aimed at reducing another’s confidence so the speaker feels a bit better.  Urgh.

My counter to this passive aggressive control is to be BOLD.  To strike that power pose (in my head obvs, I’m not going to strut around like Wonder Woman… at least not ALL the time).  To think “chin up, tits out”.  Another tricky phrase, right?  But you know, when I think it, it blooming well works.

Power posing is a divisive subject.  No one wants to adopt the totally bizarre posing we’ve seen in recent years, particularly from certain quarters of the tory party.  The meme connecting Gove, May et al to Black Adder the Third heightens the ridiculousness of it all.

However, despite wanting to avoid that and the massive academic debate around it, I know that when I adopt a more open, confident posture, it improves my mood, lifts my spirits and I’m more likely to make bold choices.

But what else can we do to cultivate greater boldness?

It might be useful, first to explore a little bit about what’s stopping the boldness from emanating out.

Here are four main ones:

  1. People pleasing.

I’m totally hands up on this one.  I want to please people.  I have an innate desire to help others, which can tip over into a bit of an egotistical, altruistic drive to fix other people’s problems too. 

  1. Being too self critical.

This one comes up all the time in my coaching.  Doing the inner work here, exploring those inner critic voices and finding out where those voices are coming from can be super useful. 

  1. Thinking too far ahead.

Things can get totally overwhelming if the bigger picture is always there.

  1. Trying to get everyone to like you.

This one is connected to number 1, people pleasing.  Aiming to get everyone to like you, all the time, is clearly going to fail.


How can we move on from those things?

Well, here’s some of the more obvious steps, which you will all know, but maybe actually putting them into practice, might be a little more difficult.

  1. Stop putting others before yourself all the time

Make firm effort to put yourself first more often.  Note when you do it and celebrate doing so.

  1. Counter the critics with a mentor

Do the work to understand your inner critics more deeply.  Make a pact with them about when they’re useful and when they’re not.  What about your inner mentor?  Can you create one of those so you can access an alternative opinion?

  1. Break it down

If someone said “you need to walk 100 miles”, all sorts of doubts and excuses would come up in my head.  But if that was presented differently and someone said “you need to walk a mile a day for 100 days this year”, I’d think that was a manageable challenge.  Thinking too far ahead or getting consumed with the enormity of a task ahead will overwhelm.  Taking it one step at a time, makes it OK.

  1. Accept not everyone likes you

Ooft, that’s a hard one for me to hear.  One I’m working on a lot.  Of course not everyone likes me, but it feels very tricky to accept… but I’ve made great strides on doing so by accepting it.

  1. Generosity of Spirit

An abundant mindset is essential to being the right kind of bold.  Believing that there’s room for everyone, putting collaboration over competition and putting good stuff out in to the world will reap rewards.


The most important point here.  Do the thing! Make the move! Take Action!

With all those tools in the toolbox, greater boldness is possible.

Throughout this month I’m going to be noticing when it’s showing up for me.  When I’m being decisive, innovative, confident and open.  And noticing when I’m adopting a happy high status* and also when things are a bit wobblier. 

When I notice things like this, the positive steps towards what I want to achieve are so much easier.

AND, I’m going to use this as the focus for work with my coach.

Want some help being bolder?  Book in an initial chat and coaching session, or check out Carpe Diem for an online adventure of discovery.

*If you want to know more about Happy High Status, it’s going to feature heavily in one of my Friday book reviews this month.  You can catch all them every Friday morning on Instagram, LinkedIn or sign up to my Monthly Musing to get the link to them all.