In her column on dealing with life’s challenges, life coach Karen Campbell entreats women to boldly go where… well, wherever we want.
Your vibe attracts your tribe, or so the saying (presumably started in Shoreditch) goes. This week, I have certainly felt a call to arms from being surrounded by some utterly amazing women who have ignited my drive and ambition.
It was International Women’s Day on 8 March and I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of a panel launching the brilliant f:entrepreneur campaign, which highlights amazing women business leaders throughout the UK. It took the word bold – IWD’s leading campaign word – as its focus and asked us what bold decisions we made to start our own business and what being bold means to us.
This got me thinking about a word that, to be honest, I hadn’t really thought about before. To me, ‘bold’ translated as ‘brash’ and so described women definitely not in my tribe.
But thinking about it in preparation for the panel, it came to mean something else. Being bold is about being brave and confident, courageous and open – all of which are pretty darn cool. The women I have been lucky enough to meet this week are all of those things and each has her own story about how she took the bull unique to her by the horns and went for it.
Don’t get me wrong, these wonderful women have fucked up good and proper along the way (me included – have I ever mentioned the time I sent some literature to print with a very rude misspelling of ‘can’t’, or that day I turned up to host a workshop… the day after the workshop?).
But it’s all learning and good for the soul (if sadly not for the bank balance), which means the mistakes are worth making, then laughing about over a very large G&T.
“In order to be bold, take the time to deliver it. Being quiet, considered and knowledgeable, alongside an understated confidence about your success is very goddamn sexy indeed.”
Being bold doesn’t mean being perfect. Being bold is getting out there, doing it, messing it up, dusting yourself off… and doing it again. And again. And never losing sight of your dream and vision. We’re only here once, so if you’ve always wanted to open a ten pin bowling alley with a swing soundtrack then you should bloody well do it.
As well as a life coach, I’m also a marketing coach, working with a number of businesses on the marketing needs for whatever stage they’re at. One of the key things we learn together is to be bold – both personally and professionally.
Here a few tips on how to boost your boldness:
By this I don’t mean be the gobby one who says things for saying things’ sake, but if you have something to say then say it. This can be in life and work – as long as you have knowledge to back you up and you’re kind and considerate to others, be bold and go for it.
Recognise your ‘good’ bits and your ‘not so good’ bits
Self-awareness is key; be at ease with your faults and what you’re maybe not so good at. Isn’t it refreshing to meet someone who has actually messed up a bit or who can’t do that certain thing? Being bold about who you really are, warts and all, takes honesty and courage – but you’ll be a kick-ass broad as a result.
Hands up, this isn’t my strong point: I make heart-over-head decisions far too quickly. However, I have now enlisted the 10-second rule so, when I feel myself being hasty, I count to 10 and if I still want to do/say whatever it is, I do.
So far, this has saved me from making an immediate offer on a house, calling a bloke after several gins and telling him I love him, and getting on a flight to Ibiza when my one to Berlin was cancelled. All good decisions (apart from the last one, arguably).
Now I’m not saying never be impulsive – being impulsive can be amazing – but in order to be bold, take the time to deliver it. Being quiet, considered and knowledgeable, alongside an understated confidence about your success is very goddamn sexy indeed.
Boldness goes hand in hand with organisation and knowing what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. When you prioritise your workload or life’s to-do list and work through it methodically rather than being scattergun, you’re showing ownership and control and actually get things done a lot quicker than the ‘fannying about’ approach a lot of us favour/have perfected.
Use risk and take the small wins
Bold people know and understand risk and take risks wisely by catering for the consequences of failure. Again, it’s all about control. Ask yourself: if I take this risk personally or professionally, what’s the worst that can happen and am I prepared for that? Can I cope financially and reputation-wise? If you can, then go for it.
Also don’t forget about the small wins. If you’re waiting around for the majestic home run then you might be waiting a while. Instead keep bigging up the small wins, as with them comes confidence, momentum and reputation – and before you know it they’ve all come together to make a huge, bold, momentous win. High five!1994 Views
Karen Campbell is a life coach at www.your-dreamcatcher.com. She likes gin, James McAvoy and pretending she's not from Scunthorpe.