Olive Kay was a depression era single mother with a grade three education when she was abandoned by her alcoholic husband and began cooking for farmhands in the Prairie dustbowl. Decades later, when the Quebec Chronicle newspaper advertised for a “Women’s Editor”, she courageously sent them her stories and poetry composed through long, frozen winters.
They hired my middle aged yet gifted grandmother to write, photograph, and mingle with a glamorous society she’d never known. Given beautiful gifts and travel opportunities, her life flowered as she defied the scripted societal expectations.
Sending the newspaper her writing was bravely majestic. Who did she think she was to be wined and dined in high society? Who was she NOT to think of herself as deserving?
You are worthy of the riches life has waiting for you when you step out and claim your place. Know that you were born to greatness simply because you exist.
They tell us the world is spinning so quickly it refuses to look at anything less than unique, daring, dynamic, or new! It’s bored of mediocrity. This can seem daunting as you job hunt, plan your cubicle escape, or build your dream. How do you live life audaciously? How do you stop the world for one moment to see who you are?
Step 1: Name Your Heart’s Desire
Get clear with what you desire. What gives you nuclear energy? Observe what draws you. List what matters to you; pulls your attention, calls you. You’ll see patterns. Where your interest goes, your genius lies. Don’t discount anything that’s small or seemingly inconsequential.
I tell the true story of a woman healing from a debilitating illness who could only sit for hours watching ants. She became a world ant expert! Nothing is too small to notice about what holds you captive. When you know exactly what you want and who you are, you’ll move toward it fluidly, with an intuitive knowing of your next best step.
Step 2: Inner/ Outer Alignment
Take time to sit in silence, to visit your core. What are you designed to do? What gives you great joy and effortlessly commands your energy? When you intuit what you must birth to the world, making that the measure of your life choices, you’re in alignment. Someone living in alignment emits a glow of authenticity, powerful upward movement, and innovation. We intuitively sense they’re living perfectly aligned with their true nature. It attracts us to them in trust.
When you’re aligned, you know you don’t have to compete or grasp, there’s room for everyone to shine. There’s a place for you, for everyone, to be. You claim your tribe, your clients, and your work by stepping out so they can see your light.
Step 3: Holy Boldness
When you’ve aligned your outer direction with innate abilities, you’re empowered with holy boldness. If you’ve ever seen a parent advocating for their child, you’ve seen holy boldness in action. It propels us out of our comfort zone with speed and efficiency, without self-consciousness.
Holy boldness, as a result of our inner yearning, gives rocket fuel to an audacious task. Driven by our mission, we walk over hot coals to do what we have to do. It’s that simple.
Step 4: Courage in Spite of Fear
Can you imagine Olive’s fear thoughts before her big interview as she recalled her humble past and the society she was brazenly attempting to enter? She had much to learn about a fast paced newspaper. It was potentially terrifying. How did she find the courage to apply, to get through the interview process, to succeed where other more “suitable” applicants were overlooked?
She shone with love and appreciation for people and her warmth of spirit surpassed any qualms about her clothes or past. Her interest in people and her gift of writing were her passports to a new life. Having the courage to step into the unknown despite her fear was completely life altering. Her light outshone the fear.
Step 5: Commit to a Crazy Idea
Give me ten of the most bizarre ideas you can think of to be noticed by your boss, your customers, or your future employer. Brainstorm while playing Frisbee or running with a friend. Play helps you access your creative right brain thinking. Within those wild ideas will be the diamond of your next best step. You’ll feel a pull toward a completely delicious, exciting, authentic idea. A strategy will emerge. Take baby steps.
Type the words: “Architecture 5 cents” into a search engine and you’ll find a Charlie Brown Lucy-inspired booth built by an unemployed architect offering consultations for one nickel. When one audacious idea was paired with courageous execution, the result was thirteen new clients. Thirteen!
The “audacious architect” found a fun idea that suited his personality because he was willing to look silly for his cause, and then committed to his plan, knowing it was better than staying anonymous in the crowd.
If you’re stuck, unable to find or move in the direction of your audacious idea, check two things. Is this truly your heart’s desire? Is your goal completely aligned with who you are?
An authentic heart goal has a sense of freedom about it, no shackles. You’re inexplicably drawn toward it; it pulls you in like a magnet. The creative ideas come faster and faster. We can’t wait to get started.
If you’re feeling resistance to taking a step forward, check your inner GPS for answers and guidance. Your essential self knows the way.
Your greatness lies in your ability to be daringly yourself. Step out and claim the arena that allows you to contribute your highest self. Embrace your unique brilliance and step up with holy boldness, knowing that life itself will support your light.
5 Ways To Overcome Fear Thoughts
- Become the “Watcher” of your thoughts. Catch fear thoughts of lack and attack, write them down. Always question them! Ask, “Is that true?” (It’s rarely, if ever, true!)
- Pick a better feeling thought to replace the fear thought. Make sure it feels better than the original and refer to it often. (Instead of the thought, “I’ll never get that job”, replace it with, “I’m working on it every day”.)
- Dialogue with your inner critic and image consultant. Appreciate but question, their concerns for your ruin, if you should decide to step out. Again, ask, “Is that true?” If they keep nagging, cut them a deal you both like – “Okay, I’ll work the idea for one month and then review.”
- Journal your fear thoughts and keep asking, “Why?” Go deeper with each layer until you find the source of your fear (the school bully?) “I’m afraid everyone will think I’m a ________.” Why? Who is “everyone”?
- When confronting a big fear step that will move you toward your heart goal, take the teeniest step you can manage. When that proves safe, take another.