“Talk less and think more.” “Listen more and talk less.” Good advice under certain circumstances, but it can be a terrible reinforcement for those of us who have spent a good part of our lives being meek. In fact, it can be downright dangerous for those who spent our youth as shrinking violets and who have taken many years to find our voices.
Last year my New Year’s resolution was to be bold. Rather than setting a specific goal, I decided to set a tone. That way, it would be pretty hard to disappoint myself. So over the past year, I have been bold. I volunteered for assignments. I made difficult phone calls. I spoke in public without preparation. I stood up for myself, my children, and other people’s children in a room full of bullies. I stood on stage. I stood out where I used to stand back. I saw myself transform.
By definition, taking a risk means you get either a bigger payout, or you get to make a bigger fool of yourself. Last year I got a little of both. This year, I hope for bigger payouts but expect to sometimes look silly. The funny thing about feeling foolish is that the more you do it, the less you care about what others think. And there is freedom in that. In the upcoming year, I will be bolder and take more risks, come what may. Happy New Year!