Monday, July 09, 2007

Be Bold

"...enable your servants to speak your word with boldness." (Acts 4:29)

"...but the righteous are as bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1)

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged. For the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

Why is it that there are definitely much better singers than Madonna, yet she is the one who is more successful?

I realize that a lot of good, able and competent people don't get ahead, not because they are less skillful but because they aren't bold enough.

We must be bold enough to market ourselves, to sell ourselves, to spread the word about the message of us.

80-90% of adults live with negative self-talk in their minds. Voices that say "you aren't good enough", "you'll screw up again", "you're just lucky that time", etc.

We must be bold in life. The apostles didn't pray that things around them would automagically turn out "happily ever after" rather they prayed for boldness in facing the challenges ahead of them.

Boldness is a mark of the righteous.

But how do we get boldness? Is it a matter of just repeating "I am bold" to myself and hoping you'll believe it enough that your behaviour will change? Maybe that is part of the transformation process.

The Idiot's Guide To Assertiveness doesn't give all the answers to it, but it does give a few pointers:

Know Your Priorities: Know what is important to you. Think through what is really important to your mission in life. Just 3-5 things. Not a laundry list of 19 things.

Respect the position and feelings of the other parties involved. Will your speaking up improve the situation of make it worse?

Remain in balance. You don't have to overreact and cause other people to be knocked off balance.

How? Proceed with malice towards none. Act with concern towards other people not out of hatred or impatience.

When? Make a time check. Ask yourself, "How will I feel about the situation tomorrow, in one hour, or in even five minutes?" If it is something that will pass quickly, you can let it go. Else, then it is good reason for you to speak up.

Use positive self-talk to yourself and on others.

Know who you are. Know your limits. Be optimistic.

Exercises on being self-confident in social situations:
1. Smile at someone you don't know.
2. Focus intently on what another person is saying.
3. Volunteer for something away from work. That way you'll learn that people do appreciate you.
4. Make a minor request from someone you barely know. The more easily you're able to make minor requests of strangers. The more naturally you'll begin to make more significant requests of anyone.
5. Put yourself in a situation where you're likely to be rejected. Ask a friend to attend something which you know there is a low chance of them agreeing to. If so, wonderful. Else, learn to accept the response graciously.
6. When appropriate, tell a person "I'm not sure". Legitimately pleading ignorance helps free you from any potential feelings of always needing to have informative responses.

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