Be bold. I’ve heard that a lot, but it’s always been ambiguous to me. We hear stories of people being bold, but they are so fantastical that they don’t always feel real or like something we can implement. Over the past week I have learned the importance of being bold. Being bold can change your life.
I had the typical hang-ups about putting myself out there. First, I hate rejection. It’s not that I can’t handle someone telling me no; I’m afraid of them taking it further: “How pretentious of you to ask!” “Why would I ever want to work with you?” “You have a funny hairstyle.” Okay, I’m not so worried about what people think of my hair. But I’m afraid that rejection will be personal.
Sometimes in moments that call me to be bold, I am afraid that I will come across as self-serving or bragging. Asking for the chance to take on a bigger assignment, requesting a raise, or sharing accomplishments seems pretentious to me. But that’s not necessarily the case!
Share honestly. Many people like to think their work will speak for itself, and it will, but sometimes it needs a little boost. If you design a new tracking system and send it off to the person who needs it, but never share it with your boss, how will he know the contribution you’ve made? If you find a way to make your job efficient but never share with your peers, you aren’t maximizing whom you can help, and you aren’t sharing your ability to streamline processes. For great tips on how to build your reputation and still be humble, visit Patty Azzarello’s blog.
Ask. People don’t tend to just give you the things you want! The chances of them knowing what you want and therefore giving it to you are slim if you don’t talk about it. Sometimes it can be daunting to ask for things, but the only way you will get it is to ask. If you ask, and they say “no,” how different will your life be? Should be pretty much the same. If you ask, and they say “yes,” then your life could be drastically different for the better. Ask for the sale, for the raise, for the chance to take on a position you want!
Take a risk. Being bold is risky. By uniquely approaching the situation, your chances of success increase. We’ve seen great examples of this: the billboard resume, the flash-mob proposal, and so many others! Perhaps you don’t have to go to these extremes, but differentiating yourself is key! Want to land a sale or a new job? Show your prospective client or company why you deserve it. Find a way to show them your work!
People who are bold get the greatest payoffs. They are rewarded for the risks they take and for putting themselves out there. While success won’t happen every time, you will be more successful than others who don’t take control of their situation and their vision.
Jana Axline is president and leadership coach at Axline Solutions. Through her leadership musings she hopes to inspire audiences to grow as leaders and ultimately achieve who they were created to be. For more information visit Axline Solutions.