Hearing You Lack Boldness
Have you ever been told you aren’t confident? That you are quiet? That you are not bold? Or that you need to learn to speak up? This is something I heard all the time when I was first starting my career with Chick-fil-A. I am going to share with you how I embraced my fears and now, in all things, I am bold.
I hated hearing my colleagues tell me I needed to have more confidence and to be bold. I wanted to yell, “but I am confident!” “I am bold!” But I always hesitated when I said those words to myself. I could not convince myself that this was true. So, I took a good look at how I operate. I asked myself why I sometimes hold back when I should be bold and say what is on my mind.
Living in Fear
Why did I hold back? Why did I stay quiet when I had all these things I could offer? To be honest, I was living in fear. I was fearful of what others would think. I feared that they would not take me seriously if I suggested something out of the ordinary. What if I sounded dumb? I soon realized that living in fear would make for a mediocre life. How could I inspire others if I held back? Who wants to follow a leader who doesn’t have a voice? Not me.
Think about those that you gravitate toward: be it entrepreneurs, coaches, leaders. What qualities do they exhibit? The words that come to my mind are boldness, fearless, confident, empowering, inspiring. These people go after what they want. They do not hold back for fear of what others will think. They are beautiful and inspiring because they are bold.
While on the road, I have learned from a variety of Owner/Operators for Chick-fil-A. There was one that taught me the true meaning of being bold. His famous words were: “all they can do is say no”. This Owner would ask for anything and everything. And guess what? He usually got what he asked for. He opened one of the first Chick-fil-As in Las Vegas. I believe he was chosen because he was bold.
How Does One Get Good at Being Bold?
It starts with embracing our fears. You have probably been in a meeting and suddenly wanted to say something. You feel the nerves build and the thoughts of: “this is stupid” or “they are going to laugh at me”, race through your mind. So, you stay quiet. When your boss asks if anyone has anything they’d like to share, you don’t dare raise your hand. Next time, say what’s on your mind. Raise your hand. You’d be surprised at how empowering this is.
What else scares you? I used to be scared to eat alone in a sit-down restaurant. Now I love to eat by myself. Have you ever gone to a sit-down restaurant and asked for a table for one? Do it sometime and see how it makes you feel. There is something bold about sitting alone in a busy restaurant. Maybe you fear confrontation. I used to be terrible at confrontation whether it was with my boss, a friend or boyfriend. I would hold everything in because I didn’t want to upset the other person. Now, I tell them when I am upset. I’m not saying go and pick a fight every chance you get, but don’t be afraid to speak boldly.
A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with one my consultants for Chick-fil-A. He brought up the subject of yearbooks and how in your senior yearbook you had a quote that you wanted your classmates to remember you by. He then told me to compare the Leadership Development Program to school and then asked what I wanted my yearbook quote to be. My response was a quote by Robert Frost: “Freedom lies in being bold.”
Speak up Boss Babes. Be bold, don’t let fear rule your life anymore. Go after what you want even if it seems crazy. Experience the freedom that lies in being bold. It is beautiful.