When I read the campaign theme for this year’s International Women’s Day I thought, brilliant! Be bold for change – be bold for change and take action – take action for gender parity – forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world.
Why do we still need this, haven’t we achieved gender equality? That’s a big no! At the rate we are going, the gender equity gap won’t close entirely until 2186 – another 169 years.
Progress is still too slow for realising the full potential of one half of humanity within our lifetimes.
What is your potential to be bold?
I believe we all have within us the potential to be bold, to make our difference, to make a positive impact in the world. I believe we all have the potential to be leaders. John Quincy Adams wrote:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
I believe that as leaders our job is to inspire, to instruct and to involve – to pay it forward if you like. I believe in compassionate leadership: to show up, step up, and give the person next to you a hand up.
Boldness starts within ourselves
It takes boldness to show up, and to show up as all of who we are. I work with remarkable leaders who want to make a powerful and compassionate impact in the world. All of these leaders struggle at times with being bold, with being seen, and heard, and making their impact. They sometimes feel the opposite of powerful. They feel powerless.
I know a lot about feeling powerless. Do I look powerless to you? As you read this blog – what do you see? A successful writer, speaker, coach, confident, out there, being bold, leading, making her difference.
I wasn’t always like this. I had it all, great job, great money, great family (they put up with me for a start) and great life, all the power I needed right? I had everything you are supposed to want—and it wasn’t enough. On the inside, I was empty. There was this big fat hole in my life that sucked all the feeling out, I felt powerless to fill it. The hole had begun with the death of my daughter Jacqui Bree in 1995 when she was 4 years old. Initially I tried to fill it with being busy, with work, but no amount of work could fill that hole, although I tried really, really hard, with lots and lots of work.
Eventually I had had enough.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are. – J. P. Morgan
So I tried making physical changes, I lost weight, got fit, ran a triathlon, then a marathon. 42 kilometres which took me 7 months to train, and I ran it in 5 hours and 20 minutes (running into the MCG at the end was amazing), all good for discipline and resilience and achievement, but the hole was still there.
I tried mental challenges, learning philosophy and thinking my way to feeling fulfilled and happy. Interesting, but the hole was still there.
What was missing? Can you guess?
Yep, spiritual change, the connection to who I was, who I am and who I want to be: body and mind needed the soul.
A bold move for me was finally admitting to a couple of girlfriends that I wasn’t happy. And then, hearing that they weren’t content either. I was not alone, not this selfish freak I had imagined. We were all members of the Discontented Women’s Club. This is where my conscious quest for wholeness and a joyful life really began. This is when I committed to boldly go where I had not gone before—inside, to find what was missing in my life – to find my way home.
What do you think holds people back from those bold moments, what holds you back? What would happen if you were bold? If you took bold action now?
How can you begin to take bold action?
It helps if you know a little more about what you love and value; then it’s easier to choose differently, to change and be bold. An exercise that I love to give people is “I love, I value, I choose”. Your bold move today could be to download the exercise and gift yourself 20 minutes to complete it. Here’s the link…
Remember we become new with each breath we take. So take a breath now…
Thanks for reading
(And if you would like to listen to or download an audio of this blog go to Soundcloud HERE)
If you’d like to read more about my quest for wholeness, gift yourself a copy of my book Breathing While Drowning, and see if my signposts can help you find your way home.