What do you picture when I say the phrase “bold mindset?” Do you picture a person who effortlessly works a crowded room of people with self-assurance that you could never have?
What if I told you that there are four powerful steps for a bold mindset, that anyone can take action on?
If you want to have a bold mindset and be more outgoing, relaxed, and comfortable in most social situations, the key is understanding and embracing the insights of individuals who have a bold mindset already. Once you make these four steps a part of your daily life, your mindset will change.
Much of our behavior is controlled by our barrier beliefs, by the ever-present voice of Doctor No, which is what I call your negative self-talk and inner critic. Doctor No causes beliefs that inhibit us from taking action and are the reinforcements to hesitation and reticence that are holding us back from obtaining this maximum bold mindset.
You’re not going to obtain a bold mindset overnight. But these four insights will provide you with motivation to act boldly because they will reveal doors that you didn’t think were open and opportunities that you didn’t think were possible. They will be the foundation for your new bold mindset, a mindset that will allow you to take more risks and achieve your biggest goals.
#1: People aren’t thinking about you that much.
The first key insight about shyness and embarrassment comes down to this very powerful realization that people are just not thinking about you that much.
That is a simple fact — other people are spending very little time thinking about you.
They are thinking about themselves and, ironically, about what other people might be thinking about them. It’s a great contradiction in our behavior. People may laugh at you, or tell a story about you, or have a judgment, but they are going to forget about it quickly and return to their own self-absorption.
I know you worry about what other people think. And yes, people will gossip. They will have judgments. Do you think they need factual information to do this? Do you think they are even interested in the facts? Why would that be interesting? Most of the time, it certainly isn’t.
Use this insight to stop doing what most people do, which is to worry about what other people think. Release yourself from that imaginary bondage.
#2: In reality, you are almost never in real danger.
The second and equally important insight to obtaining a bold mindset is the simple fact that 99 percent of the time, you are in no real danger. But your body is reacting as if it is.
We have evolved into a species that has replaced our response to nonlethal threats with a lethal fear reaction. It’s bizarre, unproductive, and unnecessary. To break out of your prison, you must accurately assess what is truly dangerous and what is imaginary.
In short, you have to learn to become fearless of the harmless.
Most of the time, our fears create a disproportionately huge and fictional downside. Our lack of social experience with adventurous, bold behavior doesn’t allow us to accurately calculate the potential upside. I’ll say it more simply: your fears create a bleak scenario that is pure fiction. Do not let this barricade you from reaching a bold mindset.
#3: It’s time to start listening to Doctor Yes.
The third insight is based on the fact that the negative voice in your head is wrong. Even if Doctor No’s warnings have been right sometimes, who cares? They’re wrong so much more often that it’s worthless information, so stop its influence on you.
You wouldn’t watch a news station that was wrong 95 percent of the time, would you? Remember the axiom: don’t believe everything you think. It’s time to give voice to Doctor Yes. Give yourself the insight of the positive possibilities.
Doctor Yes is all about the upside, and you need to start cultivating this voice. Tell yourself the greatest possible outcome. And maybe the greatest outcome is you made the effort and you feel great no matter what the outcome.
There is now scientific research that supports this. It’s been demonstrated that when people tell themselves something isn’t possible, or it’s too hard, then the brain basically steps off the task and doesn’t do the creative work necessary.
But if the brain hears that we believe it’s possible, it steps up and starts looking for ways to make it happen. Start listening to Doctor Yes, and it will release you from the grip of negativity and give you the motivation to act — and give you permission to work towards a bold mindset.
#4: Give yourself permission to have the life you want.
The final and perhaps most powerful insight is that all that is required for you to have the life you want is to give yourself permission to have a bold mindset. Believe me when I tell you: you are the one who is withholding that permission. The. Only. One.
This may seem absurd to you right now. You are certain that there are many outside forces that control the outcome of your daily life and many things in your past that have kept you from just deciding to alter your behavior and change your life.
We all change, but most of us change because we gave up on our dreams, not because we failed to reach them. And because we never gave ourselves permission to simply start living the life we wanted, regardless of the consequences. The worst consequence of all is dying and not having lived the life you wanted to.
Let this thought guide you until you have enough discoveries to know that this is the truth: many of the most wonderful memories of your life — the turning points, the epiphanies, the overwhelming joys — happened when you stepped outside your comfort zone. And they only could have happened because you crossed that line.
Your Bold Foundation
So, are you a bold person? Perhaps not yet, but I’m willing to bet that you can get there.
If you burn these four insights into your brain, you will notice changes. You will see yourself moving towards a bold mindset. You will feel less hesitant to take the risks you avoided before. Maybe you’ll talk to that stranger you’ve been mustering up the courage to talk to for months. Or perhaps you’ll ask for the raise you deserve.
There are so many ways that a bold mindset will alter your life for the better. And I can promise you that if you’re able to absorb these insights into your daily life, you will possess the foundation for a bolder existence.
Before you know it, you’ll be the person that others are admiring, effortlessly working a room full of people without a care in the world.
This article is adapted from Superbold. For more advice on a bold mindset, you can find Superbold on Amazon.
Fred Joyal is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and business advisor. Along with a lucrative career in advertising and marketing, he co-founded the most successful dentist referral service in the country, 1-800-DENTIST. Joyal has written two books on marketing, dabbled in stand-up and improv comedy, acted in bad movies and excellent TV commercials, and visited over 44 countries around the world. He has an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island, perhaps because of his generous donations. Joyal once beat Sir Richard Branson in chess and was also a question on Jeopardy! He is an avid cyclist, a below-average tennis player, and an even worse golfer.