BE TOO BOLD: An Un-Seeing Exercise

BE TOO BOLD: An Un-Seeing Exercise

Ah…here it comes again.  Another Un-Seeing Exercise.  There’s THAT question:  Who am I to be so bold? 

The story you tell yourself about what you “cannot” do can hurt you your entire life.  This question, in particular, can tie you up in all kinds of knots and keep you stuck in suck.


“Lemme tell ya, cookie,” as an old, rasty rascal of a friend used to say, “it’s supposed to be bold.  What are ya?  Some kinda snail?”

Jan (Arny) Messersmith published that sky-diving image in the header of this post in his Flickr stream in 2010.  He tells the backstory in a long rumination in his image notes.  He also includes one of the best definitions of “bold” I’ve ever seen.

He says, “Boldness is the exercise of one’s beliefs accompanied by a certainty that positive and well-considered actions will produce desirable outcomes.”  He continues, “Timidity and fear are not compatible with confidence and trust.”  It’s a truth, that.

This INBOUND Bold Talk, “From Suit to Seal” was published on YouTube by HubSpot in 2015.  It features Phil Black who hung up his suit as a Goldman-Sach minion to become, of all things, a Navy Seal.

“Be bold,” Black says at the end of his talk.  Bold is the first step to following your dream.


How do you get to bold?  Some counterpoint questions might help.  How about these?

  • When you are 80, are you going to regret that you did not take action and believe in yourself because you were scared?
  • What message will you give your kids and your grandkids?  How are you going to authentically encourage them to follow their dreams when you stop yourself from following your own?

The saddest comment I have ever overheard was one from an elderly grandmother telling her grandson, “Go do your dream, bebe.  Me, I too old for dream now.  I can only wish.”

Another take on this is the advice in this spoken poem, “Everybody Dies But Not Everybody Lives” in this YouTube video by Richard Williams, better-known as American rapper and spoken word artist Prince Ea.

Prince Ea published the video in 2016.  It was a collaboration between the artist, who calls himself a “Futurist,” and Neste, a Finnish oil refinery company that, besides producing and marketing petroleum products, also produces “renewable diesel” which is produced in a patented vegetable oil refining process. The upcycled vegetable oil works well as an alternative fuel in diesel engines.


The Real is that being bold isn’t all that hard to do.  Major tip:  Forget the countdown.  Never mind “a-one and a-two and a-three.”  Just go.

Practice will help with that.  It gets easier every time you do something that makes you scared and nervous.

“Scared BUT” by vivek JOSHI via Flickr [CC BY-2.0]


Bold can also get easier if you can follow along the trails of adventurers and explorers who’ve gone on ahead of you.

  • Start a file folder today – either a physical paper one or one on your computerChoose a few people who you admire for their bravery and bold actions.  Research their stories.
  • Chances are your heroes started in situations that are no better than yours right now and they made it.  Find out how they did it.  Look at ways that maybe you can do it your own self in your own field.

“Sahara Footsteps” by Rachael Taft [CC BY-ND 2.0]
Here’s a poem:


I’m not here to fill

A role one playwright

Or another put down

To get some constipated plot

Moving this way or that.


I’m not here to match

A cast director’s vote

For color coordination

Or for an echo of some

Old star’s past glory.


I’m not here to act out

Some director’s dictum

Of the statement I must make

While juggling stereotypes

And tired old clichés.


I’m not here to bend

And spend myself,

Reworking every line

To make some producer’s

Wet dream more sublime.


I’m not here to audition.

The part is already mine.

Who I am is what I am,

And, on this stage,

I’m the star and the chorus line.


Whether I show what’s honest,

Whether I show what’s real,

Whether I am brave enough

To show what I truly feel:

Only I can decide.


I’m not here to audition,

And neither, my dear, are you.

On another stage,

On a different page,

For you, it’s just as true….

By Netta Kanoho

Header image credit:  “Fortune Favours the Bold” by Jan (Arny) Messersmith via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]



(Click on each of the post titles below and see where it takes you….)


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below and tell me your thoughts.






30 thoughts on “BE TOO BOLD: An Un-Seeing Exercise

  1. Wow, great read and nice videos to drive the point home. You must push yourself because no one else will.

    The hardest part about being bold is the self defeating talk. You can’t talk your self out of what you want to accomplish.

    Thanks for the motivation, keep up the good work.

    1. Hey Cedric: 

      Thanks for your visit and your kind words.  You’re right:  that self-defeating talk’s the only thing that can cheat you. 

      Please do come again.

  2. Thank you for this article.

    What you write is very true as in my life I can attest to the fact that boldness paid off although it also got me in trouble. Sometimes I find it is good to take a step back and wait for things to come to you or just pass.

    I appreciate your description and examples you gave about boldness

    1. Hey Orion:

      Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  Bold is good…and so is taking a step back too.  Depends on where you are on your journey. 

      Please do come again.

  3. Marques Pizarro says:

    I can tell you put so much effort into this article because there is a lot of detail and content about being bold! Majority of people have a hard time because of our minds and telling ourselves “what if” or “I don’t know”.

    What I learned is fear is an illusion of the future, and that we must do it anyways! I love your tip of not counting, and just doing it!

    I will come back for more knowledge like this article, thank you so much!

    1. Hey Marques:  Thank you for the visit and your comments.  Please do come again!

      — Netta

  4. Seun Afotanju says:

    Thanks for this post I actually happen to be one of those people who suffers from low self-esteem and it has been a long time coming. It took me a long time not to fall away from what I stand for. 

    Being bold means forsaking your fears and trusting your guts no Matter what people say or how they make you scared you still stand on your ground. Although been bold shouldn’t be mistaken for disrespecting. 

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Seun.  I do agree with you.

      My own take on it all is that falling down is just part of learning to stand up stronger the next time.  Lessons, lessons, lessons.  It’s all good…even though it can get really frustrating sometimes.

      Please do come again.

  5. Wonderful post, it was a good read. I agree with you hundred percent. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Like you said, I don’t want to have any regret when I am old.

    Overcoming fear is very hard but not impossible.  If you want to achieve your dreams you have got to get rid of fear. Fear is your biggest enemy as it will hold you back and not let you achieve your dreams. 

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Priya.  

      My own self, I think fear serves a useful function.  It keeps you from stepping off cliffs and falling down potholes, f’r instance.  The thing is, fear is only supposed to be an early warning system. It’s not supposed to paralyze you into just huddling there in a lump.

      Being bold is mostly telling fear that it’s not the boss of you, I think….

      Please do come again.

  6. I could not agree more.  

    If I was not bold enough I would not have decided to change my life completely at 49. People said what I was doing was crazy, silly, or it would not have worked. I don’t know if it will. I am in the process just now, but I feel that changing has given me the chance of trying and who is anyone to say I am too old to do this or that?

    Living your life to the best of your dreams so that they are not just dreams anymore is what everyone should do. No Regret!!

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, Barbara.

      All I can say is good on ya!  You go, girl!

      Please do come again….

  7. We have all heard the expression to live like it was your last day but very few of us really do. This post really highlights the need to put ourselves out there with new experiences. 

    In my experience, growth is only possible in the unknown and to be honest, the unknown is an often uncomfortable place to be. The film Yes Man comes to mind as an extreme form of this but just saying yes to something small that you would usually have said no to might open some really exciting possibilities. 

    Thanks for refocusing my mind on putting myself out there more.


    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, Rich.  

      Of course, I agree with everything you’ve said.  I’m glad this post helped.

      Please do come again….

  8. I am beginning to fall in love with your website, always content filled and inspiring.  I believe we should all get ourselves out of the shackles of fear and doubt. 

    Having the right mindset and confidence are two keys to boldness in my own opinion.  I like Messersmith’s definition of boldness according to your post.  We should all say no to timidity and fear in our everyday activities. 

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Clement.  I loved the Messersmith definition of boldness as well.  I’m glad you’re liking my site.

      Please do come again!

  9. Hi Netta,

    Wow, such an inspirational post.  Thank you for that, it really came at a great time. 

    We often forget that we are our own worst critics and nobody sees all of the flaws and mistakes that we see ourselves making.  It’s weird because at work, I’m bold.  I have the respect of my team and have led them for almost a decade without being their official leader.  But in my own personal life, I struggle to be bold.  It’s easier to quit for some reason. 

    Is this normal?

    1. Chris, I do thank you for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.

      I think that all of us are like diamonds…we have many different facets and different situations call up different parts of ourselves.  In one area of our life, we are confident and masterly and all that.  In some other part, we are quivering bits of jello.  

      Myself, I think it’s all just part and parcel of the wondrousness (and frustration) of being human.  All of us are Wonder Woman and Sad-Sack Sally and Waltzing Matilda and Pissant Sue all at once.  The thing to remember, probably, is that no one part of who we are is all that we are.  

      Whatever strengths and weaknesses we have, we can work with them to navigate our way through.  I think that’s pretty cool actually.

      Thanks for asking…

      Please do come again.

  10. This post was perfect timing for me and very inspirational! 

    I just finished reading I’ve decided to live to 120. It is all about living your life to the fullest and acting as though you will live to be 120. If someone is going to live to be 120 they must take care of the body, mind, and soul. It’s about not just letting life go by. It’s about living each moment to the fullest. 

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing that most interesting thought, Wendy.  I’m not sure how long I’m going to be alive, but I do plan to live every moment to the fullest.  

      I am pleased the post inspired you.

      Please do come again.

  11. Hi! It’s so much easier when being bold is our only option. But when we do have options, then we hesitate and we tend not take that bold action we should.

    Not paying attention to the countdown can be a great tip. Most of the time we have created so much anxiety around the bold action we must take that it suffocates us. Thanks for setting things into perspective in this post.

    1. Henry, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I agree that being bold is WAY easier when it’s your only option!  

      I’m glad the post was helpful to you.

      Please do come again.

  12. Hello Netta, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Being too bold is not easy at all especially today in the time where we live. 

    I actually like the poem.  I will share it with my wife as I know she would be interested in this. May I share this on my Facebook page?

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Danijel.  Of course you can share it on your Facebook page.

      Please do come again.

  13. Hi, Thanks for this article.

    I hadn’t really thought about it before, but it turns out that I am quite bold. I have made lots of big decisions in the past few years that have set me on the path that I am on now. 

    I gave up a well paid job to start a new life in the French alps.  I got another job, but left that to pursue my own online business. All of these things have come with a great risk, but you don’t know until you try. 

    In fact it isn’t a case of trying, you just have to make it work.

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story, Tom.  You are right.  There’s no try; there’s only do.  [Are we channeling Master Yoda or what, here?  Hee!] 

      I agree.  You are bold.  Keep on going like that, keep on stepping out and doing the best you can to make room for more boldness and to help make the thing work, and the Force WILL be with you!   (Mostly ’cause it’s already inside you, I think, and you’re just helping it move on through you and out into the world.)

      Continued good fortune on your journey.

      Please do come again.

  14. I personally learned later in life that I hate saying to myself that I am limited to doing something. The reality is that there is always a way to make things happens, it just takes time and effort. 

    So, when someone told me no, I dig it deeper and make it happen. I guess I am not just bold, I am stubborn as well. 

    I love Jan’s definition of boldness, it speaks to me. 

    My grandparents say the same thing to me to do all the things I want because I am still young, that embedded in me and I know that there is some truth to that or they wouldn’t be reciting it every time. 

    Everybody Dies But Not Everybody Lives Is deep and I will keep that in mind as long as I live. 

    1. Welcome back, Nuttanee.  Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I am so glad you found the post helpful.  

      One thing I am always grateful for is the push-back from people who tell me that what I want to do is “impossible” or at least “improbable.”  It sure does get me up-and-at-’em!  Stubborn is a grand trait to have, I think.

      Please do come again.

  15. Lovely reflections once again. Thank you for asking a tough question that only aims to help us better understand our own nature. Lots of great real-talk and inspiration. 

    As a musician, I love a good countdown, but I do understand that if we wait for that outside of music, then we risk missing out on the opportunities that are already happening. 

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration and another lovely poem. <3

    1. Welcome back, Aly.  I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on my blatherings.  

      Please do come again.

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