It all started off by feeling like I was invisible. What does that look like? I am in the room but no one cares. They know I am there but I have no impact. I am invisible. I feel diminished, and that is not what I want to feel. I have a mission in my life, and I cannot feel diminished to fulfill my mission.
One day I wrote on a writable mug that sat in front of me daily at work, “Don’t be invisible.” Yeah, don’t be invisible. But I didn’t have an ending on it. How do I not be invisible?
That was a few years ago. Invisible. To feel that way is not good. No impact. No one cares. I felt alone in the world. I knew that I didn’t want to feel invisible, but what should I do?
In walked my life coach. No, he didn’t have the answer—no great coach has the answer—but he asked the right questions, and he used his intuition to throw things at me to see what will stick. I had the answers inside me—I have always known the answers—sometimes I am just stuck and cannot pull them out, or I am too afraid to act on what I know is the answer for me. He told me to turn the mug around and write, “Be Bold” on the other side. After that coaching call, I also wrote this on my white board in my office, which I faced on a daily basis, “Don’t be invisible . . . Be bold!” and I drew a smiley face next to it.
Easy to write, but how do I do this. It had been on my mind for a few weeks, and with the encouragement of my coach, I had kept in on the forefront, really practiced bold actions in areas of my life where I feared being bold. Funny how in some areas, this did not scare me, but in others, my saboteurs (those imaginary negative voices in my head) came raging out telling me not to be bold or I just might get hurt. As my coach and I talked about bold, the subject moved to bold and courageous. Not just bold alone but both bold and courageous.
Bold . . . what does that mean? The dictionary states, “not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative.” Or, “inclined or willing to take risks.”
Courageous . . . It’s meaning? The dictionary states, “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.” Another definition is, “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
Bold does not hesitate—it goes beyond the conventional thought of being careful. Courage is willing to face the fear.
To be myself and live the life I want, I must be bold and courageous. I must say what is on my heart. Not so bold to be rude. For me, bold is not rude—bold is truthful, bold is loving, bold is being who I should be regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Sometimes I have allowed myself to be a victim, but I am not a victim. I needed to move forward and declare how and where I fit in this world. And as I did it, I realized this was not about me. I could reach out to someone who needed loving encouragement without expecting some great response from them. I wanted people to hear the love, kindness, and encouragement of the words, not Andrea. I wanted them to see God working in their life, not Andrea. I wanted to boldly let them know whatever the outcome was, there was a friend walking next to them. I wanted them to know that what they thought counted. I wanted them to know I could stand up for myself without being angry. I wanted to let them know I am also imperfect. I wanted them to know I am okay with all of this. It is not about me. It is about the perspective that they are valuable.
My mission in life is to show love to others, to accept others where they are. I want to cheer them on. I want to walk along side of them—not in front, not behind. I want them to know they are not alone.
It was taking a chance to let people know this, or to act in such a manner. It was scary for me to stand firm – be it at work or in relationships. It was scary to say how I really felt in my heart. It was scary to lay myself out for one to know exactly who I am. But all I have to give is myself. What else could I do? If I wanted to be who I want to be, I must be bold and courageous. I did not choose a wimpy life—I chose one to serve and to love. It takes courage to do that.
How could I impact others if I thought I was invisible? I could not do that. I needed to be courageous even if others thought I was invisible. I needed to throw the lights on and make them see. I needed to be in my “God Spot” for me to know that I belong there and can do this. (My “God Spot” is the place where I remember that I am loved unconditionally by the creator of the universe. When you think about that–really think about that–it is huge, and it gives me courage. No one can harm me with their words or deeds).
A few years ago my pastor preached on bold prayers. He said that God wants to hear our bold, audacious, crazy prayers. He stated it is nice to pray for world peace, but God wants to hear about those monkeys that are jumping limb to limb in our brains–the things that keep us from concentrating because they are the important issues in our life. Wow, not just bold in my being, but bold in my prayer life.
Sitting in the service I realized the word “Bold” was right in front of me, so I quietly pulled out my phone and to take quick photo! I also noticed that as I tried to take the photo, and was waiting for the pastor to put his arms down, when he is bold he talks with his arms in the air! Thus the photo! What a great reminder that God expects bold from me. And I need to be courageous to be bold!
It wasn’t always easy to be bold and courageous. My life has changed in so many ways since that day of coaching about feeling invisible. Invisible is in our heads. If we step out of our comfort zone in love, in our lives, in our prayers, we can see the impact around us.
What is stopping you from being bold and courageous?
What bold prayers do you need to make?
What can you learn by being bold and courageous?