20 Courageous Acts That Make You Bold and Fearless

There is no small act of courage. You can't compare the courage it takes to battle cancer with the courage it takes to become a doctor.

Both are very brave acts. You can't compare the courage it takes to become an Olympian with the courage it takes to raise a physically or mentally challenged child.

Both are incredible feats. You can't compare a firefighter who saves a life to an eight year old child who consistently stands up to a bully. Both acts are heroic.

Most of us don't think of ourselves as brave people.  Yet that's exactly who we are. If you reflect on your life, one decade at a time, and write down your bravery, I'm sure you'd be surprised.

I think every brave thing we do in life counts. It's time we claim our bold and audacious selves.  

It's time to celebrate our fearlessness. As we do, we can begin to think of ourselves as bold people who are sometimes fearless instead of fear-filled people who try to be bold.

Everyday acts of courage to practice and celebrate:

1. Apologize.

It takes courage to admit when you are wrong. It's a bold act to admit when you make a mistake. Apologizing takes you out of your comfort zone and enhances your relationships. That's big. 

2. Be yourself.

Don't imitate anyone. Take off your mask. Allow yourself to become vulnerable. Share your flaws with others. See perfection in your imperfections. Who you are is a gift to the world.  Allow yourself to shine.

3. Take responsibility.

You are where you are in life because of the choices you make. If you don't like what you see, change it. One question I ask myself often is, "Is this the life I want to create?" If you don't exercise, make a change. If you need to get out of debt, spend less. Responsibility brings freedom.

4. Keep your commitments.

Write down everything you say you are going to do. Write down the promises you make to others. When you keep your promises, you build self-respect. Others respect you as well. 

5. Rock the boat.

Speak up. Make a difference. Share your feelings when you witness an injustice. Practice sharing your opinion. Don't allow someone to take advantage of you. Learn to say, "no." Refuse to hold back when your gut says to move forward.

6. Let go of the past.

Stop wallowing over what could have been. Forgive yourself.  Forgive your parents. Forgive everyone. What happened is over unless you keep it alive by reliving it in your mind. When we know better, we do better. It takes courage to move on.

7. Grow.

Learn something new. Step into the unknown. Change the way you do things. It doesn't matter if you get it the first time. Try again. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. Seize the opportunity. Growth brings new opportunities. 

8. Listen.

Listen to people who disagree with you. Listen to family members who think you are wrong. Listen to the elderly person in the coffee shop. Listen when you only want to speak and give advice. Listen and thank the other person for sharing.

9. Help others.

Help someone who doesn't help you. Help others when you don't have the time. Help someone who can't pay you back. Help someone when you are the one needing help. Learn to be of service. That's why we're here.

10. Love.

Turn the other cheek. Overlook annoyances. Be kind to each other. Be truthful. Accept differences. Love is a verb. Spend time together. Act like a loving person. You can love difficult people as well. Forgive them and wish them the best. Let them go with love.

11. Practice gratitude. Count your blessings. Tell the people in your life "thank you." Be grateful for the people you love and for the people who love you.

12. Choose to be happy.

Make a decision that you will think happy thoughts, speak kind words, and spend time doing things that bring you joy. Have a good attitude. See the glass half full. Look at the bright side. Expect the best. Choose to focus on what's good. 

13. Learn from your mistakes.

Reflect on what went wrong and what you could have done better. Look for your lesson. Choose to grow forward. Be gentle with yourself. Make a new plan. Try again. Refuse to give up.

14. Relax.

In our intense and fast-paced world, it's easy to feel like you're missing out or being left behind. You do too much, work too much and miss the joy of everyday living. It's bold to step back, take a break and relax. 

15. Follow your dreams.

Take action daily toward your goals. Ask for help. Network. Research. Plan. Take more action. Adjust your plans as you go along. Be open to something even better. Never give up. Adjust. Push on.

16. Enjoy the small things.

Take time to revel in a flower blooming, the taste of a glass of cold water, the different shades of green, a child's smile or an elderly person's worn hands. Enjoy the smell of clean clothes and the taste of a fresh slice of bread. Enjoy a brisk walk, a quiet morning, or a star filled night. 

17. Go the extra mile.

Allow someone to go in front of you in traffic or at the grocery store. Do more than what is required of you at work and at home. Hold a door open. Surprise someone. Don't keep score. Leave a big tip and help someone believe the world is a generous place. 

18. Ask for help. When you are stuck, addicted or unhappy, seek professional help. Hire a coach, a therapist or join a support group. When you are overwhelmed at work, ask for assistance. When you don't understand something, ask for an explanation.

19. Put family and friends before stuff. If you value your loved ones, make them a priority in your life. Work less and play more. Laugh. Create traditions and rituals. Find hobbies and activities that everyone enjoys. Have fun. Experiences bring more meaning than needless shopping.

20. Love Yourself. Accept your imperfections. Be your own best friend. Show yourself compassion, understanding and respect. This is the most courageous act of all. 

If you have always wanted to quit your job but don't know how, check out my friend Farnoosh Brock's Smart Exit Blueprint! 

Please share your thoughts below.

Photo by:  chrisroll

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Vidya Sury August 14, 2012, 9:23 pm

    17. “Go the extra mile”. YES! It is always worth it. Today, August 15, India is celebrating Independence Day, Tess. True freedom is freedom of thought and action!

    Love your list posts. Thank you for the great inspiration! Much love, Vidya

    • Tess August 15, 2012, 2:41 pm

      Happy Independence Day. Thanks for your love and support!

  • David Stevens August 15, 2012, 1:58 am

    It looks like I’m mostly brave Tess…which is good. Thanks for the encouragement.
    be good to yourself

    • Tess August 15, 2012, 2:42 pm

      Exactly, everyone is and it would help if we remember how bold we are then we can act on that! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Elle August 15, 2012, 5:14 am

    This list is fabulous Tess…a great way to live a greater, happier and of course bolder life. I *love* it.


    • Tess August 15, 2012, 2:43 pm

      You’re the best. Thanks for your love and support. xo

  • Jamie August 15, 2012, 5:59 am

    This is a great list. I suppose the goal in life is to be able to look at every entry here and honestly say ‘yes I am capable of each and every one of these’.

    • Tess August 15, 2012, 2:43 pm

      Yes you are! And you probably already do most of them;)))

  • Fran Sorin August 15, 2012, 9:05 am

    This one is a keeper for me. I LOVE your line..

    “We can begin to think of ourselves as bold people who are sometimes fearless instead of fear-filled people who try to be bold”

    Your point about not making comparisons rings so true. Each of us experiences courage in our own way. There is no ‘less’ or ‘more’. Each morsel of it becomes part of our courage repertoire that we can put in our backpacks.xxoo-Fran

    • Tess August 15, 2012, 2:44 pm

      I love it. My backpack runneth over!

  • Betsy/Zen Mama August 15, 2012, 10:58 am

    I love your list Tess! Filled with great advice for anyone. I notice that I always want to print out your posts. This is no exception. Thanks!!

  • Tess August 15, 2012, 2:44 pm

    Thanks Betsy! I appreciate you.

  • Cathy | Treatment Talk August 15, 2012, 3:00 pm

    I love your list, Tess. No. 1 jumps out at me – apologize. That does often take courage, but needed at times. Also No. 12 Choose to be Happy is a great reminder. We have a choice each day on how we look at our life. I choose to find the happiness and joy.

  • Thomas Wolff August 15, 2012, 5:44 pm

    Great list! So many of those things seem like such obvious, easy things to do, but in reality, none of them are easy. If everybody just picked a couple of actions on the list to focus on, the world would be a much better place.

    I will be zeroing in on #16 – enjoying the small things. Sounds so simple, but it’s so difficult given everything going on around me.

  • Suzie Cheel August 15, 2012, 7:23 pm

    Rock The Boat stood out immediately for me Tess something I used to do 🙂 I was just thinking this morning about a situation and thought it was time to be honest about my feeling about a situation- thanks

  • Carolyn Hughes August 17, 2012, 1:20 am

    What a wonderful list! I love reading a post like this where I agree with it all! I loved your comment that it is time to claim our bold and audacious selves. I used to hide behind alcohol to deal with every situation that frightened me. Now in sobriety I have had to face the fears and in doing so have gained so much strength.
    I have a little saying and that is ‘If you’re afraid to do it, do it afraid!’

  • Galen Pearl August 17, 2012, 4:40 pm

    Each one of these is so powerful. I was going to pick a favorite, but at every one I changed my mind. I’m going to read them again. Also went back and listened to your interview in the last post. So amazing. Your blog is one stop shopping for wisdom today. Thank you.

  • raja December 29, 2012, 6:15 am

    Its very good..thanks a lot for this post…i ‘ll change..

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