— Lois McMaster Bujold
"We tend to be attracted to confident, bold, defiant people in the world. Many times audacity can go further than even talent. The talented person who does not show belief and confidence can flounder, when someone less talented but with assertive belief can flourish. Being convinced in the merit of ourselves is an attractive energy that sells and magnetizes attention as much for the product as for the belief itself. Spending time working on confidence, acting “as if” we are worthy, excellent, daring and courageous would be time well spent for the person desiring success. That is why one of the nine Greek Muses was upgraded to a Muse with moxie called Audacity.
The word “audacity” is a synonym for boldness, daring and courage. Other synonyms include grit, guts and, appropriately — patience. The Muse Audacity is here to inspire these qualities in order to endow Mortals with the courage they need to be creatively liberated, and to be themselves without explanation or apology. You have probably heard someone exclaim “WELL…THE AUDACITY!” about someone who had the nerve to do something bold and perhaps rude. Audacity in this case is not disrespect toward other mortals, or toward oneself. Audacity’s influence includes respect — yet this does not necessarily mean a positive public opinion is needed. In fact, one of the favorite things Audacity encourages mortals to believe is “Listen, if everyone likes what I’ve done, I haven’t gone far enough… it is not possible to be liked by everyone if I am deeply authentic and true to myself.” And this is perfectly okay.
How do you go about believing in yourself to the degree that magnetizes creative success? Any change in thought process has to be done with patience and persistence. The downfall of any self-help program is not informing the participant that results do not happen overnight. "The Secret", "The Power of Now", "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" inspire enthusiasm which can temporarily lift us out of our old habits of thinking, but if not practiced in small increments of time over several months, the old habits come back because the brain has not adopted the new habit. Many people are not that patient or do not realize the amount of time it takes to make progress down a new path and give up. The persistent ones rise to the top. Belief Strategies:
1. Dwell on being confident for at least 30 seconds a day. It seems like a ridiculously small period of time, but if we do not find 30 seconds a day to make a change we are in self sabotage. Very small periods of time prevent the fear mechanisms of our brain to be triggered so creativity can emerge to make a change. Fear turns off the cortex, the creative center of the brain which is one of the most common reasons people block.
2. Act “as if…“ This in itself is an act of creativity — you are creating a persona that will soon be matched with action. Feel the confidence in your body, relive empowered moments and apply their energy to the present.
3. Collect and post compliments you’ve received, empowering quotes, the names of audacious individuals as fortifiers — daily vitamins for your courageous soul. Here is a favorite quote from Terry Cole-Whittaker: “What other people think of me is none of my business.”
4. Get permission from audacious people not by asking them, but by thinking to yourself “They can do it, so can I,” but remember to expect small gains, not huge ones. Never give your power away.
5. Use creative license. You are an individual, and are allowed a margin of eccentricity, of individuality, of audaciousness. Claim yours. Define yourself with what triggers your intuitive joy not by what is popular with other people. A friend of mine once told me about an artist who exhibited his work and as people looked at his paintings he stood in a corner and hissed at them. He’s an artist, he can do that with freedom. And that’s one of the most wonderful things about the creative process — it is a synonym for freedom but only if we rise courageously to the task of authentically being ourselves."
About the Author: Jill Badonsky, M.Ed. is a nationally recognized workshop leader, artist, performer, humorist, and author of the book, "The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers and Other Mortals Wanting to Live a Dazzling Existence." She teaches creativity lovers to facilitate classes and workshops based on her book and along with UCLA psychologist, Robert Maurer, she trains people to be Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaches. She can be found lurking at www.themuseisin.com.