On a regular basis, I set aside 10-30 minutes to ask myself questions about my belief system and how it impacts how I see myself and what I do. Recently, I was pondering the question: “What limiting beliefs have influenced what I believe is my purpose?” During this session, a question popped into my mind as if it had been shouted: “Remember how you were before you were five years old?” I had to pause for a moment to figure out what that was about. Then I remembered.

When I was about 4 years old, I was living with my Japanese grandmother in Japan. The movie “Tarzan” was showing at the movie theaters and she took me to see it. As we left the theater, I proudly held out my chest, beat it with my fists and loudly belted out my version of the Tarzan jungle call, much to my grandmother’s embarrassment. It helps to know that I was half Japanese and half American. At 4 years old, I was bigger than most 4 year-olds. In fact, I was probably bigger than most 6 year-olds. Others seeing me would think I was older which added to my grandmother’s discomfort. Of course, I didn’t do this once. I did it several times as we walked toward the train station, as my grandmother quietly tried to get me to stop. Today, my aunts laugh, but at that time, it was no laughing matter for my grandmother.

These images reminded me of my mindset at age 4, before I had been adopted and before bad things began to happen to me. I was bold. I was fearless. I didn’t let senseless social restrictions tell me what to do or what not to do. I believe that some level of social restriction is necessary so we can all live together peacefully. But, shy of anti-social behavior, should I suppress my inner boldness and fearlessness?

So I wondered and asked myself these questions.

  • How did suppressing bold and fearless influence how I showed up?
  • How would my life look by adding bold and fearless back into my life today?
  • How would it make me feel?
  • What else in my past are examples of showing up bold and fearless?
  • Do I like being bold and fearless?
  • How would I show up differently by being purposefully bold and fearless?

Looking back over the years, there were many times I was bold and fearless. But those characteristics slipped out because I was not purposeful about being bold and fearless. Being purposeful is one of my focuses this year, staying true to The Art of Action which is to purposefully create a fully integrated life. Now I’m adding bold and fearless as characteristics to purposefully include in my actions to make sure my actions matter more and make a bigger impact.

By the way, my grandmother absolutely adored me and I always remember her as a saint and I wish I could tell her I’m sorry for having embarrassed her. But I’m not sorry for having expressed my boldness and fearlessness. Without this memory, I would not have the tool to remind me to be bold and fearless.

Be Bold and Fearless now and Sign up to get a free copy of the upcoming book The Art of Action to learn ways to optimize work-life balance/life integration here: The Art of Action PreRelease.