By Christine Schwab - TV Personality & Author
Exactly what is boldness? I decided to look up the definition in Webster’s dictionary.
“The ability to take risks, confidant, courageous.”
Intoxicating words. Now I had to ask myself just how do they pertain to me for this story’s purpose? I had never thought of myself as a bold person. I was a bashful, quiet child. I remember my knees knocking when I had to do my first oral book report in front of a third grade classroom. As a teenager I was more the shy, studious type, although I yearned to be the outgoing party girl. As a young bride and mother, I followed in my mother’s footsteps, “don’t make waves.” And I didn’t until my frustration at keeping quiet got the best of me and I decided I had a voice that I needed to use. I was not the muffled girl my husband had married. Was I getting bold without realizing it? It never crossed my mind.
Divorced and working in television as an on camera talent was about as far from my personality as I could imagine. It all came to me happenstance. I never set out to work in television. I started in a nice up-scale salon doing make-up part time when my son was an infant. I liked it so much that I went on to UCLA Fashion School of Design to learn how to package the entire person. Head to toe fashion. I was still shy, but when I talked about style, my confidence grew, my career took off. Bold? I didn’t think so. Just doing what I loved.
Now I ask myself, was there a bold person hidden inside the shy façade all along and I just didn’t realize it? Could be. Now I understand that we all have a bold person inside of us. Some never find their boldness, others, like myself find it out of necessity.
My necessity was survival. I was a single parent, trying to make it in the television world. My knees still knocked at the beginning. As I heard the stage manager’s call out, “5,4,3,2 and….” My heart fluttered in my chest. My nerves at an all time high. And then the camera’s red light came on and the hosts started talking to me and I forgot about everything except the world of fashion I was reporting on. I was no longer aware of the lights, the microphones or the cameras moving about. I was talking about something I knew. I was an expert. People were listening and responding. Was I bold? I never thought about it, I just talked, and talked and talked.
Twenty years later I had talked my way to be one of the top fashion reporters on TV. I had authored three books. Worked on everything from ABC News to Oprah, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show, Live with Regis and NBC Nightly News. I didn’t have time to think about being confident, courageous or bold. I just worked. I never thought it took courage to pick up a phone and call a television show and pitch my ideas. I never thought it was risky to go with my literary agent to meetings to pitch book concepts. I just did it because I wanted to succeed.
If I would have known that I needed to be bold, courageous and confident I might never have succeeded. Inside I was still that withdrawn girl.
What I have learned is that we all have a bold piece. We all have confidence and courageousness inside of us, it’s just a matter of bringing them to the surface. If you’re like me you might need to do it sublimely, without thinking about what’s necessary to succeed. If boldness is something you recognize in yourself, lucky, lucky you.
Today, what I am sure about it that we all have the ability to succeed. It can be to succeed as a professional, or as a wife and mother. It can be at any level on the success monitor. Success is what’s important to you. It’s achieving what you want from life. For some of us it’s reaching for the moon, for others it’s staying in your own backyard. Boldness is inside us. It’s up to us to choose how to manifest it into our dreams or reality.
As a long time fashionista I think of boldness as that one perfect accessory. It isn’t mandatory to your outfit, but used properly, it makes your outfit spectacular.