In the past few weeks I have heard the word audacious in so many conversations, I had to look it up to see I was fully understanding its meaning. The definition I liked best was “showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.” I have tried to be a little more audacious in my leading over the past year, and I can tell you those times when I wanted to run and hide my head in the sand, it has been our athletes who have encouraged me by their example to press on.
Being audacious requires courageously overcoming FEAR. Fear is a game-changer that can stop any one of us from even trying. For years now I have watched people with intellectual disabilities in spite of tremendous physical and mental challenges be BRAVE IN THE ATTEMPT. The key words here are “brave” and “attempt.” Our athletes try and because they do so should we – even when afraid.
Audacity inspires us to overcome FAILURE. Made any mistakes lately? Made any big ones? Well I sure have, and it is those very failures that have become my greatest moments of learning. When I look at our athletes rarely if ever have I seen them blame or shame anyone for making a mistake. They continue to remind me that there is no condemnation in failure – in fact, failure makes us better.
Being audacious boils down to making the decision to be bolder and braver. Thank you Special Olympics athletes for being such great examples. You are helping me and many others to take bold steps and in doing so, like you, we are living life more fully.