“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
– Rosa Parks
Oprah has a history of not giving up when things are going bad in her life–from childhood until now. How audacious is she? Now what about you?
It takes audacity to stand up for yourself when it feels like the world is against you; when your decisions are not popular and when there is fear about the consequences. To be audacious is to be fearless and daring, to not be intimidated, to be unrestrained by convention. This includes asking for help when you need it.
It takes audacity to believe in yourself, to start a business, to follow your dreams, to start a new relationship or, for that matter, to end old relationships. Having audacity means having enough nerve to say, “I’m here, my life matters, and I am going to do something about it.”
No one woman may embody audacity more than Oprah Winfrey, who literally created a network called the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) to spread positivity and to help people live their best lives. Not to mention that for 25 years she had the top-rated self-titled talk show, the Oprah Show. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was, for a time, the world’s only black billionaire. According to some assessments, she is the most influential woman in the world. I dare say that she is indeed audacious.
In describing her decision to start her own network, Oprah said in an interview, “I have never felt such fear in all my life. When it struck me that, okay, this is what I’m really gonna do…?” She asked herself, “Why are you doing it? Then I went through how hard it was going to be.”
But before all of the awards and accolades, Oprah had to see the possibility for herself when no one else did. There is nothing about where she came from and some of the challenges that she experienced growing up in the South, having been molested, living in a broke home, getting pregnant as a young girl and more; none of that painted the phenomenal picture of success that we see today. But she was audacious.
Even in recent history when her OWN network was in financial and ratings trouble, Oprah came out of retirement and went back to work. So you see, even after you’ve had success, the challenges you face and the need to be daring and fearless will continue; but it will be on another level.
Oprah is someone that most women cheer on and admire. She clearly exudes power and positivity. Nevertheless, the characteristic of audacity works even for the most controversial personalities.
Consider actor Charlie Sheen, who beyond his talent and work in movies such as “Platoon” and “Wall Street” or sitcoms such as “Spin City” and “Two and a Half Men”; is also known for his tumultuous personal life. It’s one filled with reports of alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and a very controversial firing from his hit TV show.
From the moment he enters a room, let alone opens his mouth, one thing is clear, he is indeed audacious. “I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars.” That is my favorite quote from Charlie Sheen! This was the period where the world was watching him go through what seemed like a complete mental meltdown. He was fired from his hit TV show at the time, “Two and a Half Men.” All the entertainment television shows, blogs and radio shows were on “Charlie Watch.” We all had comments and questions about his state of mind, and his substance abuse. Many still do.