Create Your Own Happiness by Being Bodacious

Copyright 2006 Mary Foley

What does being bodacious have to do with personal happiness? Well, consider what bodacious really means. The dictionary definition includes the descriptors bold, outstanding, remarkable, and audacious. Being bodacious became a personal rallying cry during my demanding 10 year career with AOL while I also dealt with a difficult marriage. Out of this experience I came up with my own definition of bodacious: The Courage to be in Charge of Your Life!

Being in charge of your life starts with being authentic with yourself, about who you are and what you want. It then takes courage to follow through. It’s in this place of choice and being true to yourself where you experience a personal happiness, perhaps in a way you’ve never experienced before.

To easily understand what it means to live bodaciously, I created the Bodacious Woman Mantra. I like to think of it as four phrases that can change your life and provide a pathway to happiness.

The first phrase of the Bodacious Woman Mantra is to “Look Within.” Bodacious Women know that all the skills, techniques, and savvy in the world won’t stick until you improve the quality of your inner messages. Looking Within means trusting your inner voice. If you listen carefully, your inner voice will help you determine how you feel and what you want.

Looking Within also means protecting yourself from self-esteem busters. Unfortunately, our culture tends to confuse self-esteem with self-absorption or just plain selfishness, and this confusion leads women not taking care of themselves. Protecting your self-esteem is healthy and is fundamental to happiness.

Part two of the Bodacious Mantra is to “Think Strategically.” You can’t decide how to get where you’re going until you decide where you are going and why. Well, duh. But how many times do we race off in the morning going from one thing to another until we drop? Those days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months or years, and we wonder why we’re not happy. So, here’s the question: Do you know what you want? Or, are you simply moving in the direction you believe you were supposed to? You can only be happy when you move in a direction that’s true to who you are.

“Act Bodaciously” is the third phrase of the Bodacious Woman Mantra. This involves saying what you want and taking a risks, which is often something women comfortable doing. For example, maybe you’re thinking that it’s not “nice” to say so directly what you want. It feels a bit harsh. Consider this: it’s not “nice” to so muffle your communication that others don’t know what you want and don’t have a chance to positively respond, which leaves the both of you frustrated and full of blame. Bodacious Women know they’re doing everyone involved a favor.

When it comes to taking risks, Bodacious Women know that to get anywhere in life takes risk. They also know that the biggest risk is not taking one at all. I’m not talking reckless risks. I’m talking the kinds of things you need to do to reach your goals. And remember, giving something a shot that doesn’t work out as planned doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it means you’re a Bodacious Woman demonstrating her guts and courage.

As you live the Bodacious Woman Mantra, there’s one last piece to keep in mind: Live Every Minute of It! Learn to love the ups and the downs. Laugh and play along the way. To stay energized and engaged, you’ve got to be serious about not being so serious! Be playFULL. Laugh as much as possible and find the humor that’s begging to be discovered. Let your happiness show through.

So, there you have it, the Bodacious Woman Mantra. By practicing this Mantra you will find yourself feeling more authentic, more powerful, and more alive. And, above all, happy.