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Finding Your Boldness

Man walking a tightrope attached to the top of a mountain.

Finding Your Boldness

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

~Nelson Mandela
Black and white headshot of Harriet Tubman who  was born to enslaved parents in eastern Maryland in 1822. In 1849 she fled to Philadelphia and made contact with abolutionists and the Underground Railroad. Over several years, she stealthily returned to Dorchester County, Maryland, to rescue dozens from slavery. Photo c. 1885 The Everett Collection Personal Note: Harriet Tubman is one of my heroes and the definition of boldness. Many people don't know this but she also had a severe head injury that left her visually impaired.

How do you define bold? What does a bold person look like? When are you bold?

I have always thought of bold as confidence. I also strongly believe that to develop bold confidence we must have courage. To have courage we must have hope that we can do what we are attempting to do. 

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

~Helen Keller

As a person who has experienced progressive vision loss for many years, to the point of now having no functional vision, I readily agree that it is often very difficult to be courageous or confident. We often see the things we can’t do, or that we think we cannot do. The “what if” plagues us. It truly takes more energy, more processing, and more everything. And, when we experience a challenge, a failure, an embarrassment, it is so much the tendency to want to run and hide again. But, for ourselves and for those who are watching us-who we have the opportunity to influence—we must find our courage.  

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

~Winston S. Churchill

I love Nora Ephron’s  idea of being the heroin of my life. This means I decide what a heroin looks like, and then I live that. That takes boldness. It takes authenticity. It takes confidence. But, it is beautiful!

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

~Nora Ephron

An important part of this quote is the second line that says “do not be the victim.” Yes, living as a person who is blind or low vision, with a disability, or with any significant life challenge is hard. Honestly, most people experience challenges, but we cannot allow ourselves to become the victims of those circumstances. We must reach out for help, which takes courage. We must be problem-solvers and seek out helpful resources, which takes confidence. We must step out of our comfort zone to start walking our path. That takes boldness. 

Black and white headshot of Harriet Tubman who  was born to enslaved parents in eastern Maryland in 1822. In 1849 she fled to Philadelphia and made contact with abolutionists and the Underground Railroad. Over several years, she stealthily returned to Dorchester County, Maryland, to rescue dozens from slavery. Photo c. 1885 The Everett Collection 

A blind woman having just descended cement stairs is walking on a city sidewalk with her white cane.

People see me as a very confident and courageous person, and for the most part I am. But, I also deeply know that confidence is just as often a façade that I display. I put on my shiny self and step out there… and somehow in this my confidence and courage actually do grow. But, Boldness for me is also trying To live and be more authentic, And not having to shine all of the time. It is about admitting when I am scared or struggling, about saying no when I want to, hiding when I want to, and being brave or bold when I want to

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes its that little voice At the end of the day That says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

~Mary Anne Radmacher

I love being comfortable. In fact, I love being at home in my safe environment. But, I have also learned to love adventure, meeting new people, going places I’ve never been, making a positive impact on others, and living a full life. Getting out of my comfort zone has helped me develop much more courage and more confidence. I challenge you to live a life that gets you out of your comfort zone more often. Live a bold and beautiful life.

I leave you with one of my absolutely favorite quotes… and I hope you will believe it and act on it!

 “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

~Winnie the Pooh

By Sylvia Stinson-Perez

Like what you’ve read and want to chat about it? Join us in the Bold Blind Beauty Facebook group.

Connecting With Sylvia:

Connecting With Bold Blind Beauty

Author Bio:

The author’s bio photo is a glam photo of Sylvia in a pink dress with spaghetti straps. Her hair is in a fancy updo with a pink flower on the left of her bun.
Sylvia Stinson-Perez

Sylvia Stinson-Perez has spent her career in the blindness field, and is the Chief Programs Officer for the American Foundation for the Blind. Sylvia believes the authentic shared experience of living with vision loss can lead to the development of bold confidence in living with blindness. She loves helping others find their beauty and courage on this journey.

Sylvia has Master’s degrees in Social Work, Visual Disabilities Rehabilitation, and Business Administration. Sylvia is blind as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), however, she believes that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

Sylvia is a wife, a mother, a friend, an advocate, and a professional dedicated to making a positive difference. She enjoys reading, cooking, travel, crocheting, writing and public speaking, and time with loved ones.

Image Descriptions:

  • Header image: Man walking a tightrope attached to the top of a mountain.
  • Black and white headshot of Harriet Tubman who was born to enslaved parents in eastern Maryland in 1822. In 1849 she fled to Philadelphia and made contact with abolutionists and the Underground Railroad. Over several years, she stealthily returned to Dorchester County, Maryland, to rescue dozens from slavery. Photo c. 1885 The Everett Collection
    • Personal Note: Harriet Tubman is one of my heroes and the definition of boldness. Many people don’t know this but she also had a severe head injury that left her visually impaired.
  • A blind woman having just descended cement stairs, is walking on a city sidewalk with her white cane.
  • The author’s bio photo is a glam photo of Sylvia in a pink dress with spaghetti straps. Her hair is in a fancy updo with a pink flower on the left of her bun.
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