I have found that acting boldly has an interesting effect. Being bold requires that I not be afraid; that I have to act without second guessing myself. As a result I find myself acting in ways and doing things that I did not plan or expect. Sometimes the effect is so drastic as to leave me wondering: "Did I just do that"?
A few weeks ago I was with a group of people who I had just met. I knew very little about them, yet they were friendly enough to put me completely at ease. I lost all anxiety. They were members of a small congregation that I was visiting with a friend. After the service was over I stayed and visited with some of them. While visiting some of us began fooling around with the instruments used for worship. Not feeling any fear, I joined them and began playing one of the African drums at the front. I should mention at this point that I have never played drums before in my life. Also, I suffer from stage-fright. I do play piano, so I have a decent sense of rhythm, but this was a new experience. I ended up playing in an impromptu band for about an hour with a group of people I had never met. All because at that time I was willing to act boldly, without fear.
Last week while doing cold-approaches I found that boldness allows me to act with very little inhibition. It freed up my mind to find new things to say and do that would help move the interaction along. My favorite discovery was a neg that I started doing without thinking. I have done it few times and reaction so far has been good. If the girl is short, I kneel so that I am at eye-level with her and say with a slight smile: "I believe in equality." When I did it the other day her response was: "That's a jerky thing to say!". But her grin and barely suppressed laughter indicated otherwise. The guys in the group I was with thought it was hilarious.
None of this would have happened if I had been afraid to be bold. Fear restricts your thoughts and responses and keeps you away from what you want. Boldness frees you up to act on your instincts and improves your responses. So act boldly, you may be surprised at what you can do.