My radio show and blog, "Women In High Def," are all about living vibrant, compelling lives for God. Although the "target audience" is women who want clarity, color and excitement, this applies equally to men. God doesn't give us a spirit of fear or timidity, so I want to encourage you to take a brave step forward in all the significant parts of your life.

That's how I try to live every day. I certainly make mistakes, but usually learn important lessons. I'd like to share from my heart to encourage you to push yourself and don't settle for anything mediocre. You truly weren't created to be bland or complacent, so reflect that with some fearless choices.

Specific thoughts on bold, fearless living

I'd like to challenge you to evaluate some areas of your life for the boldness factor. When was the last time you made a choice for:

• Bold romance - an intimate date, a surprise in bed, extra effort toward your husband?

• Bold parenting - saying no (even though "everyone's doing it"); expecting good manners; requiring kids to serve others?

• Bold friendship - reaching out to an "unlikable" coworker; sitting quietly and listening (not advising) a hurting friend?

• Bold sacrifice - giving your favorite dress to a woman going to a job interview (not last season's castoffs); putting more than the minimum in the offering plate; missing church to teach second-grade Sunday School?

• Bold career - quitting your job to raise your kids; going back to college to start over in a field you love; working as though for the Lord (even with a lousy boss)?

• Bold purpose - asking God what He's created you to do; focus on your passions and hone gifts that will allow you to be "on purpose" each day?

Being bold can be thrilling

List the most important aspects of your life and assess how bold and fearless you were last year. What bold things does God want you to do in 2012? Why are you playing it safe? How can you overcome fear, complacency and mediocrity?

I invite you to share some of your bold experiences or upcoming challenges at, as well as at

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Diane Markins can be reached at Visit her blog

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