Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness


If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.

Boldness and Hesitation:

Elicit very different psychological responses in their targets:

  1. Hesitation puts obstacles in your path
  2. Boldness eliminates them.

· Once you understand this, you will find it essential to overcome your natural timidity and practice the art of audacity.

The following are among the most pronounced psychological effects of boldness and timidity:

The Bolder the Lie the Better

  1. Entering action with boldness has the magical effect of hiding our deficiencies.
  2. When putting together a con or entering any kind of negotiation, go further than you planned.
  3. Ask for the moon and you will be surprised how often you get it.

Lions Circle the Hesitant Prey

  1. In a first encounter, you demonstrate your willingness to compromise, back down, and retreat, you bring out the lion even in people who are not necessarily bloodthirsty.
  2. Everything depends on perception, and once you are seen as the kind of person who quickly goes on the defensive, who is willing to negotiate and be amenable, you will be pushed around without mercy.

Boldness Strikes Fear; Fear Creates Authority

  1. The bold move makes you seem larger and more powerful than you are. If it comes suddenly, with the stealth and swiftness of a snake, it inspires that much more fear.
  2. By intimidating with a bold move, you establish a precedent: in every subsequent encounter, people will be on the defensive, in terror of your next strike.

Going Halfway with Half a Heart Digs the Deeper Grave

  1. If you enter an action with less than total confidence, you set up obstacles in your own path.
  2. When a problem arises you will grow confused, seeing options where there are none and inadvertently creating more problems still.
  3. Retreating from the hunter, the timid hare scurries more easily into his snares.

Hesitation Creates Gaps, Boldness Obliterates Them

  1. When you take time to think, to hem and haw, you create a gap that allows others time to think as well.
  2. Your timidity infects people with awkward energy, elicits embarrassment. Doubt springs up on all sides.

Boldness Destroys Such Gaps.

  1. The swiftness of the move and the energy of the action leave others no space to doubt and worry.
  2. In seduction, hesitation is fatal—it makes your victim conscious of your intentions.
  3. The bold move crowns seduction with triumph: It leaves no time for reflection.

Audacity Separates You from the Herd

  1. Boldness gives you presence and makes you seem larger than life.
  2. The timid fade into the wallpaper, the bold draw attention, and what draws attention draws power.
  3. We cannot keep our eyes off the audacious—we cannot wait to see their next bold move.

You must practice and develop your boldness. You will often find uses for it. The best place to begin is often the delicate world of negotiation, particularly those discussions in which you are asked to set your own price. How often we put ourselves down by asking for too little.


Boldness should never be the strategy behind all of your actions. It is a tactical instrument, to be used at the right moment. Plan and think ahead, and make the final element the bold move that will bring you success. In other words, since boldness is a learned response, it is also one that you learn to control and utilize at will.