Take a moment to really think about that question.
If you are an entrepreneur or small biz owner like I am — knowing what you stand for is essential and will impact your business. But you should also know what you don’t stand for so you don’t end up chasing too many shiny objects. I always work with my female founder clients on the art of saying no — so we can make room for the Brave yeses. We have to clear the field — our energy field and life field — to make space for what we do stand for.
If you are a leader or changemaker in your industry and you have had some ideas of what you stand for but don’t know what to do with it because corporate or government culture is getting in your way … know that you have so much more power than you think. Living your purpose and letting what you stand for doesn’t have to be a flaming hot cheeto in the room. You can be quiet and subtle — unless you are ready to uplevel and do something bigger in your life or career. Then that’s where good career coaching or life coaching can help you. Quiet and powerful is possible.
If you are a creative person who wants to put your creative passion on the front burner of your life and you aren’t sure what that looks like yet … then I encourage you to play with your purpose and your passion in creative ways. The best artists and writers and creatives aren’t overthinking and putting too much time into planning. They are just doing the messy work of being imperfect.
What it Means to Lead more Courageously
When I started my first real blog — Awesomely Awake — my mission then — as is my mission now — was to help the world wake up. It has since fallen so asleep I’ve lost hope on what is possible for true mindfulness and presence practices — which I still use very much in my coaching work because I am a forever fan.
My life word is in fact AWAKE. But the purpose behind the blog and the coaching work I did back then was to wake people up. I was so tired of seeing people walking around like zombies on their phones and not engaging in the world around them.
Now it’s just the way it is for so many but I am still very much all about this — even if over the past year and a half has meant a reliance on tech in a bigger way than ever.
We are also seeing a movement for many to use tech less — so maybe there is hope yet. Peloton’s sales are dropping because people are going back to gyms. I stood for waking people up and that’s what I began to write about.
The movement and followers came along with me.
That eventually led to mindfulness and well-being programs for moms and the abundant mama project, which was rooted in mindfulness and spiritual practices to navigate the hardships of motherhood.
I think that by being here, listening to me, you too are awake — and maybe you are also tired.
Tired of hustling.
Tired of the daily grind of keeping up.
Tired of doing the same things over and over that aren’t working.
Tired of not thriving or flourishing but rather feeling like you are drowning in not enoughness and to-do lists that serve others best interest.
Now I stand for something else — well, lots of things — but mainly this — we need a diverse body of women — including you — to be at all the tables where decisions are being made, in the rooms where policy is being shaped, leaning in and not leaning out. We need women to show up, be seen and let their brilliance be known.
The world is very broken and awake women like you need to save us — to lead more courageously.
Once you know, you know. It’s like the gates of heaven opening up.
The sun rising.
The cloudy skies clearing.
It’s magical and energizing.
We don’t always know. We aren’t always able to get to clarity on our own. So find a partner to discuss this with. Share ideas. Be honest with each other. And if you don’t have a trusted partner for this exercise, try it with a mentor, coach or therapist, even.
Because .. doing something with what you stand for is likely the very key to your own well-being and happiness.
Perhaps you’re thinking … well, crap, I stand for a lot and I can’t choose and I get overwhelmed and I don’t even know how to move forward and actually DO something and take action because of that — and if that’s true, you’re not alone.
I’ve been there. Most of my clients have been there. Many times.
I call people like you — and myself — multipossibilitarians.
If only we could do it all! If this is you let’s chat. I am a master at helping you discover your strengths to match your potential.
OR, If the answer lights you up. — what are you going to do about it?
I work with creator, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are ready to uplevel or make a pivot in your life, work or business. Perhaps YOU are looking for a coach to help you design your Brave Yes around this very question is what you need for the new year. Let’s chat. I offer complimentary coaching sessions with women interested in coaching with me so we can see if we’re a good fit. Learn more here.
I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t want to be braver — at least in some form or another.
I have worked so hard to push myself to be a brave person — to live more courageously.
It’s not always easy work for some of us.
When I was a child, my best friend and I would run around my grandparent’s huge 50 acres of forest, or her family’s rural farm pretending we were supergirls with special superpowers that protected us from everything.
We were fearless.
We climbed rock walls and trees.
We lept from rock to rock in the creek.
We ran through fields imagining we were chasing villains and saving the world.
Oh, if only all that was possible as adults.
Our superpowers must have worked wonders because we always managed to rise up from the pitfalls of our adventures such as the ravenous teeth of dogs chasing us through the woods or even my great fall squarely into a manure pit, losing a shoe in the process.
We were fearless and confident and anything was possible.
Why You Need to Cultivate Courage as a Creator, Changemaker and Leader
I have been writing and creating online for 15 years.
And I remember the first webinar I did — and how terrified I was to go before hundreds of people on camera.
Now, that is easy for me.
If you want to play bigger, create more boldly and feel more confident by taking up space in the boardroom or a zoom room, you are likely wondering how you can be more brave.
One of my favorite personal development and coaching tools is focusing each morning on my own Brave Yes Power Tools. These are the tools I have selected that will help me be more me, be more confident and be more brave.
Because I’m not that fearless little girl anymore. I have to work for my courage. It’s a journey. A practice. A set of tools to use every single day because life has a way of taking over as we grow up and as we gain more and more responsibilities. Even when we know better, even when we know something needs to change, we become afraid to take risks.
We need courage now more than ever.
We need ALL kinds of courage because the world is burning in many ways — physically and metaphorically.
Change is needed — and at every level.
As a changemaker in my community and a BraveYes Coach, I help women get unstuck and make a change. It is my passion to help you unearth your confidence, your personal power and your self-expressed self.
I call this unearthing your superpowers. (Are you surprised? No. I bet you are not.)
I believe so strongly in helping quiet creators, coaches and changemakers finally know your self-worth, take up more space in your work and lead more bravely so you are the light. you need to be in this world. And to do that you must know your superpowers.
Your untapped brilliance is your biggest asset.
Your self-worth should be your biggest investment.
Your thought leadership, ideas and offerings deserve to be seen, heard and valued.
Your stories and lived experiences are your leverage.
This is why I love my Brave Yes Coaching methodology — a method that infuses personal narratives, Unshakeable Resilience and Well-Being, Mindfulness and Courage Coaching with soulful, gentle accountability, strategy and support.
I call this your Brave Yes Life.
There are Many Reasons Why We Want to be Braver
Brave isn’t always big.
Sometimes — and often — brave is quiet and hidden from the world around you that only you see it and know it’s unfolding.
The Brave Yes work my clients are focused on isn’t jet-setting and taking physical risk — though one of my more quiet clients did just brag about breaking a board in her karate class! Many of my clients are approaching midlife, raising families and don’t have the time or energy for big, physical risk-taking.
They want to be influential in their work and industry.
They want to serve deeply with heart and soul.
Inside my Brave Yes Coaching Program, I work with you on operationalizing The Brave Yes Power Tools — a set of powerful tools, practices and exercises to boost resilience, courage and well-being. These are the tools we need to be more courageous, to be women of influence, to be authentic, brave creators and changemakers are necessary.
It’s very possible that you don’t know what your Brave Yes needs to be.
From my research and coaching work into the unshakeable resilience model that is the foundational work we must do in order to have the capacity to do BRAVE things and to live the Brave Yes Life, I have identified (at least) 10 types of courage you can apply in your life.
Here’s 10 Ways to Live a More Courageous Life
DO YOU NEED SPIRITUAL COURAGE?
Spiritual Courage is actually one of my favorite areas to focus on in coaching as I have been inspiring women to leave their spiritual comfort zones for many years. Plus, as a longtime creative and creator — it takes a lot of trust to put your work out into the world, especially brave, authentic work that showcases your own ideas.
Spiritual courage is needed most when you need to take a Brave Yes Leap in your life — a new habit, a new attitude or perhaps a long overdue change that is scary yet exciting and liberating. You need spiritual courage when trust is needed as much as — or more than — taking action. Examples of this could include leaving an abusive or oppressive job, relationship or even a church. But it can also be a powerful practice as well if you simply want to expand your own spiritual beliefs or practice.
This kind of courage is also needed when you are ready to try something brave and out of your comfort zone — you know what you need to do but you are afraid nonetheless. Spiritual courage is also needed as you learn to trust yourself more or listen more to your own needs and intuition after years of not putting yourself first.
DO YOU NEED CREATIVE COURAGE?
Creative courage is a powerful yet fun focus area of courage — and one that I use often as an online creator, coach and writer. Creative courage is so needed in this world in order to stand out and make a splash in the busyness of the information highway.
We need leaders, artists, makers,, changemakers and creators to feel free to play and experiment with your full range of creativity and possibility. You need creative courage to write or even to dream of writing a book or becoming an author. You need creative courage to become a better painter, a prolific potter or a puppeteer (I actually have had a client whose husband did just this).
It takes creative courage to come out and practice your passion and to own it — such as one of my clients who is a clown but hadn’t done clowning since becoming a mother.
Physical courage isn’t just about running a marathon or signing up for Ironman — though it can be, for sure. It can also be about finally knowing that you need to make that long overdue dentist or mammogram appointment.
Physical courage is needed when you need to re-learn how to love yourself, take up space with your body and even give up on diet culture and learn how to love and listen to your body.
Physical courage is also needed when you are ready to leave your comfort zone and start to try new things — such as the time I finally swam in the sea for only the second time in my life. It might be ziplining or jumping out of an airplane but it also might be using your body to create a human wall during a protest.
DO YOU NEED EMOTIONAL COURAGE?
Emotional courage is used when you are afraid to show your emotions, afraid to reveal your emotions or afraid to talk about your emotions — or other people’s. This is all about how you allow yourself to be in emotional discomfort as well as practice leaning toward positive emotions.
I’ve been working with women for years on what I call the messy middle — the very uncomfortable space between places or the the midst of change that hasn’t fully happened yet — and this is a place of emotional upheaval, which makes it the perfect time to practice emotional courage.
Emotional courage is about embracing and honoring all of our huge spectrum of feelings that course through us in a single day or week or month. Learning to embrace our sensitive nature is courageous.
This kind of courage can also be about learning to love yourself, finally believing in yourself and your self-worth or accepting all of yourself.
Social courage is about being authentically you in every way and not being afraid to stand out, stick out or look different from others.
It can also be about taking risks to make friendships — or to end toxic friendships.
I love working with my clients on social courage as it’s all apart of our journey toward taking up more space in this world — because this is about walking into a room and feeling like you belong no matter what.
And, just as important, is practicing social courage when you want to network, connect and uplevel in your career. Reaching. outto build new relationships can feel very risky — and yet it’s essential to moving up in your career.
DO YOU NEED MORAL COURAGE?
Moral courage is about speaking up and leading your life based on your beliefs and values. It is beautiful to see people practicing moral courage more and more these days.
Of course, this is also what has divided people so it’s one that is super tricky and generally a challenge for humanity. And so moral courage can also be about listening, compassion and being kind in difficult circumstances.
When we are led by moral courage, we stand up and speak up for those who do not have a voice, we use our power to effect change and we do what we think is best based on our values and beliefs.
Sharing publicly that I support Black Lives Matter and other human rights causes is one way that I practice moral courage. I also have begun to plant trees as a 1:1 initiative for every client I work with.
Moral courage is an essential ingredient to use in the Brave Yes Life since it is values-led living and leadership.
DO YOU NEED INTELLECTUAL COURAGE?
Intellectual courage is hard to quantify but it can be as simple as learning more about an issue or cause that you are interested in. It can also be more complex like trying to understand a concept that is hard for you.
I work with my clients on deepening their intellectual courage all the time.
You need intellectual courage when you feel like you are not being stretched enough to use your mind, your brain or your ideas. You may feel bored by your job or your business. You may be bored in life, in general.
Intellectual courage is often more needed than we think and is such an easy one to work in to your everyday life. But choosing where to dedicate your learning energy is important. You want to focus on something that is going to truly capture your attention.
DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL COURAGE?
Financial courage is having the audacity to face your money story and your money struggles.
This type of courage is needed when you have been afraid to open your bank account and deal with the situation perhaps because of lack of enough money to do all the things you want in your life.
Financial courage is needed most when you need to have a better understanding of your financial situation and have possibly had your head in the sand over where your money is going.
You need financial courage when you are ready to uplevel in your life or lifestyle and take control over your money and your future.
DO YOU NEED IDENTITY COURAGE?
This kind of courage is about being willing to change a part of your identity — or a long held belief about yourself — that is no longer serving you.
If you have a sense that you are being held back by childhood conditioning or a relationship, you may be feeling a need for an identity change. You may need identity courage if you feel like you are ready to transition to a new gender or even to release all binary definitions of yourself. This may also be needed if you are uncovering a new understanding of your sexuality.
Identity Courage is often a huge Brave Yes as it relates to leaving a bad marriage or a bad job. It may mean changing who you hang out with or the kind of work you do or the business you’ve been running. It may also be all about upleveling and rising into someone of influence rather than hiding and staying quiet.
You need identity courage when you want to be braver as you head through a life change that means letting go of some — or all — of who you used to be.
DO YOU NEED SELF-AWARENESS COURAGE?
Self-awareness courage is about making the time and space to finally start knowing yourself and taking care of yourself.
This is often needed most when you are trying to make space for yourself, your needs, your joy and your pleasure after years of denial and hiding yourself.
Self-awareness courage is needed when you need to figure out who you are and what you are about and what brings you pleasure. Sometimes this kind of courage is about breaking bad habits, starting new rituals and routines or knowing finally what you really want for yourself.
This kind of courage is important because the fear of never knowing who you are and what brings you pleasure and joy is real. And, self-awareness work takes courage because it often brings up tender, difficult feelings. But it always leads you to a greater understanding of yourself so that you can be more brave and take up more space.
Perhaps you will resonate with one or a few of these areas of courage you want to focus on this year. And, if you are interested in learning more about how you can apply all of these areas of courage, sign up now for my PRIVATE BRAVE YES PODCAST. Each week, you will receive access to a 20-minute podcast episode that explores one of the 10 types of courage more deeply with stories, inspiration and reflection questions. Sign up below!
And this is the time we need to lean into our divine rage — before another urgent matter arises.
As a life design coach AND a social justice warrior and anti-racist for nearly 20 years, I will be sharing some of my own well-being practices that help me stay strong, balanced and sane so that I can make a bigger impact without giving up in my upcoming Rise Stronger in 2021 7-Day Challenge. (Sign up here.)
The strategies we’ll be focusing on during that week-long challenge are a higher level of well-being than we’re used to implementing in our lives and that’s why they are so powerful.
However, until then … I really wanted to make sure I specifically address how to make sure you take time for that nap AND your social justice work.
RECONNECT WITH YOUR WHY
In my private coaching work, I talk about your Why Factor all the time. You have to know what you are working toward in order to really know where you are going. It’s far too easy to get sidetracked with shiny objects by the latest explosion in the internet anger machine. Rather than jump all over the place, reconnect with your values, your mission and your personal goals for working toward human rights and social justice issues. If you don’t know what your why is, that’s a great place to start.
PAUSE AND TAKE BREAKS FROM THE NEWS. LOTS OF THEM.
Only you know what your body needs and so sometimes what you need right now is not convenient for the news cycle. It’s OK to opt-out of reading or watching today’s big news story to focus on your needs. If you are experiencing anxiety or overwhelm, it’s time to stop and take a long break. Your brain and your body needs a lot of time to heal and recover, especially from traumatizing events. Pro Tip — It’s even better is to work in weekly — or daily — rests from the news rather than go full on digital escape. I personally try to take at least 60-90 minutes of unplugged time in my day.
GO BIG OR GO HOME
In order to make an impact in the world, we must make intentional actions that actually do good. So while screaming on social media how mad you are feels like you’re doing something, ask yourself what you can really do to make an impact. Instead of sharing on Facebook, can you call your representatives, write emails or call voters? Pro-Tip — Dedicate an hour or two a week solely to your social justice work so you can keep up your own consistency. I do this on Fridays thanks to a colleague who suggested it.
FIND YOUR PEOPLE
The best thing I ever did was start a local group of like-minded people in my community. We started as a small group of super upset and angry women in 2016 and now we are 2K strong with men and women with a variety of passions and life experiences. Having this group to lead, empower and stay connected with has been crucial to keeping me going and not giving up. This is not solitary work that we’re doing. It’s relational. It impacts people. And that’s why it’s really best done with a group to help grow your momentum and not feel so alone. To find your people, you may have to put yourself out there and use your voice. This is a Brave Yes move for sure.
STAY IN YOUR INTEGRITY
Since it’s so easy to get caught up in the collective anxiety or anger of the people on social media, it’s also vital that you keep your integrity about you and know what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do. For instance, I don’t lead with anger. It’s just not my style of empowering people and disrupting. I am at my best when I am empowering others to use their voice, tend to themselves and leading them on how to stay in their integrity. My line of balance is about staying calm and impactful. You do you. Don’t worry about what others think. Being fully resourced in mind, body and spirit means you will have a greater capacity to serve. You simply won’t be effective if you are exhausted and overwhelmed.
Ready to balance your passions for social justice and taking a nap?Join my Rise Stronger in 2021 FREE 7-Day Challenge. I’ll show you a set of 6 strategies that you can use to feel stronger, be calmer and have more resilience to bounce back from the daily stress of being human.
There are solutions for that. You can flourish in the discomfort. You must.
You can’t keep looking away and pretending it doesn’t exist.
You must create an armor, a shield, a body vest of protection to walk into the fire.
I can give you the armor and the comfort AND the tools you need to use your voice and take up space and start to make a difference in YOUR way.
The world needs you to do the hard work of showing up because it’s going to take all of us collectively to change the systems that are broken and oppressing the vulnerable and the weakest.
Your voice is needed.
Your art is needed.
Your songs are needed.
Your poetry is needed.
Your brave leadership is needed.
YOU — the real, authentic you — is needed.
It will be uncomfortable, yes. Absolutely.
You will struggle with wanting to close the blinds of life and lay down and take a nap or get up and change the world.
You will struggle with losing people close to you.
You will struggle with whether you have the energy or not.
And I am here to tell you that we can do both.
We must do both — take really good care of ourselves and unearth the zone of genius we have to offer this world AND choose courage over comfort.
We have an earth to save. And children to release from cages and families to reunite. We have an entire race of people who are being killed by the state unapologetically. We have bullies in charge and not just in the White House. Everywhere. Bullies are everywhere.
I was chatting on the phone with a new coaching client the other day about goals for this year and they responded with an interesting story.
They do not have any goals — except the goals they didn’t achieve last year.
I call these your carry over dreams.
And these dreams often would make the most impact for how you REALLY want to live you life.
And yet … they are hard for you. They feel impossible, perhaps.
Go ahead, make the list of the dreams that you have had on your list that would change everything for you … honor them. These goals and dreams are a part of you and they matter.
Carry over dreams are the goals and ambitions that we carry with us from year to year with hopes of finally being the woman we want to be in our lives. Many of my coaching clients struggle with follow through. They struggle with making happen what they want to make happen.
This kind of sabotage is common because it’s easy to blame our busyness for why we just don’t have time to do the things we want or need to do.
We forget that our strengths as women are also what can prevent us from reaching out to get the help we need to make our dreams happen.
The truth is that the vast ocean that stands between who you are right now and who you want to be is just a series of choices you need to make.
If you are ready to start making key decisions and tackling your carry over goals, I’d love to be your Accountability Cheerleader. Our sessions will be filled with the kind of gentle fire you need to push yourself to finally start taking the action you want — and to remember to love yourself hard when you miss the mark.
Our sessions will be all about clearing the obstacles out of your path to empower you to that fabulous place in your life you want to be by now.
Let’s see your dreams to completion this year.
Maybe it’s to feel more enough or more soft. Or more joy. Or more inner peace of mind. Maybe it’s to be healthier or to start journaling. Or perhaps it’s a bigger goal like changing careers, writing a book or finding your passion and fire for life.
Whatever dream has been carrying over year after year is where we will begin. We’ll start right where you are right now.