We explored how to cultivate a spirit of courageousness to live bigger, fuller lives. Oftentimes, the moments in our lives that require courage are the defining ones - the life shifting ones - the ones where you evolve and grow. Courage is authentically accepting yourself and allowing the world to see your true self. Courage is trusting your gut and moving forward with dreams that are planted in your heart. Courage is taking the path or the step that’s unknown, but just feels right. As an adult, it can feel a lot like you are moving forward in the dark with no guarantee of success or fulfillment or happiness. And, in order to move in your own unique direction or calling, you need the courage to trust in yourself.
Our speakers - Nina Faulhaber of ADAY, Kat Harris of The Refined Woman, Lindsay Dreyer of Werk, and Janet Lieberman of DAME - reflected on their definition of courage, their defining moment where they choose to act in spite of fear, and how to invigorate courage in our daily lives. Courage can take many forms, but one thing we believe to be true is courage is acting in spite of fear, not the absence of it.
Kat showed us that courage can be bravely owning your story and being vulnerable in sharing it so it can help others going through similar experiences. Through her own journey to self love and self worth, she reminded us that “You are worthy. You are seen. You are loved.” She encouraged us to be curious. Be curious about the stories we tell ourselves about what is possible and what we can and cannot do. Then, gently challenge these stories that hold us back.
Nina reminded us that regret can be a powerful motivator later in life. The fear of starting over can hold people back, but when asked if her jump from the finance game into creating a sustainable fashion brand ADAY was scary, she drew parallels from her first dream - being a gymnast. A dream in which she quit out of fear, so starting ADAY was a no brainer. She knew that regret was worse than failure.
Lindsay explained that courage can be being agile with your dreams and plans for your life. “Dreams can evolve. Dreams can change because we all are constantly evolving.” Janet illustrated that courage is choosing to do what you believe is right, even if it might have negative consequences. After being let go from previous jobs, for highlighting the sexist behavior of her male engineer coworkers, she explained that she had to choose between “doing her job well or keeping her job.” And “doing her job well” meant standing up for her junior female engineers and leveraging her voice to advocate for them.
It was an invigorating dialogue that left us on fire, empowered, and encouraged to pursue our wildest dreams, desires, and goals.