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Submitted by anna on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 15:23
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Anne Grady: Entrepreneur & Professional Speaker

Inspired by hardship, Anne Grady has worked to forge both a rewarding professional and personal life. From raising a child with mental illness to being diagnosed with a tumor in her salivary gland, Anne Grady found courage to start her own public speaking business, the Anne Grady group. Her challenges and setbacks have been a catalyst to her success as a public speaker and entrepreneur, leading to over 2,000 keynote speeches with audiences up to several thousand people. We set to find out how she does it.

What inspired you to become a prolific speaker? 

I learned very early on in my corporate career that I wasn’t political, politically correct, or a good rule follower. I was actually petrified to start my own business. I partnered with an amazing mentor for a decade before venturing out on my own. The catalyst was living at the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas for 2 months while my son was in the hospital. I realized if I could do that, I could do anything.

How did you discover your passion for public speaking? 

I loved debate and public speaking in high school and college. Communication was always my strength.  From the time I was little, I told my mom I would get paid to speak. She said, “You can either be a minister or a politician”. I’m Jewish, so that ruled the first one out, and I had way too much fun in college to be a politician! I’m one of the lucky few who have known what I wanted to do since I was a little girl. I’m really proud of the fact that I found a way to make it happen. 

 How are you able to apply your personal strengths to your professional life?  

My strengths are my ability to communicate, to connect with people, my desire for achievement, and my need to help and inspire others. My professional life is built around these things. I’ve been fortunate to build a team that can compensate for my weaknesses.  

What one experience are you still learning from today? 

I have two kids. A 16-year old daughter, and a 14-year old son. My son suffers from severe mental illness, making every day a new opportunity to practice. I have had to go beyond theory and really put into practice what I teach every single day, and not always successfully. My son’s illness certainly helps you put your priorities into perspective. His illness makes him really tough to live with sometimes. We live in a constant state of crisis, and it makes it a real challenge to keep the right head space and be able to focus on my family and the business. I’m fortunate to have a great support system. 

What do you  NOT let get in your way?  

Rather than hide our challenges, I hang a lantern on them. One in five suffer from some type of mental health issue, yet no one talks about it. People need to know they are not alone, and if by sharing my story in some small way helps people, I’m thrilled to be able to do it. Almost four years ago, after my son was discharged from his second hospitalization, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my salivary gland. The surgery resulted in complete facial paralysis on the right side of my face. Because I couldn’t close my eye, I scratched my cornea. While getting ready for surgery to implant a gold weight in my upper eye lid and stitch up my bottom eyelid, I fell down the stairs and broke my foot in four places. I was terrified to speak in front of groups, but I did. I’ve never had more standing ovations in my life! I used to think I wasn’t brave because I was terrified. Now I know that true courage is doing it anyway. 

 Where you do you find your motivation? 

I’ve always been self-motivated. It’s a blessing and a curse. It creates momentum to push harder and accomplish more. It also means it’s never enough, and always feel I should be doing more. Sharing our story has also give me the opportunity to be a source of inspiration for others, and that is so fulfilling. Knowing I help people makes it all worth it. Every time I get an email from someone saying I’ve had a positive impact on their life, I am inspired and grateful.  

How are you able to create a sense of purpose that embedded itself into your professional setting as well as personal life?

As my son’s illness has progressed, I have explored, researched and learned about information that I otherwise would not have pursued. I believe my purpose is to use this information to help people, to reduce the stigma of mental illness, and to provide a little laughter and inspiration in the world. 

What would you tell your  20-year-old self?  

Stop letting the little shit weigh you down. I promised myself after my tumor that I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff. That lasted about 6-months. Then I started slipping back into sweating almost everything. I have always put so much pressure on myself. I would go back and say, “You can’t chase happiness or you will never find it. Learn to be grateful and content with where you are, and happiness will follow.” And lastly, “Be kind and focus on what’s most important. Everything else will fall into place.” (I still tell myself these things every day) I want to know I have made a positive impact on the world, and that I’m leaving it better than I found it. 

 What are three things  you want other women to know?  

  1. Focus on what you can control: YOU 

  1. You are strong enough to handle any challenge thrown your way. The fact that you’re still standing is proof. 

  2. Learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Embrace failure, change, and adversity.

What's one thing that you would change in the world? 

Selfishly, I would wish for my son to be healthy and to have mental health coverage that makes treatment possible for anyone with mental illness. If you had any other illness, there are ways to get treatment. With mental health, there are limited resources, it is out of this world expensive, and there are few if any options. 

And of course, world peace. ;) 

 

 

Anne Grady


Anne Grady is a Motivational Keynote Speaker on Leadership, Influence, Communication, Resilience, and Navigating Change. Find her at:
https://twitter.com/annegradygroup
https://www.facebook.com/AnneGradyGroup/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/anne-grady-group/

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It’s Not a Movie; It’s My Life:

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Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:18
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How to Preserve Your Sanity Over the Holiday Week

Tell the truth. How many movies have you watched this week? OK, don’t answer.

 

If there’s a support group for women who stay home with their entire family for a week each December, I haven’t found it yet. You may think I’m kidding, but along about the fourth day after Christmas (hey, that’s today!), I begin to feel like spilling all my troubles to absolute strangers on the internet or a local Meetup. I might even leave the house for that.

 

Can we be real? The holidays are rough for those who take comfort in a productive schedule.

 

Now, I know there are people who would relish the problem of too much family time, and I also realize there are extroverts who thrive on entertaining company in close quarters... This isn’t for them. This is for the rest of us.

 

Consider the melancholy some of us – not all introverts, by the way –  deal with over the holidays. The year’s door quietly closing forever. And the overspending. And the idiotic food choices we succumb to from about mid-November through Jan 1st.

 

Then, as if that weren’t fodder for open season on self-loathing, you’re trapped inside the house with all the people closest to you. For a very. Long. Time.

 

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, chances are you have been in close unusually close cahoots with people you normally see coming and going from day to day, if not far less frequently. How soon the magic fades when there’s no work or school to break up the fun!

 

Is it any coincidence that there are Twelve Days of Christmas AND 12-step programs for overcoming negative habits, guaranteed to make you a better person – if not you, then someone else in your overfull household? (You know the one.)

 

Maybe you're like me, and it's already been too much Netflix, and too much Family Fix. On this, “the fourth day of Christmas,” the house is starting to feel like a pressure cooker.  If your creative juices have ben diluted in in wassail and inactivity, it’s probably time to break out. Here are some ideas.

 

Eleven ways to break out of the home pressure cooker:

 

  • Escape to a movie alone. By that, I mean leave the house. Find a flick that passes the Bechdel test, just for good measure.

 

  • Take a walk. The worse the weather, the better. Anyone who wants to come along with you may need the stress relief more than you. Take deep cleansing breaths full of fresh cold air.

 

 

  • Write in a journal, write late Christmas or New Year cards, write thank you notes, do a crossword puzzle. I learned long ago that when you have a pen in your hand, people don’t bother you. Try it.

 

 

  • Call someone. Texting doesn’t count. Holidays are just the time to catch up with old friends. Chances are that buddy on the other side of the country needs a time-out as badly as you.

 

  • Tidy up. Get a leg up on clearing out the Christmas decorations. We have a long Christmas week this year, and we had a long span between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so neatening up is fair game. A clean slate does wonders for your peace of mind.

 

 

  • Organize a closet or a room. Get industrious. Choose productivity when you “should” be relaxing. Self-care to you may mean something completely different from the norm. Go with it.

 

  • Escape to the bathroom for a mini-spa. A peppermint facial or a foot massage and pedicure. Bathrooms are a great place to catch a little quiet time, so you may as well get something done while you’re at it.

 

  • Read a self-development book in front of everyone. When someone tries to interrupt you, just read aloud the author’s words. In this way, you can legitimately share (with the ones who need it most) how to be a better person. Without irony or aggression… bonus.

 

Of course, you love your family. And the neighbors, and the dog, and the uncles and aunts, your mom and dad, your adult children, all the wee nieces and nephews, and all; but if you’re looking for ways to escape for a few minutes, there’s no need to apologize for taking ten.

 

Consider this a gift, and we’ll talk again in the new year.

 

Please, if you have any other suggestions for decompressing, add them in the comments below.

 

preserve your sanity over the holidays
preserve your sanity over the holidays
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Q&A: Kellie Walters Discusses How Her Non-Profit, Smart Fit Girls, Teaches Adolescent Girls Healthy Body Image

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Submitted by Kelly Smith on Wed, 09/20/2017 - 15:56

“I am a Smart Fit Girl. I am strong both physically and mentally. I respect my body and my mind. I love myself for who I am and everyday I strive to be the best version of myself.

I am a Smart Fit Girl, and I encourage and empower all girls to be the same.”

This is the vision that the non-profit Smart Fit Girls has for all the young girls that go through their 10 week afterschool program. Through research, education and programming they aim to help young adolescent girls improve their emotional, physical and mental health. This is achieved through physical exercise and activities that reinforce health body image and self esteem. The two co-founders, Chrissy Chard, PhD and Kellie Walters, developed this program after coaching adult women in exercise and seeing how prevalent self-esteem and body issues are. Kellie took the time to tell us about the program and her experience as a smart, fit, AND DARING woman.

What was the initial spark that drove y'all to start this organization? Was it a single moment or a long process? 

After working with adult women as wellness coaches, Chrissy and I realized that many of our, and our clients’, health concerns (e.g., poor body image, bad relationship with food, disliking physical activity) developed when we were young girls. After discussing this at length one day (during a lifting session, naturally). Chrissy said, “We should start a program called Smart Fit Girls.” In that moment, I think we both knew that it was going to happen. As luck would have it, we were admitted into an Adventure Accelerator program at Colorado State University where we learned valuable lessons on how to start a business and were also afforded the opportunity to do a crowdfunding campaign. Using the funds we raised from crowdfunding, we piloted Smart Fit Girls in the spring of 2014 in South Carolina and have been growing rapidly ever since.

What sort of differences do you see in the girls after they have participated in the program?

One of the best parts of Smart Fit Girls is that we’ve been able to study the effectiveness of the program since its inception. A majority of my dissertation for my PhD was focused on Smart Fit Girls, so we have substantial data (quantitative and qualitative) demonstrating that girls who participate in Smart Fit Girls experience significant increases in body image compared to their peers. We also have data demonstrating that Smart Fit Girls participants experience greater increases in self-esteem and physical activity enjoyment than their peers (which is SO important at that age). In addition to this empirical evidence, we also have years worth of anecdotal evidence. For example, many of our coaches report back to us that they see improvements in the girls strength and confidence as well as a decrease in their stress and anxiety. I’m clearly biased, but I think Smart Fit Girls has had a huge impact on the girls that participate in the program.

What do you think parents, educators, guardians, etc. can do to help young girls to see their strengths?

There are many ways parents, educators, and guardians can help young girls see their strength, most of which revolve around communication. For example, our first interactions with girls, whether they are our closest niece or neighbor we just met, often includes us complementing their physical appearance (e.g., “Your hair is so beautiful”, “Love that jacket”, and “I really like that eyeshadow”). This is a habit that is socially developed and is difficult, yet incredibly important, to break. Rather than complementing a young girl’s physical appearance, ask her about what she loves to do, her favorite class in school, and/or what she wants to be when she grows up. By doing so, we teach our girls that we care about who they are as a person rather than what they look like. If we can do this daily in our interactions with girls and women in our lives, there’s a real possibility we can make a systematic change in how girls perceive their worth.

Another way to help young girls see their own strength is by avoiding negative self-talk. In addition to encouraging young girls to speak positively about themselves, we need to do the same with ourselves. There is research to demonstrate that young girls mimic the body image concerns of their mothers, even if they have very different physically shapes. Girls see themselves in their mothers (probably because they are constantly told they look like their moms) so when they hear their moms say negative things about their body, the girls are going to think they should think that way as well.

Growing up, who were your most important influences? How did they inform who you were as a women? 

I am lucky to have many wonderful, inspiring women in my life; however, I’d have to say that my mother and grandmother are the most influential. They both were faced with great adversity growing up and hearing their stories of how they overcame barriers and pursued their dreams despite the many obstacles in their way has, and will always be, incredibly inspiring to me. They both taught me that a woman's role in society is exactly what she wants it to be, not what other people say it should be. I grew up knowing in my heart that I can achieve whatever I want to in my life and that success is not gendered. My confidence stems from generations of women before me who had to fight for basic rights and privileges in society, and because of their tenacity I believe I am a stronger, more empowered woman.  

Describe the time (if ever) when you realized women were treated differently than men… how old were you… what was the situation? What happened? 

My mom worked in a field that was dominated by men so from a very early age, I had a basic understanding of how women were treated versus men in the business world. For me personally, however, it wasn’t until I took my first job after getting my master’s degree. There was a woman who worked with me that had just had a baby and was walking around the office showing her off. While I was talking with my co-worker and holding her new baby, my boss at the time walked up and said something to the tune of, “You’re not ready for babies yet, right Kellie?”. At the time, I was so excited to have my dream job that I just nodded my head and smiled. Almost a decade later, I look back at that moment and wish I would have stuck up for myself. Who was he to tell me when I should and shouldn’t start a family? I know that that comment would have never been said to one of my male colleagues. It’s extremely frustrating that 1) My male boss had the audacity to tell me when that I wasn’t ready to have a baby, and 2) I was treated differently than my similar aged male colleagues who were having babies at that time!

When do you feel your most powerful?

I feel the most powerful after a great lifting session (naturally), but also after I teach, whether that’s a lecture to college students or a lesson with Smart Fit Girls. When I feel like I’m making a difference in the world, I feel the most powerful. I think that’s why I love coaching Smart Fit Girls so much.

We’re all about daring at HERdacity. What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

This is a good question. I’m not a risk taker per say, so I don’t have any great stories about sky diving or anything like that. For me, the most daring thing I’ve done is gotten a tattoo. The tattoo is simple: “Meraki”. It represents a time in my life where I dared to stay and ‘fight’ rather than run. Meraki is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it. After my first year of my PhD, I experienced a lot of personal strife. I was thousands of miles from my family and friends and felt very alone. There was a while where I considered stopping my PhD and moving back home. Because of the love of my career and Smart Fit Girls, I decided to stay and continue my PhD. Meraki is why I received my doctorate, it’s why I fought to improve my marriage, and it’s why I am where I am today.

Do you have a mantra? 

I know this is everywhere now, but I LOVE the mantra of “being the best version of you”. It’s simple yet so powerful. If we all strived to be our best selves, the world would be a beautiful place.

What do you carry in your purse or bag with you every day?

Carmex. I’m addicted and it’s a problem. No other type of chapstick will do. I have been known to have a freak out session over not having carmex on me – just ask my husband – this literally happened last week! Lol

What are 3 things left on your bucket list? 

  1. Start a family.
  2. Travel…..anywhere! I really want to see the world, especially Amsterdam and Japan. My mom was born in Japan so I would love to go back there one day and see if we can reconnect with family.
  3. Become a tenured professor.   

What are your go-to indulgences or guilty pleasures? 

I love sweets. I was raised in a house where we looked at the dessert menu before the dinner menu at restaurants. I love chocolate (really, who doesn’t?) but now that I’m back in CA, I LOVE fresh Mochi.

You can pick one superpower… what would you choose?

Healing. The older I get, the more pain I see in this world and I would love to help people heal.

Kellie Walters

We asked you answered! Advice from the HERdacity Community on Approaches to Empty Nesting

We asked the HERdacity community to tell us about their experience with empty nesting and got some great advice! Here are some highlights from the campfire and our other platforms:

Bfierce

“I am living this as we speak.  My oldest is going to be a senior in HS next year, and my youngest is entering high school.  Compounding the sense of loss and confusion for me is the fact that for the past twelve years my "job" was homeschooling them (not the denim jumper type... more the free-thinking hippy type LOL), so not only am I letting go of my role as primary caregiver in many ways, I've also lost my "career."   I'm floundering trying to figure out what to do next.  It's somewhat terrifying to not have a plan in place because, while I did know this was coming, homeschooling (and teaching at a local private middle school) took all of my cognitive capacity... I just didn't have anything left to formulate a PLAN.  Now I have loads of cognitive space and I don't know what to do with it.  My therapist tells me that I need the down time to change gears and to stop being so hard on myself.  But I am someone who really needs a purpose in life.  I need something to throw myself into wholeheartedly.  I just don't know what that is yet.”

PeopleNatureConnection

“Your children are a reflection of you. If you express confidence, they will too. Feel fear? They will sense it.

My children are 25 and 23 (as of Wednesday) and they are both very successful human beings. I live 2 1/2 hours away from them and they visit once a month. I look forward to those visits, but honor their new life as independent, capable adults too.

I guess it could be best said through this article by M.J. Ross that talks about relationships. Pay particular attention to the quote.

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-non-attachment-can-benefit-your-relationship/

Sgurr

“This is a transition that you KNOW is coming. You even know when. Don't wait until it happens to address the transition. Before the kids leave, start focusing on yourself more. Connect with organizations or opportunities and get started with activities you will continue later. Creating a sense of continuity will help minimize the shock of such a big change.“

OctoberSky

PLAN YOUR OWN VACATION! If you have the means, plan a vacation for right after you drop your son/daughter off at school. Or plan something to look forward to that can happen right after you drop them off. I think having your own identity secured is important and essential... but also having something fun planned to look forward to!

Parenting Women's Wisdom (Seeking or Giving Advice)
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Shout Out To Today's Google Doodle: Dolores Del Río

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Submitted by Larissa at HERdacity on Thu, 08/03/2017 - 04:28

Today's 'Google Doodle' pays homage to a trailblazer in cinema and the arts, Dolores Del Río.  

According to google: "When Dolores Del Río met American filmmaker Edwin Carewe, her talent was so captivating that he convinced her to move to California. Once there, Del Río's acting career would establish her as an iconic figure during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Considered the first major Latin American crossover Hollywood star, she would pave the way for generations of actors to follow.

Just a year after her first film, Del Río's first major success came in the 1926 comedy-drama war film What Price Glory? When she moved from silent films to “talkies” in the 1930s, she earned starring roles and appeared in films opposite stars like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, eventually returning to Mexico where she quickly became one of the top actresses in the Mexican film industry.

Del Río is also remembered as a philanthropist and advocate for the arts. She was the first woman to sit on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival. She co-founded the Society for the Protection of the Artistic Treasures of Mexico, a group dedicated to preserving historical buildings and artwork in her home country. In 1970, she helped open a center to provide childcare for members of the Mexican Actor’s Guild, which bears her name and still operates to this day."

Check out some video clips highlighting her talent below!

In Caliente 

The clip comes from the musical comedy 'Muchacha' from the 1935 film 'In Caliente'

The Fugitive 

The 1947 Movie is based on the novel The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

A trailblazer for women in Hollywood and beyond, Dolores Del Río’s legacy endures in American and Mexican cinema.

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Thank you for highlighting a Latina! And I had no idea she was the first woman to sit on the jury of Cannes Film Festival--and that her commitment and love of the arts was woven throughout the years of her life. So great and so inspiring. Loved learning about her!

YOUR CAMPFIRE: Introduce Yourself & Join Us!

Welcome To Your Campfire! Maybe this is your first time on HERdacity… or maybe you’ve logged in a few times before. Either way, this is your space to voice what matters to you and find support from like-minded women.

The HERdacity team would like you to comment in this space and let us know the issues YOU want to talk about. What sorts of topics are empowering to YOU? What do you want to share with other women? What everyday challenges or cultural biases do you face? How do you overcome them?

Simply get started here by telling us a little about yourself in the comment section below. Maybe you’re a teacher from Florida who wants to hear more about switching careers. Or possibly you’re stay at home grandma in Seattle who can’t wait to share some of your wisdom. 

No matter who you are or where you live, if you are ready to find your daring or if you are ready to empower other women to find theirs... you are welcome here!  

Exploration & Outdoors Breaking Down Barriers Parenting Sips & Bites How Do You Dare? Women's Wisdom (Seeking or Giving Advice)

My name is Imeh Esen and I am an entrepreneur and digital marketer. I'd like to contribute to the discussions, grow along and meet like minded women. I think women have so much to offer each other, so much inside of us, and can do so much - if we just believe.

Hi, I just happened across your site and I like it a lot. I'd like to see more conversations among the women on here. We have so much to share and learn from one another. I like the feel...it's different from other sites.

And I like what OctoberSky said below, too, about the cultural change. It's important. Thank you!

It would be great if these campfires were lead by topic by experts in their fields... Women we would be able to ask questions to regarding different issues. (I'm Katy from California!) 

Hello Everyone! I'm Larissa-- I'm the Community Engagement Manager at HERdacity. I would really love to hear how everyone wants to use this community. We have big plans and are daring to change the world but we need your help to do it. 

What is holding you back from daring? What topics do you want to talk about? What struggles do you face? 

Thanks! We hope to hear from you! 

Hello! I'm Jenn and I just joined a week or so ago. So far I have loved reading everyones comments and posting on my own. I joined mostly looking for advice on everyday problems and concerns of women and once I take in everyones knowledge maybe I can one day share some knowledge of my own :)

Can't wait to see this community grow! 

Hey everyone, i'm Kelly!

I'm a student at the University of Texas and I just joined the HERdacity team a few weeks ago as a Digital Marketing Intern.

I am super excited about not only becoming a member of the HERdacity community but helping facilitate it. Campfires are such a good way to form community so I would love to hear from y'all about what you want to see in campfires! Whether that means giving specific prompts or tips on how to improve them I would love to get to know y'all and hear your thoughts. 

HERdacity

Questioning If You Should "Veer Off Course"? Here's Your Answer...

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Submitted by Larissa at HERdacity on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 11:46

“So, can I ask your opinion of something?  Do you think it would be crazy if I took the next 3-6 months off and traveled the world?  Or will that hurt my chances of climbing the corporate ladder?”  

This is what Sarah, my team’s total go-getter, smart ambitious, recent MBA graduate and 26 -year-old specialist posed to me during our most recent weekly one-on-one meeting.  

Before I could answer, she continued, “I know you’ll give me an honest opinion and if you don't think it’s crazy, I seriously may do it.”  

I looked at her, smiled and said, “Oh my god, yes, you should.  So, why are you even debating it?”  

She talked about logistics such as renting her apartment or what to do with her car.  Whether or not she was comfortable just packing up and traveling on her own, which didn’t seem to be an issue.  She told me about her love of travel and that she finds it easy to meet new people when she’s traveling.  

A plan for what to do with the stuff left behind? Check.

Are you comfortable with just packing and leaving town? Check.  

And not to my surprise, do you have the funds saved up to do this? Check.

The conversation went on to tell about the planned journey and where she would go. “I already have it mapped out. Fly into Iceland, head over to Ireland and the UK, Germany, then to Barcelona and Morocco.  I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco.”  

As the images of the adventure raced through my mind, I drifted off. Oh my god. This sounds incredible.  

So, again, why was she debating it?

“I just don’t want this to hurt my career. Is it irresponsible to take the time and go explore? Won’t it be difficult to explain the gap in employment?”  

I started shaking my head. First, because she was contemplating the question itself and debating if it was worth considering. But secondly, because it pained me to see that she would even consider giving up an amazing opportunity such as traveling the world to continue to “grind it out” in the corporate setting in order to justify her next job move or promotion.  

Sure, it’s important to evaluate the situation completely to make sure our decisions are realistic or aren’t putting ourselves in harm’s way. But in this case, Sarah was doing something she’s always wanted to do -- and she really thought it out first.

So ask yourself, are you being held back because you’re concerned you’re not following the plan we’ve been told “we’re supposed” to follow in order to be successful?  

The truth is, there is no path that guarantees a ______ (fill in the blank), i.e., successful career, happy life, etc. And what so many of us do later on, if we choose to follow the path we believe we are supposed to take, is to think about what could have been.

When I was talking to Sarah my mind traveled back in time when I was making decisions about my own path…I always wanted to live in New York City right after college. And then head to California and try my hand at acting. I wanted to see if I could get picked up by a sitcom or land a role in a movie. Ah, to go back and have that chance again.

All the things that Sarah was debating or questioning at this moment, were exactly what held me back from my own aspirations. I think I’m supposed to get a job, stay on my career path, find a mate, get married….blah, blah, blah.   

Much of that decision-making process is not our own thinking but rather what others project onto us.  

Whether or not we’re the ones asking for the guidance or the ones giving it….we seriously need to stop. Stop talking, stop advising, stop projecting…and start listening.  

What if someone would have listened to my aspirations when I was younger? And what if I would’ve shared them?

Today, take the time to ask a woman in your life what she aspires to do. What is something that she has considered doing but just hasn’t taken the steps to go through with it?  

Then listen.

Engage.

Encourage.

And learn.

Marney Andes is a Senior Director and Talent Manager at Air Methods, an emergency air transport corporation. She is also the founder and president of Project Aspire, an organization that provides financial, educational, mentoring, and coaching resources to support women to become leaders in their fields of interest and contributors in the community.

UPDATE TO OUR STORY: Sarah decided to take the trip! She leaves in August 2017. 

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How wonderful!  Giving someone the support to help them fulfill their dream....how empowering that is.  So glad Marney was able to give Sarah the support she needed.  That is really what supporting other women is about.  Honest, good advice and encouragement to let each woman achieve their dreams.

Yes! And wish it happened more often. It is changing, but women don't support each other enough--yet we are our own best allies because we have had some of the same experiences. 

This sentence really hit me: 

"Much of that decision-making process is not our own thinking but rather what others project onto us."

It's sad, but true. If only we had more faith in ourselves to do what we really love. I am writing a novel right now and having the time of my life. And I can't help kicking myself that I didn't start writing it when I was 26 rather than when I was 46. 

 

Yes, yes! Thank you for sharing advice about just doing it--and not looking back and thinking about "what could have been." If we have the opportunity, we should take it. Daring and all! 

Marney Andes

Wisdom From Our Fathers

For some of us, wisdom passed down from our fathers helped shape who we are.

On Father’s Day, we wanted to share lessons from empowered women—who say their father’s words inspired some of their success. 

Katherine Switzer’s father on getting in the game

In 1967, Katherine Switzer became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. "Cheerleaders cheer for other people," he said. "You want people to cheer for you…"

"The game is on the field. Life is to participate, not to spectate."

Vivian Stringer’s father on doing what’s right

Vivian Stringer is the head coach of the Rutgers University basketball team and has one of the best records in women’s basketball history.

In her memoir, she writes about lessons her father told her including when she didn’t make the school cheerleader team. Despite being qualified—only Caucasian girls made the cut. Because Stringer is African American, the NAACP wanted her to appeal the decision publically. She didn’t want to, but her father pushed her to do what was ‘right’. He told her:

“There comes a time you must stand, because if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”

Sara Blakely’s father on failure

Sara Blakely is the business mogul and founder of SPANX. She is often quoted saying parents need to celebrate failures to help encourage children to be brave.

“My father would ask, what did you fail at this week? Failure is not an outcome, but relates to the lack of trying.”

She even said ‘spectacular failures’ would earn you a high five from her dad.

 

QUESTIONS: What advice did your father give you? What lessons does your husband or partner give your daughter?  

 

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I think the most important thing my father did was always set implied standards. It was not 'if' I went to college it was 'where?'. It was not 'if' I got the promotion it was 'when.' By assuming that I was capable of the best I always assumed I was capable of it and strived towards those goals. 

In our family, our father was the one who was gentle, kind, and supportive.  Whenever I showed interest in something, he search and found a book about it for me.  Sometimes I was already way past the level of the book, but his love and caring in doing it was wonderful.  He told people, in our presence, that he had four children who were all very different, but we were all really good people.

It was another older male mentor who taught me to, in his words, "By. God. Persevere."

My father taught all of his daughters to find and use their voice. He taught all of them to be leaders. My oldest sisiter, a titan of leadership, often shares this advice he gave her when she was practicing to be the first female ROTC commander in high school, "call a command from your gut - it's where your heart and your head meet."

My father made it clear he supported me at various stages in my career- and in a man's world!  to him, being interested and involved in something was how you made a mark on life, and how you determined your own path.  I also learned real tenacity from him.  He continued his life's work through thick and thin and showed that adversity was a constant, and flexibility and grit were essentials for everyone,.

My father taught me how to brave, he supported me in everything I did, and he encouraged me to do better--and expressed kindness and love to me every single day. It was a gift--and I see the person I am through so much of his influence. Here's to Dads!  

ADVICE NEEDED: Finding Your Identity After The Kids Leave Home

Summer is almost here... and for some of us, this summer will be the last one we spend with our kids before they leave the house and enter their next phase.  But where does that leave YOU? Your core identity remains 'MOM' of course... but the time has come to dare to transition to YOUR next phase.

QUESTIONS: Say you've already been through the transition and you're talking to a friend who is preparing to become an 'empty nester.' What do you tell them about your experience?  Was it hard? Was it amazing? What do you wish you knew before your kids took off on their own? Who have you dared to become- since the kids have gone? 

We want to hear from YOU! With your permission, we'll use the comments you leave below for an article we're writing called:  "Daring to Stay in the Empty Nest" 

To leave a comment, first create an account with us by clicking HERE. Already have an account? Sign in HERE. Why should you take the time to leave a comment? This campfire discussion is one of  our ways to create a place where you can let YOUR voice be heard. By speaking up you aren't just empowering yourself, you're helping create a meaningful conversation about big issues women are talking about. YOUR voice matters, share it.

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I am living this as we speak.  My oldest is going to be a senior in HS next year, and my youngest is entering high school.  Compounding the sense of loss and confusion for me is the fact that for the past twelve years my "job" was homeschooling them (not the denim jumper type... more the free-thinking hippy type LOL), so not only am I letting go of my role as primary caregiver in many ways, I've also lost my "career."   I'm floundering trying to figure out what to do next.  It's somewhat terrifying to not have a plan in place because, while I did know this was coming, homeschooling (and teaching at a local private middle school) took all of my cognitive capacity... I just didn't have anything left to formulate a PLAN.  Now I have loads of cognitive space and I don't know what to do with it.  My therapist tells me that I need the down time to change gears and to stop being so hard on myself.  But I am someone who really needs a purpose in life.  I need something to throw myself into whole-heartedly.  I just don't know what that is yet.  

Wow. Thank you so much for sharing that honest comment! I hope some of the comments below can help you as well. 

I will say, if you enjoy reading there are a lot of good recommendations here that you might find inspirational: https://www.herdacity.org/campfires/ReadingRecs

If you felt the desire-- we are calling for bloggers too. I think our new and expanding site is in need of a blog about your homeschooling experience! We could work on the angle together. If interested you can email me at larissa@herdacity.org 

Thank you again for commenting and joining the community! 

Your children are a reflection of you. If you express confidence, they will too. Feel fear? They will sense it.

My children are 25 and 23 (as of Wednesday) and they are both very successful human beings. I live 2 1/2 hours away from them and they visit once a month. I look forward to those visits, but honor their new life as independent, capable adults too.

I guess it could be best said through this article by M.J. Ross that talks about relationships. Pay particular attention to the quote. 

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-non-attachment-can-benefit-your-relatio…

This is a transition that you KNOW is coming. You even know when. Don't wait until it happens to address the transition. Before the kids leave, start focusing on yourself more. Connect with organizations or opportunities and get started with activities you will continue later. Creating a sense of continuity will help minimize the shock of such a big change. 

I had thought I would be really devastated when our last child left for college....until I went into his room that he had promised leave sparkling...and I yelled out loud!  What a mess.  I had to clean it up- yes, I missed him, but I also liked having a bit of order.

One thing my husband and I learned was that we were more in control of our schedules, and our lives.  That is obviously good and bad.  We were always happy to hear the kitchen door open and see a son appear.  But it was also nice for a bit of piece and quiet.

We have embarked on a lot of discovery- what to think about, where to travel if we have the time and the money..but more importantly , how to live a 'larger life'.

My daughter is only a few years old and already I'm dreading this!

I hope she will be such an awful teenager that I'm glad when she's heading off to college or on her own :) 

HERdacity

Founder of 'Girls Who Code' Says Don't Teach Girls To Be Perfect...

The solution to why there aren't more women in power according to the founder of Girls Who Code? We need to teach our girls to be "brave, not perfect,"

Reshma Saujani spoke at Harvard's Education school Convocation last week saying, being “perfect” doesn’t lead to success.

“Success is a product of bravery, not perfection,” Saujani explained.

“In our society, we train our boys to be brave, to throw caution to the wind, and follow their passions,” she said. “And we train our girls to be perfect, to please, and play it safe, to follow the rules, and to always get straight A's. The result? Girls are kicking butt in the classroom, but falling behind in the real world.”

QUESTIONS: Do you agree with Reshma? Do you think getting more women in leadership roles starts with the lessons we teach girls at home? Do you or did you teach your daughter to be brave? What lessons did your parents or caregivers instill in you? Tell us in the comment section below. 

To leave a comment, first create an account with us by clicking HERE. Already have an account? Sign in HERE. Why should you take the time to leave a comment? This campfire discussion is one of  our ways to create a place where you can let YOUR voice be heard. By speaking up you aren't just empowering yourself, you're helping create a meaningful conversation about big issues for women to talk about. YOUR voice matters, share it. 

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Thank you for sharing this. I love it!!

I just openly admitted in my blog about my imperfection as a leader. It has actually been helpful when dealing with all men like I do. 

It isn't a sign of weakness to laugh at yourself or share your imperfections. I use it as a way to communicate with my people. 

They know who the 'boss' is. They respect me. I know they do. Because they come to me when they mess up and we figure it out together.

I use this same approach with my daughter. I want her to grow up knowing it is okay to be imperfect. It is ok to make mistakes. It is ok to be wild and free. It is ok to be mismatched It is ok to go without makeup or your hair perfect. 

I want her to learn how to deal with herself when she isn't on point. Because I never really did learn how to. And it still rears is ugly head sometimes at the age of 42. 

If bravery can be defined as independence I'm all for it! Beyond the basics, the biggest gift we can instill in children is independence through free will & the confidence to go with their choices, from the mundane (doing their own laundry) to making life choices on who their friends should be or what they should study. With confidence and independence comes happiness and the strength to change situations that may not be the best for them.  Now perfectionism, that's a topic in itself!

Love this!! Young ladies deserve to see us prioritizing and valuing bravery over perfection in our everyday lives. And goodness knows as women we need to check our need or expectation of perfection too!

I love her message.  Teach our girls. and ourselves...to be brave...not perfect.  We all have read that perfection is the enemy of the good..and it may be the enemy of our personal courage. Daring to learn something new...daring to open that door to a new field...let's all be brave.  And when your toddler falls down, we don't worry about boys falling down as much as girls. but they both need to learn to walk, jump and run.

So do we mentally!

I actually find I am the one pushing my daughter to climb more, play more, 'dust herself off more'.... 

My husband on the other hand... he's always coddling her... hovering over her... allows her less freedom to 'be brave' 

I'm constantly telling him 'she can do it! Let her try! Let her fail!' 

I think for toddlers and very young girls the best thing is usually to lead by example. If you are demonstrating daring and bravery your daughter will see that and do the same. Most young girls assume they can do anything until society tells them they can't so if you live with the attitude that you're capable of achieving all your goals, I believe she will do the same. 

HERdacity