Breathe. I am brave. I get a lot of people saying to me – I don’t know how you do it. Yes it is overwhelming. The mirror was recently put up in front of me. For some reason I lost my own sense of self in being brave. Here I am working with so many people to be truly and utterly brave and courageous with their lives, leadership and goals. I was not walking the talk. I look at the world today with all its complexity and opportunity, and see a world where anything is possible. I started a company from a blog for heavens sake. So what happened!
Then someone literally said something to me that brought up emotions that were overwhelming and confronting. He said he has watched one of my speaking videos. It was one of my favourite ones of me speaking at QUT about being the Unlikely Entrepreneur (I now call myself Accidental as unlikely was a mindset at the time). He said at the end of the video that I say the reason I do what I do is that of my daughter. I want to show her if I can do it, she can do it. Then life took an unexpected turn. At 12 she was bullied terribly at school and then the online bullying became deliberating. Then she tried to take her own life. My life crumbled. We have been and out of hospital at least 40 times in 4 years. The school didn’t know how to deal with it, the police said it wasn’t their issue (even though most were fantastic at the time), the parents ignored it and I had to take her out of school.
“It is courage, courage, courage, that raises the blood of life to crimson splendor. Live bravely and present a brave front to adversity.” ― Horace
I did not feel brave anymore. I felt like I had failed her. I spend years teaching and educating her on power of courage, awareness, compassion, kindness and leadership. Then the days came where she demonstrated their qualities and skills and they got pushed down. She couldn’t cope and I didn’t see it. Then a company I was growing and building started to crumble and I started to lose faith in myself. Here I was being brave, brilliantly brave, changing the world and face of leadership and the one person I could not help be brave was the most important person in my life. I lost belief and purpose within myself. I lost my leadership. I lost my worth. I lost direction for my company as I did it for her. I felt like I wasn’t brave.
Today was are taking each day as it comes and she is getting stronger each and everyday. She wants to start her own company one day and help other teenagers. She wants to speak at schools and she is a remarkable leader. I am so proud of her. I now see that this experience is part of her journey. She is beyond brave.
Today I am stronger than ever. I am an even better mother, leader and person than I was yesterday. I wrote a book for her called Just Rock It! I share this story with others and on stage to show them that vulnerability is leadership. Today I am still growing an incredible company with a great team and group of mentors whom I adore. I am being brilliantly brave everyday because I know I can. Believe me, there have been times too where I have felt being brave was all too hard. However, I choose my attitude. I choose my mindset. I know I am strong, courageous and I have the power within me to keep building something amazing for her and for everyone out there who wants greatness for themselves and others. I want to create a legacy and be a role model for other women and future leaders. I will never give up. My purpose is now too embedded in the fabric of who I am and how I want to change the world. I am brave.
We will continue to work tirelessly with our leaders and organizations to bring out great leadership and performance within them. I want to make a difference and help them be brave and be the best versions of themselves. I am brave.
Why am I sharing this? Because we are all human. Life is filled with joy, love and excitement and also filled with hurt, heartache and disappointment. We get knocks and we are not perfect. We can get caught up with the mindset of overwhelm and we can’t do it. Thing is we can do it. Be compassionate and kind to ourselves. To be the best I can be is to embrace this and embrace who I am. I am brilliantly brave.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” – Brene Brown
Last week was a week of true awareness and inspiration in my work. I delivered a leadership workshop with an Executive Team around Performance and Leadership and shared my own stories about Leadership. My focus for the day was to take them on a journey on why Leadership matters and how it drives culture and strategy. They started to see very quickly the leadership within them and why self-leadership and ultimately being the best versions of themselves is fundamental. They were brave. Last night I delivered one of my webinars for my brave Mentoring program and it was incredible to see the bravery from the leaders on the webinar. They are embracing the bravery within them. They are brave. I loved it!
Let’s be brave and lead the way. YOU HAVE GOT THIS. Who is with me?
Looking to be brave – join me and 100 other brave leaders at my brave Women Leading conference HERE on 27th October…only $67 plus GST
OR find out more about our HERE about our brave Women Leading Program and soon to be released Membership today.
Phone 1300 719 665 www.soniamcdonald.com.au