Our annual Altitude Day roadshow cultivates a space for courage in action, providing the platform for guest speakers to share their story, passions, life, and leadership tips with over 2,000 young people across Australia. Stepping out in courage is no small feat, it is an individual experience, unique to each person.
So we asked Mandy Dante, Sydney Altitude Day guest speaker, and CEO & Founder of Flourish Girl, what it takes for her to step out in courage, and the impact these acts of courage have in her world. This is what she had to share:
What is your definition of courage? What does courage look like to you?
The definition of courage has changed over time for me. Courage used to be something you just go for, even when there are so many voices or parts of you that are saying not to do it. But courage for me now is when I take up the action, but also give love to the parts myself that are freaking out a bit. Stepping out in courage is doing something that is unknown, you’re not totally sure what the outcome is going to be, but there’s something in you that’s guiding you.
What are three steps you take and/or how do you prepare yourself to step out in courage?
- Talking to people – Stepping out in courage is reaching out to my brothers and my sisters to help hold space for me.
- Grounding myself – Whether it’s meditation, moving your body, listening to a really good song that will pump you up, or connecting with nature. It’s looking at what’s going to allow you to show up as your full ‘Beyonce-power’ self.
- Honouring myself BEFORE I step out – It’s easy to honour yourself when you’ve done something… But I believe it’s important to honour yourself before the action, because you’re then honouring your character despite the outcome of the action.
What is one courageous act you have done this year? Please describe the impact on yourself and/or others.
A really big one for me personally has been calling in other people’s actions that don’t align to their true character. My act of courage was starting to have conversations with the closest people in my life and naming certain areas in their life for them to reflect on, because I want them to be the best versions of themselves. This requires us to look at those uncomfortable spaces where we may be avoiding certain things. These conversations have turned the dial on the way that those individuals lead within their organisations and their relationships. As I’ve started to call that in and remind them to come back to their true self, it’s also held me accountable to do the same for myself. As I start to step into this act of courage, I’ve found it’s planted seeds of hope into those around me.
”Stepping out in courage is doing something that is unknown, you’re not totally sure what the outcome is going to be, but there’s something in you that’s guiding you.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a young person that wants to step out, but feels as though they are lacking the courage to do so?
The biggest thing is to not judge yourself for not feeling courageous enough. Again, you haven’t been through that situation before, so it’s fair that you may not feel so courageous. Often when we think of courage, we feel like we need to put on a brave face. What we need to do is acknowledge what we’re feeling in the moment and talk to people. Don’t do it alone, but there are so many people who want to support you on your journey. Be around those people that want you to flourish.
You are never alone when you step out in courage (although sometimes it can feel like you are), we know that a support structure is important through these times. Who and/or what is involved in your support structure?
There’s been a whole village of people who have supported me, and who make up my support system.Firstly, my husband, my parents, my older sister & brother. When I initially had the idea for Flourish Girl, they were really supportive of it. Having parents that were really supportive of me was massive, particularly after the sacrifices they gave so that I could grab new opportunities. My friends are also a part of my support system, I often have weekly/fortnightly touch points with those core people in my life. The last one is actually the time I have by myself, this looks like journaling, being in nature, spiritual practices, listening to music, dancing, taking care of yourself and your body. It’s important to nourish yourself because stepping out in courage takes a lot of energy!