Friends, I just got back from a 5-day trip to Colorado with 9 of my college friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in 8+ years. It was a well-needed respite from the Texas heat, and catching up with friends who I’ve known for 18 years was so good for my mind and soul. This group of 10 included mothers, wives, a surgeon, a lawyer, an occupational therapist, a breathing specialist, a wellness expert, a Music industry VP, a professor, and an entrepreneur – so as you can imagine, there was no shortage of stories to tell and things to catch up on.

One afternoon in Breckinridge, a handful of us talked about the bravest thing we’ve ever done, and in turn, got to know one another a much more deeper level. It was beautiful to hear the inflection in their voices as they told their stories, and it was really neat to see how vulnerable, honest, and brave my friends are. In thinking about our August theme of Bravery, I asked five women – all from different places, life experiences, and ages, and asked, “What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in your life so far?” Here are their answers.

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“What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in your life so far?”

Quit a 9-to-5 job to pursue full-time blogging.

“My boss told me “Austin might consider you a leader but we don’t and that’s not what we’re paying you to do,” so I quit the next day. I was making hardly any money from my blog at that time but I decided to pursue it full-time and have been blogging full-time ever since!”

– Jane Ko, Blogger, A Taste of Koko 

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“What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in your life so far?”

Left things or people that didn’t serve me.

“The bravest thing I have ever done happens every time I leave something or someone behind that doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever, simply because my heart says, “Go. I know you’re afraid. I know it makes no sense. But, it’s time to move. Trust me. I’ll show you why later. (Maybe).” It’s terrifying to me. And yet worth it every time.”

– Nicole Rager, Transformational Breathwork Facilitator, NMR Enterprises

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“What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in your life so far?”

Walked away from a lucrative salary and business opportunity by trusting my intuition.

“I was four years into a start-up, in dire need of funding in order to keep the business going and growing, and was several months into conversations with the most lucrative opportunity I had come across to date. Then conversations stalled, my focus began to suffer, and my intuition was sending off mayday signals — so I decided to walk away from the deal. Six months later, they came back with a new approach – one that considered my concerns. And now I’m extremely proud to say that my first business venture was successfully acquired and we are poised to do some pretty epic things in the coming years.”

Jennifer Kriske, Founder, Machines For Freedom 

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“What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in your life so far?”

Hiked Machu Picchu.

“One of the bravest thing I’ve ever done is hike Machu Picchu on my honeymoon. It was much harder than I anticipated, and I trained before I went. 12 solid hours of hiking up and down mountains through the desert, rain forest, rain/sleet/snow with only one way in and one way out. When you wanted to give up, you couldn’t and that was the life lesson plus a good way to start our marriage as well, never give up. When we reached Machu Picchu at dawn on the fourth day, it was exhilarating and breathtaking, a completely spiritual moment I’ll never forget. It reminded me that the journey is where you grow and learn and change and the destination is your reward.”

—Annie Ortmeier, Vice President of Marketing – Universal Nashville

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“What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in your life so far?”

Purchased a one-way ticket to Hawaii.

“I got a one-way ticket to Hawaii when I was 19. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life, but I knew I couldn’t stay where I was any longer. I also knew that after moving almost every year since I was 5, that I finally had the power to put an end to it. It was the first time I felt like I had control over my life and there was this overwhelming physical and emotional feeling of “This is the beginning of MY life.” It was incredibly empowering. Especially looking back and thinking about all the people that told me I was crazy and that it was the dumbest decision I could possibly be making. How wrong they were.”

—Ashley Kelsch, Founder of Teddies for Betty’s.

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This had me thinking about my own bravery story, and while it might be easy to turn to the physical feats and moments in my life where my body surprised me (like a 100 mile bike ride), my bravest moment is when I pitch an idea and ask for something. I never know what the outcome will look like, but I know the work, emotional effort, and passion I put into it.

Readers, what’s your bravest moment? Leave a note for us in the comments and share.

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Kelly Krause