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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Comments (9)
  1. 1
    Samantha August 15, 2018 at 7:55 am

    These ladies are all so inspiring!!

  2. 2
    Eleanor August 15, 2018 at 11:42 am

    I had just graduated from college and purchased a one way ticket to California. It was a huge move from the safety of staying close to my immediate family in Pennsylvania, and I didn’t know anyone in that town besides the handful of people at my new job. The boldness to make the move still surprises me, and gives me strength when I’m facing new decisions. Three years later, California has become home and I can’t imagine living anywhere else!

  3. 3
    Katie August 16, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Love this Kelly! I love brave women, they are inspirational every day! My bravest moment was picking up our family and moving overseas. We left a perfectly comfortable life in Nebraska with a 2 and 4 year old to start something new in the UK- best decision of my life! Cheers to taking risks and being brave ladies.

  4. 4
    Kristin August 22, 2018 at 12:47 am

    Awesome read!! It really was thought provoking!! I put myself in their shoes and could totally see how much bravery went into those decisions!! Not easy…
    I would say my brave moment was leaving everything and everyone I knew, to work in Antarctica!! I didn’t know what to expect and I just went anyway! Ended up being the most challenging time of my life, a time in my life when I grew the most and I am grateful now that took the opportunity when I had the chance!!

  5. 5
    Caleigh August 23, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t know if it’s particularly brave, but when I was 26 weeks pregnant I went into labour. I was also on a heavy dose of blood-thinners as I had gotten a blood clot after my first pregnancy. They had to do an emergency c-section and as I laid on the operating table, about to be put under, my husband had to leave because there was a very real risk of me bleeding out on the table and both I and the fetus would die. All alone, I faced those Terrifying moments head on and made it through the next 4.5 months with my son in the hospital (who is now a beautiful 2.5 year old boy). I’m pretty proud of that! My perception of what is scary or important in life has been changed permanently.

  6. 6
    Sarah January 22, 2019 at 10:16 am

    What a great post!!! I am 64 years old and very happy in my current life. However, there were several opportunities that arose in my 20’s that I passed up on. One was becoming a flight attendant for American Airlines — which had always been my dream. Another was moving to NY to work for my fathers advertising agency. I wonder how my life would have changed if I had pursued these opportunities?? Take a chance ladies — don’t pass up on your dreams! Soon life will take over — marriage, children, illness, aging parents, etc. You only have one shot at life and PLEASE do what makes you happy even it means taking the biggest chance of your life. And PLEASE, do not let a man hold you back!! You can do this!! Good luck!

    • sissa August 23, 2019 at 8:44 am

      Oh my God!! Love you Sarah!! Thank you for these words of wisdom!! They went straight to my heart!!

  7. 7
    Cynthia January 22, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Love this…just what I needed to read tonight as I nurse my sweet boy to sleep and catch up on email from my crazy marketing job while dreaming of my real passion… interior design and architecture. Trying to find the bravery to take a leap while protecting my family’s financial stability raising 2 kids in Los Angeles. I started an interior design school at night…baby steps!!

    • Caroline Pinkston January 23, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Wow – as a new mom, I am so impressed you started interior design school at night! So inspired by your passion. Go you.



Kelly Krause