Be Bold. Be Brave.

The very bold and brave, Ally Rees Mehnert.  The very bold and brave, Ally Rees Mehnert.

Today I get to return to my alma mater, Shell to speak at the Annual Women's Conference about being bold and brave. A few months ago I decided to be bold and brave and take on Sheryl Sandberg's #banbossy campaign and my LinkedIn post went viral.  It will be the subject of my talk.

For as long as I can remember I was a bold and brave girl.  In fact I often got called bossy and the other b-word.

Labels are awful, period. I'm unconventional, think differently, was often bullied, am sometimes stubborn, but I've embraced who I've become and am unafraid to share my stories of my not-so-perfect magnificently messy life.

As I prepared for my talk today, I reflected a little bit.   It took me years to find my voice.

connect-the-dots-looking-back-steve-jobs-picture-quoteNow that I have it, I'm being bold and brave and saying it and encouraging others to do the same.

There was a time in my life I said I'd never "go back".  You hear a lot today about the need to keep the past where it is.  Well, I disagree.  One of my many mentors, Steve Jobs says you can't move forward until you boldly and bravely connect the dots of the past.  Returning to the past isn't always a bad thing, actually.  Going back better, bolder and braver closes this full circle.  Nearly two years ago I left Shell, afraid.  I was afraid to leave a comfortable spot in a company I loved to try something else.  I don't regret this.  I've embraced it.

So be that bold and brave kid,  Embrace who you are.  Get in the driver's seat and go!


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