Choose Courage Over Comfort

“I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.” – Socrates

     My good friend Andrew Kline posted a picture yesterday that stated, “Hang out with me for too long and I’ll brainwash you into thinking for yourself.” The quote resonated with me as I have witnessed and experienced organizational thinking and limited critical thinking at the personal level.  I’ve started to see fewer people ask “why?” and just aimlessly DO.

Good leaders will ask great questions, and one of those questions is “why?” When I say leaders, I mean anyone in a profession or role in life where others observe and emulate your behavior and look up to you for advice.  Leaders often fail to realize the impact of their actions.  Leadership is simply influence.  A great leader cannot make anyone do anything they do not want to do, a great leader is simply good at influencing others by what they SAY and DO themselves.


As a female in the Marine Corps I’ve had several “suggestions”from others on how I should act, how I should lead, or even suggestions on major life decisions I should make for myself.  It didn’t take me long to start asking “why” in order to peel back the layers of the onion and get to the root of their intent.  It was often that I found that these suggestions were made based off of what that leader had been told for several years by other senior leaders, yet they had never stopped to ask “why” or form their own opinion.


When I recently asked (40) women to fill out a questionnaire I had them list (3) personal strengths and weaknesses.  Upon reviewing the answers I concluded that, across the board, the most common weakness was mental toughness and self confidence.  What this tells me is that women are already putting more pressure on themselves in addition to selling themselves short before even attempting to go for the gold.  Believing in yourself is something that may take several years to accomplish, but it’s something that we are all capable of doing and it usually starts with finding someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself.  When it comes to confidence, I believe this may take years as well, but it can start with something as simple as reading a book, doing research, surrounding yourself with innovative people who think outside the box and learning from them.


As I’ve grown to understand how to utilize the combination of my natural born abilities, my personality and my past experiences I’ve come to realize my mission in life.  I understand that I was put on this earth to live out the purpose of influencing young women and inspiring them to reach their full potential, encouraging them to think outside the box.  I understand the pressure that women feel from society and I’ve managed to find myself despite what others say.  There are thousands and thousands of women on this earth who have natural talents, radiating personalities, and unique, often painful experiences that have shaped them to be strong and courageous. These women are lionesses just waiting to be let out of their cage.

I’m currently working with 6 women athletes and of those I have slowly, but surely started to see their mental shift.  Of these women (1) is a deputy Sheriff on a journey to be the first female in her local K-9 Unit, (1) is on a journey to be the first female and only Marine to lead an NCIS operation at her Unit, (1) is a softball player preparing to become a Marine Officer, (1) is preparing for The Basic School, (1) is a fire fighter and in the process of joining the military reserve, and (1) is a new mother who is training for the CrossFit Games.  Of these women I see nothing but potential and limitless capabilities.  They have all had experiences where males have judged them, questioned them, made their lives a little harder due to their gender, but these women aren’t backing down.

My message to the rest of the women who aren’t reaching their full potential, is to start asking “why?” Do not conform to the patterns of this world, yet let your minds be completely renewed and do not let it be shaped by the opinions of small minded individuals.  Form your own pattern of thinking and relentlessly pursue your purpose.  Choose courage over comfort and pave the path for the future generation that is waiting to be lead by your example.

If you or anyone you know is interested in working with me, please send an email to or check out

5 Women You and Your Daughters Should Know

The women listed below are women I respect, admire and think about when times get tough. These women emulate beauty in strength and demonstrate perseverance daily despite gender stereotypes and society’s perceptions.  These are the women that have set an example that I have chosen to follow. They are women that I look up to, and I hope that they will inspire you as well.

Ronda Rousey

Despite nay sayers opinions, Ronda has created the life she has dreamt of.  She is the person that God intended for her to be, and she is an unstoppable force.  She has set the example for girls and women of all ages throughout the world of what it looks like to fight hard every single day.


Laura Phelps Sweatt

Aside from the fact that Laura holds more World Records in Powerlifting than any other female to ever live, she is one of the most authentic and humble individuals I have ever met.  She has redefined what it means to be strong and demonstrated through her daily actions what it looks like to be a trail blazer and help other women reach their full potential.


Andrea Writt

Andrea holds the female record for the fasted double obstacle course time at the Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, VA.  She can complete 25 dead hang strict pull ups at a moments notice and can climb a rope faster than most men I’ve met.  She is currently studying space engineering at Monterey.  She is feminine and beautiful yet exemplifies an aggressive demenour, toughness, and has what it takes to lead the sons and daughters of America.  She is one of my best and most loyal friends.


Merisa Downs

Merisa is a Christian, wife, mother, athlete and LA Police Officer.  She risks her life daily in order to defend and protect our beloved Country.  She is one of the most influential women in my life when it comes to being a servant of God and showing genuine love and care for others.  She is a fighter and lover all in one.


Theresa Larson

Theresa came into my life at a pivotal time, when I was seeking guidance and advice on how to transition out of the Corps.  She has reeled me in with her shining personality, her devotion to our Country, and her leadership by example.  She is a true warrior, beautiful person inside and out, as well as soon to be mother.


My Da

A few weeks back, I had the amazing opportunity of attending the 241st Marine Corps Birthday Ball with my hero, my Da (my grandfather.)   He served 33 years in the Marine Corps, with a bio, experiences and stories of a true legend. He is without a doubt one of the greatest Americans I know.


As we got ready for the ball we prepped our medals and aligned them according to standards.  We ensured all necessary items were accounted for and laid them out the night prior as all squared away Marines would do.  We placed his mini medals on his tux along with his aerial observer wings,  dive bubble, and jump wings.  We placed his Ranger tab on the right side of his tux.  He said upon graduation of Ranger school, the instructor placed the tab on his cammies.  He walked away and put them into his pocket, and the instructor asked why he removed them?  He said, “we are Marines, we didn’t come for the tab, we came for the training.”  He’d never had the opportunity to wear that tab since earning it, and he took delight in wearing it on his tuxedo.


As we walked into the event together, arm in arm, the moment was surreal.  I was walking next to the man whom I had aspired to be like, I was wearing the the Eagle Globe and Anchor that he had earned.  I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and my heart was bursting with joy.   As I write this, my eyes fill with tears as I relive the intense emotions I felt that evening.  He looked at me and said, “My dear, everyone is staring at us.” I said, “why do you say that?”  He said, ” a silver star recipient and the prettiest Marine Officer are walking into this Huntsville ball, everyone is staring at us.”  We laughed together and went on to enjoy one of the most joyful evenings of my life.


Since my Nini’s passing I have not been able to spend much time with my Grandfather.  He mentioned that of all the trials and challenges in his life, loosing her was by far the hardest.  I know the sadness he feels in his heart, and I continue to worry for his happiness and health, but while at the ball I saw another side of him.   He was so happy to be surrounded by Marines.  He was young again, he had an extra pep in his step, he stood a little taller and he spoke of Nini to everyone at our table.


While watching the young couples dance the night away, I asked my Da, “of all the Marine Corps Balls that you and Nini went to, which one was your favorite?”  He said, “The very first.   She didn’t come from much money, and neither of us had enjoyed an evening like that before.  I enjoyed be able to provide that for her for the first time.”  We both wished she could have been there, but knew that she was looking down over us.


On our way out we stopped to get our photo taken.  Which he had traditionally taken with my Grandmother.  These photos are the photos my sister and I constantly looked at as little girls.  As we took the photo, it amazed me how life had come full circle.  How the little girl admiring her grandfather growing up, was now a grown woman and a Marine Officer herself.  The impact that my Grandparent’s actions have had on my life are indescribable.  I can only hope to be half the Grandparents that they were to me.  I strive to someday be standing next to my Grandchildren feeling the same sense of joy, pride and happiness as he.