Ep. 21 Building Our Brave with Mary Burke of Building Brave

Happy #SeekTheJoy Tuesday! 

On the podcast today is Mary Burke, founder and CEO of Building Brave. 

Building Brave is an online community of women who connect, inspire and empower each other to discover and be their most confident selves.

  All images provided by Building Brave.

All images provided by Building Brave.

On today's episode we chat all about the inspiration behind Building Brave, the role of community in Mary's life, building her own brave, the connection between confidence and competence, empowerment, not playing it small, joy in her life, what Mary's learned about herself along the way, and much more. 

I was so excited to connect with Mary and to learn more about her journey from business woman, to candidate for governor of Wisconsin, to founder of Building Brave. 

The inspiration for Building Brave came from Mary's run for governor of Wisconsin in 2014. The race was tightly contested, and Mary lost the race but gained something much more valuable - her self confidence. 

Running for governor was transformational for Mary - and the experience forced her out of her comfort zone. Slowly but surely she overcame self-doubt, fear of failure, and letting what others think hold her back.

During today's episode Mary shares with us thatbBeing under such a harsh spotlight forced her to come to terms with her imperfections. Over time, she learned to stop letting those imperfections define her. Instead, she's learned to embrace herself, celebrate her strengths, and worry less about perfection and more about authenticity. 

  All images provided by Building Brave

All images provided by Building Brave

Mary learned how to build her brave, and now she's supporting other women in doing the same. 

On today's episode Mary shares the important connection between confidence and competence. After losing the governor's race, Mary read the book "The Confidence Code." The book talks about the important role confidence plays in our lives. Confidence can be described as our belief in ourselves and our abilities. Competence, on the other hand, are our actual abilities. Mary says it so well on today's episode, in many ways our confidence is more important than our competence. For men, their belief in their abilities exceed their actual abilities. For women, the exact opposite is true. On average women's belief in their abilities is lower than their actual abilities. 

As Mary read the Confidence Code and reflected on the research, she recognized herself in the data. She realized she had been playing it small. She assumed others knew her worth, and she never asked for a raise.

Why was that?

Research shows that most women receive messages for much of their lives that encourage them to play it small. As noted on Building Brave's site,  "by age 6, girls start to believe that boys are smarter than girls and by age 13, girls start dropping out of the STEM fields believing that they don't belong. Teenage girls believe that they are valued for their appearance over their abilities. Whether it is from the media, our peers, or in the workplace, our behaviors and beliefs are impacted."

This is where Building Brave comes in, and they're working to interrupt these patterns. Their community encourages women to be brave, confident, see their potential, and be empowered. They celebrate women for exactly who they are, and they're doing this through their mobile app. 

Building Brave's mobile app is an engaging interactive women's community that connects women with inspiration, support, and collaboration. On the app you can engage and follow discussions, join groups dedicated to topics like health, wellness, education, and careers, and participate in activities for personal growth and professional development. 

  All images provided by Building Brave

All images provided by Building Brave

We cover so much on today's episode. Mary is inspiring and it was a joy to connect with her. As a woman who is just beginning her career, it was wonderful to hear Mary reflect on her journey and celebrate the path she's been on. 

Thank you Mary for sharing your story with the Seek The Joy Community! 

To learn more about Mary and Building Brave, make sure to their website buildingbrave.org

You can access their mobile app here 

You can find Building Brave on Instagram @BuildingBrave and Facebook @BuildingBrave

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