Rachael Evans is a world-leading visionary, business pioneer, author, and advisor who is making waves across the world with her new redefinition of bravery. A dynamic speaker, Rachael inspires audiences to embrace the bravest, boldest versions of themselves and has dedicated herself to fueling positive change for women through her Brave Media Network. She joins me this week to share her own experience of bravery, and how she is helping women everywhere redefine bravery in their own lives.
Listen in this week as Rachael shares 3 types of bravery and how we need to step into them with the courage to do the things that scare us. Rachael shares the importance of making friends with fear, why doing so can help you show up more bravely in your life, and how to develop the confidence to start making bold moves and be a brave woman.
You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast. I’m Dr. Jen Riday and on this episode we are talking about the important essential topic of how to be a brave woman. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
My friends, welcome back to the podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here with us today because this episode is so, so juicy for me personally and I hope for you as well. My question for you is how often have you aspired to be brave in your life? Is brave one of those adjectives that you aspire to, chase after, go for? My guest today, Rachael Evans explains that bravery in general throughout the world is ascribed to men for heroic deeds like being a firefighter, saving someone from floodwaters, or saving someone from danger, or being a hero on the battlefield. We all have these ideas of bravery.
What would happen if we started to change our definition of bravery? What does it mean for a woman to be brave? Well, this is so inspiring. You’ll hear three types of bravery in Rachael’s redefinition. And how we need to step into with courage these things that scare us. I’m doing one and I’ll share that in this interview. You’ve heard it in a past interview that inspires me right now. And there are still little voices in my head of what if that’s bad? What if that’s wrong? What if that comes back to bite you? What do people think?
Those little voices chime into my head, I shut them down quickly. But perhaps and you’ll hear in this interview. Bravery is just doing what is your right next best step, independent of what everyone else thinks, independent of what everyone else does, independent of what the patriarchy, or societies, or organizations, or structures in this world think you as a woman or a person should do. And trusting your gut, your intuition, your path. So, we’re going to talk a lot about bravery.
Before we dive in, I want you to think about what is something you’ve always wanted to do, something you want to try, something you think you could never do, or you kind of like the idea, plant that seed. Listen with that lens and see what you learn about that one thing as you listen. Let’s dive in.
Jen: Hey my Vibrant Happy Women friends. I am excited to be here with Rachael Evans who is a world leading visionary, business pioneer, speaker, author, and advisor making waves across the world with her new redefinition of bravery. A dynamic speaker, Rachael inspires audiences to embrace the bravest, boldest versions of themselves. Rachael has a young family and she’s also dedicating herself to generating and fueling positive change for women through her Brave Media Network. Rachael, welcome to the show. I am super excited to have you.
Rachael: Hi, Jen, thank you. I’m really excited to be here.
Jen: So, you are in Australia where at the time of this recording it’s cold, it’s winter. I love that you’re wearing bright red. That’s exactly what you need in winter.
Rachael: Yes, definitely, and especially at six o’clock in the morning. So, it’s extra cold and we’re going for extra vibrancy just to match up with the energy of our interview today.
Jen: So, before we dive in I have been interspersing a series of deep questions throughout my interviews just to get to know people better. Is it okay if I ask you a couple of random deep questions?
Rachael: Please, go ahead.
Jen: Okay. My favorite one, I’ve been asking this one a lot is, who are you and how do you show up in life, Rachael?
Rachael: Wow, this is a deep question. It’s a great question though. And I think if you’d asked me that five years ago I would have answered very differently but a lot of water has passed on the bridge, and I think I’m a great human. I’m generous and I’m visionary. In life I aim to show up as a great wife, and mother, and businesswoman who is able to open doors for other women to walk through and experience and explore new and exciting opportunities.
Jen: I love that. So, I’m curious, you said a lot has happened, there’s a lot of water on the bridge. How would you perhaps have answered that five years ago or even longer ago?
Rachael: I think I would not have put so much of me in the answer. I think I would have felt compelled just to speak about my children and my ex-husband at the time rather than really thinking about myself and exactly what it was that I wanted to show up with in the world.
Jen: And by leaning into who you are and how you want to show up, that’s exactly the foundation of being able to show up in my opinion, yeah.
Rachael: Deep, personal work I guess to really realize that I’ve actually got to come first in the equation. I’ve got to fill my cup before I can even start on wife and mother.
Jen: I believe that too and I find it fascinating how much resistance I still notice of that thought out there. It’s really true that my happiness is first but it’s essential because I know what it was like to show up unhappy for my kids and spouse. I kind of didn’t like them, I was grumpy, I was yelling. So of course when I put my happiness first I show up differently. How does that work for you, putting your happiness first, what are the differences you see tangibly in your life?
Rachael: I really relate to what you said about being grumpy and I felt exhausted a lot of the time. And I’d be looking for my bedroom at 7:30 at night just so I could go and have an hour of me time. I’d be getting up at 4:30 in the morning to try and have me time before anyone else woke up to try and exercise, and read, and journal and that kind of thing. And that was all in a quest to show up better but of course it was just showing up tired and exhausted.
So, I really realized, it was probably about five and a half, six years ago that I wasn’t responsible for anyone else’s happiness in my marriage, only my own. And it became evident to me that my ex-husband was not going to be happy no matter what I did. Some people actually aren’t capable of looking after that on their own. They don’t want to be responsible for their happiness.
So, I actually made a decision almost five years ago that I would put myself first and the words I said over and over again to myself were, I choose me, I choose me. I have to choose me because if I don’t choose me no one else is. And this is the only way I’m going to show up as the best version of myself for my children if I put me first. So, while I don’t advocate that everybody goes and leaves their spouse, for me that’s what was required. But for the first time in many, many years that allowed me to think about what did fill me up. And it wasn’t looking after a man child in this instance,.
Jen: Yes. It’s so interesting, I just a few short days ago I was coaching someone, and she’d come in with deep unhappiness. And we found the root belief which was my husband’s happiness is more important than my own. And she got it from a number of places, she recognized quickly it was causing her misery. What advice do you have for people still clinging to those beliefs from religious reasons to traditions from their family or learning something from their mother, how do you let that go and trust that it’s okay when everyone taught you to think that way?
Rachael: It’s definitely societal conditioning and it’s something that we actually have to take a few steps back and observe. Part of the work that I do at Brave Media Network is actually encouraging women to have the confidence to take the next brave move for them. And I grew up in a very, I guess at the time, non-traditional household. My mom and dad both worked. They both shared the duties around the home.
So, my ex-husband had a very 1950s version of that. Mom didn’t work at all, catered to everything for the children, father went off to work and was the dominant in the household. So, after a few years it became very obvious that it was expected that our household would be like that. And I’ve been entrepreneurial ambitious since I was a child. So, me being attached to the kitchen sink and only doing school runs was never going to work out. It took me a number of years to summon the courage to actually verbalize that.
And when I was told, “No, don’t do that business, don’t start that business”, to continue to follow what my intuition was telling me, which was to start that business. So, it comes down to what you see for yourself in the future. And if you’re willing to accept the conditions that are placed on you in your relationship, what does that mean for you, if you have children what does that mean for you and your children? And for me absolutely there was fear there.
And what I’ve learned through interviewing hundreds of women about bravery is that fear is actually the first ingredient that you need for bravery. Without fear you won’t have the need to summon courage. And we need courage because it’s the thing that’s going to help us take action. So, once you summon your courage there’s no judgment here especially from myself because I know how easy it would have been to stay. But for myself the big courageous move was to actually leave and start again.
And in the last four and a half years, I left with nothing, no furniture, just my clothes and my fledgling little side hustle business. Not even five years later, I’m a multimillionaire, I have multiple properties, I have a business that’s now under management. And I’m able to work in what I’m really passionate about which is Brave Media Network, helping redefine bravery for women and give them the confidence to make more bold moves.
Jen: Fantastic. I mean in five short years my mind said, huh, what makes her able to do that when so many others aspire to but don’t necessarily get that far, what sets you apart? Is it something you were born with, or do you have a secret?
Rachael: There’s no secrets I don’t think. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, I’ve always been visionary. So, I can always see what it is that I’m able to achieve. And then it becomes my job to reverse engineer it. I have stuck in the same lane for my business that’s now under management, my coaching business. And I’ve not veered off the path of who we help. So, I work in a male dominated space. I actually coach auto repair shop owners. That’s what my business is.
And we have a team of 15 now that operates that business. But I showed up every day. Now, anyone that’s been through a separation or divorce will know that there are many, many, many dark nights of the soul. Some days I thought it was all going to fall apart. But I still turned up as best I could during that process. And the discipline to do that paid off. As things started to get back on track I was able to afford to hire better quality team members that were able to take some of the workload off me because of course, when we’re a young business we’re wearing all the hats.
And once I was able to do that I was able to get space to think for the business. And that’s really where things accelerated. I made sure that I had the right people around me. Divorce is messy, friends and family take sides. I made sure that I had the right coaches around me. So, I’ve always had a business coach. I’m willing to pay up to 10% of our annual revenue for me to be coached and for the team to be coached.
I hired a property coach. I left that marriage with no assets, and I wanted to make sure that as soon as I was in a position to do so I was able to capitalize and start rebuilding. And I’m remarried now with my amazing husband, Dean, and we’re very much on the same page. And if there was a secret, that’s it. You and your spouse be on the same page. Because when you’re going in the same direction together you get there so much faster.
Jen: The synchronicity, yeah. So, I love that. You said you saw what you wanted, and you reverse engineered it. So, two questions from this. How did you know what you wanted? And how can you use that reverse engineering principle, say if you’re not in business?
Rachael: Sure. I think being visionary, futurist is my number two strength in Clifton strengths. So, I see things. And if my gut tells me that what I can see feels aligned, feels like the right thing to do then it’s the right thing to do. And once I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it. And if I don’t start moving towards it, it will just play on my mind until it’s done. So, tapping into my feminine energy as opposed to the hustle and just the doing, doing, doing. And being busy doing what others around you, say your coaching peers for instance might be doing because it’s the new shiny thing.
It's about staying away from that and doing what I know is intuitively right for me. If you can see something it doesn’t matter the context, it’s just about recognizing, okay, well, that might be three years down the track, what’s one step I can take today in order to get closer to achieving that?
I’m Dr. Laurie Santos, host of The Happiness Lab Podcast, the show that presents the latest science-based strategies to help us live happier, more joyful lives. In the next season of The Happiness Lab, we’ll explore how to make friends, happier parenting strategies, and why drinking the world’s hottest hot sauce can be fun. Listen to The Happiness Lab, wherever you get your podcasts.
Jen: So, you are redefining bravery. We’ve heard a lot of brave things. I mean you see a vision, you go after the dream, you left your marriage when you didn’t even have anything to start over with. That’s brave. So, tell us your new definition of bravery, we’ll go from there.
Rachael: So, I was doing some research a couple of years ago on bravery. And became obvious that the definition was very masculine. It was a physical thing, society wants us to believe that you’re brave when you’re on the battlefield, or you’re saving someone from a fire, or flood, standing in harm’s way to protect someone else. When bravery awards are handed out, they almost exclusively are awarded to men. Just as a general rule, women don’t find themselves in those situations as often as what men do.
And they’re undoubtedly brave acts, let’s not take that away. But it made me feel like it actually ignores, the masculine definition ignores the bravery that women exhibit every single day. And I’ve discovered there’s three other kinds of bravery at least from the women that I’ve spoken to and interviewed around the world, it really seems to resonate. And those three different types of bravery are moral bravery, spiritual bravery, and emotional bravery. So as women we’re actually really getting quite good at speaking out against injustice for our fellow womankind and humankind.
Emotional bravery, so this is when we do decide to leave a relationship that’s not serving us. Or we do decide to jump in and be brave on behalf of a family member or a friend when we feel that we need to. And spiritual bravery, so this is undoing hundreds and hundreds of years of conditioning from the patriarchy not to trust our women’s intuition, do it their way. So, bravery is not just a physical thing for most women. It’s not done through an act that is going to get them a medal or a citation from the president or the governor general.
It’s part of everyday, and I’m very passionate about bringing that to the surface. Women don’t actually realize their own bravery until they’re aware that it’s not just physical. And once they do the light bulbs go off and they start to remember these moments all through their lives. Whether they have had a sporting career, or a corporate career.
Or they’re raising children and the children are sick and they’re sick, and they’re getting up again at three o’clock in the morning because their spouse is laying beside them and they’re staying asleep because they have to go to work in the morning. There’s so many different kinds of bravery.
Jen: I adore this, it’s so needful. You mentioned emotional bravery. It’s come to my attention others might be miles ahead of me on this, but it wasn’t in my awareness. We talk a lot about emotional safety. Well, my daughter just recently took a class, it’s a class on social justice in the summertime. She came back and she said, “Emotional safety is out mom, we need to be emotionally brave.” And that really hit me because instead of this idea that you’re offending me, and I can’t hear your opinion and whatever.
I’m going to listen and be brave in the face of this different opinion, or this experience. So, thoughts on that in terms of your work with bravery?
Rachael: It’s fantastic that it’s in a class being taught to our young people and especially for young girls and women to hear that message that it’s not just about what you witness and taking steps to protect yourself. It’s about taking the step beyond that, so recognizing that there might be fear there.
Allowing courage to come in and just doing something about it, that will take you from a position that you may otherwise have been stuck in or decided to stay for safety. And take a leap and apply for the job that you don’t think you’re qualified for even though you nearly tick all the boxes. Or something that you didn’t think was possible for you, I think it’s amazing that it’s forming part of a curriculum.
Jen: Absolutely. Just changing that one word helps you see, focusing on emotional safety caused us not to listen, or not to take risks, or not to be exposed to anything. I love it so much. So, what is your next big and juicy brave thing that you’re working towards as the visionary that you are?
Rachael: Well, as I mentioned my coaching business is under management. And we’ve got a couple of big plans there for the next couple of years for growth. So that’s really exciting, probably most exciting part about it is that I don’t have to execute it myself because I have an amazing general manager there.
Specifically on the brave front I’ve got some interviews with some absolutely extraordinary women coming up that I’m very, very excited about from some amazing names from around the world. Hopefully making some documentaries that further explore the concepts of emotional, spiritual, and moral bravery and tell more stories. Bring to light some of the things that women just assume is something they have to endure, it’s part of being a woman when in reality what we’re doing in some of these cases is very, very brave. So, I’m really excited about bringing those stories to life in this way.
Jen: It’s so exciting. I would watch your network all day long. So be sure to tell me when it goes live or how that works. I guess I want to share just a version of how I’m being brave. This is your interview, but I still want to share it. I have six kids. I am from the background where the idea is you marry, you have your kids, some day you retire, and maybe you play some pickleball or you have hobbies, your kids visit then slowly we move toward death.
Well, that vision wasn’t working for me, it felt so depressing. And I do have a business and stuff, but I experimented with a lot of ideas. And I found that my next best step was to purchase a backpack and fill it with all the things I need to live can fit in the backpack. And the thought has become so liberating, and inspiring, and juicy for me, you spoke of intuition. Well, everyone else, if I tell them about it they say, “Wow, that’s so out of the box, I could never do that.” So, they’re looking at it as this really brave thing. And honestly it is kind of scary to be so different from every other woman.
But with this backpack it frees me to be able to travel quickly and easily without having to pack and unpack, go see a friend, when my kids get older, go see my kids. If I feel like it I come back to the home base of my husband. Just the freedom and flexibility to just do. That’s my brave thing. So, thoughts on how I can get a little more brave about it if you have any?
Rachael: To get a little more brave. Well, first of all it’s brave to step outside of what society has pegged for you. And even your family and friends, they have an idea of what they think you are and where you should fit, into what size box. When you step out of that image they have for you it often brings up their stuff.
And I’ve found this in the past as well, when I said I was going to start Brave Media Network and people were like, “What, should you be doing that? You’ve got this other thing already. And you’ve got your children, they’re still young and blah, blah, blah, they need you.” And it’s like hang on, I’m the one in this space, this is my life to live. It’s not just to exist. And I think it’s an enormous credit to you that you’ve decided this is actually what living means to me. And you want to go and explore, and you want to go and fill up your cup in that way.
And it might not be your husband’s time to do that for instance. No one should be ever able to hold anyone else back from executing the vision they have for their life because that just leads to misery. I’ve always made a careful point to understand that when people were throwing things at me that sounded like, “Hey, you, that’s so brave of you,” when what they’re really meaning is maybe you shouldn’t be doing that, that doesn’t sound normal. That’s actually them putting their limiting beliefs about what they could do in their life onto us.
And we can make a decision not to accept that. We don’t have to carry that around with us. We just need to listen to our own intuition, to the voice in our head, to the beat of our drum and go with that. And I think bravery in that situation, it’s probably a mix of all three because you’re on a quest, you will only grow old feeling unfulfilled if you don’t walk the path of your own quest. And I think that’s the next element or the next step of bravery in it is sticking to what you see, to the music that you hear about this.
Jen: You’ve inspired me so much but the word ‘quest,’ I think of a number of movies that show men on a quest, never, I can’t even think of a single woman on a quest except maybe – obviously, it happened. But the popular movies about it, it’s so rare.
Rachael: Maybe we need to make some noise about that, hey?
Jen: Quest is a very masculine word. I love it. Let’s claim it, women. What is your quest going to be next? Yes. Well, you’ve inspired me. Anything else on your heart that you feel like our listeners could benefit from today?
Rachael: It’s always on my heart to encourage women to make friends with fear because it’s really the biggest barrier to us having the life. I think that whether you’re seeing it, whether you’re feeling it, whether you just have this yearning inside of you and you know that you’re meant for something different. I felt that for a number of years, that life could be different. I just didn’t have an example in front of me of what that was. But the more examples that we have for other women, the more we’ll be able to overcome the fear that we feel about stepping out.
And it sounds silly but at the same time it’s actually really serious. What we’re stepping out against is hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of years of being told where we should be as women. If equality is ever going to be achieved in the truest sense of the word, first we need to realize that when fear pops up it’s not necessarily telling us to not do the thing or to turn around and run away.
It’s actually saying you’re going the right way because if there was no fear, if you weren’t afraid, if you weren’t scared then we’d all be exactly where we want to be right now. And there’d be no question. So, it’s when fear arises and I’m not talking about when you’re in a life threatening or dangerous situation physically. I’m talking about your everyday things, and should I apply for this job? Should I start this side hustle? Should I make my side hustle my main hustle? Should I leave this relationship? Should I stay?
I’m talking about the fear that arises when you think about that. If you just for a moment observe the fear, what’s it trying to tell me? It will usually be trying to tell you, let’s be courageous here and take a step in a certain direction. And if you can be friends with fear then you’re probably going to start taking not just little steps, although they will be in the beginning, but giant leaps towards your vision or your feeling for your life. And things can be very different very quickly. As I mentioned, my life’s completely different to what it was five years ago.
And while they were scary steps to take and a lot of courage was required, I’m so glad that I decided to be brave because my life for myself, what I get to do every day, I would never have been able to do that had I rejected fear.
Jen: A little kind of side snark question, what does your ex-husband think of all of this and think of you now?
Rachael: This is a G rated show, right?
Jen: Yes. Oh, my goodness.
Rachael: Yeah. Unfortunately, I’d love to be one of those people that could say I have a great relationship with my ex, simply not true. And being someone that required parenting or mothering rather than adulting himself, I don’t see that that is ever going to change. So unfortunately, I’m not one of those ones that has a great relationship with the ex that sometimes you hear about. I don’t know anyone that has that. I do the best I can for the kids in terms of it’s their dad. They do have a great role model in my husband, Dean, now so I’m very thankful for that.
Jen: That’s awesome, well said, yeah. Well, this was fantastic, Rachael. I can’t wait to watch your network. I hope it gets as big as Oprah’s network, that would be fantastic. Wishing you all the best, such important work that you’re doing.
Rachael: Well, thank you. And you can go and have a look there now, the podcast is live as well, The Very Brave Podcast. Please come and visit at bravemedianetwork.com. Connect on Instagram as well @therealrachaelevans, love to speak with you.
Jen: Yeah, so therealrachaelevans.com?
Rachael: therealrachaelevans on Instagram, that’s my personal voice. And Brave Media Network is on Instagram and Facebook as well, they both are. But the network itself, bravemedianetwork.com.
Jen: Awesome. And by the way I was pleased to get to be one of your guests on your podcast. So, you can go look for me there as well.
Rachael: Absolutely. I do believe that you’re coming out in season three. So got about, yeah, a few weeks to go.
Jen: Well, thank you so much, Rachael, I appreciate it. Take care.
Rachael: My absolute pleasure, thank you.
Are you feeling brave? What is that one brave thing you’re going to do next? I hope you’re inspired, I certainly am. And I’m going to pay extra attention to those voices that want to shut me down, are you sure that’s a good idea? You’re so brave. You’re so interesting, I could never do that. Perhaps those voices are an indicator that we’re on the right track. Remember what Rachael said, lean into your fear. Don’t be afraid of fear. Don’t let it stop you, be courageous, be brave.
Now, I have an idea for a brave thing you could try if you’re not sure what you want to do next. Would you like to accept the challenge of being brave enough to join us at the Vibrant Happy Women retreat in 2023 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic? That requires some bravery to get a passport, to leave the country, to meet women you’ve never met. I want to invite you to make that your next brave step. We would love to have you.
We will be expanding on this topic of bravery there at the retreat, figuring out what we want to do, what voices are trying to stop us. What feels correct intuitively for our next brave step. So, if you would like to sign up we still have spots, the doors close soon. You can join at jenriday.com/retreat. Punta Cana in February is amazing, and warm, and sunny. If you’re concerned that it’s not exactly a first world country, no worries, the resort is 10 minutes from the airport. You just land, you can fly direct from any number of US cities.
I’ll be flying direct from Chicago to Dominican Republic to Punta Cana. And then we hop on a shuttle provided by the resort that takes us directly to the resort, it couldn’t be easier, couldn’t be safer. And I promise you, it couldn’t be more fun. I promise you that being around the women at the retreat is the best space I’ve ever been in, the most authentic, real, fun growth minded, heart centered women and I love them dearly. And I can’t wait, and I hope you’ll be with us. So, grab your ticket, get your spot at jenriday.com/retreat.
Alright my friends, I will be back again next week. I am so happy you were here, I hope you can have a vibrant, happy, and brave week. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.