The BRAVE Mission: Empowered vs. Self-empowered

Dear BRAVE Humans,

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I am super excited for today’s Living BRAVE message. This post will take a deep dive into an examination of BRAVE’s mission and vision; to inspire and challenge humans to be brave and self-empowered contributors to a better world. I hope to anchor this examination within the foundation I built last week in my second post, Why BRAVE?!, making intentional and meaningful connections to what I believe it means to be brave, and to live brave.

Let’s see how I do! Here goes nothing.

First, let’s start with what our mission is: to inspire and challenge humans to be brave and self-empowered contributors to a better world.

And, please let me mention before I move on, the invaluable role words play in being brave, living brave and in bringing this brave mission, above, to life. Word choice matters. Every word that we choose and every silence that we choose, they all matter. So, we must choose well. I will discuss SO MUCH MORE about choices, but not just yet. We will get there. Patience, grasshopper (@SerenaManzi).


When the BRAVE team (shout out the the best board around) was choosing the words of our mission, we had so many beautiful discussions and reflections on words and what they meant to us and the work we do. Let me break it down. Disclaimer: it will not be as good as Ellen and Michelle. 


Breakdown Part I. 

The words “inspire” and “challenge” were chosen to compliment one another and to embody the the direct impact we hope to have on humans via our programming. One, without the other, is simply not enough. It is their interdependence that makes them most profound and epic. At BRAVE, we want to make you feel truly inspired; like you can do ANYTHING, that you can and will (and probably already have) changed the world and made it better. At the same exact time, we want you to feel challenged; like you can never become too comfortable or content, like you can always grow and improve if you put the effort in.

Next, the word “humans” was another important choice. This word also happens to be one of my favorites. I know, I know, it is weird that I have several favorite words. I am a nerd. I admit it. If you also like words and have favorite, lets’ talk. Anywayyyy... back to “humans.” This word is the ultimate form of inclusion for human identities and experiences. It is an ultimate goal of mine to be sure ALL humans feel like they are, and their journey, valid and important.

Breakdown Part II.

The word “brave” would come next, but I think we covered that last week. So, onward. This brings us to the big kahuna, our choice of the word “self-empowered.” This part of the mission is focused on what the sustainable and self-determined impact of BRAVE programming will have on humans. As I mentioned last week, being brave or living brave, is a lifestyle. It is not something that happens in a single moment nor is it achieved in a single decision or action. It is something we hope humans learn with us at BRAVE, and through other life experiences, but ultimately something that becomes built in to their lifestyle. It is our hope that each human who experiences BRAVE continues, through their own volition, to implement what they learn throughout their lifetime. This is where “self-empowered” comes into play. Let me explain why we chose this exact word. It was a very specific and deliberate choice. For me, this word is super popular right now, but it is also often misappropriated. One of the biggest misconceptions about it is that often it is used in a way that insinuates that one human can empower another. I do not believe this is possible. One human can inspire another, they can challenge another; but one human cannot empower another. This is because empowerment is tethered to action and it exists inside each of us from the beginning, it lives in our soul. It is not something someone can give to us. It is up to each individual human to choose to employ their power and agency; to choose to be empowered, to choose to act. One human cannot force another to action, and if they do, that is certainly not a manifestation of empowerment. At BRAVE, one of our ultimate ambitions is to to support humans in their journey towards discovering their best self, and therefore, their self-empowerment. Each of us needs to contribute to a better world in our own way, with our unique bravery, our own choices, on our terms,  and by our own will. That is the best path toward sustainable, positive change, for each of us as individuals and for our larger communities.

At BRAVE, we work hard everyday to bring our powerful and important mission to life. We try to bring each of these words, and this path towards sustainable positive change, to life for the people we work with. The BRAVE team is committed to maintain sight of what matters most; humans and their journey of discovering and becoming their best selves. We believe that we can and will contribute even more peace and love to make our world better. On behalf of the entire BRAVE team, we are so grateful to all those who contributed to and support our mission and work. We are so proud of all that we have been able to accomplish and we look forward to all of the new and wonderful obstacles ahead.

Hope to have y’all back on Friday to learn more about, what I like to call, my non-negotiables for living as a BRAVE leader! What are your non-negotiables for leadership?


Make today great!

Peace and love,