Dream Big, Embrace Fear & Always Move Forward
By Stacey Holifield
A couple months ago, I was invited to speak at the annual member event for the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI). Fort Wayne is home to many incredible leaders and entrepreneurs; the opportunity to speak was truly an honor.
An open invitation to spend 30 minutes standing before a crowd talking about one of the greatest loves of my life — Levitate. When you love something, it’s easy to gush about it for hours on end. It’s easy to talk about how amazing it is to be living out your dream, and the incredible opportunities that have resulted.
Talking about it is easy. Doing it is a different story.
It’s hard. And sometimes scary.
But that’s the beauty of it. When we dig deep, when life is at its scariest, when we don’t know exactly how we’ll make it through—that is when we decide to either stop moving forward or to reach within and be brave. When we are brave, amazing things can happen.
Goodbye Comfort Zone, Hello Fear
My story about Levitate begins with one of the scariest days of my life. The day I found out I was pregnant with my son. It was a day that I didn’t plan for, or expect. It was a day filled with overwhelming emotion. Mostly fear. A day that changed the course of my life and my career. It was the beginning of an ongoing challenge to approach my career differently, to fight new battles and defend my status as a career-oriented single parent, and to realize new dreams that were better than anything I ever imagined before.
Six years after the day that terrified me so much, I had become a very different, much more complex person. I was working woman — a solo parent — who refused to compromise my career and my priorities as a mom. I was a woman frustrated with the unwarranted limitations and barriers attached to me because of motherhood.
And so I left my comfort zone and launched Levitate. Full of fear and excitement.
Built on Bravery
Levitate isn’t just a company. It’s a philosophy born from my personal and professional experiences. Levitate is about bravery. It is a company founded on the idea of being brave, wanting more, getting uncomfortable, pushing beyond to achieve more. Levitate is about rising up. Always.
This philosophy guides what we do as people and as trusted advisors. It’s how we work with clients: brave, committed, and focused on helping companies and organizations get uncomfortable and move forward. We focus on goals and we make things happen because we are committed to success.
This same philosophy transpires in the way we engage with our community. When I look around the great city that I live in—the home of Levitate—I see a city that is doing so much. A city that has come so far. But I also see a city that is sometimes afraid. Afraid to fully embrace the change that is necessary to create a connected community and culture that attracts and retains talent.
We must continue to unite around bravery and take steps forward to develop a diverse and inclusive community. This is the foundation for momentum that fuels innovation, advancement, culture, education and commitment. Commitment to a city full of opportunity for all. We must continue to rise up together and inspire others by our actions. We must be brave and get uncomfortable.
Thank you YLNI for letting me share my story and for everything the organization does to support diversity and inclusivity in our region. #BeBraveFW
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