Radical Self-Acceptance: Dare to Lead

Updated: Jul 28


“Leadership is about creating change you believe in”.


Manuela Damant opened Monday’s workshop by sharing this quote by Seth Godin. It showcases the business vision of Azkua; the company in which she is a Visionary Collective Leader and personal growth coach. However, the quote not only applies to companies like Azkua. If more young women embraced this definition of leadership, perhaps we would see more female leaders in all sorts of fields. But, regardless of how you define leadership, you might find yourself holding back your ideas for change due to the fear of putting yourself “out there”. After discussing where parts of this fear originate from, such as responsibility for a group, reputation, or your visions being misunderstood, Manuela shared that leadership and learning spring from a combination of courage (vulnerability) and emotional safety. In striving for this golden combination, you must rely on [1] your strengths, [2] skills, [3] intrinsic motivation, [4] positive intelligence, [5] self-compassion, [6] shame resilience, [7] a mighty network, and [8] trust.


Don’t despair if this list seems overwhelming. Thanks to Manuela’s coaching, we bring a step for step guide to increase courage in everyday situations, as well as tips for entering a large group alone – for when you need to secure that internship at a networking event or are looking to promote your business.


How to Increase Courage in Everyday Situations:


Preparation (reality check):

  • What is the situation, including your role (power situation)?

  • Who are you meeting?

  • What is the purpose? Why is what you’re saying important? What is the bigger picture?

  • Do you need to talk to someone before the meeting? – Don’t hesitate to ask for prior knowledge.

  • Get used to speaking up

Set the scene:

  • Make a strong introduction for yourself and others who might be important for your message.

  • Set up the room.

  • Set a clear objective.

Take back control (if needed):

  • Set the scene again.

  • Advocate for yourself and others – don’t be afraid to interrupt.

  • Use your body language constructively.

  • Stay focused and return to the purpose.

  • Remember that the focus should be on the objective and not yourself.

Giving kindness its place:

  • Do not use shrinkers such as “I just think…” or unnecessary apologies, nor undermining disclaimers – let the main body of your presentation be powerful to get your point across…

  • …Nevertheless, weave warmth into the opening and closing.


For entering a large group alone, Manuela emphasized that it all comes down to preparation. Therefore, make sure that you have a strong introduction. Before arriving, it would be beneficial to reflect on the following points:

  1. Why are you attending the event?

  2. What are your passions and key strengths?

  3. What is your area of expertise and which past problems have you’ve solved?

  4. What are your (current and past) projects?

  5. What key companies or clients are you looking for and why? – be specific!


Hopefully, some of this can be helpful in the quest for finding your own combination of courage (vulnerability) and emotional safety. Daring to lead comes from knowing yourself, and plenty of preparation.





If you are interested in learning more about Manuela Damant and Azkua you can take a look at her Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/manuela-damant/

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