Tenacity. It’s not a word we tend to dwell on during our day to day life, and yet it helps drive the character of some of my favorite women — women who are lawyers, doctors and moms. Women who face a world that tells them “no” and yet they go for it anyway. Women who aren’t afraid to get out of their safe space.
Kate Warne is our model for the G&G box about tenacity. She was a Civil War era detective who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and went far outside her comfort zone to protect president Lincoln during the war. She befriended the associates of criminals, uncovered a plot on the president’s life, and even posed as a fortune teller to get secrets from suspects. Sometimes she even disguised herself as a man so she could get the job done. Talk about going outside your comfort zone!
Like many of you reading this, I like my comfort zone. The comfort zone is safe. There are fewer challenges and I feel less pressure to explain myself.
That’s not very tenacious of me though, is it? Women don’t change the world by staying in our comfort zones. Kate Warne certainly wouldn’t have been a great detective if she gave into the limitations (the “no’s”) around her and chose to stay only where she felt comfortable. Instead she chose to stand up for herself and others, paving the way for so many women that would come after her.
So, ladies, what can we do to show tenacity to our daughters? How do we break barriers and turn “no” into “YES”?
It could be as simple as learning a new skill that may not come easily. It could be big, like going back to school or changing jobs. Or it could be in the way we dig in and push forward when someone says “you can’t do that.” Because, ladies, whatever it is, you CAN do that - and that’s an important lesson for the young women of our next generation.
I think all women have strength and deep tenacity inside them, but sometimes it takes a new challenge for it to break through and shine. So here’s my challenge to you: whatever it is you want to achieve, think of Kate breaking down barriers in a man’s world and go out to do what you set your mind to. Move out of your safe space and find that inner tenacity. I’m cheering you on!