Practicing courage is my expertise. Teaching others how to make courage a habit is my vocation.
I’m a writer and facilitator on the topic of habit-formation and psychological courage. I particularly explore how these tools can be used for women’s wellbeing and leadership–at home, at work, and in our communities.
Cool, you say. But how does what you do, make my life any better?
Great question. I help people let go of the old habits that don’t work for them (those fear-based habits like giving up when the going gets tough, self-sabotage, procrastination, putting off your dreams until it’s “the right time”) and I help people create better habits–habits that research indicates will actually make you more courageous and emotionally resilient in your life.
When you practice what I call The Courage Habit–four specific, research-backed steps for living with courage and more resilience–you’ll find yourself stepping into more confidence, leadership and self-expression in every area of your life. You’ll stop getting stuck believing the words of your critics (both internal and external), and you’ll start putting your own agenda on the table, turning ideas into action, and turning who you are on the inside into the life you actually live, on the outside.
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My forthcoming book, The Courage Habit (New Harbinger Publications, spring 2018) is all about this intersection: how do you go after your boldest dreams, without letting fear and self-doubt hold you back?
My work has also been featured in USA Today, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and other publications. There’s a handy infographic, below.
I’m invited to speak and facilitate at conferences and for corporate leadership and corporate wellness programs. Click here to learn more about speaking and facilitation.
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Really, I help people from all walks of life to…stop the doubt and second-guessing, to learn to totally trust themselves, and to prioritize what matters most to them, cutting away the bullshit in the process. When courageous living becomes a habit, a way of being, old fear patterns no longer have the same power.
I stand for righteous integrity and ferocious love, all in service to living life on your own terms and being a force for good. My greatest wish for all of us is that we completely and totally love and accept ourselves, and that our basic sense of safety and security in the world arises from knowing, trusting, and believing in exactly who we are.
This I know to be true: choose courage as a habitual way of being, and you get unstoppable.
1.) Free resources for living with courage. Join the newsletter and you’ll get immediate access to the YCL Library, including a courageous soundtrack and habit-formation resources such as The Shift Plan that will help you identify what you want to shift and how to start getting the steps in place.
2.) I’m the Director of the The Courageous Living Coach Certification, a holistic life coach training and certification program that has modeled its approach on ICF Certification standards and integrated The Courage Habit methodology into the curriculum. Our team trains new and emerging coaches in the craft of coaching, the actual skill-set of prompting powerful changes in clients, all through asking trainees to do their own deeply intensive personal growth work. Marketing training and an in-person retreat are included.
3.) I’m a speaker and facilitator and I bring the work of The Courage Habit to a wide range of topics: women’s leadership, health/wellness/fitness, business and marketing, and more. I’m available for one-time speaking events as well as in-house facilitation and corporate training.
4.) The Courageous Living Program and The Coaching Blueprint marketing program are my digital offerings. I’ve interviewed best-selling authors, former Oprah guests and emerging thought leaders on how we live courageous lives. I’ve talked with life coaches about how we market our businesses both effectively and with integrity.
These days, my life stuns me pretty regularly. Wine country sunsets, vinyasa yoga, time to breathe, books tumbling off of shelves, one handsome Italian husband and a seriously cute kid are part of the deal, not to mention getting to work with some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met through the Courageous Living Coach Certification.
And–life wasn’t always this way. I know what it’s like to walk through life kinda…meh. It’s possible to go through the motions, pay the bills, wear the seat belt, show up for work, smile when required…yet know that something pretty big is missing. That was my life, and I’m acutely aware of the fact that if I didn’t consciously choose to practice the courage habit, it could be my life, again.
I tried about a gazillion of those 1-2-3 step plans before I figured out that telling the truth about fear routines, honoring integrity, accessing the body’s wisdom and making more space for pleasure had to become core courage practices. Hang around here long enough and you’ll see that I’m a straight shooter with lots of hard-won wisdom, pragmatic tools, and a ton of ferocious love–love for you, that is. Big visions and world changers are welcome.
I now understand how fear works–all the tricky ins and outs and disguises and internal narratives.
When you understand something, it becomes your friend.
I’m a contributor
I’ve written guest posts for, collaborated with, been interviewed for, or contributed to all of the following places (and a few more, but this graphic was getting out of hand):
Do you accept guest posts for publication on your website?
Not at this time.
Do you still take on life coaching clients for personal leadership coaching?
Yes. Learn more, here: www.yourcourageouslife.com/life-coaching. If you’re interested in training to become a life coach, I certify people through the Courageous Living Coach Certification.
Do you do any business consulting?
I work with HR departments (usually with the Leadership Development Specialist) to create and facilitate customized programs within their organizations, and I can speak at events and conferences.
However, I no longer offer specific, one-on-one consultations to offer marketing advice for someone’s business. If your leadership and development team would like to work with me on curriculum design and facilitation, email support -at- yourcourageouslife -dot- com and let us know what you’re looking for.
Can I interview you for my podcast or tele-summit?
Yes–get all the details, here: INTERVIEWS. I’m overwhelmed by long, scrolling emails. Brevity is more inspiring. Dates and the actual specifics of your request (date, when, where, how) are crucial.
Is “Courageous” really your last name?
Nope! But I do have it tattooed on my right shoulder, in sanskrit.
Are you on social media?
Who is your graphic designer?
My husband, Andrew Rado.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because it was the courageous thing to do, obviously.
What’s your background/degree/training?
I’ve been a coach since 2006–for more than a decade. I have a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in women’s studies. My coach training consists of two years of in-person training and mentorship with Interchange, numerous ongoing education workshops with the Challenge Day organization, and I’ve also taken on additional coursework in theory of personality, research methods and design (as they apply to behavior change data analysis), lifespan development, abnormal psychology, and graduate-level coursework in diagnosis, group counseling, and different approaches to counseling.
I’m an INFP or INFJ, depending on which online Meyers-Briggs test I’ve taken, but more importantly, I’m a Sagittarius with three planets in Virgo, which I’m told are the “get shit done powerhouses” of the Zodiac. “Kate Swoboda knows how to hustle,” is a something I take as both a compliment on my work ethic…and an invitation to dance (cue Van McCoy!).
I live in a small town in Sonoma wine country, about 45 minutes north of San Francisco, named Petaluma. I’m a mostly sober, mostly veganish triathlete with a penchant for endurance exercise J’adore vinyasa flow yoga. Renew Yoga in Petaluma is the best. And lately, I’ve been getting into weight lifting.
I have zero support for #45 being in office, and I’m self-righteous and soapboxy about the need for social change that upends the privilege paradigm. The system doesn’t need to be fixed; it needs to be dismantled. I’m hardly the first person to say it, and I won’t be the last. I frequently refer to empowering women’s voices and ideas because I’m called to speak specifically to women’s issues, and I am speaking to all women and women-identified people. I think the patterns of privilege and patriarchy are replicated in every “ism” that exists, and that doing well by women means a better world for us all.
I’ve pretty much always been entrepreneurial. I started my first business, a boutique graphic design consultancy, from my college dorm room. I secured venture capital funding from the college’s entrepreneur club after submitting a business proposal. Once a month, I networked by attending local chamber of commerce meetings, all while wearing an ill-fitting suit because I couldn’t afford to have it tailored. The manager of the local Einstein’s Bagels would try to embarrass me in front of people at these meetings by saying, literally, “Aw, isn’t she cute?” to potential clients while I was talking with them. It taught me a lot about not letting people discount you because of your age. Smarts and a shit-ton of hard work and hustle will get you far (and as it happened, I secured my first clients!).
I am fascinated by the in-betweens and dichotomous relationships. For example: The fact that affirmations can be both ridiculously fakey-fake AND incredibly powerful. Or how you can love someone and not always act like you love them. Or how you can work with the varying shades of grey between striving, healthy goal-setting, and surrendering utterly to the fact that we have no control, whatsoever.
My husband is my best friend. Spectators have occasionally remarked that it’s like we have our own language. Our pet name for one another is “Lovey.” We forget ourselves and start calling out “Hey, Lovey!” across aisles at Target. Our daughter is a pretty typical three-year-old, which is to say that she is a combination of magic and savagery.
Fashion and home decor are my guilty pleasures. “Guilty” only because they’re kind of surfacey, 1st-world topics that conflict a bit (here we go with the in-betweens) with the fact that I have a hugely righteous social justice streak.
I’m lit up by… my daughter, efficiency, spontaneous dinner plans, the sound of spoken Italian, friendly cats, the 10-second count before a race starts, the experience of collective effervescence, the people who practice The Courage Habit, the raw truth-truth-truth, asking people, “If I really knew you, what would I know about you?”, how I feel after I run, and the moment when intuition joins practicality (that place where what you internally “know” pairs with taking action).