Igniting courage means gaining an understanding of ourselves first and foremost: through emotional intelligence, mindfulness, gratitude, self-compassion and through discovering our authentic selves. It requires courage to discover our values, to be able to sit with our big emotions, learn to process them, and to take the time to learn how to talk to ourselves in a self-compassionate way.



Once we can read and recognize our thoughts, feelings, and uncover our values, can we then better face and react to what's happening in our environment. Just think, understanding what exactly we are feeling when a friend is mean to us, is vital in responding to it in a way that helps us to accurately process it. 

Using our self knowledge then gives us a safe platform from which to view our world. If we better understand our own strengths, values, and emotions, and learn healthy ways through which we process our experiences, the better we can then stand up to peer pressure, help a friend who is being bullied, or have a healthy body image despite being bombarded with negative media messages in our environment. 

So knowing ourselves is a prerequisite for learning to be our true selves, whether at home, at school, or wherever life may take us. In addition, gaining a better understanding into how friendship dynamics work, best ways to deal with bullying, being able to read the intents behind advertisements, learning how to value our money, are all skills and knowledge that help develop a girl who knows how to maneuver this world courageously. 


3. building connections and community

Lastly, Ignite Courage is also aimed at strengthening connections between daughters and mothers, as well as building a positive and supportive community with the other Courageous Girls and moms in the group.

"Parent-child connectedness (PCC), a strong emotional bond between parent and child, is known in the public health world as a “super protector,” buffering adolescents from the many challenges and risks they face. Strong PCC protects against 33 negative adolescent outcomes such as unintended pregnancy; HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs); violence; depression; eating disorders; alcohol, tobacco and drug use; and poor academic achievement." -Parent-Child Connectedness in Our Communities by Planned Parenthood

This connectedness is built through shared learning, activities, discussions, art projects, role-plays, as Courageous Girls break down issues that are relevant to their lives in an environment that fosters building trust. 

“The pathway between adolescent social connection and well-being over a decade later illustrates the enduring significance of positive social relationships... Happiness isn’t just about feeling good or having positive emotions. It’s also an ability to deal with difficulties in life, to feel involved in your community, to recognize your own strengths, and to perceive the life you’re living as one that’s meaningful." -Journal of Happiness Studies (Olsson C et al (2012). A 32-year longitudinal study of child and adolescent pathways to well-being in adulthood)