In early 2019, a regular catch up with close up friends turned into a deeper discussion about our broader circles and the struggles we were all experiencing. We shared stories of friends overly-stressed at work, experiencing loneliness, or dealing with severe anxiety or depression. I heard the same narrative over and over again: we felt stuck, alone and unsure of how to care for our mental well-being.
The initial idea for Liberate began as a “Confidence Camp” to help millennial women love and be kind to themselves. My aha moment came when I realized this idea wasn’t going far enough. Not only do we all deserve more confidence, but we also deserve to build the skills to help us have the strength to overcome anxiety; the mindfulness to live in the present; the courage to face our fears; and the attitude of gratitude to get us through hard times. Essentially, we all need to develop and practice mental skills in order to be prepared to face whatever life throws our way, just like we workout again and again to improve our physical health. Supporting our mental well-being requires more than a single class; it requires an ongoing practice and an expansive space to help you live lightly and more fully. Liberate was my solution to this problem.
While working as the marketing manager at a start-up, I spent a year building the Liberate business plan, connecting with psychologists and meditation experts, and creating a timeline to launch. All the while I told myself that it was ok not to like your job. That you can do what you love on the side and do good work to pay the bills. I consistently struggled with work related anxiety and a lack of supportive company culture.
Then, COVID happened. As COVID grew in the US, my mental health — and that of so many others — took a big hit. A missing corporate support system made me feel stuck and alone. I craved a more purpose driven role that would let me not only take care of my mental well-being, but also improve collective mental wellness so everyone could feel supported with whatever they are going through.
I felt that now more than ever, we needed approachable, enjoyable ways to care for our mental well-being just as much as our physical well-being. My vision for Liberate was clear: to help humans everywhere care for their mental wellness and build the skills needed to not only survive life’s challenges, but also to thrive. This vision needed my full-time attention.
Six months in now and we’re experiencing high growth every month, building a community of thousands of human beings, and most importantly offering a safe space for everyone to openly work on themselves.
I’ve learned a lot about myself, passion, and entrepreneurship. My biggest takeaways?
- Patience conquers all. Be patient, believe in yourself, and work hard. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- There is no single path forward. There are many ways to create the growth you seek. Trust your gut.
- Anxiety and excitement sometimes feel the same. Know that often those make it or break it moments in life where you feel hot and your heart beats fast, that’s your body and mind excited to move forward with you.