“By taking that first leadership step–that boss move– the door then opened to identity expansion, to see myself as actually capable of garnering support and capable of commanding respect.” – Emilie Aries

I’ve found in working with and training thousands of professional women around the world, that there can be what I call a “perfectionistic overfunctioning” tendency that exhausts and demoralizes us, and even a “martyrdom mindset” (as my Finding Brave guest today calls it) that women experience frequently. You may not think there is a way to avoid it, but thankfully, there is a way to overcome it. Today’s guest has made it her mission to help women keep martyrdom and burnout at bay, and doing so starts by developing a “bossed up” identity.

Emilie Aries is a nationally recognized speaker, writer, podcaster, and the Founder and CEO of Bossed Up, an innovative personal and professional training organization that helps women craft sustainable careers.

Emilie is a political organizer turned award-winning women’s leadership consultant. She has helped hundreds navigate career transition and prevent burnout. Her TED talk, The Power of No, shows how to set healthy boundaries and invest in sustainable long-term achievement. Her forthcoming book, Bossed Up: A Grown Woman’s Guide To Getting Your Sh*t Together helps women step up as the boss of their life and assertively design a sustainable career path.

After co-hosting the HowStuffWorks podcast, Stuff Mom Never Told You in 2017, Emilie launched her own podcast, Bossed Up, to break down listener career conundrums, interview expert guests, and deliver boss tips to listener’s earbuds each week. Emilie also writes as a regular contributor at Forbes and is a sought-after speaker at companies, conferences, and universities across the country.

As Emilie shows by using examples from her own personal life, to beat martyrdom and burnout it’s imperative to develop a community of courage and not just one of support. This is why her message goes so well with what we talk about each week here on Finding Brave.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • What is a “bossed up” identity and why Emilie believes it is so critical to have today [2:48]
  • How to overcome institutional barriers when employing this mindset and identity [5:19]
  • The powerful conversation happening on college campuses right now [7:56]
  • What is the “martyrdom mindset” and where it came from originally [10:00]
  • The ways in which our media’s narratives on gender are changing [16:04]
  • What are the perceived benefits of being a martyr, and how Emilie compares it to burnout [17:28]
  • A mantra that she lives by, and why this message resonates so much with her and other women [24:54]
  • Emilie’s practical 3-step process for cultivating a boss identity and how she helps women accomplish it [25:54]
  • An example of how to take power versus just asking for permission [30:21]
  • How Emilie’s community is helping her to support her mission and the reasons she calls it a “courage community” [32:33]

For More Information:










Resources Mentioned:

Emilie’s Upcoming Book, Bossed Up: A Grown Woman’s Guide to Getting Your Sh*t Together

Her Podcast & Bootcamps

Emilie’s LifeTracker Planner

Brené Brown: The Call to Courage on Netflix


“When I came out of my own battle with burnout, I truly felt at that time like I was sitting in a passenger seat in my life. I had no control, I had no agency, and I had no ability to impact my outcomes.” [2:51]

“My theory of change these days is that if you give women the tools to advocate for themselves, they are better able to turn around and advocate for others as well.” [7:11]

“Fixating on what power we don’t have, as opposed to focusing on what power we have and how to get more of it and share more of it, can be debilitating.” [8:47]

“When you combine the role overload that so many women are told our entire lives, it leaves us feeling like the only way to be successful, whatever the hell that means, is to martyr ourselves to get there, and to sacrifice our well-being in the pursuit of success.” [11:45]

“By choosing to live differently myself, I have seen profound changes in the people I love and the people I’m surrounded by, including the people whose lifestyle have inspired me to take a different path.” [21:12]

“It’s that deep-seated calm confidence, not in the outcome of being perfect, but in the ability to learn from the process itself.” [29:26]

“We each individually have responsibility for seeking out the kind of support that isn’t just a bunch of ‘Yes’ women.” [33:03]

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Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


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