Gloria Mayfield Banks – Find the Courage

In this amazing inspirational talk, author, speaker and all-round ray of sunshine Gloria Mayfield Banks reveals the 3 secret ingredients to turn any drab day into a life worth living.


I know when I started out trying to build my success, I used to wonder, what’s the “it” factor? And do I have the it factor? Three things, three things: courage, confidence, choices. The three Cs. Write them down. How many times have we heard the word confidence? Confidence, confidence, confidence. But you don’t get to the confidence until you push through the courage. Courage is required. And then we’re going to build the confidence, the confidence that comes from that. You have to have courage, confidence, and therefore you’re going to have choices.

I’m a person how grew up, and I’m still dyslexic. I grew up in a fabulous house. My parents were 62 years married, I’m the third of the four girls. Amazing readers. I mean, they can read like this, shh, shh, shh. I mean they can read. And then there’s me. “There are three pigs.” Woo, child, that’s enough for tonight. Oh my god. And so I worked really hard, my mother was one of those mothers that stayed up night after night after night, every night she would be like this, “come on Gloria, you can get this, come on. Read.” Oh my god, it didn’t happen like that. I truly had to do the extra. I had to go out and get the tutoring and everybody was teasing me.

I’m just telling you, I had to push through. Why? Because I valued education. What happened because of that courage, came the confidence. And because of the confidence that came, came the choices of the education. And because the choices of the education, when I called my mom, and I said, “Mom, I got into Harvard. Harvard.” She said, “You did?” She was so shocked, because of it.

Here’s what I want to tell you though. I’m the product of domestic violence. Ten years, in domestic violence. When I was dealing with domestic violence, I was also a Harvard Business School graduate. I was also a superstar in my career. I was also blowing it out of the water. Ten years. When you look at me, you see a smart, successful, powerful woman, who stayed in domestic violence for a long time. Here’s what I want to tell you about my path. I didn’t have the courage to leave for myself. And then when I had the children, I valued their life so much so that when the word came to me that if you don’t get out here it’s going to happen for them.

But it was a hard decision, and once I made the decision everything became easy for me after that. The confidence that came up, because of that confidence I had choices. I am telling you, it shows over and over and over again. Confidence is the “it” factor. Your it will grow with your courage. Because you have to have the choices to create your best self. Think about every time you hear somebody use the word fear. Think about every time you use the word fear, and think about the examples that are all around you. What decision have you been unwilling to make? What conversation have you been unwilling to make? What phone call have you been unwilling to make? What goal have you been unwilling to set? Where are you unwilling to find the courage to jump up there, to drive your confidence to yet another level?

When I run my race, I have to have the courage to tell people, I’m not going to stand next to you because you’re moving too slow. You’re going too slow, and you want me to wait for you. Eagles will fly alone. But it doesn’t have to be lonely. Are you feeling me? I’m telling you something, that’s why we told you, you know, when you choose to be loud about it, you have a louder courage. Ask yourself, where are you willing to go?