For seven-time world surf champion Layne Beachley, it is okay to have days where you feel vulnerable.
Speaking at Wednesday night’s GV Brain event at The Woolshed, the Manly-based legend highlighted the obstacles she had overcome in life and in her career.
A professional surfer aged 16, and the head of her Aim for the Stars foundation, Ms Beachley said she had faced debilitating injuries, chronic fatigue, depression, heartbreak, crushing defeats, chauvinistic and sexist attitudes in the water and at the board table, and the loss of three parents.
‘‘On top of all of that, I have to say that I’ve just lived an amazing life. I’ve been through my fair share of trauma, but I’ve come out the other side,’’ she said.
‘‘I sometimes think that some men are like kids and disobedient dogs, all they’re looking for is boundaries, and if you don’t set them, they will disrespect them.
‘‘Growing up in Manly really taught me to stand up and it comes down to your personal standards and what you allow to occur on a day-to-day basis.’’
The event lined up in time for International Women’s Day and Ms Beachley said women should avoid playing the ‘‘female’’ or ‘‘victim’’ card when it came to entering a male-dominated industry.
‘‘No-one likes a victim and playing that girl, female card is degrading, it pulls us all back,’’ she said.
‘‘There’s times when it’s okay not to know the answers, and you’re going to have days when it all falls apart and that’s okay. But you’ve got to have the courage, you’ve got to have that vulnerability.’’
Ultimately, Ms Beachley said it was up to women leaders to pave the way and elevate other women to ensure they followed the same path.
‘‘It’s a matter of actually making sure that you surround yourself with like-minded people, irrespective of gender, to have that diversity of opinion and skill that just keeps everything balanced,’’ she said.
‘‘Tune into your own intuition and your own gut and do things that light you up.’’