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How to live and lead from the heart Shantelle Thompson

Shantelle Thompson is known in her community as a ‘Barkindji Warrior’. As a Barkindji and Ngyampaa woman, three-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion and mother of five, Shantelle makes it her mission to inspire others to find their warrior within, living and leading from the heart. It’s through this innate knowing, lived experiences and self-worthiness within the heart, that Shantelle believes we can each be a lighthouse for ourselves, our families, and our communities. In partnership with our friends at Suncorp Team Girls, Shantelle shared with us the ways in which she cultivates wholehearted living, and how you can too.

Have courage and show up despite fear.

The original definition of courage is to speak the truth of one’s heart. Courage is finding those moments where you feel fear and lean into the discomfort to stand in your truth. It must be remembered that courage is a practice; confidence is the outcome.

Embrace grit, passion, and perseverance.

Grit is explained as intentional effort applied through deliberate practice. It’s a combination of courage, resilience, discipline, and passion. For Shantelle, grit is applied every day in the practice of living her truth, breaking the chain of poverty and violence through finding her voice.

Plant seeds which you will not bear the fruit of.

Great leaders manage people by engaging, empowering, and bringing out the best in them. Provide the structures, systems, and procedures so that your people are set up for success. You’ll be planting the seeds for generations to come.

Bring about ‘softness’ to your ways of being and doing.

As women we are the centre of our communities; since the beginning of time we’ve held space and created connection. When leading, ensure you don’t lose your humanity – your ‘softness’ is one of your most valuable assets.

Lean in and speak when you are called to.

Speak your truth. Always. When we do this, it has a ripple effect and soon becomes a collective tidal wave of change. Through doing so, you can empower yourself and others.  Go into these lessons without the confirmation you will be successful.

Practice Dadirri – the act of mindful listening.

There is a reason you were given two ears and one mouth. We need to listen more than we speak. Listen to yourself, to others and to country. Despite the uncomfortable nature of this, this is where you will find answers.



Business Chicks and Suncorp Team Girls have teamed up to bring you the Business Chicks of the Future content series. Visit the hub to find more content to equip you to build meaningful connections with your teen and tween girls in order to build their confidence, help promote resilience and encourage a positive mindset, by encouraging them to stay in sports, precisely at a time when many drop out. For more information on how Suncorp is helping to build a nation of confident girls, visit the Team Girls website.

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