Putting on Your “Red Cape”

Calling forward your strength & harnessing your personal power

CUInsight | Staci Herring, Director, Outreach & Engagement, Illinois Credit Union League

By now you have read the title of this article and may be wondering – what does she mean by “red cape?”

Red represents love, passion, and intensity. Red calls us to action, motivates us, and gives us confidence. A cape symbolizes heroism, virtue, and courage. Whenever we think about a mythical hero, we imagine them wearing a cape as they swoop in to save the day. When paired together, the red cape evokes power and strength while reminding us that we should help others where and when we can.

Women’s History Month is the perfect time for women across the world to put on their red cape and to reflect on red cape moments in their lives. From my perspective, a red cape moment is any time that you achieved something great or felt unstoppable just by being uniquely and authentically you. It is that moment that helped you straighten your shoulders or steady your voice. It is that memory that you keep close to your heart as an internal source of power and strength. Your red cape moments never leave you. They wait patiently for the perfect time to inspire you again.

The irony of my red cape moment is that it was quite literally just that. My mentor Renée Sattiewhite gifted me with a beautiful and luxurious red cloak. It wasn’t my birthday or Christmas. Renée gave me this cloak simply because she thought it was special and she wanted me to have it. This red cape moment extended well before Renée placed the cloak in my hands. You see, prior to this moment, Renée spent years providing me with advice, coaching, and partnership. Each time we met, our connection left me feeling stronger as a person, empowered as a professional, and fully energized to go forth and conquer. She encouraged me when I felt hesitant, championed me through challenges, and fortified me to strive for excellence in myself. No matter how big or small my successes were, Renée always celebrated me. When I received that red cloak, it encapsulated the feelings of strength, empowerment, and energy that she inspired in me. The cloak served as a physical reminder of the challenges I have overcome, the things that I am capable of and the people who believe in me. It reminds me of the countless fears I have conquered, the impact I have made in my community, and the friendships I forged along the way. It tells the story of how strong I can be – how strong all women can be.

What is your red cape moment? What is that representation of strength when you feel weak? Who is that person who brings out the best in you?

When I find myself tired, or perhaps even a little defeated, that is when I put on my red cape. By bringing yourself back to those moments of strength, being mindful about what that strength felt like both emotionally and physically and hearing the voices of all who want to see you soar, you will discover that there is truly no better well to draw from.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to challenge you to identify your “red cape” moment and be a part of creating new moments for other powerful women in your life to draw strength from.

Now ask yourself, “What does my “red cape” look like?”

Full CUInsight article available here.