BR Q&A:Modern IconSarah Herron of SheLift
I feel like I’ve gotten really good at seeing potential in every opportunity.”
Sarah Herron has designed a life with no boundaries for herself and is helping make that a reality for others as well. When she’s not traveling the world or rappelling down the side of the mountain, she’s inspiring girls and women everywhere through her organization, SheLift. We got the inside scoop on her upcoming adventures, her travel must-haves and how to stay true to yourself on Instagram.
BR: You’ve explored so many different places like our national parks—proving your explorer spirit knows no boundaries. What motivates you to choose your adventures?
Honestly, my adventures are always the ones to find me! Rarely do I set out with an intention to go to a new place or try a new activity. Instead, it seems like I’m always being thrust into trying new things or inventing the adventure as I go. Typically, I’m already on a road trip somewhere and get a wild idea to go rappelling, or am on a camping trip with friends and they throw me on a stand-up paddleboard, or I’ll have a work trip abroad and I extend my stay to explore. I feel like I’ve gotten really good at seeing potential in every opportunity. When I worked an office job, I made a conscious effort to go on a hike every weekend. Those hikes often turned into meeting new people who would introduce me to new activities, adventures and some of the greatest experiences of my life!
With each country we visit, I learn something new about people, perspectives and myself.”
BR: What has been your favorite place to explore? Where is next on your list?
International travel is very new to me! Until this year, I had never traveled beyond Mexico or Canada. When I started dating my boyfriend who is an adventure and travel photographer, venturing to new lands quickly became a more regular experience for me. With each country we visit, I learn something new about people, perspectives and myself. I think what I appreciate most is seeing the ways different cultures accept and appreciate the women and their bodies—it’s always refreshing to see fuller-figure, natural women all across the world. Next on my list is Bali or Japan…I definitely have the travel bug!
BR: When you’re not on an extreme backpacking trip, what are your travel must-haves?
Honestly, I’ve always been pretty minimalist when it comes to fashion. I like timeless, simple pieces that can be mix-matched and worn to either dress up or dress down other items. Jeans, booties and a cute t-shirt are my go-to!
BR: How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as effortlessly put together. Even though I’m a simple gal when it comes to fashion, I do really love looking put together in the details. I think a delicate necklace or simple earrings have the ability to make me feel more fashionable than I am.
BR: You look great in our new Trench Dress. What were your thoughts?
I wore the Trench Dress while exploring the old town of Innsbruck, Austria. I hadn’t planned it this way, but the timeless design of the dress, paired with my chosen accessories, made me seamlessly feel apart of history in this town. The dress is so classic and timeless on anyone!
BR: How does your clothing empower you?
I have always been a firm believer that if you feel good in your clothes or outfit, you’ll present a more confident version of yourself to the world. If you feel strong in your yoga pants, you’ll radiate strength. If you feel sexy in a dress, you’ll radiate beauty, so on and so forth. I think finding clothes that suit your personality and fit your body properly has the ability to radically shift your perception of yourself and how you want the world to appreciate you.
I have always been a firm believer that if you feel good in your clothes or outfit, you’ll present a more confident version of yourself to the world.”
BR: How do you push boundaries with your style?
I’ve always been interested in following fashion trends, though I do stick to my comfort zone. I think trying a new sunglass frame or hat is a good way for me to push my style boundaries. Stepping out to the world wearing a piece that you know is going to garner a little attention (for better or worse) is a great way to get comfortable with self-acceptance and build confidence.
BR: You’re so open and real on your Instagram. What helps you gain and maintain the confidence to be so authentic in the oft-contrived environment of the internet?
As someone who struggles with comparing myself—especially to what I see online—I try to use my platform to remind women they aren’t alone in their insecurities. I try not to preach from a place of knowing and instead teach from a place of not knowing. I think the most valuable way I can help motivate and remind people that beauty ranges and is imperfect is to stay unapologetically vulnerable with my life. By pulling back the curtain on the things I’m struggling with in life, I hope women can realize they aren’t alone in their struggles. Fat days, skinny days, bad hair days and good hair days will all come and go, what’s important to remember is that our worth and deservingness of love and acceptance isn’t based on those factors.
BR: Tell us about SheLift.
SheLift is an organization that empowers women and young girls with physical differences to discover confidence and self-acceptance through outdoor recreation and mentorship. I started the organization after having an epiphany and that was; if skiing could change my life and improve my confidence, surely it could be done for other girls, too—maybe I just needed to be the person to help them. In its second year of operation, and having hosted over 30 women and moms, SheLift continues to be a place of growth and personal development for me, too. I decided to incorporate a heavy component of life coaching because I believe it’s important that we tackle the hard-hitting fears and self-limiting beliefs that have made women (and myself) feel unworthy or undeserving up until this point. SheLift’s metaphorical mantra is to help women conquer mountains physically and emotionally because there’s more to confidence than just reaching the top, physically.
BR: We admire how you don’t set limits for yourself, and how SheLift helps others overcome self-limiting behavior. How do you live a limitless life?
Working through my organization, SheLift, we encourage young women and girls to do the things they’ve always dreamed of doing—especially if they are fearful of others’ perceptions. Most of the fear and discomfort of trying new things is what we call self-limiting beliefs. Once people are able to recognize that no one cares how long you take, how you look or how you reach the top, truly anything is possible. For me personally, once I learned to overcome the fear of being stared at or looked at funny in recreation, I realized there was so much growth to be had outside! It took a lot of personal development and self-acceptance to arrive at a place of being able to say “people are staring at me because it’s awesome to see someone with one hand rock climbing.”
By pulling back the curtain on the things I’m struggling with in life, I hope women can realize they aren’t alone in their struggles.”
BR: What are some of your favorite self-care rituals?
For me, self-care is time spent alone. Despite what most people think, I am extremely introverted and love my alone time. There’s nothing that recharges me more than a yoga class, time at the nail salon or just lounging by myself for a few hours. I also love getting out and exploring a new city or hiking trail by myself. I think spending a few hours a week with your own thoughts is an amazing way to get clarity on things that are rumbling within you, to flex your creative muscles and just shut off for a few!
BR: When you first tried stand-up paddleboard yoga, you said it was “an excellent reminder to transform limitation and doubt into creative possibility.” Can you share another instance when you created success from negative or self-imposed boundaries?
I think going on The Bachelor was the biggest instance I’ve ever turned doubt into possibility. The reason I went on the show was actually that my self-esteem was so low, I didn’t have the confidence that finding love was possible for me without the support of a production crew. I was totally insecure and afraid to date in real life. I would hide my arm behind my jacket when out at bars with friends and never went out of my way to meet new people. When casting called me for the show, I remember thinking to myself, “if I can go on this show and own my story, maybe I won’t have to hide my arm anymore because once and for all everyone will see me on TV and know who I am. I can finally stop hiding.” After the show aired, I slowly started to feel more comfortable owning who I was…but it took a long time—and two more attempts at finding love on the show—before it finally clicked. I had to love myself before anyone else could. Over the next 3 years, that vulnerability helped me start SheLift!
BR: What is on your horizon?
This winter I am excited to be announcing a new extension of my business which is coaching and facilitating group work and retreats for women of all abilities. I’m excited to be sharing my learnings and advice for cultivating confidence and seeking adventure with women all across the country. Stay tuned for ways to attend one of my retreats or learn more about my coaching opportunities!
Sarah Herron’s determination to try new things, commitment to empowering women and dedication to adventure make her a modern icon. Her style comes from within, but shes’ the first to admit that great clothing gives her the confidence to make it shine even brighter. Shop her Trench Dress and more in the Icon Collection.