Kate Fitzsimons is an award-winning international youth speaker and resilience specialist. Named one of Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence, today’s guest has a story of COURAGE that will resonate with you.
In High school, Kate was battling with unrealistic expectations, anxiety, shame, to self-loathing. Kate wanted some sort of control over her life. This lead her to spiral into a devastating eating disorder – anorexia. As she continued struggling, Kate found herself having behavior meltdowns that hurt those who loved her most. But the most devastating blow had yet to land. In 2012 Kate’s older sister, Nicole, was tragically killed in a travel accident.
This initiated debilitating despair in Kate. Until it turned into a fire. A passion to truly live. For both herself…and Nicole. Her old self-perceptions began to burn away as she put one foot in front of the other—rebuilding a new version of her life. She ditched the excuses and turned in her ‘victim card.’ For six years, she trained her body to become lean and strong—eventually competing and winning fitness competitions. At the age of 20, she started a charitable foundation to help teens learn how to travel safely—in honor of her sister Nicole.
Kate is now on a mission to empower teens and twenty-somethings through life’s unexpected, uncertain, and unwanted challenges. Kate has spoken at over 200 schools to over 100,000 teens internationally and has been featured on TV shows such as A Current Affair, Studio 10 and Weekend Sunrise.
1. Resilience Forged From Loss
There are times when we battle with different challenges in life. These could be struggling with bad grades at school, financial problems, marital issues, and other worries. Some face all these problems at once, which is very challenging. Choose to face challenges with courage. Notice the word used was “choose”. This is an act of the will. You are unlikely to feel like being courageous. All these challenges are there to make us strong and understand the value of what we have. It is through these challenges that we gain experiences that make up our lives.
2. Challenge Is Inevitable – Resilience Is A Choice
Kate Fitzsimons now views challenges as a stepping stone and growth opportunities, but she did not always see it this way. As a teenager, Kate struggled to overcome anxiety and shame as a result of her eating disorder. Her behavior meltdown hurt those who loved her most. Kate talks about getting into a negative spiral of the disorder (anorexia vortex) while trying to be stable.
A stranger’s negative comments about Kate changes her thoughts that one could change reality through food. She then lost her sister Nicole Fitzsimons in 2012 through a fatal travel accident. Through her family’s support, she has championed the Travel Safety Movement in honor of her sister (Nicole Fitzsimons Foundation). The Travel Safety movement has been significant in educating youth and young adults around the globe about taking safety precautions while traveling.
“Resilience is a skill that can be learned.”
3. Overcoming and Winning
Some people share these life experiences and become an inspiration, whereas others choose to go silent and stoic. The story of Kate Fitzsimons inspires thousands as she speaks out about her love for her sister, and the amazing opportunities we all have to live a full life. Kate’s most significant achievements today are partially a result of grief in the past and resilience forged in fighting back. She is a speaker and coach who has reached students in over 500 schools. She is focusing on uplifting teens, having understood how confusing it can be for the young generation to find their identity and to find acceptance. She has become one of the top 100 most influential Australian women. Through her story, we can learn that pain and grief can turn into powerful missions that impact the world for the better.
Regardless of what happens in your life, what matters most is how you deal with it. Kate’s story often acts as a turning point for many teenagers. Resilience is a tool to fight challenges as well as influencing others.
Connect with Kate Fitzsimons
Kate’s Website: www.katefitzsimons.com/mission
Kate’s Podcast: “Okay. now what!?”