Cassetta shared life and leadership lessons during a virtual Smart Woman session

Smart Woman members all across America tuned in for a Smart Woman virtual session to hear martial artist and keynote speaker Jenn Cassetta speak about her journey toward “badassery.” Cassetta will be speaking at Smart Woman Summit on Aug. 16th at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, and this session offered a teaser for what is sure to be an inspirational and motivating keynote presentation for Smart Woman Summit 2024 & Awards Gala.Jenn Cassetta

The parallel between her passion for martial arts and the lessons she learned from it can translate into valuable leadership practices and empowerment in both a personal and professional capacity.

Inviting You to the Dojo

After some devastating life events, Cassetta found Hapkido, a Korean form of martial arts, as an activity to help her focus physically, mentally and emotionally.

After inviting us into the dojo—the name for the sacred space for learning martial arts and meditation—Cassetta led the group of Smart Women through an exercise she learned through her martial arts training. She instructed the group to close their eyes, connect their mind, body, heart and spirit, walking everyone through lessons that have helped her and can help others. Organizing her talk by the different colors of martial arts belts, below are some key quotes taken away from each belt’s lessons.

Read More: The Story Behind the 2024 Smart Women in Meetings Awards

White Belt: Take the Hit

Cassetta said the first thing a Hapkido student needs to learn is to accept the hard hits life gives you. “Embrace the suck,” she said, “which translates to ‘accept,’ and maybe even appreciate things that are extremely difficult, yet unavoidable, in order to move forward.”

Yellow Belt: Bouncing Back

What do we do to bounce back from the suck? Cassetta encouraged the Smart Woman group to learn from the tough obstacles in life and form strategies to “bounce back with more velocity and ease each time.”

Orange Belt: Setting Boundaries

After accepting your struggles and figuring out boundaries to move forward, Cassetta emphasized the importance of “blocking”—protecting yourself from burnout because you are not putting your own well-being first.

Green Belt: Power of Communication

“How are we showing up?” Cassetta asked. “How are we moving through this world through our body language, through the tone and through the words that we use?” She also encouraged the group to examine the way in which we speak to the most important person—ourselves.

Read More: Work Smart: The Art of Communication

Blue Belt: Life Force Energy

One of the more elusive ideas of the belts is the blue belt idea of “Qi.” An Eastern philosophy, it is the life force energy that “keeps us alive and vibrant” according to Cassetta. “How are you feeling?” Cassetta asked the group. “On a scale of burnout to badass…where is your energy level?”

“It’s about sustainability, being able to tap into that level, whenever necessary.”

Red Belt: Mindfulness, Meditation and Intuition

“At the red belt level, we start to look within and we start to do some meditation. Mindfulness helps us connect to our intuition.”

Black Belt: Becoming a Leader

Cassetta asked the group to guess what the lesson of the ultimate goal, a black belt, would be. With several great responses, Cassetta revealed her own takeaway from her black belt achievement.

“What I originally thought a black belt was about was really the physicality and all the things I was going to learn and the strength to take people down. It was really about becoming a leader, a leader who helps others rise through the ranks. And that’s why I love groups like this. I love Smart Woman. I love groups that help other women rise.”

See Jenn Cassetta Live at Smart Woman Summit 2024!

Please join us at Smart Woman Summit on Friday, Aug. 16th, 2024, at Caesars Palace Las Vegas to hear more about Jennifer Cassetta’s amazing journey about recovery, vitality and leadership. Join the community to feel empowered and inspired!