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The Legendary Leaders Podcast

May 1, 2020


When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? If you’re anything like #365firstschallenge founder and experience-fanatic, Ann Bernard, the answer has got to be today.


Ann- who spent over 24 years serving in the United States Marine Corps- has experienced her fair share of adversity in life. Today, she sits down to share how she overcame it all. Despite an undeniable confidence and natural inclination for institutional and self-leadership, when life as an entrepreneur knocked her into a rut, getting out of her comfort zone and embracing life’s challenge changed her forever.


On a mission to spread the life satisfaction and joy she's found in taking ownership of every valuable day— she's challenging you to do the same. Listen to hear why trying new things 365 days a year, big or small can change your life. She shares her philosophy on living your most fully engaged life and breaks down how the #365firstschallenge app can help you along the way.


Key Takeaways:

  • How Ann Bernard used new adventures to reignite her life.
  • Why bucket lists have things all wrong.
  • How you can start living a more satisfying life.

If you enjoyed this episode, check out the video show notes and SUBSCRIBE TO THIS PODCAST on Apple Podcasts.


Episode Timeline:

  • [00:01] Intro
  • [00:42] Meet Ann Bernard
  • [03:03] Life in the Marine Corps and learning to chase her fears
  • [06:25] Encountering failure and starting a journey of firsts
  • [09:55] Speaking up and building confidence
  • [14:59] The 365 first challenge: experience a full life
  • [18:24] Founded fear v.s unfounded fears
  • [20:20] Comfort zones and productivity
  • [23:30] One of the most challenging things she has experienced
  • [25:42] Growing and the importance of never becoming stagnant
  • [30:21] Advice for parents during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • [34:56] The 365 first challenge
  • [36:56] Growing a community of firsts
  • [38:57] How novelty helps you to grow
  • [42:13] Finding Ann Bernard
  • [43:08] Outro


Resources Mentioned:

Standout Quotes:

  • “One of my purposes is to grow steadily and to keep learning. I just enjoy learning and I don't want to stand still... it doesn't have to be the big thing; it can just be consistent progress that you are making.” -Cathleen Merkel [25:44]
  • “It's never too late to start over. It's never too late to try again. It's never too late to go at it.” -Ann Bernard [25:06]
  • “When you find yourself depressed. When you find yourself not enjoying life, that's where you need to look around and ask yourself, okay, am I still growing? Am I still learning? What's holding me back? What am I afraid of? What comfort zone am I staying in? Because that's why you're losing the joy and pleasure of life, of discovering of adventuring. Of exploring. -Ann Bernard [26:13]
  • “Starting your journey of first-time new experiences is the ultimate self-development process that you can engage with and go on.” -Ann Bernard [41:12]




Find | Cathleen Merkel


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Find | Ann Bernard

On Instagram: @365firstschallenge

On Twitter: @365Firsts1

On Facebook: @365firstschallenge




On Apple Podcasts


Do you want to learn more about how to become a Legendary Leader, the download my FREE Guide which shares 5 Proven Ways To Gain Confidence As An Inspirational Leader Without Overwhelm - Simply Click Here



About Cathleen:  


As a Thought Leader in the Mindset & (Self-) Leadership space, Cathleen supports high achieving, but worn-out women create a more content & balanced life without sacrificing their hard-earned success. Following a simple 6 step framework, she helps you not only reconnect with your inner feminine side; Cathleen also supports you to rediscover your REAL YOU!
Cathleen focuses on women who lost their sense of purpose, who feel they are running in a hamster wheel, trying to please everyone but themselves. She helps you to turn your careers, your social connections and personal life around so that you will start feeling fulfilled and excited again about the days to come.  
At the end of the process, Cathleen's clients will feel healthier, happier, energised and clear about their future.  
With over 15 years of leadership experience in Retail, Media & Broadcasting, Engineering and Property Investment, Cathleen has not only experienced the challenges and opportunities of a female leader herself, she has also been leading and supporting various leadership development initiatives within large, complex, multinational matrix organisations.

Only by deeply experiencing her very personal life challenges – ‘hitting a wall experiences’ –Cathleen was able to redefine her own purpose, deciding to bring ease and content to as many women as possible on the planet!


Tune in here: 



About Ann Bernard 


Ann Bernard is the Master of First Times, creator of the #365FirstsChallenge, and CEO of 365Firsts, Inc. and Next Level Firsts Coaching.

She's out to start a movement of getting people to start their own Journey of First Times and New Adventures so they can further learn, grow, and discover all that life has to offer.

She's a Marine Corps Veteran with 24 years of service, a world traveller with over 40 countries visited, a Podcaster, motivational speaker, and a lover of the outdoors, mountain biking, and living life to the fullest!