Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Legendary Leaders Podcast

Aug 27, 2020


Think of this, taking risky challenges like climbing Mt. Everest to support and empower women and girls. Can you do it? Surviving an earthquake on top of the highest mountain in the world, perhaps? Well, our guest on the show today has gone through all that and went back again to empower even more women.


Sara Safari is the first Iranian to climb the seven summits - the seven highest peaks across all continents. She supports and empowers women in Nepal to get out of the traps of being trafficked, abused at home, and denied an education. She studied electrical engineering then practiced teaching before migrating to the United States and developing the idea of climbing mountains to empower women and girls.


Listen in to hear the inspiring story of how Sara came near to death after experiencing an earthquake while climbing Mt. Everest and instead of giving up, she became more determined. You will learn the importance of recognizing your privilege and choosing to give to the less fortunate with all your heart.


Key Takeaways:

  • How to value yourself as a person to change the world.
  • The importance of starting from where you are instead of seeking out all the answers.
  • Taking up challenges to empower women and vulnerable people of the community.
  • Learning to recognize your privilege and take responsibility of giving back to the less fortunate.

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

Episode Timeline:

  • [0:41] Intro
  • [4:46] She describes her early life and how she transformed from a self-conscious girl to empowering other women.
  • [8:18] When she shifted to an inspiring confident woman after sharing her story.
  • [11:32] Why you don’t need to have all the answers and instead start from where you are.
  • [15:31] She explains when and why she decided to climb mountains to empower women even with all the challenges that came with it.
  • [19:59] She describes her experience with an earthquake while in the middle of climbing Mt. Everest.
  • [25:52] The experience that encouraged Sara to climb all the seven peaks of the world.
  • [30:30] How her experiences climbing mountains have changed how she views the world.
  • [33:53] She describes some of the projects she and the women and girls she helps are currently pursuing.


Standout Quotes:


“Each one of us has a very unique interesting story, it might seem like a very normal story for us but for other people, it might be inspiring and helpful.”- Sara Safari [9:31]


“You don’t have to have all the answers right now, just start from somewhere.” - Sara Safari [12:08]


“If you build your life somehow that is based on your values system, based on the things that you really care about, nothing can move it.”- Sara Safari [14:25]


“My experiences in the mountains gave me so much perspective towards life, I don’t give myself permission to complain anymore.” - Sara Safari [31:03]


Find | Cathleen Merkel


On Instagram: @CathleenMerkel

On Facebook: @CathleenMerkelCoaching

On LinkedIn: @CathleenMerkel


Find | Sara Safari


Climb Your Everest

Empower Nepali Girls


On Facebook

On Instagram

On LinkedIn

TEDx Paris

Book: Above the Mountain Shadow




Do you want to learn more about how to become a Legendary Leader, then 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 Sara Safari


Sara Safari is an author, speaker, mountain climber, college professor, Electrical Engineer and advocate for women empowerment. She has received the award for The Global Citizen from United Nations Association in 2015. She is a board member and director of development in Empower Nepali Girls foundation. She also has received the award for Outstanding Practice with Broad Impact in the area of women and leadership from International Leadership Association in 2017.


Sara will be the first Iranian in history to climb the Seven Summits, the seven highest peaks in each continent. She is climbing to raise funds for seven organizations who are empowering women. She published her books “Follow my Footsteps”, “Above the Mountain Shadow” and “Making a Difference” to share her story with the world. She is working on a featured film and a documentary with a talented team of directors and producers who have extensive experience working on complex social justice issues.