DiscoverLeap Academy with Ilana GolanElizabeth McCormick: From Unemployed to Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot and Keynote Speaker
Elizabeth McCormick: From Unemployed to Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot and Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth McCormick: From Unemployed to Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot and Keynote Speaker

Update: 2024-06-043
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This podcast episode features an inspiring conversation with Elizabeth, a former US Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot who has overcome numerous challenges to become a successful public speaker and author. Elizabeth's story begins with her decision to join the Army, despite facing initial resistance and skepticism. She emphasizes the importance of taking action, even when you don't know all the details, as it can open doors to new opportunities. Elizabeth's journey was not without its obstacles, including a flight instructor who didn't believe women should fly and a near-fatal helicopter crash during training. However, she persevered, demonstrating the power of resilience and the importance of training as if your life depends on it. Elizabeth's story also highlights the importance of managing your energy and shifting your mindset when you're feeling stuck. She shares her own experience of overcoming depression and reinventing herself after a medical retirement from the Army. Elizabeth's journey is a testament to the power of believing in yourself, taking action, and managing your energy to achieve your goals. She encourages listeners to take advantage of her online course, "Soar Your Life," which offers strategies for boosting confidence and resilience. The episode concludes with Elizabeth's advice to her younger self: to trust her own voice and not rely on others for validation.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces Elizabeth, a former US Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot, and highlights her inspiring journey of overcoming adversity and becoming a successful public speaker and author.

00:00:12
Taking Action and Overcoming Stuckness

This Chapter explores the importance of taking action to overcome stuckness and achieve goals. Elizabeth shares her personal experience of leaving a miserable marriage and pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot, despite facing initial resistance and uncertainty.

00:07:31
The Power of Belief and Resilience

This Chapter delves into the importance of belief in oneself and the ability to persevere through challenges. Elizabeth recounts her experiences in flight school, where she faced skepticism and adversity, but ultimately succeeded due to her unwavering determination.

00:13:52
Life and Death Decisions in the Air

This Chapter shares a harrowing story of Elizabeth's near-fatal helicopter crash during training, highlighting the importance of training as if your life depends on it and the ability to make critical decisions under pressure.

00:19:29
The Power of Visualization and Overcoming Fear

This Chapter discusses the importance of visualization and overcoming fear of success. Elizabeth shares how she uses visualization to prepare for public speaking engagements and how fear of success can be a subconscious block that holds people back.

00:23:49
Reinventing Yourself and Overcoming Adversity

This Chapter explores Elizabeth's journey of reinventing herself after a medical retirement from the Army. She shares her experience of overcoming depression and finding her passion for public speaking.

00:30:58
Finding Your Purpose and Embracing Your Gifts

This Chapter focuses on Elizabeth's transition from a corporate job to a successful public speaking career. She shares how she was initially hesitant to pursue speaking engagements but eventually embraced her gifts and found her purpose.

Keywords

Black Hawk helicopter pilot
A pilot who flies a Black Hawk helicopter, a type of military utility helicopter known for its versatility and performance. Black Hawk helicopters are used for a variety of missions, including troop transport, medical evacuation, and search and rescue. They are known for their powerful engines, maneuverability, and ability to operate in challenging conditions.

US Army
The United States Army is the largest branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is responsible for land warfare operations and is a major component of the nation's defense strategy. The Army has a long and distinguished history, dating back to the American Revolutionary War. It has played a key role in numerous conflicts, including World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The Army is composed of active duty personnel, National Guard, and Army Reserve.

public speaking
The act of delivering a speech or presentation to an audience. Public speaking is a valuable skill that can be used in a variety of settings, including business, education, and government. Effective public speaking requires strong communication skills, including the ability to engage an audience, convey information clearly, and inspire action.

John Maxwell
John C. Maxwell is an American author, speaker, and leadership expert. He is best known for his books on leadership, including "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" and "Developing the Leader Within You." Maxwell is a highly sought-after speaker and has trained millions of people on leadership principles. He is also the founder of the John Maxwell Team, a global leadership training organization.

confidence
A feeling of self-assurance and belief in one's abilities. Confidence is an important factor in success in all areas of life, including personal relationships, work, and education. It can be developed through a variety of means, including setting realistic goals, practicing self-affirmations, and seeking out challenges.

resilience
The ability to bounce back from adversity and challenges. Resilience is an important quality for success in all areas of life. It can be developed through a variety of means, including building strong support systems, practicing self-care, and developing a positive outlook.

energy management
The practice of managing one's energy levels to improve productivity, focus, and well-being. Energy management involves identifying and prioritizing activities that drain or replenish energy, as well as developing strategies for managing stress and fatigue.

Soar Your Life
An online course created by Elizabeth, a former US Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot, that offers strategies for boosting confidence and resilience. The course includes modules on confidence boosters, shifting energy, work-life balance, and attention, focus, and presence.

PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of triggers, and difficulty concentrating. PTSD can be treated with therapy, medication, and support groups.

vulnerability
The state of being open and honest about one's feelings and experiences. Vulnerability is an important aspect of building strong relationships and achieving personal growth. It can be challenging to be vulnerable, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.

Q&A

  • What inspired Elizabeth to join the Army and become a helicopter pilot?

    Elizabeth was in a difficult place in her life, feeling stuck and miserable in her marriage. She decided to take action and join the Army, even though she didn't know what jobs were available. She was inspired by the officers she interviewed who encouraged her to pursue flight training.

  • What challenges did Elizabeth face during her journey to becoming a helicopter pilot?

    Elizabeth faced resistance from her recruiter, who initially tried to dissuade her from pursuing flight training. She also encountered a flight instructor who didn't believe women should fly. Despite these obstacles, she persevered and ultimately succeeded.

  • How did Elizabeth overcome her fear of failure and the challenges she faced?

    Elizabeth developed a strong belief in herself and her abilities. She learned to manage her energy and shift her mindset when she was feeling stuck. She also practiced visualization to prepare for challenging situations.

  • What advice would Elizabeth give to her younger self?

    Elizabeth would advise her younger self to trust her own voice and not rely on others for validation. She would also encourage her to find her own motivation and not be swayed by the opinions of others.

  • What is the main message of Elizabeth's story?

    Elizabeth's story is a testament to the power of taking action, believing in yourself, and managing your energy to achieve your goals. It shows that even in the face of adversity, it is possible to overcome challenges and create a fulfilling life.

  • What is Elizabeth's online course "Soar Your Life" about?

    Elizabeth's online course "Soar Your Life" offers strategies for boosting confidence and resilience. It includes modules on confidence boosters, shifting energy, work-life balance, and attention, focus, and presence.

  • Why is Elizabeth's story so inspiring?

    Elizabeth's story is inspiring because she overcame numerous challenges to achieve her goals. She is a role model for anyone who is feeling stuck or discouraged. Her story shows that it is possible to achieve anything you set your mind to, no matter what obstacles you face.

  • What is the importance of managing your energy?

    Managing your energy is important because it can help you to be more productive, focused, and well-being. It involves identifying and prioritizing activities that drain or replenish energy, as well as developing strategies for managing stress and fatigue.

  • How can we be more vulnerable with ourselves?

    Being vulnerable with ourselves requires honesty and self-reflection. It involves acknowledging our feelings and experiences, even the difficult ones. It also involves being kind and compassionate to ourselves, even when we make mistakes.

  • What is the connection between Elizabeth's military experience and her current work as a public speaker?

    Elizabeth's military experience taught her the importance of resilience, decision-making under pressure, and managing her energy. These skills have been invaluable in her work as a public speaker, where she inspires others to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

Show Notes

Elizabeth McCormick came home reeking of tomato sauce from her pizza job, feeling miserable as usual. But that day, she resolved that if her then-husband could serve in the army, so could she. This bold decision led to a fulfilling career as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. Despite a career-ending injury, she reinvented herself and entered the corporate world before transitioning into public speaking. In this episode, Elizabeth shares her incredible journey of breaking free from stagnation and taking action despite uncertainty. You’ll learn important lessons about choosing who you want to be and overcoming the subconscious blocks holding you back. 


Elizabeth McCormick is a former U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot turned global motivational speaker. She is a recipient of the Congressional Veteran Commendation and a number one bestselling author of The P.I.L.O.T. Method.


In this episode, Ilana and Elizabeth will discuss:

- Elizabeth’s journey from unemployed army wife to decorated helicopter pilot

- Believing in yourself despite the nay-sayers 

- The importance of visualizing success

- Taking action despite uncertainty

- Choosing how you show up

- Surviving a helicopter crash

- Elizabeth’s discovery of speaking opportunities

- How a career-ending injury became her best gift

- Overcoming the subconscious blocks holding you back 

- Confidence and energy management for personal and professional growth

- And other topics…


Elizabeth McCormick is a former U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot turned motivational speaker. She is the bestselling author of The P.I.L.O.T. Method and has launched a series of business success books titled Soar 2 Success. Elizabeth is an award-winning sales consultant and a founding member of the John Maxwell Team of certified speakers. She has consistently booked 100+ engagements per year and spoken at the leadership, sales, and safety-related functions of renowned brands like Coca-Cola, Sherwin Williams, and Oracle, among many others. She serves on the Board of Directors for Grace After Fire, a non-profit organization empowering women veterans. In 2011, she was honored with the Congressional Veteran Commendation.



Connect with Elizabeth:

Elizabeth’s Website: https://yourinspirationalspeaker.com/ 

Elizabeth’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pilotspeaker/ 


Resources Mentioned:

Elizabeth’s Book, The P.I.L.O.T. Method: The 5 Elemental Truths to Leading Yourself in Life! https://www.amazon.com/Pilot-Method-Elemental-Leading-Yourself/dp/1629030082 

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential by John C. Maxwell 

https://www.amazon.com/15-Invaluable-Laws-Growth-Potential/dp/1599953676 

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Elizabeth McCormick: From Unemployed to Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot and Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth McCormick: From Unemployed to Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot and Keynote Speaker

Ilana Golan