Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s path to becoming Liberia’s first female president was not an easy one. In speaking up against the nation’s inequalities early in her career, she endured periods of exile, prison, and even near-executions. But her commitment to a better future for her country never wavered, and as president she championed education, development, and free elections. “My experience sends a strong message that failure is just as important as success,” said Sirleaf in her 2011 commencement speech at Harvard. She reminds us that the dreams that come with risks are worth pursuing, no matter how daunting they may seem in the beginning. In fact, often what limits us is not the obstacles in our path but the fears and doubts that stop us from dreaming big in the first place.