We’ve all felt pressure to seem “perfect” before, right? Or wait, maybe that’s just us ladies. Whenever I’ve heard the topic come up in conversation among guys, the notion of personal perfection seems pretty foreign to them—or pretty silly. As my own husband once said to me, like it was a total no-brainer, “Why would you worry about perfection? Perfection is impossible.”

Ha! True that. Still, many of us women, for a thousand complicated reasons, will sometimes attempt the impossible by hiding parts of our real selves for fear of seeming as if we don’t have it all together. How do we break out of this ingrained habit? Step one, as Daring Women founder Ashley Mauldin points out on page _________, could be in recognizing the immense value of letting our guards down. “True connection requires a willingness to be vulnerable, to show up as our authentic selves,” she says.

It’s a tough challenge, but it’s one that Mauldin poses every month to the women who attend her Daring Women meet-ups around the valley; she feels that our relationships deepen and that our lives become more honest and fulfilling when we are willing to share (and even celebrate) our imperfections with those we care about. Even our broader communities benefit when women feel free to be real.

I think she’s right. When women come together and throw expectations of flawlessness out the window, beautiful things happen. They’re happening right now, across the valley, and in Roaring Fork Lifestyle’s Women’s Issue this month we spotlight some of their stories. Cheers to the ladies—the mothers, daughters, friends, colleagues, dreamers, and doers—who are breaking with tradition and daring to be boldly imperfect!