The Fear Factor

A BA Woman

BA Women's Words

October 10, 2019

Each week a BA Woman contributes to our BA Women's Words—a bloglette posted on Friday mornings where we tackle gendered issues to advance the educational, personal, and professional development of women who seek to make a difference in the world. 

Read on for EmpowHERing words by confident women living dynamic, complex lives. Have something to explore, share, declare, or celebrate with us?
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I've been thinking a lot about how to use my voice, especially to create positive change in the world. Or rather, my habit of not using my voice because of the fear and uncertainty that sometimes holds me back from sharing what I have to say.

But in the last few weeks, it's become clear to me that the bravery required in speaking up doesn't come from just inside, but from all around. Using my voice is much easier when I know I have a community of supporters behind or alongside me. Perhaps you can relate?

In the past few weeks, I've been overcome with admiration for my friends who exercise the art of using their voice, particularly EmpowHER alumna Thomasena. She's quickly mastering the seemingly elusive skill of using her voice with confidence, and without traces of fear (regardless of whether she feels fear inside or not). She recently shared that she gave a presentation on her research surrounding our education system—a topic she's been passionately studying and working on for the past few years. Her presentation, I knew, was on the heels of her participation in a successful lobbying day and her most recent publication in a research journal. Thomasena is standing up and speaking out. She's using the power of her words to create real change in the world, regardless of the fear factor.

And that's just the thing, isn't it? Everyone has a voice (literally or figuratively) and the power to influence others for good—but the trick is often being brave enough to do it. And we all need to be brave in equal measure, because our voices matter. So muster the courage, in whatever way works for you to find YOUR bravery. For me, it's watching friends like Thomasena excel and also knowing that she's always got my back. Maybe you find your bravery in other ways: like reminding yourself of all the people cheering you on. Or maybe it's practicing your presentation in front of a mirror, or sending your draft article to 10 friends for review. If you know what helps you overcome that fear factor, keep doing it! You're probably inspiring others, whether you know it or not (like how Thomasena inspired me). And if you don't know what it is that stokes your bravery, keep trying, keep experimenting, and in the meanwhile know that I've also got your back, along with a whole alliance of BA Women.

Why foster bravery, and speak out on issues that matter to you? Because that's what our world truly needs: BA Women, with BA voices, stoking their bravery and making change in the world.

Using my voice & supporting yours,
A BA Woman

A BA Woman

A BA Woman is a member of our community who has a perspective to share, ideas to spread, and words worth hearing. She's tenacious, compassionate, and lifts as she climbs. She's totally BA. She could be anyone—her words are relatable because she gets us like no one else.

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