It’s difficult, I know. Even in 2020, too many people still believe that a powerful woman is a bitch. Pardon my language but it’s true. Powerful men are capable, strong, and know what they want while women are bossy, demanding, and just plain bitchy. I find it ironic that some of the most severe criticisms of powerful women who are willing to act in a powerful manner are other women.
Are you scared at the thought that people won’t like you if you speak your mind? Unfortunately, that is a valid fear for women. Much as you might hate it, there are ways to speak your mind that won’t immediately alienate everyone in the room.
This is not a matter of sour grapes. I am not saying that failure to advance is always a matter of jealousy. Although even today, one hundred years after the first women’s rights movement, even women seem to think other woman who behave in a powerful manner are not the kind of woman with whom they want to be friends.
No matter how much things are supposed to have changed, a lot of us still are. We constantly speak of our fears. Are you afraid to speak out at meetings? Or maybe you are scared that asking for a raise at work will ruin any possibility to advance in your career.
Fear is a powerful emotion. It should be because fear was what helped our ancestors stay alive. The caveman who was so stupid as to be completely unafraid, ended up in the belly of a sabre-toothed tiger. So, where does that leave us?
Some fears are easy to take care of, such as:
What if my boss finds out how much of my day is spent on Twitter and Facebook?
That one is easy to resolve. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but maybe don’t spend all of your work day on social media.
On the other hand, if you fear that speaking up when your team is headed in the wrong direction will be career suicide, it’s a valid fear, but maybe instead of keeping quiet, you can use the fear. Sure, there will be people who think you are being bitchy but there are also people who will hear what you say.
Be powerful, not mean
Speaking your mind doesn’t mean being nasty, by the way. Consider these two statements:
“I think Bob is an idiot to suggest that we put all of our money into advertising on websites aimed at children when our application is aimed at developers.”
“We should put more energy and resources advertising to the audience we are trying to reach.”
But then, I don’t have to teach you how to be tactful, do I? The point I’m trying to make is that, making snide remarks, remarks meant to hurt, will be more likely to alienate everybody no matter whether you are male or female.
Remember that being afraid and moving forward towards your goal anyway, the fear recedes and you will find that you are moving towards becoming the best form of yourself. At some point, the fear becomes irrelevant. Remember speak up, make your opinions known, and support other people who do, even if you don’t totally agree.
We’ve talked about similar ideas before here on Wild One Forever. Check out:
Find the strength in you and use it to get started today.
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