March officially kicked off Women's History Month! A month where we spend time recognizing, remembering, and celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of both notable and ordindary women around the world. We all know women who have either personally or professionally shaped our lives for the better - this month is for them!
When I think about how I've contributed as a woman or as an ally for women, it almost always surrounds helping them find their voice. Whether it be through encouraging them to speak up for what they want, saying no to what they don't want, or being fearless in the face of indifference, I try to constantly remind them their voice is needed in this world.
I am not immune to needing reassurance, second guessing my ideas, or housing feelings of inadequacy. But I am mindful of what I bring to the table and remember that I have something of value to offer.
One of my all time favorite quotes is "Be a voice, not an echo". When I first saw this quote a few years ago, it was so profound to me in many ways, especially for women in the workplace.
I've witnessed some of the most brilliant women cower in meetings and shrink themselves to make their counterparts feel better about their (at best) mediocre ideas. They'd be all fired up and ready to go in the planning phase of a project and when it was time to speak up, complete silence! Like...huh? Why was there such a disconnect? What happened to all the excitement?
Fear is what happened. Fear forced GREAT to take a backseat to predictable, boring, and unmoving. What a waste. Fear made GREAT agree and co-sign complete trash. And for what...becasue someone MIGHT not like it, MIGHT not agree, or remind you it hasn't been done before?
SO. WHAT. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, so why not at least TRY? You can't possibly be okay with continuing to echo ideas you don't believe in or passions you don't share.
You have greatness inside of you - it's time to share it with the world! Speak up in the meeting, ask for that raise, and share that idea. You never know who you are inspiring along the way!