Finding your voice even when you don’t think you can

Whether you’re in the classroom or the boardroom, sharing your ideas can lead to exciting changes.

This past weekend I attended the Women and Power conference at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, N.Y. I was blessed to hear from leaders like Sally Field, Eve Ensler, Majora Carter and many more. Whether you’re a woman or a man, I think you’ll benefit from the discussions held there.

In the invocation speech, Omega’s founder, Elizabeth Lesser, raved about the lineup of speakers and all of the empowering voices she’s encountered throughout her career, including Nobel Peace Prize winners, spiritual leaders and world-renowned activists. Looking into the crowd, she said, “These leaders are no different than you are. We all have insecurities about speaking our truth and we’re all just making it up as we go along.”

This message resonated with me deeply. As a speaker and author I am out in the world sharing my voice and expressing it fully. Though I’ve created a platform for speaking my truth, I still have moments when I question my right to speak up. This weekend at Omega I realized I’m not alone.  Field spoke of her fear of greatness, Carter admitted her fear of speaking about leadership and Ensler spoke of her need to be accepted. As I listened to some of the world’s greatest leaders share their deep-rooted fears, I realized we’re all in it together. In some way or another, we all question our right to claim our voice and share our beliefs with the world. Lesser calls this “imposter syndrome,” the feeling of, “How dare I speak up? How dare I claim my power?” Our inner voice of fear, the imposter voice, holds us back and blocks us from owning our opinion, our voice and our power.

Our power cannot come from an outside credential — it must come from an internal condition. Carter said it best: “Listen to the voices that are telling you that you are powerful. It’s your duty to share that.”

Rather than see ourselves as separate from the world’s great leaders, we must accept that we’re all in this together. As Lesser said, “No one is sure, no one has the answer, but we need leaders who are willing to do something that has never been done before.” If you deny the power of your inner voice, you deny the world of revolutionary change. If these women hadn’t used their voices, we wouldn’t have Ensler’s V-Day global movement to end violence against women and girls or Carter’s Sustainable South Bronx revolution or organizations like UNICEF and Planned Parenthood. What will happen without your voice?

— Gabrielle Bernstein is the author of “Spirit Junkie.”

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.