The price of participation in a meeting is that
You will have multiple opportunities to make a fool of yourself or be misunderstood;
For your honesty to be seen as foolishness
Your passion perceived as aggression.
There will be a a lot of leeway for you to misread the situation
And more than enough room to just straight up say the wrong thing.
Particularly if you find yourself as the only woman in a group of men,
The only black or brown face in a sea of white,
If you ever muster up the courage
To make an honest contribution
You have to dance with the possibility
Of your participation not having the intended outcomes.
Sure you may not have the right answer
But sometimes being right isn’t all that matters.
If you care enough about moving the project forward,
A blunder isn’t necessarily a sign that you don’t deserve to be there anymore
It could be an undesirable and unexpected consequence of your efforts.
Often it’s when we allow our insecurities to rule the conversation in our heads
We find ourselves looking for evidence of our inadequacy,
“Proof” that we don’t belong,
And so we raise the stakes on every encounter
To be perfect or die.
And that’s not always a game worth playing.
So stop beating yourself up because you sounded insecure in that meeting
Or made a bad judgement call
Or were the only one with a different perspective
You still deserve to be here
And to be heard
So the next time get a chance to raise your hand
Know that the only price you have to pay
Is that of courage.