SEPTEMBER 16, 2022

Fear of Retaliation When You’re An Outlier

Women and People of Color are exhausted from having to fight for a seat at the table, educate their abusers, and fight to have their voices heard.

Every day I talk to people who are afraid to push back or speak up.

It looks something like this.

You’ve been trying to implement a project for a while now, but you lack key resources. You’ve asked and asked, and you’re looking around noticing others at your level have the support they need.

Now you’re walking into a meeting with your boss, trying to decide if you should bring it up.

Will that feel like “exposing” your superior?

You’re concerned if you push the issue, he will retaliate by calling you out and maybe gaslight you again.

You fear retaliation.

You’re afraid of losing the respect and recognition you have gained or being looked over (again) for a promotion.

You’re tired of all this, so you take the path of least resistance and don’t bring it up.

But you know that’s just perpetuating the problem.

Nothing changes when fear is driving you.

Break The Pattern

Majora Carter, the author of Reclaiming Your Community, said, “If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to engage the problems.”

Here is the advice we give our coaching clients:

  1. Remember your anchor. If you’re somebody who would naturally speak up but have so many competing factors in your head, then speak up. Call a thing a thing. Bring attention to the problem and you can start to move it in a better direction. Say nothing, and inertia keeps it where it is.
  2. Reach out for support. We all do better when someone has our back. If you feel you can’t muster the words, you might need someone in a different position to help you or go ahead of you. There’s no shame in finding allies.
  3. Take ownership of what must be done when you’re the person directly experiencing the problem. This is yours to do. Use your voice. Not just for yourself, but also to blaze the path for those who come after you.

If you want to create new patterns, to realize your happier, healthier, most actualized self, check out our coaching programs.

You got this.