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What #Being10PercentBraver means to me

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by Mel Greenwood     @MelGreenwood1

The moment that I came across this phrase, I loved it because it embraces a mindset that is resilient and gritty. The phrase is now a part of not only my internal monologue but I use it as a challenge to other people - women, men and young people - in my life.

For me, #Being10PercentBraver is a call to keep growing and challenging myself as an educator, as a leader and as a woman. It is pushing through and finding every ounce of energy to keep going on the fertility journey I am on, even when it means taking time out from work and seeing my savings dwindle away; it means putting myself out there and not being afraid to share my thoughts with others and it meant moving back to the UK even though I was settled living in Jordan, a country extremely close to my heart.

But at the moment, it means being brave enough to challenge my thinking and my ideas and to speak up when I am uncomfortable with people's microaggressions and black and white thinking. #Being10PercentBraver for me currently means reading widely, learning more about the protected characteristics and considering how I can become an even bigger advocate for those around me.

It means that when I do work out what is next for me as a leader in education, I make sure that in taking my seat back at the table, I am an unapologetic advocate for those around me, speaking up and challenging other people's thinking even when it feels uncomfortable to do so.

I think we can all afford to be #10PercentBraver in our lives even if it means starting with 1% of growth.

Let me share some of the most practical ways that I have found I can be that little bit braver:

  • Join different social media platforms and follow a diverse community. Spending ten minutes on Twitter in the morning challenges my thinking tenfold and I often find a short blog, link to a podcast or book that takes that thinking further.
  • When hearing a friend or family member use language that I find uncomfortable or derogatory, with respect and love, I try to challenge thinking and where I can, offer alternatives that I have picked up from other people who have challenged me.
  • Read widely. Read with an open mind and be prepared to challenge yourself. I am an avid reader, mostly of fiction, so it has helped me to always also have a nonfiction book on the go. My current read is Diverse Educators: A Manifesto. This is the type of book you will go back to again and again.
  • Listen to yourself - if your mind and body needs rest, do not be afraid to change plans, respectfully decline invites or have a duvet day. (This includes taking a sick day if you need it!) If you do not look after yourself, it is difficult to look out for other people.
  • Attend conferences and workshops that you wouldn't normally think about going to. I recently attended an event organized by @WomenEdNW and after listening to the speakers there and meeting new people, felt inspired and grateful that there is such a strong community of brave women around me.
  • Share your experiences. I mentioned earlier that I am currently on a journey to hopefully extending my family beyond that of me and my pup. This hasn't been easy and after sharing the news of a miscarriage at week 8 with my friends and family, lots of people opened up to me about difficulties they faced on their journeys. The encouragement and wisdom I was able to take from the stories of these brave women and men astounded me. Someone might just need to hear your story!


I thank @WomenEdNW for welcoming me into their fold and I look forward to meeting many more brave women and men on my journey with this beautiful community.


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Comments 3

Guest - Maria on Friday, 25 November 2022 08:00

Absolutely love this post! It resonates so much with me personally but I imagine for so many others too. I’d love to join your community; it sounds like an exciting, nurturing and empowering one .

Absolutely love this post! It resonates so much with me personally but I imagine for so many others too. I’d love to join your community; it sounds like an exciting, nurturing and empowering one .
Guest - Miss R on Friday, 25 November 2022 08:11

I loved reading this this morning! I think sometimes you can just be doing your thing day to day and you forget what it sometimes takes. I loved the practical ways you identified but it’s also that feeling you need to summon when you walk into that meeting or have that conversation or take a risk with your career not knowing quite where it will lead.

I loved reading this this morning! I think sometimes you can just be doing your thing day to day and you forget what it sometimes takes. I loved the practical ways you identified but it’s also that feeling you need to summon when you walk into that meeting or have that conversation or take a risk with your career not knowing quite where it will lead.
Guest - Dylan Glover on Sunday, 04 December 2022 16:02

I agree. I’m a senior leader but definitely on the quieter side. I know bow down to louder voices, even though all they have on their side is volume. I’m there for a reason.

I’m being 10% braver by reaching and reading out.

I agree. I’m a senior leader but definitely on the quieter side. I know bow down to louder voices, even though all they have on their side is volume. I’m there for a reason. I’m being 10% braver by reaching and reading out.
Sunday, 29 January 2023

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