As a woman, I have friends that are women. Sure, I don’t know all the women in the world, but I do know several of them – and we talk, a lot. We talk about our day-to-day lives, relationships, careers, interests and so much more. Yet when it comes to talking about life’s next adventure, or a step in an unknown direction, there is a considerable amount of apprehension – among most of my female friends.
Why is it that as a woman we are so afraid of failing?
At the League, we talk about this a lot. More specifically, we talk about why women put up artificial barriers to running for an elected office. To them, these barriers are very real; however, from an outsider looking in, the barriers do not even exist.
I think it’s safe to say those barriers are created out of fear and apprehension. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failing.
Yes, it’s true that campaigns are hard. Campaigns are all-encompassing, time consuming, dragging-on-your-feet hard-work. To be successful, a candidate must know a lot about many different issues. As a candidate, you are bound to get questions on very important local, state, and federal public policy issues. You are also likely to get questions on several obscure local, state, and federal public policy issues. When questions like this arise, it’s important you know how to think on your feet and not question every move you are scheduled to make. You must be bold, knowledgeable, well-spoken, confident, sharp, passionate, convincing, put-together, and sure of yourself. All the while managing additional stress, a household, and your personal and professional life balance.
Doesn’t that sound like fun? Or perhaps this is where your fear kicks in.
That’s why the League is so valuable. We are here to take the fear out of the process. With lessons on time management, public policy issues, campaign organization, fundraising – and more – our goal is to familiarize prospects with the process to make running for office seem less scary.
The truth is that your voice is valuable. Your life experiences and input on public policy will make a difference. We don’t guarantee that you will come out at the end without bumps and bruises. However, we do know that nobody expects perfection. And nobody expects you to know it all. Campaigns are an art and a science, which is why we have dozens of coaches from around the state – and country – with decades of experience willing to teach and mentor you. We are confident that with these coaches and their insights, and the network we are building, you will be better off than those who are not part of the League.
So, embrace that apprehension and fear. Channel your energy all the way to our website: www.leagueofourown.org where you can sign up. Let’s get YOUR name on the ballot.
-Kristin Fair, Training and Mentoring Manager, League of Our Own