Can fear hold women back at work?

Arianna Huffington
Health Education
The concept of femininity frequently interferes with a woman’s ability to be assertive and aggressive -- especially at work. We so want to be liked that we worry about alienating people, so we often try to get what we want behind the scenes while still being careful to avoid seeming manipulative and disingenuous. It’s nice to be nice, but it can be extremely draining and self-destructive when it mutes our voice, holds us back, and undermines our authenticity. Fear of sticking our necks out because of how we’ll be perceived often causes us to sabotage our careers. And the consequences of stifling ourselves aren’t just financial. Deeply ingrained cultural ideals of femininity make it much harder for women to own up fearlessly to their ambitions and pursue them without apology. We pay the price in opportunity, achievement, success, and satisfaction.

Picture of business woman
On Becoming Love, Work, and Life

More About this Book

On Becoming Love, Work, and Life

Observing that her own teenage daughters were beginning to experience some of the same fears that had once burdened her--how attractive am I? do people like me? do I dare speak up?--Arianna...

Continue Learning about Emotional Health

Emotional Health

How well you handle stress, anger, relationships, work, family life-it all factors into your emotional health. Finding balance in life-as well as peace of mind-helps us cope with life's ups and downs. Take time to explore new ways ...

to find stress relief, and to release anxiety, and unhappiness. Counseling can help-as can a gratitude journal.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.