We’ve all been there. Rehearsing the speech in front of the mirror, breaking off mid-sentence for feeling like a fool, taking a deep breath and starting all over again.
Whether it be to a job interview, a meeting about a pay rise, or pitching an important somebody to back your idea, our inner pep-talk is too-often battling with voices of self-doubt and criticism.
That’s why Reese Witherspoon‘s number-one career advice to young women is especially great, but oh, so relatable.
“Speak up, even if your voice shakes,” the 41-year-old told Manrepeller during a Q&A after an event last week.
And she’s right, it’s the asking – or the speaking up – that women struggle with.
But the other part of speaking up that makes women want to avoid it? The fear that when you do, you won’t sound confident, in control, or powerful.
Even though we know what we are capable of, backing ourselves and saying: I deserve this, or I believe this, or I have a problem with this, is where we too-often falter.
“Speak up, even if your voice shakes,” should be our mantra going forward.
A mantra that every mother can share with her daughter, before her speech at school, or when she’s nervous about speaking out against a bully.
LISTEN: We discuss Reese Witherspoon’s role in Big Little Lies, on our pop culture podcast. Post continues after.
Witherspoon went to college, even though her college counsellor didn’t believe she was smart enough, she told the Glamour Women of the Year Awards last month.
She succeeded as an award-winning actress, even though no one in Hollywood was her friend.
And, after becoming frustrated with the lack of women’s stories being told in cinema, she started a production company to change exactly that. The same production company that’s gone onto produce Big Little Lies, and Wild, and Gone Girl.
So, next time you’re in front of the mirror cringing and sighing and starting it all over again, hear Witherspoon’s advice and remember: It really doesn’t matter if your voice shakes. You can still speak up.