what she created when she moved through fear

Bernadette Cay is a product manager at Twitter, artist and certified yoga teacher. She previously worked at Google. She holds a B.S. in Management Science & Engineering with a minor in Art History from Stanford University.

Q. Why did you decide to reach out to me?

I’ve always had a lot of interests across the intersections of technology, science, creativity and social impact. I have been working in tech for the past five years. The work is creative, challenging and interesting. However, I felt like something in my life was missing. As I tried to solve for it, I felt stuck. I sensed that my current ways of thinking have gotten me to where I am, but not enough to feel complete.

Q. How have you grown since we've started working together?

So much has shifted! I practiced identifying and managing my fears and inner critic and then transforming them into experimentation and action. I started unhooking from praise and criticism by examining the cultural beliefs that have been the foundation of my worldview so far. I made peace with having a variety of interests amidst a world that prizes specialists.

Finally, I learned to honor parts of me that don’t usually get airtime, such as creative expression, connection with nature, intuitive thinking and self care.

The biggest result I've seen: I started creating art again for the first time in years. On Saturdays I began taking an art class. The class assignment sounded simple: a daily 10-­minute sketch. Over several nights, during what’s otherwise “Netflix time,” my quick sketches evolved into standalone conceptual pieces. By the end of the course, I created +70 pieces. The work evolved into an interactive installation called “Wisdom is the Daughter of Experience” that highlights a curated selection of 30 pieces.

Q. What's the most valuable piece of wisdom you've learned over the last few months? 

Identify and manage your fears and inner critic! Momentarily let down your guard of being “fearless” and truly observe the seemingly “logical” beliefs that are currently stopping you from doing what you want to do. This is likely the column of “cons” in a pros and cons list you’ve probably created. They seem very rational, right? But they come from the inner critic. Understand where your inner critic’s beliefs come from and what triggers her. She wants to keep you safe. How might you address or work past her concerns as you continue to grow?

Discern fear of actual danger from the awe of coming into your own power. {Tweet this}.

Q. What would you say to a woman who is on the cusp of sharing her gifts but feels held back?

Start with this article

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