Why is it so hard to use your voice to speak up?

Catherine Andrews
4 min readAug 14

I’m back here this week with the next in our series of Leadership Summer School — my series of love letters on leadership that hopefully help you activate your own leadership and reflect on the leadership potential and growth within you as a highly sensitive person, and how badly the world needs it.

If you missed the first two essays in this series, here they are:

This week, we’ll be talking about two topics. First, today, we’ll discuss your voice and how to better use it.

Then later this week I’ll touch into how to see if you might be caught in toxic patterns in the workplace and how to end those.

But first, I want to make sure you know about an event I’m hosting in September: The Highly Sensitive Person Leadership Summit. For three nights, Sept 5, 6 and 7, I’ll be hosting free trainings on the nervous system; overcoming impostor syndrome; and creating your leadership identity. We’ll meet live each night at 8pmET and lifetime replays will be provided for those who can’t attend live.

Make sure you’re registered here.

Let’s move on to today’s leadership lesson: activating and using your voice. (And a fun set of exercises and activities for you to try out at the end :)

First, I want to set the stage on using your voice and give you some context on why it might be difficult to do so.

Have you heard of the witch wound? The Burning Times? This is critical historical context to understand why women (and many men, too) don’t feel safe to use their voice to draw attention to themselves or to speak up.

The Burning Times were the period in early modern European history when prosecutions for the crime of witchcraft reached their peak. Historians estimate that 40,000–200,000 people were tortured and murdered as they were accused of witchcraft and heresy.

But what’s really important to know?

The European witch trials were largely a targeted attack on women.

Catherine Andrews

Teaching awakening + healing through vulnerability + self-compassion. Finding hope in a messy world. Author of the Sunday Soother. http://catherinedandrews.com