Brita Fernandez Schmidt 'Fears to Fierce'

Last week Brita Fernandez Schmidt talked to current President Elect, Clara Marks. Schmidt has spent most of her life working in NGOs that promote women’s power, gender, equality internationally. She was formerly Executive Director of Women for Women International. However, as she spoke on the top floor of Blackwell’s bookshop Schmidt didn’t focus on herself but rather what she considers us all to share. This is encompassed in the title of Schmidt’s new book ‘Fears to Fierce’, a guide to stepping into your own potential by learning to live with and be inspired by that which fears you. If you missed OxWIB’s event you can hear Brita explaining this concept herself in her TED talk below.

Brita’s insight left everyone leaving the event in deep thought about what inspires them and full of an impulse to bring about change.


Brita was intensely quotable. Here is a short selection of her gems of wisdom:

  1. Everything you need and want is already within you. Listen to yourself.

  2. As I witness another woman rising she gives me wings.

  3. We need to become more intentional about who we are and our power. By becoming self-aware we can better direct power.

  4. If something doesn’t feel right it’s probably because it isn’t.

  5. You are strong enough not to be liked.

  6. Let what you do spring from who you are.

My personal favourite of Brita’s exercises was the ‘boardroom in your heart’. Essentially, you visualise a boardroom, decorated in just the way you would best like. At each seat of the table is someone who inspires you and has touched your heart. Looking around this room you are supported and reminded of your dreams and those who want to see you succeed. It was an incredibly powerful moment I recommend to everyone.



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