I Am 37 Weeks Pregnant


They say that life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

I’ve been living at the edge of my comfort zone for more than three years. There are days, like today, when I lean so far outside the edge of my comfort zone that it feels like I’m falling off.

It feels like fear.

Today, at 37 weeks pregnant, I am scared.

I am scared of impending labor. I am scared of the pain, the exhaustion, and all the things that can go wrong. I am scared of recovery and postpartum depression and severe sleep deprivation and the pressure to breastfeed.

I am scared that I set myself and my team with goals that are too aggressive and expectations that are too high, all too soon after this baby is due. I am scared that I’m not strong enough. I am scared of letting people down.

I am scared of all the things I can’t prevent, control or fix for my company. I am even more scared of all the things I can’t control or fix for my children — horrifying things like illness and accidents and everyday things like bullying and scraped knees.

I am scared that I am not a good enough CEO or a good enough mother or a good enough wife. That I work too much and have too little patience. That I won’t know how to teach my daughters to navigate the new world. That my girls will have to find love in a post-Tinder world, measure their self-esteem in Instagram likes, and practice school shooting drills more often than earthquake drills.

I am scared that climate change will make this world unlivable. That hatred and polarization will make it dangerous. That fear — ironically — will make it unkind.

I am scared that one in three girls will experience sexual abuse in childhood. I am scared that nearly every woman I know has experienced harassment or discrimination in some form in adulthood. I am scared that when I tell my girls that they can be anything and do anything, I’ll be lying to them.

I’ve made it my mission to create a more equitable world for my daughters, one where the top levels of leadership are more representative of the world they lead. It is my hope that forging true diversity at those upper echelons of wealth and corporate ownership will lead to kinder, more responsible decision-making. Better decisions for a better world.

But what if I am wrong?

What if I am right, but I fail to make a dent?

Today, at 37 weeks pregnant, I am scared.

Yet, I got up this morning and went to the office. I worked with my team and responded to email. I played with my daughter as best I could. I held my husband’s hand. I typed this post. I put one foot in front of another and made it through the day. I faced my fears at every turn. I sat with them and sit with them still.

When you decide to live your life at the edge of your comfort zone, fear is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be paralyzing. The trick, I think, is a change in perspective, even if it takes literally writing it all down. How much is under my control? How many of my fears are real and how many are perception? What happens if I take one more step? What happens if I stop?

Accomplishing anything big in this world requires that you take risks, and risks are scary. But if you can face your fears and turn them around, if you can keep going, if you can take the scary unknowns and turn them into strength, then you can do anything.

Courage is not an absence of fear. Courage is the ability to function in spite of it.

That’s why today I don’t just feel scared.

I also feel invincible.

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