Drop Your Fear
Fear is a powerful and shapeless enemy. It’s this invisible person I often invite into my decision making, providing me with opinions about my self-worth and dictating the small and large resolutions in my life. In the past, I’ve offered fear a seat at my table, because honestly there are times I believe fear’s opinion of me over the truth.
Last summer, I can remember sitting in my kitchen and reviewing an application for an editorial internship with Dressember. The opportunity to put words down that could fuel change in the area of trafficking made my heart race in the best ways. Yet the more I thought about applying, the more room I made for fear to join me in the decision-making. In fear’s opinion, I was sorely under-qualified to write about such an important topic and I went to bed that night thinking, “You can’t do this internship. You aren’t an expert on human trafficking. You’re an ordinary person, with ordinary talents.”
"The more I thought about applying, the more room I made for fear to join me in the decision-making."
If it wasn’t for the truth speaking friends and family in my life that encouraged me to apply, I would have passed up the opportunity altogether. The truth is, I am under-qualified and I’m certainly not an expert on trafficking. In those aspects, fear was right. But those encouragers around me reminded me of this: my voice matters. That week, I didn’t apply because I felt like I was the most qualified, but instead, I applied because my voice is needed in the fight regardless of my qualifications.
It has been almost six months since I've wrapped up an unforgettable experience of writing alongside so many amazing interns on a topic that is still pushing me to learn more and advocate louder. Being underqualified fueled my desire to learn more, dig deeper into the topic of trafficking, and to encourage others around me.
"I didn’t apply because I felt like I was the most qualified, but instead, I applied because my voice is needed in the fight regardless of my qualifications."
What I found on my journey this past year was that I wasn’t alone in my fears. I can’t tell you the number of people that said they wanted to participate in Dressember but didn’t think they knew enough about the issues of trafficking to be a valuable participant.
The fact is, that fighting against a $150 billion crime requires every single voice in the arena, whether you’ve been fighting against human trafficking for years or are only just learning about it. To tackle such a dehumanizing issue, it will take more than just the experts – it will take every voice willing to speak up for justice.
Even after this writing experience, I know I’ve only breached the surface of this issue of trafficking and ways I can help. However, each year I have an opportunity to take the pieces I’ve learned during Dressember and build upon that foundation.
Now, when I hear someone tell me their fears of joining in the movement – the fear of being under-qualified and ineffective – I tell them where I began too. And then I leave them with the same words that friends and family have left me, “Your voice still matters.” The more of us that commit to learning more about how to get in the fight, the stronger we become in bringing justice to those without a voice.
Fear will always have an opinion, but it doesn’t have to have the final word.
Applications for our Fall 2018 internships are NOW OPEN! Are you a writer, a graphic designer, or someone looking to use your time and talents to contribute to the fight to end trafficking? A Dressember internship might be the next step for you. Find out more about our remote & local positions, and apply today. All applications are due Monday, June 18th.
About the Author
Michaela Judge is a military veteran and Southern transplant. As a Public Relations specialist by day, she is overjoyed to use her love of writing to help fight for freedom and justice through Dressember! Her favorite moments are spent with her husband, Phil, and daughter, Ellie, adventuring in Charleston, South Carolina, and spreading hospitality .