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No fear for TEDxWomen Vancouver

By Vivian Chui

Brittany Whitmore, director and lead organizer of TedxGastownWomen.

Brittany Whitmore, director and lead organizer of TedxGastownWomen. (Submitted)

Vancouver’s first TEDxWomen event talks about fighting fear next Friday.

Independently organized by locals with guidance from the organization TED that promotes idea-sharing through short talks, TEDxGastownWomen — a TEDxWomen subevent — aims to celebrate those who have stood up to the challenges around and inside them.

“I come from a performing arts background and since I started working in technology, I really noticed that there’s a lack of women in my industry,” said Brittany Whitmore, director and lead organizer of the event.

“It’s made me more aware of some of the challenges that are faced by me and other women that I work with.”

The event’s theme “fearless” spawned out of the idea that to be authentic is to be fearless, and to be fearless is to be unstoppable, Whitmore said.

“Maybe I didn’t know as much as other people, but in the end it was those differences that actually set me apart,” she said.

“It gave me the courage to be fearless in who I am and embrace my own strengths.”

For Tori Holmes, one of the event’s 11 speakers and having rowed across the Atlantic Ocean with one partner from Spain to the Caribbean Sea when she was 21, fear is an expression of intuition where humans are presented with two choices — and the fear of experiencing fear is wasted energy.

“I made the conscious choice that I want the outcome of fulfilling my potential more than just succumb to the fear of that moment,” said Holmes.

“When I was at sea, there were moments of fear every single day, but I still clearly knew my pillar was accomplishing my dream at all cost, which is row across the Atlantic,” she said.

“Sometimes fear has a stronger grasp on us, when we’re not clear in our decision making.”

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