I did not choose to become bold! 36/44


Image credit: Centre for Career Development


I did not choose to be bold…

Any one who knows me in real life or has read the blogs I shared last year, will realise that I am ‘looking for my next leadership role’ (blog links here and here).

When I took my first steps into the interim options I decided to pursue since September, my experiences have embodied ‘being bold for change’, even though I did not realise it at the time.

Constantly vacillating between my comfort and stretch zones have kept me on my toes. I take nothing for granted and am constantly alert for opportunities which could help me develop even more as an educator/leader.


So, which steps have I undertaken to simultaneously push my boundaries and become that little bit braver?

Just one.

I do / try something each day which takes me out of my comfort zone. If it makes me think “I would much rather not”, then I just do it! This has included becoming a freelance Science consultant, contacting head teachers to offer my services, taking up unfamiliar opportunities e.g. accepting an educational resource judge invitation and sharing my strengths as an educator without cringing.


Impact of being bold:

1. Accepting who I am and what I have to offer. For many reasons, I did not really value what I am – a BAME female Science educator. Since ‘stepping off the formal leadership grid’, I was free to pursue my additional love of Education Technology alongside Science. I now own the fact that I am BAME STEM leader with much to offer.

2. Becoming more comfortable in my leadership skin. It may sound clichéd, however when you continuously operate in your stretch zone the protective cocoon (i.e. skin) of your comfort zone falls by the wayside.

3. Diminished fear of being rebuffed when I ask for something more than I usually would (Go for No and Grit to Great shifted my mind-set in this regard).

4. Being unafraid, as leader, of showing my vulnerability within the right context.

5. Negotiating my salary for consultancy / school based roles (Even now part of me thinks “I did what???”).

6. Joy in riding the waves of uncertainty. Before, I was (and occasionally lapse into!) the type of person where everything needs to be planned out to the nth degree to avoid any nasty surprises. However life is unpredictable and I learn so much from serendipitous moments.

7. How empowered I now feel. As a result, I’m more able to clearly articulate my core values.

8. Becoming the person that my tribe knew I had to potential to be. Along my journey, I have been coached, mentored, gently nudged and given hard shoves into my next steps of boldness whenever I felt hesitant. I would therefore encourage anyone taking their initial 'bold' steps, to find the appropriate support mechanisms that work best for you and enjoy the experiences along the way.


So, during 2017, I urge you to #BeBoldForChange.

Author Profile

B Yusuf

B Yusuf

Loves tech, learning, teaching, leading, coaching and being the best I can. #teacher5aday #WomenEd #SLTchat #BAMEed

104 stories


Katie Smith Katie Smith @mrskatesmith 9 months ago
@byusuf this is fantastic! Look how brave you are! I'd love to hear more about Go to No and Grit to Great. Thank you for sharing x
Kerry Jordan-Daus Kerry Jordan-Daus @kerry 9 months ago
One of the first women I met through #womened and, @byusuf you bring a smile to my face every time I see you, read one of your tweets or a blog. A truly inspirational leader. You will succeed in your dreams. If I can help in any way, I am here.
Vivienne Porritt Vivienne Porritt @vivienne 9 months ago
We are all here to help, @byusuf in any way we can. And your boldness is making a difference to you and countless others. Own your strengths and celebrate them always as you do here.
Martha Da Costa-Sherwood Martha Da Costa-Sherwood @dacosmeconsult 9 months ago
Thanks for this Bukky, I always look forward to hearing you speak and reading your posts. You always present with such passion and authenticity which is truly refreshing. Like you I like to plan everything and like you I realise it is not always possible. Being out of control is outside my comfort but that where the magic happens. So, I will be following in your footsteps and try/do one uncomfortable thing a day.
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 9 months ago
I have to say @byusuf connecting with you through Twitter and WomenEd has been such a joy. You are inspiring, funny and real. You are a natural leader and I look forward to reading more about your progress. Thanks for sharing.
Suzie Happy Suzie Happy @suhappyness 9 months ago
Number 4 resonates with me. Thank you for this blog Bukky. It is a very open and honest just as you are
Naomi Ward Naomi Ward @naomiw 9 months ago
I love number 8. This makes such a difference and it's a useful reminder to ask for help. There is no need to go it alone :-) And it's more fun with the tribe on board!
Rebecca Leech Rebecca Leech @beccaleech 9 months ago
I'm looking to #6 to guide me. Uncertainty can make me so anxious, but you are right - good things come from a place of uncertainty.
Abigail Mann Abigail Mann @abster 9 months ago
What a wonderful journey you're on, Bukky.

Well done for making the changes needed to make some very bold steps.

I love it when our paths cross and we get to have a catch up about everything we're up to. Keep making those bold moves. You're amazing!
Nasima Riazat Nasima Riazat @nasima 9 months ago
Amazing -I love how you made the decisions and then decided to go for it. True grit. :-)
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 9 months ago
There is something about you which just shines and says I am an authentic leader....loved reading about your journey. Looking fwd to reading much more
Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 9 months ago
You are inspirational Bukky! Loved reading this - really looking forward to meeting you!
Annemarie  Williams Annemarie Williams @awilliams 9 months ago
This just fizzes with positivism and excitement. A really inspiring take on how uncertainty and vulnerability can be liberating. Bold and Brave! I think many of us struggle with negotiating pay, in case we are deemed to be mercenary or greedy in some way. You obviously know your own worth and aren't afraid to ask for pay that reflects that. Whoooo! Love it!
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 9 months ago
You are SUCH a positive role model, Bukky! Love you to bits....
[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 9 months ago
Love the fact you have had gentle nudges and hard shoves along the journey. We all need people helping us along the way. Your optimism is contagious.
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 9 months ago
Fab post Bukky. So proud of you. You are so courageous & resilient. Guessing I am at the hard shuff rather than gentle nudge end of the spectrum?
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you @mrskatesmith for your comments. I didn't feel particularly brave at the time. It's only when I looked back on what I had achieved and reflected upon the whole process that realisation dawned on me.

Please check out my other blog about Go for No here: https://staffrm.io/@byusuf/GShJhEyz2o

Will share the blog link for Grit to Great when I have completed the book.
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Likewise @kerry! I still remember the first time we met at the #womened Unconference in London. And I am glad that we are now part of each other's #womened and #teacher5aday networks. Thank you so much for your uplifting words and offer of support x
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you, @vivienne. Now that I have had the chance to get to know more of who I am as a leader, I will most definitely own and celebrate my strengths :-)
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
My pleasure, Martha and thank you for your uplifting comments. You are so right about the magic happening outside one's comfort zone. So great to hear that I have inspired you to try/do a similar step :-) All the best with your endeavours.
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
I am grinning from ear to ear reading your comments, Matt, especially with where you said that I am funny.

Likewise, it is an enormous pleasure connecting with you via Twitter and knowing that, in many respects, we are #kindredspirits :-)

Thank you for commenting about my blog and for your interest in my progress.
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
That is interesting to hear. In what way does number 4 resonate with you, @suhappyness? Thank you for sharing your comments about my blog, Suzie :-)
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you @naomiw and most definitely. Finding one's tribe is the first vital step and then asking for the relevant support is the next step, even though we may initially find it awkward to do so in the beginning.
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you @chrissy for being one of the one's that has nudged me along the way. I count myself blessed to have you as a Twitter pal and honoured to have got an opportunity for us to share our respective experiences. You have most definitely inspired and motivated me.
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Rebecca, I hear you.

Initially leaving behind all that I knew for an uncertain and unknown future, made me very anxious.

Coaching from a few members of my tribe helped alleviate my fears in this regard. Once I realised that things did not fall apart just because I did not have a cast iron plan, it make me more comfortable with the whole process.

So I hope you have your own tribe members to help navigate you while you #beboldforchange in this regard.
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you, Abbie and no! You Are Amazing! You really are...

Thanks also for sharing your comments. It is great when we happen to be at the same events and have a giggle as we catch up. You are an inspiration.
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
@bmarybon Hi Bolupe! True and thank you! :-))
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
@nasima Thank you, Nasima. That's the impact of three wonderful coaches who helped me review different aspects of my next steps and my own personal developments.
Suzie Happy Suzie Happy @suhappyness 9 months ago
@byusuf it resonates because I have experienced it. It is a real blessing to have people who one can be vulnerable to as they create a safe space
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you and likewise, Kiran :-)
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you Annemarie for your comments. Yes, I hear where you are coming from. The turning point for me was when I asked two female educators how they did it and I followed their example, even though part of my was still squirming internally... However, I did it because it was so out of my comfort zone and also as a recognition of my worth. Irrespective of how it comes across, I have finally realised that if we don't do it for ourselves, no one else will...
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Bless you Jill and the feeling is mutual. Thank you for also being part of my tribe and for the encouraging/inspiring/challenging support that you have given me x
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you Julie. Sometimes, the hard shoves were completely the right tactic!
B Yusuf B Yusuf @byusuf 9 months ago
Thank you, Hannah. You have actually provided me support in both regards. Your hard shoves only took place when the gentle nudges had not shifted me in action! ;-)
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