Leadership

Businesswoman Gina Miller: How standing up for what you believe in can become second nature

Britain's Supreme Court ruled in January 2017 that the government must obtain the approval of parliament before starting the Brexit process, in a defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS | AFP | Getty Images
Britain's Supreme Court ruled in January 2017 that the government must obtain the approval of parliament before starting the Brexit process, in a defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May.

Whether campaigning against political or environmental issues, or fighting for equality; protesters worldwide are standing up for what they believe in, both online and in public.

Gina Miller is no stranger to activism.

In 2016, the leading businesswoman was propelled into the spotlight after she launched a successful legal challenge to ensure that the British government consulted parliament before initiating Article 50 as part of the process of the U.K. leaving the European Union.

"Being brave or standing up for what you believe is right, is actually something that can become a habit. The more you do it, the easier it is to do next time," Miller, transparency campaigner and founding partner at SCM Direct, said.

"So you can learn to do it with small steps and then it just becomes your second nature."

SCM Direct founder & Transparency Campaigner Gina Miller (L) and AllBright Co-founder Debbie Wosskow OBE (R) at the 2018 AllBright FoundHER Festival in London.
Photo by Matthew Whiteley, Courtesy of AllBright
SCM Direct founder & Transparency Campaigner Gina Miller (L) and AllBright Co-founder Debbie Wosskow OBE (R) at the 2018 AllBright FoundHER Festival in London.

Speaking at the AllBright's FoundHER Festival in London earlier this month, Miller explained how she learned to listen to and trust her inner voice.

She admitted, however, that it was "terrifying" when she first started to do so.

Miller described her first "big battle" — which saw her campaign for her eldest daughter who has special needs — as one where she was "terrified, every moment of doing it."

In fact, she said she was "shaking and terrified all the way" when she attended the Article 50 court hearings.

While Miller has repeatedly said in the past that she isn't trying to prevent or overturn Brexit, but rather give people a choice, opponents have heavily criticized the businesswoman's voluntary involvement as the lead claimant in the legal challenge.

She has received praise, malicious messages and even death threats from the public, highlighting how conflict-ridden the topic of Brexit has become.

Yet, even with the negativity thrown her way, Miller has continued to stand strong.

On June 23rd 2018, some 100,000 people marched in London demanding a Peoples Vote on the final Brexit deal. The march was led by Sir Vince Cable MP, Gina Miller, Caroline Lucas MP, Tony Robinson among others.
Jenny Matthews | In Pictures | Getty Images
On June 23rd 2018, some 100,000 people marched in London demanding a Peoples Vote on the final Brexit deal. The march was led by Sir Vince Cable MP, Gina Miller, Caroline Lucas MP, Tony Robinson among others.

At a FoundHER festival session titled "Real-Talk Resilience: In Conversation With Gina Miller," the transparency campaigner warned against shutting down your emotions in order to stand your ground.

"You need to feel and you need to be able to be empathetic," she said. "What I call 'putting on invisible armor.' There's a great temptation of that's what you do — but watch out, because you can lose a bit of yourself, I think."

"You should always be who you are," rather than trying to block out all emotion, she added.

"I'm just normal and that's what you (as individuals) should be. I think these whole lessons about 'you should be this or that way' — just find what works for you. Whole work/life balance, whatever. Choose the life you want to have, how you want to live it."

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