Momentum continued to celebrate Women’s Month last Friday with the final instalment of its phenomenal three-part virtual workshop series, #SheOwnsHerSuccess. Hosted by bold (and bald) radio presenter Sherlin Barends, the last episode explored vulnerability and how being conscious about the scars you carry, can fuel your success.
There has been significant progress in advancing representation in the spaces that women occupy and the roles that they play in society. Women are now looking to individuals and networks that have a deep understanding of their everyday challenges – while empowering them to make previously unimaginable advances in their lives.
Everyone experiences setbacks and failures in life. This episode showed how powerful women use those hang-ups, learn from them, and grow. Momentum packed the final day of the event with tools and insights from an array of women who own their success. And the topic of discussion, was a reminder that as women, we are not just leaders in our respective fields, but we are also mothers, daughters, girlfriends and partners and that it is okay to be open, honest and vulnerable about the challenges you’ve had to overcome.
Nontokozo Madonsela, Group Chief Marketing Officer at Momentum Metropolitan, shared personal stories about the setbacks she experienced in her own life, and how those scars became a catalyst for change and her future success. “The journey to success and the route to progress is never without the lows,” she said adding that these hurdles then give us the motivation to move forward.
The #SheOwnsHerSuccess workshop’s success speaker, New York Times bestselling author Luvvie Ajayi Jones shared her experience of overcoming challenges. Luvvie was a high achiever and initially thought she wanted to become a doctor. It took her getting a D grade in one of her university subjects for her to reflect on her life and to re-evaluate her position. She realised that she had been living other peoples’ fantasies for her to be a doctor. “I had to tell myself the truth in that moment that this wasn’t my dream all along,” she said. Once she came to that realisation, the path ahead became clear. She followed her heart and restructured her studies. Because of that failure and how she dealt with it, Luvvie was able to find her true purpose. Once she did her success was unstoppable.
In her talk, CEO of On Purpose Personal Development, Simone Naidoo, gave us a practical guide to breaking free from the limitation we put on ourselves. First, we were confronted with the question: “‘Who am I?’ When we strip away the things we have, what we do, and the things people think about us, we are left with our core identity,” Simone said. Expressing your true self unapologetically is a key element in awakening your highest potential, she said.
Veronica King, CEO and Founder of Emuthini Consulting, explained how to be your own hype women. “That’s how I create the momentum that I need to pursue my dream life,” she said, by being my own biggest cheerleader. She discussed topics like imposter syndrome, being self-rejecting, and trying to fit in when you are an underrepresented group in any one field. “Being in control of the energy that you are feeling and the energy you bring to the workspace is of the utmost importance,” she said.
Closing off the inspiring event, a panel of wise women including Nontokozo, Head of Marketing for Momentum Corporate Qhawekazi Mdikane, Psychiatrist Dr. Jessica Stanbridge, and Sherlin had a conversation around the notion that, “No is a full sentence”. They all agreed that it’s important to know your boundaries and to know when you need to take a break. Being unable to say “no” leads to many women being overworked and experiencing burnout. Learning to say “no” when you need to, helps you ensure that your boundaries aren’t crossed and that you can stop yourself from running out of steam. Being a productive, successful woman that drives her society forward is demanding and it’s important to set healthy boundaries, put yourself first, and be your own champion.
This year’s Momentum #SheOwnsHerSuccess event was incredibly empowering. Due to the tools and insights shared in these few weeks, thousands of women across the country were privy to information on how exactly to overcome the cultural, structural, and personal barriers to success that they face on a day-to-day basis. For Momentum, this event was a massive success because it delivered on the intention to uplift South African women and ensure that their success is unstoppable.