Over the past few weeks, I have had the immeasurable fortune of interacting with some of Africa’s most amazing young women and men. From Cape to Cairo, being part of a Fellowship that brought together entrepreneurs, employers and career women and men from all walks of life made me realise just how alike we all are and how the challenges we face traverse borders and skin color.
But more than that, I was inspired by how much our definition of success resonates across all divides - to leave a lasting legacy for those that come after us, to set an example for our children and inspire change and positivity.
As I spoke to them at the helm of organizations and who have started their own movements, I couldn’t help but see a consistent messaging, very core to the essence of who we are and why we do what we do.
Do it anyway
This might be starting to sound like a cliché but I heard this more times than I could count. When faced with a difficult decision, a change in branding, an opportunity to go into the unknown because that is what will grow us and leave us fulfilled, I refer to the title of Susan Jeffer’s book - Feel the fear, do it anyway. As women, we are intrinsically wired to know when what we are doing or how we are doing it has reached an expiration date.
Most times, the path is too undefined or the road too little travelled and we decide to cop out by staying in our comfort zone. I have just one word for you - Don’t. If you do, you will end up unfulfilled at best, unhappy at worst and most certainly feeling like you never utilized your potential.
Be the light for others by making the concerted choice to make a move towards what you are truly meant to be. All those who leave a legacy will tell you fear was the one thing they had in droves and bucketfuls.
Believe in yourself
Sure, it’s great to have cheerleaders, mentors, sponsors. Most of the time though, until you find your ever present band of supporters (and to be honest, most people have to get by without this), you will have to be your number one fan base, and your own number 1 believer and your own number one caregiver.
And everything in between. You have to believe in what you are passionate about before anyone else believes, and you have to be the sole advocate for wanting to be bigger, better, more.