“I am tired of waiting for people to validate me” Lessons From Viola Davis’ interview with Tina Brown at the Women in the World Los Angeles Salon.

If there is a human example of the word ‘Amazon’, we can all agree it is Viola Davis? A blog post can never capture adequately the remarkable force, the living breathing inspiration, that Viola is but we can at least try. Yes?

Viola 53, is one of the greatest actresses of her time. She is reputed as a highly successful actress and she has tons of awards to validate that. While Violas acting skills are no way in doubt, another major streak about her which is in fact not just a streak but an intrinsic part of her and has garnered her love, respect & earned her the title role model by millions of women and men out there is her fearless embrace of her identity first as a woman and second as a black woman. Earlier in the year, in an interview with Tina Brown- media icon and founder Women in the World, Viola spoke about her experiences as a black woman, highlighting themes such as Diversitysexual assault, poverty, success, validation, significance, self-esteem and lots more. The lessons we picked from that interview, we summarize in 5 points below.

  1. You can have a bank full of money and still be mentally impoverished.Poverty is not just finances, poverty extends to your mindset.
  2. Greatness is going to cost you something. “Everything has cost me something”
  3. Sexual assault is everywhere. “I got to a point in my life I could count just one woman I know who hasn’t been sexually assaulted. It is so steeped into our culture. People believe it is just in Hollywood…Sexual assault is everywhere. I cannot tell you a time in my life I wasn’t sexually assaulted.”
  4. Success and significance are two different things. A lot of people do not understand this so they end up becoming disillusioned by success. You can have all the degrees, material possessions, notoriety; if you do not think of significance, if you are not constantly thinking in terms of legacy, your chase, your pursuits are exercises in futility.
  5. There are so many voices out there but they are not included in the conversation. “I attend these gatherings and conferences, with over 3000 women in attendance, all CEO’S , Producers and media experts but I can only see 3 women of color there and they came in by invite.I have had to hustle for my worth over the years and ensure that my voice is heard.”

The interview is packed with several invaluable lessons that will come in handy in different seasons of life. See video below.

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