In partnership with our Movers and Breakers event partner, UV-IQ.
Welcome to our series wrapping up some of the best takeaways from our annual Movers and Breakers conference in Broome. We heard from some of the world’s foremost thought and industry leaders, who inspired us to be more curious and challenge ourselves in what is possible. Here’s some of the most important lessons from Kemi Nekvapil, who is regarded as one of Australia’s most sought after speakers and facilitators and is a leader for female entrepreneurs. She is is a certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator and a powerful advocate for courageous leadership in life. Kemi has an impressive client base that includes Price Waterhouse Coopers, Dermalogica, Siemans, Lululemon Athletica, P&O Cruises, Randstad and General Electric.
#1. We can build and rebuild our worth
It’s not realistic for us to have a constant sense of worth, or for it to always be going up and up. Kemi recalled a time before a speaking event where she was on the couch, in tears, feeling like her worth would be stripped away by the crowd the next day (hint: it wasn’t).
In those moments, Kemi reminded us that, “Your self-worth will be taken away at various moments; we will be blindsided; we will go into spaces where we expect or know that people will try and take away that worth, and we have to take time to rebuild that worth.”
“But our self-worth only belongs to us.”
#2. The most rewarding work you’ll do is on yourself
But, it’s also the most difficult.
“The moment you decide to stand for yourself, you stand for all of us.”
#3 “I’ll be Kemi first, then…”
Growing up as a black woman in a mostly caucasian area in England, Kemi was always being told that she was a ‘good’ black woman. She struggled to belong and this reinforced a message she was an ‘other’ in that community.
As a young actress, performing on a hip hop dance video, Kemi met a group of black people on set and immediately thought she had found her community. Within minutes, they heard how she talked and where she was from and was told she couldn’t be part of their group.
At that age, 16, Kemi decided that she was going to be Kemi first, regardless of the messages and people around her, and all the other identities would follow.
#4. We need to tell ourselves the right stories
During the workshop, one of the women shared that the stories we tell ourselves are rubbish.
Stories like, ‘I’m not thin enough, white enough, smart enough, interesting enough..’
But, as Kemi pointed out, not all stories are rubbish.
Stories like, ‘I’m kind, I’m generous, I’m funny, I make people feel valued,’ are the ones that count.
#5. We can’t keep going back to an empty well
Whether it’s your mum, a boss, or friend who we seek approval or value from, we can’t keep travelling back to that well if it’s empty.
“We tell ourselves a story that this person can give us this thing, yet this person has never ever demonstrated to us that they can give it us,” Kemi said.
“There are so many wells that are so full and overflowing – seek them out.”
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#6. Setting boundaries are like wearing your dignity on your sleeve
Say to yourself, “I have needs, desires, wants. I am a full person and I should be and am allowed to express my fullness in the world.”
“Boundaries allow us to do that. Boundaries are our way of communicating our needs, self-respect and self-worth.”