Viola Davis is an actress best known for her role in the Oscar award winning film The Help alongside co-star Emma Stone a film that touched many people’s hearts and was a huge box office hit. Alongside acting, Viola has also been named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, is one of 10 African-American actresses to be Oscar-nominated for ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ and was the first black actress to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series for ‘How to Get away with Murder.’ There isn’t much this powerful leading lady hasn’t done and there isn’t much she can’t teach us either.
1) “When women support women, amazing things can happen”
Viola Davis recently talked about how women can be so powerful when they join forces, rather than seeing other women as competition or a threat to you it’s so important to realise that we all have common goals, are all equal and all deserve each others support. Women have worked so hard to get to where we are today, we have to stand up for ourselves and stand up for equality, this can only be made possible by putting on a united front, let’s bring back girl power!
2) “Potential has a shelf life”
Viola had to work hard for her success, she had to endure the less glamorous side of acting before she made it big time. Working as a woman who struggled to get acting roles Viola found she had to go out there and search for opportunities, they didn’t just come knocking. Sometimes you have to be prepared to work hard and put in the extra time and effort if an opportunity doesn’t come your way then sometimes you just have to go out and search for one.
3) “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are”
When Viola was 28 she learnt she suffered from Alopecia Areata, a stress-related disease in which hair is lost from the scalp. She lost a lot of hair and felt incredibly insecure, so much so that she would wear a wig wherever she went. It was only in 2012 at the Oscars that she allowed the world to see her natural hair, she finally learnt to embrace her true self and her true beauty. Although she still sometimes wears wigs it’s now an option not just because she feels she something to hide.
4) “I’ve embraced fear and failure as a part of my success”
Sometimes it’s important to understand that failure is a way of life, it’s going to happen and it happens to all of us at some point in our life, it’s what makes us who we are and it’s what motivates us to achieve. People are often so focused on telling you that you need to succeed that they often forget that it’s actually perfectly normal to be scared and for things to not always work out.
5) “Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Be the person you want to be, not the person you feel you should be or feel pressured to be. Sometimes you have to create your own path and you need to stick to what you believe, it’s not always easy to stand up for what you believe in but you have a voice and you are allowed to be heard.