Last night, my heart was filled as I caught snippets of last night's Emmy results on social media. Two of my favorite actresses, Regina King and Viola Davis won epic awards for the gifts they give to the world every week through their acting. And although I haven't seen the show, I can't leave out actress Uzo Aduba from Orange is the New Black and so many other wonderful winners.
You may or may not know them, but I've watched them grow up in the business since I was a little girl, honing their crafts for 30-plus years. Last night Regina King won her first Emmy, in 30 years of acting. And Viola Davis won, Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama, the first black actress in history to win this award.
I sat struck by what the news must have meant to them. And then I sat stricken, thinking about how many actresses with a dream just like theirs probably quit during that 30 year time frame? At year 5, year 10 or year 20?
Here are five things I took away from their milestone achievements that brought them to this classic moment:
Recognize that you have a gift - If their desire was about anything less than them knowing that they have a gift that needed to be shared with the world, they would have had reason to give up a long time ago!
What others say cannot validate you - If their careers were only validated by an award, they would have had a reason to give up a long time ago!
Be willing to say what needs to be said - There is something about speaking truth even when it may be uncomfortable that enables change to happen. In her acceptance speech, Viola stated, "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity."
Celebrate others - Where you're going may be competitive but you don't have to be everyone's competitor. Both of these amazing women celebrated and acknowledged their peer actresses who have made the way for them. Once you realize there's room for you too, you will realize that their are specific doors open for you too.
There are no overnight successes -- every major accomplishment has been preceded with years of hard work. Many of which carry a price that most are not willing to pay.
I do not know the dreams that are in your heart for your career, your business, or even your family.
However, I do know that I want you to have the tenacity, the resolve, and the endurance to stay the course.
Just like Regina, Viola and Uzo, know that whether there is an award or not, the very gifts placed inside of you are needed for the world to see and experience there is an award or not, the very gifts placed inside of you are needed for the world to see and experience.