Many business leaders and professionals feel overworked and overwhelmed, especially black women who are often plagued by the infamous black superwoman syndrome –the pressure of trying to do it all. Although it is said to be a burden of strength passed down through generations, research shows that taking on a superwoman persona leaves women at risk of decreased self-care and long-term health consequences.
During a fireside chat at the 2020 Women of Power Summit last week, legendary actress and health advocate Phylicia Rashad explored how and why black women often feel challenged to carry the weight of others along their personal journeys. She also shared advice on how black women can take better care of themselves and uplift each other. In addition, the Tony Award-winning actress opened up about her iconic role as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show and its impact on the African American community.
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Here are nine gems that Rashad shared about self-awareness, sisterhood, and playing Claire Huxtable.
The greatest obstacles were the ones that I had created for myself. And once I could own that, I could change it.
What I observed with Clair Huxtable was how people appreciated that character. People appreciated seeing an intelligent woman who was celebrated by her husband.
Sisterhood is acceptance. Sisterhood is understanding. Sisterhood is compassion. Sisterhood is “I got your back.” And sisterhood is also, “OK, I’m going to give it to you straight.”
The universe bears no ill to me. I bear no ill to it.
As a human being you have unlimited potential, but it’s up to me to realize that about myself and it’s up to me to work toward that.
People really are much more alike than we could ever be different. And given the opportunity, people are willing and wanting to embrace those likenesses.
It makes a difference when we are coupled with someone who is celebrating our intelligence and our enthusiasm for life.
The greatest focus for growth and development is self-knowledge.
It’s important to see yourself where you want to be without ego or pretense.
Watch Phylicia Rashad’s fireside chat with Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D., DFAPA, senior medical advisor, former chief patient officer, Pfizer Inc., at the Women of Power Summit.