Words of Wisdom: “Tap Into Your Warrior Spirit”-Viola Davis

Viola Davis NAACP Awards

It’s officially March and it’s Women’s History Month! While I feel I balance out Words of Wisdom and quotes from a variety of people on Imperfectly B, for this month in particular, I try to highlight thoughts from powerful and inspiring women. So let’s start with one of my favorite actresses and creatives of all time: Viola Davis.

In addition to her acting, I truly love hearing Viola speak because she’s not only entertaining but very poignant with her words. So I wanted to share a clip from her today.

In a 2022 roundtable discussion for ESSENCE, Viola chatted with her castmates from “The Woman King” along with the film’s director, Gina Prince-Bythewood about her preparation for the lead role of Nanisca, including the FOUR hours of DAILY training she had during the week. As a seasoned vet in the acting game, the task was no small feat. “There is something to be said about diving into something that you automatically assume you can’t do. There’s something that you have to tap into,” Viola said of tackling the role. “It’s like you’re born again into this different sort of spirit. It’s a warrior spirit. It’s a spirit of ‘There is nothing I can’t do.'”

Admitting that she had more people telling her what she could do NOT do growing up than what she actually could do, for Viola, this movie “was a great metaphor, a great exercise in killing all of that.” She is now in an even better space of feeling stronger and more confident in herself and her ability.

That really struck a chord with me because I can get intimidated by tasks or new goals to the point of not even wanting to try. I get this overwhelming self-doubt more times than I admit out loud. And here this almost 60-year-old woman is out here training for this intense movie, just going for it! In general, taking on new opportunities can be (and likely will almost always be) intimidating, but taking them on anyway, pushing through doubt, resistance, and the work, ultimately tapping into this energy of “I absolutely can do this” and then succeeding? It’s a feeling like none other.

This entire interview was great, but this clip from Viola starts at the 2:53 mark.

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