We caught up with BullCon 2020 Speaker, Adonica Shaw, on her presentation, “The Hidden Art of Emotional Agility,” her book “Depressed to Daring: Channel your inner superwoman. Defeat anxiety & depression & gain control over your life and career”, and what it means to be an “Adversity Expert.”
Adonica is a 3x TEDx speaker, author, and marketing professional with several additional years of experience in business development and strategic partnerships. She fancies herself a bit of an “Adversity Expert,” and has a longstanding history of dealing with difficult sh*! in the face of depression and anxiety. Additionally, she has trains women about managing high depression, stress and anxiety in high-stakes careers, and the role of self-care and self love ultimately sustain professional success.
We see that you are quite an accomplished speaker, having delivered 3 TEDx Talks. What topics do you love to speak about?
I love talking about any and everything that helps people, especially women, to be more strategic in their day-to-day lives. Two of my TEDx talks were about being strategic in philanthropy through giving and volunteerism, and one was about the art of dreaming.
In general though I love talking about anything from parenting and mindfulness to mental toughness and resilience for women in their professional life.
So, tell us about how you became an “Adversity Expert.”
In short, I became an adversity expert by dealing with some really, really difficult sh*! – consistently and largely on my own.
At 34, I’ve already experienced appendicitis, the premature birth of a child, a ministroke, an election loss, and a divorce.
I’ve also overcome them all.
There are many public figures that only teach and preach about how to climb to success. And while that’s helpful for a portion of the population, I’ve found that there are far more of us who haven’t had an easy ascension to personal or professional success. For me, I had to learn how to reinvent myself after each loss and I had to learn how to fall forward when life threw me a curveball.
My message is for the girl or the woman who needs that kind of practical information. My goal is always to educate people on what they can do to level up when they’ve plateaued on their ascend to the top, and to provide inspiration and motivation for women who need that push to get back up and come back more fierce and unstoppable than ever.
Can you tell us a little about your BullCon presentation, “The Hidden Art of Emotional Agility”, and why you think it’s such an important topic to discuss?
My presentation will explain the concept of Emotional Agility and how it can help us thrive in our personal and professional pursuits.
Many of us grew up in communities where women were not actively cultivated to shoulder certain kinds of stress or responsibility. And as a result some of us can benefit from having a mentor or a life coach to show us how we can get gritty and lean into our own voice and our own truths.
That’s where I come in.
I feel like it’s important because although we are encouraging more and more women, to pursue high-stakes, prestigious leadership roles, we are forgetting about the conversation that needs to be had around what it looks like to keep them there from a mental and an emotional health perspective. I’m coming to BullCon jumpstart this conversation with other women, and to also have a meaningful dialogue about self-care and why that too, can help women in their careers.
Can you share one impactful moment you’ve experienced in your career?
The most impactful thing to date has been writing my first book, “Depressed to Daring: Channel your inner superwoman. Defeat anxiety & depression & gain control over your life and career.” Over the course of 10 years I went through a series of events that were extremely stressful for me.
Although I tried to shoulder the pressure on my own, the stress from doing so lead to anxiety and depression. At that time the idea of “Self-Care” wasn’t widely accepted, and women weren’t generally encouraged to show emotion or do anything that could make them appear to be angry, sensitive or unmanageable, and I ended up learning the hard way that by being avoidant and concealing the stress and pressure that I, as well as many women, was facing behind closed doors, that my mental health was suffering.
For me, writing and releasing that book was about giving women the tools they need to view their emotional and mental health differently. It was about starting a conversation around the idea of self-care, what it is, and how to get the most out of it, so that women can get a better grasp of what it is, and how it can ultimately help them achieve goals in their personal and professional lives.
Lastly, can you tell us something quirky or unexpected about you?
I was the mascot in High School.
To meet Adonica and our other fierce speakers, attend BullCon 2020!
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