What’s Stopping You? It’s Time to Have THAT ConversationBy Elsa Toar - May 5, 2017
Stereotypes and common stigmas about what women should or shouldn’t do and can or cannot do have been around for years and they still exist in most places. They often influence us as women on how we think about ourselves and stop us from achieving our dreams. Lack of conversation and discussion about the issue is said to be one of the reasons why it’s still going on. Nina Moran was motivated by this thought to start a conversation, an inclusive conversation that involves all types of women. Whether you’re a working woman or stay-at-home mother, or a woman who wants to get married or doesn’t want to get married, Nina wants you to be part of the conversation.
This was what motivated Nina to create RESONATION, a women empowerment conference that aims to inspire women to be who they are and who they aspire to be. With the theme called “What’s Stopping You?” Nina wanted women to be able to overcome their obstacles and never stop achieving their dreams.
Nina invited successful and inspirational people as speakers. Among them were Sophia Amoruso, the CEO of Nasty Gal and the author of best-selling book #GirlBoss. One of our favorite quote from Sophia, “In whatever you do, you’re not going to stand out unless you think big and have ideas that are truly original. That comes from tapping into your own creativity, not obsessing over what everyone else is doing.” And also Stephanie Kurlow, the first hijabi ballerina in the world. These women have achieved success and received international appreciation. But it’s not just the success story that Nina wanted people to hear. For her, the most important story is the one about how these women faced their fears and excuses that were stopping them from achieving their dreams. “We need to be the kind of people who applaud those who want to get back up again,” said Nina.
Stephanie Kurlow is only 15 and she’s already inspiring many young girls, especially Muslim girls who want to wear hijab and still able to achieve their dreams. She used to receive hate mail after she danced, but she decided to ignore them and focus on her love for ballet. Now, most of the messages she receives on social media are positive and encouraging. Stephanie wants to show the world that achieving dreams isn’t something selective and anyone can do it. “I want to be able to inspire, especially to not only see the impossible but also the possible,” said Stephanie. She also wants young people to know that as long as they set their mind to it and work hard, they can achieve their dreams.
Apart from the inspiring women, Nina also invited male speakers such as Johan Ekengård, Ashraf Sinclair, and Henry Manampiring. Why male speakers in a women conference? Because women empowerment doesn’t only require conversations between women and women. To empower ourselves as women, it is important to have the conversation with our loved ones, like our fathers and partners. It’s important to build an understanding, including an understanding that it is possible to split responsibilities at home instead of putting all the housework on women, keeping them from achieving their dreams. “We fear that our aspirations might hurt our other half. That’s why we have to have that conversation and we have to start somewhere,” said Nina.
It might be more challenging for us as women to achieve our dreams compared to the men. But the most important thing is always to work hard, face our fears, and have faith. To empower ourselves and achieve success, we can start from something small, and it can be as small as a conversation.