Samra Zafar: On #BreakTheBias, the Trauma of Abuse, & Believing in Our Dreams

On this, International Women’s Day Week, the theme is #breakthebias and that means imagining a gender equal world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. It is so appropriate to have as our guest on this important week, Samra Zafar. If there is one podcast interview you should listen to of the many that I’ve conducted, it is this one!

Be inspired by Samra’s story of resilience, after being forced into a child marriage, and suffering years of abuse. Many of us would have given up after such trauma, but instead, Samra believed in her dreams and not only achieved them, but is motivating millions of women around the world who may also be suffering,  to stand up for their own rights and not only survive, but thrive.

Samra Zafar is an award-winning international speaker, bestselling author, consultant & educator who advocates for gender equity, inclusion, and human rights. She is recognized among the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, and a Top 25 Canadian Immigrant. Her book, A Good Wife: Escaping The Life I Never Chose, is an international bestseller-named among CBC’s Best Books of 2019. She is one of the youngest Alumni Governors at the University of Toronto, an Ambassador for Plan International, and a board member for WCH Foundation.

You can find Samra here:

Here are her key takeaways:

  1. We are the ones who stand in our way the most. All our fears are valid, but at the end of the day life is all about choices.  Are you going to let the fear prevail or are you going to say, yes I’m terrified, but I believe in this so much that I’m going to do this anyway? 
  2. We often feel like we need to have all the ducks in the row and have to have all the answers – we don’t need to have all the answers!  
  3. Am I going to succumb and just give up or am I going to keep fighting? Because if I don’t fight for my dreams, who will?
  4. When people tell you cannot do something, they are showing you their limits, not yours.
  5. Listen to that inner voice instead of all the other voices around you who say you can’t. The things that are meant for us – they are already ours, and that inner voice is guiding us towards those things that are already ours. 
  6. We need to put the shame where it belongs – with the abusers 
  7. Healing is not a linear journey. You don’t move on from trauma – you move on with it. Those experiences have left permanent imprints on our brains, bodies, minds. Healing is a lifelong journey.
  8. There is always going to be people ahead or behind you but there is no race! How can you say someone is ahead or behind you when you are going in different directions?
  9. Our healing is our responsibility. Healing means you have the toolkit and the strategies to be able to help you go through the ups and downs. It’s ok to not be ok. It doesn’t make us weak, it makes us human and trust your journey, be kind to yourself.
  10. Seek help. There is no shame in seeking help. We owe it to ourselves to take care of ourselves. Seeking help is a sign of tremendous courage and vulnerability 

Reach out to Kavita-  as a certified life transitions coach – she can help you  rediscover your passions, release your inner obstacles, and gain confidence so you can create a happy and fulfilled next stage of life.
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