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Fahmida Mohamed | Sri Lanka | Embrace Your Authenticity

Infamously known as AAA – Ambitious, Attentive and Adventurous within my inner circle. From an executive assistant holding a Bachelors in ICT, today I stand as a holder of Double Masters with two Honorary Doctorates, while seated in a corporate capacity as Group Head of People and Talent Development. Quite an exciting journey filled with major roadblocks every 100 meters away. The greatest blessing that I would ever consider are my two children, from whom I draw the greatest inspiration and courage from. I hail from a country and society where women are nothing but venerators of life and caretakers. Fortunately for me, I never fit into the conventional job description. The dawn of 2019 indeed arrived as the turning point in my life. Decisions had to be made, rules had to be broken, it was an abrupt epiphany that rang a loud bell, I heard my calling, Now or Never!

Stumbled every step of my way, did then I realize that I was a resilient person. I had to believe only in myself, which eventually transformed my self-perception. Irrespective of the duration I took, I indulged in self-reflection, understood where my real strengths lie, identified my weaknesses, and grasped every opportunity to try, fail and learn. Experiential learning is the journey I embarked upon. As fearful it has always been, I was ready to change, change for the betterment of me and my future. There was no stepping back, every roadblock now reminds me to pounce up high to reach greater heights. I am what I am today, due to the mistakes I made, every off road that I travelled elevated my confidence. Only one thing stands strong and tall in my life today, my will power to move forward, come what may. I own myself and take pride in who I have molded out to be. A work in progress, but I fell in love with my individuality knowing that everything else shall fall in place.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

While under the care and protection of my parents, I was engineered to never discount family expectations. However, many ideals and beliefs that I carried, proved to be null and void, when I entered the real world, filled with diversified, opinionated, and judgmental individuals. A lady married twice with two children from two different marriages, is the perfect scenario to be in the limelight wherever I landed, be it friends and family. Emotional breakdowns and severe humiliations became part and parcel of my daily routine.

As I travelled, I had this magnificent vision, which was quite blurry, all what I wanted was to accomplish big things and become that powerful force of life, yet the how, when and what remained unfolded. For 11 years I have indulged myself in what one would call The Mission Impossible, with several days and weeks where I was filled with nothing but tears and isolated moments. Regardless, something within me kept consoling “Keep Going, You are almost there”. It was that indistinct inner voice that helped collect all the stones and sticks that were thrown at me and together we built the stairway to success.

From a religious obedient girl, I grew into a corporate personality whose perceptions were advanced, ideals were quite liberal and the belief I held was only on me. Whilst the rest of my audience kept saying You can never do that, I kept saying to myself I can and I will, and I did. Today I am on the verge of having everything I need and I always trust that I am worthy of everything I have and I want.

Positivity, Resilience, Courage, Independence and Holistic Thinking is what I have gained as my lifelong learnings. When some would question what drove me on this purposeful journey, I'd simply turn back and say, My Mistakes and Failures.

What books are you currently reading?

Not much of a non-fiction reader, I would always remember the words of Sidney Sheldon and his remarkable ways of painting a female protagonist. The smart beauty with a knack for business and competitions. Every word I read makes me place myself in the role and feel every pain and success. Sidney will certainly hold a high rank in my life for having inspired and influenced me, in defining myself.

I’m a kinesthetic person and enjoy motivational videos that unveil the secret to a successful and happy life. I ensure to immerse myself in my time where I update myself through learning and networking.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?

To respect authenticity, to be nonjudgmental and simply be able to connect to another by understanding who they are and what they are seeking. Few years back I was inundated with judgmental opinions which inflicted unbearable pain on many. I never was able to communicate, never listened to what others have to say. I was rigid and flexibility was a component that I never knew existed.

As I embarked on my journey, alone did I meet many personalities and learnt the tough way that every individual carries their own model of the world which truly instigates the difference that we all embrace as mankind. Coexistence, cooperation, collaboration are core ingredients for one’s growth and only when I did understand this equation of life, I began elevating my perception.

What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

A few words of suggestion and recommendation is to always embrace your authenticity and believe in yourself. To manifest the change and miracles that you seek for, only appears in many forms if you believe that you can do it. Fear and self-doubt are those attributes of the society who scorn upon changes and prefer the conventional way of life. I suggest not only to think out of the box, but Why a Box? Discipline yourselves in your own capacity, not everyone treads on the same path of life although it’s been illustrated as such. You and you only can drive the change. As the saying goes, you can never pour off an empty cup, fill yourself with positivity, courage and love. Feel the Change and Own it. You are unique and the role model that will drive you to the pinnacle of success will be your future self. Learn from the successful and apply the tested theories wisely as it suits your skills and competencies. Be the First you, never the duplicate of another!


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