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Success Through Adversity With Akilah Darden: Torch Talk Recap Blog

We all face adversity. Whether it be in our personal or professional lives, we are faced with a new challenge to overcome nearly everyday. However, every new challenge we face and navigate strengthens our will, confidence, and our ability to achieve our goals and reach success. Last week, Akilah Darden, a Foundation Board Member and Founder and President of The Darden Group, LLC, discussed how we can all push through adversity to achieve our goals.  

At the beginning of her Torch Talk Akilah asks us to picture a valley to a mountaintop and the journey in between. She reminds us to remain calm under pressure, what success means, and how important having a plan is. 

In terms of remaining calm while experiencing pressure, Akilah breaks down the importance of having and utilizing your network, electronics, and relationships. Additionally, Akilah reminds us that our success and performance is separate from other people’s perception of our work. She provides an example for defying expectations. As a mother of four during the pandemic, she remained productive and successful. Akilah is a representation for women who have many roles to fill as a worker, caregiver, and provider. 

A key component in remaining successful is utilizing a plan. Akilah breaks down how to utilize a plan and how to utilize a plan in your daily life. Every day, there should be a plan where you write goals of what you want to achieve. Akilah reminds us to remain calm under pressure and to not beat yourself up if things do not go according to your plan.

Remember, there is no “secret sauce” to success, however, having a plan is key to remind you of where you are going and keep you on track to getting there. 

No matter what adversity you encounter on your career path journey, know that you are capable of overcoming. As Arianna Huffington once said, “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”