Doing More With Less

Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) hosted a motivational event, themed Doing More With Less, on Wednesday 16 March, with main sponsor Constantia Insurance, co-sponsors, Bair Recruitment, Bryte Insurance, Genasys, King Price, MiWay and Yard Insurance, and complementary sponsors, GIB and Lloyd’s.

Born without arms, not without attitude, Nicky Abdinor, Clinical Psychologist, International Keynote Speaker and Founder of the non-profit, Nicky’s Drive, spoke to the ladies about doing MORE with less.

Nicky has a passion for challenging our perceptions of ABILITY. She is a firm believer that it’s not our situation, but how we THINK about our situation, that determines our emotional well-being. 

Life lessons

During the event, Nicky interweaved her personal story with key concepts to look at how we are able to face adversity and challenge with hope, optimism and curiosity.

“Reflecting on my life, there are so many lessons I have learned. I will share some of the lessons that I hope will change the way you think about your own situations,” she said.

“Firstly, believe in yourself. Ask yourselves are we born to be a certain way or is it our environment that determines who we become? I think it’s a little bit of both. I was born without arms and shortened legs. There was no medical explanation for my disability. I’m fortunate that my parents chose to focus on what I can do.  I have learned how to do things differently. That’s what I think “think future” is all about… how can we use what we have, how can we focus on what we can change, instead of focusing on all of our limitations. I type and write using my toes and I text with my tongue… I promise I can out text everybody in this room! So, I try not to focus on what I can’t do. I believe that our limitations are mostly in our heads and it’s in our hands to change them. Every time I fell, I got up. That’s because I believed in myself. It was that inner drive that I set my mind to. That’s what every person in this room has, the inner drive to do what you set your mind to. It’s just that when we grow older, we start to doubt ourselves and compare ourselves to others,” she said.

“So, what are we going to do to ignite this inner drive? I am a firm believer in focusing on our strengths and lives by the premise of Positive Psychology, "Don't ignore what is wrong, but focus more on what is RIGHT”. When we are young, we believe anything is possible and we are optimistic, but what happens to block ourselves as adults? For us to be truly optimistic we have to enter a vulnerable state. This means we acknowledge we might fail, we might be rejected and there might be setbacks. So, we need to be okay with entering that vulnerable state to be optimistic in everything we do,” she emphasised.

“Secondly, focus on what you can do. So often we are so fixated on the things that are wrong. Why can’t we focus on our strengths? I recognized that as I grew older, I stopped being able to do everything along with my peers… I didn’t grow with my peers. But then, I recognized my strengths and what I was good at. This is what motivated me in my passions. Why is that people with such obvious limitations seem to excel? David and Goliath… because David knew what his limitations were, he was the obvious winner against Goliath. So, when you understand what your limitations are, you know how to overcome them. We, my parents and I, knew what my challenges would be. But we knew what the greatest weapons were – strength and listening skills,” she said.

“Finally, adopt an attitude of gratitude. So, often we assume happy people are people who have everything, and they are happy. That’s not the case, it’s the people who are grateful for whatever they have that are happy. When things go wrong, we are quick to complain. Yet, when we have things going right, how quick are we to say thank you. Be grateful. End each day thinking of the things you are grateful for… I’m grateful for my family, friends, teachers and friends, they believed in me to get me here on stage today. Number two, I drive a car hands free… technology has translated to my freedom. Number three, I’ve learned over time that my biggest perceived limitation, which is my physical disability, has become my ultimate strength. So, I hope I elicit change in you to think about what is possible,” she continued.

Key learning points

“We need to stop asking ourselves “can we do it?” but rather ask ourselves, “how CAN we do it?” We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and use what we have,” she emphasised.

“I want to challenge everyone here to implement these learning points: believe in yourself and ignite that inner drive that you were born with, focus on what you CAN do, not on what you can’t. And lastly, adopt an attitude of gratitude,” she concluded.

A charitable cause

As customary, members were asked to bring along R50 for the nominated charity, Cornerstone Woman (CSW), a nonprofit organisation that was established by a group of women and men passionate about helping families overcome the effects of violence and trauma and establishing a route to recovery for the family unit.

We would like to thank each one of you for your donations.

Lucky draws

A few lucky ladies walked away with prizes. Congratulations to all our lucky draw prize winners who walked away with amazing prizes:

  1. Crawford Independent Associates sponsored a R1 500 bubbly hamper.
  2. Emerald sponsored 4x Organico by Oco Life Zen Light Wood Grain Ultrasonic Diffusers with Reawaken 10ml & Breathe 10ml, valued at R700 each.
  3. Everinghams sponsored an @Home voucher to the value of R1000.
  4. Fulcrum sponsored four R500 Yuppiechef vouchers.
  5. Garrun Group sponsored three clutch bags and earrings.
  6. HIC sponsored a R1000 TakeAlot voucher.

Thank you

GWII would like to thank main sponsor Constantia Insurance, co-sponsors, Bair Recruitment, Bryte Insurance, Genasys, King Price, MiWay and Yard Insurance, and complementary sponsors, GIB and Lloyd’s for their sponsorship and support for this event. Without our sponsors this would not be possible.

Thank you, Nicky, for inspiring us to believe in ourselves, focus on what we CAN do and to adopt an attitude of gratitude. And to all the ladies, thank you for attending this event. We hope Nicky elicited change in you, to think about what is possible!

See full photo album here