"Never underestimate yourself. You are stronger, smarter and more resilient than you think you are. Don't be offended if others underestimate you; if you're motivated by what others think of you, you'll never be fulfilled. Back yourself and go for it!"
Chelsea Bonner said that. She is one of the gutsy dames featured as Australia's Top 100 Inspiring Women in an article in Madison magazine's latest and last (another one bites the dust, hashtag cryingshame) issue.
There was a lot to find inspiring about these women - who also included Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton; Julia Gillard: Layne Beachley; Yassmin Abdel-Magied; Annie Crawford; Marina Go; Elizabeth Debicki; and Jacqueline Arias. They have a lot to be proud of and had a lot to say.
One thing I noticed throughout the article; when the women came to speak about their experiences and share some learned life lessons, a recurring theme was not listening to people who doubt your ability and not listening to your own self-doubts and self-imposed limits. And that great shoes are important (dah!).
"set your own standards and way of doing things. You don't have to follow set paths."
"Never think about your differences, but about your strengths."
"Don't limit yourself with low expectations."
"Don't be pigeonholed by expectations."
"Don't let gender expectations or stereotypes pre-emptively restrict your options in life and don't listen to people who say that you 'can't do' something."
"Face your fears early in life - they only grow bigger if you don't."
Clearly the words we say to ourselves as well as the words others lay on us have the power to point us in just about any direction.
Check out the article if you have the chance - so many strong, industrious female folk all in the one feature.
PS I love this blog post by Paulo Coelho on The Power of the Word.