5 Lessons from Eleanor Roosevelt to Guide You Through Life

Women's Empowerment Keynote Speaker

It’s possible to raise five kids, contribute to humanitarian causes, and achieve great success against all odds. Eleanor Roosevelt’s story will empower you to reach incredible heights.

Despite being born into an affluent family, Eleanor Roosevelt had a challenging childhood.

Her father struggled with alcoholism. But then, her mother died when Roosevelt was only 10, and her father followed just two years later.

Then, Roosevelt and her siblings moved in with their grandmother. Soon after, she was sent to a girl’s school in England where she became an excellent student.

More importantly, Roosevelt learned the importance of women’s independence and social responsibility. That knowledge would later drive her to empower other women and contribute to social causes.

When she came back from England, Roosevelt got involved in social reform. She was a pro bono teacher for immigrant children in New York. Roosevelt became a member of the National Consumers League.

In 1905, she married Franklin D. Roosevelt. The couple had six children, though unfortunately, one passed away.

Even as she was helping her husband climb the political ladder and raising the children, Roosevelt also volunteered at the American Red Cross and Navy hospitals. Plus, she became an activist in the Democratic Party and Women’s Union Trade.

However, Roosevelt also needed to overcome her husband’s affairs and sickness later in life.

All of these experiences made her one of the most inspiring women in history. There’s a myriad of invaluable lessons to learn from her.

The Lessons

#1 – Never Stop Learning

Learning is a critical skill that you pick up as a child and one that you must continue to use throughout your life. Otherwise, you limit your ability to grow personally and professionally.

The idea is to find a clever way to refine and grow your ability to learn. And this doesn’t necessarily mean you should keep attending courses, though this would help as well.

Eleanor Roosevelt understood that knowledge didn’t come from just books. She once said:

“By learning, of course, I mean a great deal more than formal education.”

What she meant was that it’s vital to be curious about the things that surround you. In other words, you should develop a passion for formulating opinions and ideas from the information you get.

Also, you should nurture your ability to learn from the people you meet every day. Doing that helps you leverage other people’s experiences for your benefit.

But how do you learn from others?

You have to master the art of dialogue and learn from that. There’s great power in exchanging ideas with others and getting inspired by their stimulus.

#2 – Build Your Social Circle

As a visionary, Roosevelt knew that she had to build movements to empower women and give opportunities to those in need. Her work with the Democratic Party, Women’s Union Trade, and other groups could attest to that.

But the key is that Roosevelt wasn’t just a passive evangelist in her social circles.

She was ready to take action and go knocking on doors to find allies and supporters for her cause. Roosevelt defined this approach as “trooping for democracy.”

Today, you might not need to go door to door to build your social circle. But you can leverage the internet and social networks to advocate for your causes and amass a large circle of followers.

And remember, the important thing is to be proactive and have confidence in your power to transform the world. People will start coming your way in search of guidance, inspiration, and motivation.

When that happens, you’ll know that you’ve achieved great success. But there’s no stopping, no matter how challenging it might be.

#3 – Forgive and Be Kind

There’s a revealing story in Eleanor Roosevelt’s life that shows how she practised kindness and forgiveness.

One day, when Roosevelt took a shortcut in New York, she found herself walking between two parked vehicles.

One of the vehicles was a taxi that was just letting the fare out of the car. Right after that, the taxi driver backed up abruptly and hit Roosevelt.

Luckily, she wasn’t hurt in the incident and immediately sprang back to her feet.

The driver was out of his car and quickly realised whom he had knocked down. Of course, he offered to take Roosevelt to the hospital and help her in whichever way he could.

But she told him to leave right away because he could get fired for what happened. So the guy did exactly that.

It’s safe to assume that Roosevelt could empathise with the taxi driver, whose mistake could have ended his only source of income.

So, Roosevelt decided to let it go and forgive.

Do you think you have a similar capacity to commiserate and forgive?

#4 – Don’t Let Fear Define You

Fear has always seemed to me to be the worst stumbling block which anyone has to face. It is the great crippler.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Many people fear the opinions of others, failure, change, loss, the unknown… the list could go on and on. Do you want to let these fears overpower you?

It’s vital to stand up and find a way to conquer fears. How do you do that?

Roosevelt has straightforward advice to do that. You need to face your fears head-on without hesitation.

And yes, doing that can be tricky, but you must have faith in your power to persevere and overcome. Once the storm is over, you’ll come out much stronger and committed to go on and conquer the world.

Now, there’s one kind of fear that merits more explanation.

Most people fear criticism and what others think about them. But Roosevelt believed that these people just didn’t pay attention to you, so there’s no reason to waste your time on what they had to say.

It’s essential to be courageous because it’ll liberate you from all fears. On top of that, you’ll confront all the adversities that life throws at you with the knowledge that you can take action to overcome them.

#5 – Never Give Up on Your Dreams

As said, Roosevelt had a troublesome childhood where both her parents died young. In addition, some biographers noted that her mother, who was a beauty, didn’t appreciate Eleanor because of her looks.

But regardless, the lack of parent support and struggle in her early life only made Roosevelt more committed to pursuing a more prosperous future.

Rise Proud and Powerful

At the end of the day, it’s safe to say that Eleanor Roosevelt is among the most iconic female leaders in history.

In many ways, she was also the pioneer of women’s liberties and empowerment. And Roosevelt managed to become such an influential figure and still keep her family strong.

Understandably, that could sound like an impossible task for you.

But think about it; the same kind of courage and power lies within you. And now, you know how to tap into it.

And if you’d like further guidance on how to apply these valuable lessons, book me to speak at your next event.