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Six Secrets to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Women (Including Michelle Obama & Oprah)

How often do you struggle with daily obstacles? You owe it to yourself to rise above those who came before you. Find out how to welcome your obstacles and live a life of success with these tips.




Everything that you have today and everything you can be is due, in part, to those who came before you.


That means that the amazing women of the day have a role in shaping who you are and who you may become.


Everybody is a product of those who came before them. Those generations overcame the countless struggles of their time. And it helped pave the way for your opportunities today.

Going that road to greatness isn’t always easy.


Sometimes you run into obstacles that seem insurmountable. No matter how hard you try, they threaten to knock you off your path.


Instead of railing against these obstacles, learn to embrace them.


Even the most powerful women in the world didn’t get there overnight. They had plenty of obstacles of their own to overcome. But if there’s one thing that experience imparts it’s that growth happens outside of a comfort zone.


So, if you find that you’re outside of your comfort zone, here are some secrets from amazing women who’ve been there. And rose above it.


Learn how Michelle Obama finds lessons in those around her. Or how Melinda Gates challenges herself to step out of her comfort zone.


Each of these powerful women has a secret to impart to you if you’re ready to hear them.


Powerful Women To Learn From


The women of this list each have different origin stories, but their outcome is the same. They grew and overcame the obstacles life presented to them to become the leaders you see today.


Check out what these amazing women have to say about their journey:


Oprah Winfrey – Strip Away Your Limits


Most people know Oprah Winfrey for her highly successful talk show. But this American actress and television producer came from humble beginnings.


But that’s not where her story ended.


In 1986, she was the first black female host of a syndicated daily talk show. By 2003, she became the first black female billionaire in the United States. And in 2011, she launched her own TV network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).


This is what she says about setting limits:


Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.

Take a look at where you are and your surroundings.


You had a hand in getting to where you are. And you also have a hand in where you go next.

Throughout time, humans had to face and overcome obstacles to survive. It’s your responsibility to yourself and future generations to not fall victim to the lethargy and distraction of the times.


It’s also your responsibility to not surrender to your daily obstacles.


Life is challenging enough. Don’t put limits on your expectations for yourself.


Michelle Obama – Always Look for the Lessons You Can Learn from Others


Michelle Obama may be best known as the wife of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. But this lawyer and writer is more than just a figurehead.

She was the first African American First Lady of the United States. As such, she worked tirelessly for her four main initiatives:


● Let’s Move (2010) – address childhood obesity

● Joining Forces (2011) with Dr Jill Biden – provide support for service members, veterans, and their families

● Reach Higher Initiative (2014) – inspire young people to complete education past high school

● Let Girls Learn (2015) – an initiative to help girls worldwide go to school and stay in school


Michelle Obama says she gets her inspiration from many amazing people. These people come from different backgrounds but have, nevertheless, left an impact on her life.

According to the former First Lady, one of her rules of success is to “never miss out on a lesson from others.”


It’s common to admire rock stars and celebrities. But that admiration is sometimes coupled with envy. You may see them and think that they’re “lucky” because they’re there and you are in your present circumstance.


You may assume they had it easier than you.


But when you look closely at their journeys, you see that they had their own trials of adversity to get there.


Serena Williams – Love Yourself


Is Serena Williams one of the best female tennis players of all time?


You wouldn’t be alone in thinking so.


Williams is an American professional tennis player who held the top spot in WTA rankings many times over her career. Known for her powerful and fierce athleticism, she won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and many Olympic gold medals.


The road to success wasn’t always easy for Williams, but she learned one of the greatest lessons all successful women eventually embrace:


I love who I am, and I encourage other people to love and embrace who they are. But it definitely wasn’t easy – it took me a while.


It’s so easy to look at somebody you admire and think to yourself, “I’ll never be as good as them.” But that’s not the right way to think if you want to grow.


Instead of making unfair comparisons, you need to understand and love who you are.


Let’s face it…


You’ll never be like someone else because you are not someone else. You’re you with your own unique backstory and challenges. And that’s not a bad thing.


Melinda Gates – Don’t Stay in Your Comfort Zone


Philanthropist Melinda Gates may have entered the limelight due to her marriage to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, but she’s a force in her own right.


Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The charitable organisation strives to improve global education and health.


In 2012, she pledged $560 million towards improving contraception access in third world countries. The foundation also sponsors the Gates Millennium Scholars program. This program strives to help students fund their studies.


Melinda Gates shared her best advice to new college graduates in an interview with CNBC.

She said:


This is a time in your life when a whole host of opportunities will suddenly open up, and if you stay in your comfort zone, you’ll miss out on so many things worth experiencing.


Growth doesn’t happen within your comfort zone.


If life throws you in situations that demand more of you, your mindset changes. You’re stressed but you’re also challenged. And that could lead to opportunities you wouldn’t have if you stayed where you were comfortable.


Victoria Beckham – Empower Other Women


Victoria Beckham made her splash as Posh Spice in the UK-based pop girl group, the Spice Girls, in the 90s. The group gained popularity with their “girl power” message and quirky personae. Although the group split up in 2000, Beckham didn’t fade from the spotlight.


She married former soccer star David Beckham and became one of the most photographed women in the world. Rather than shying away from the attention, Beckham capitalised on it and built her brand as a fashion icon.


Nowadays, she has her own clothing line and says that “three-quarters of my business is run by strong women.” Supporting other women is very important to her, saying:


Support each other. Be that woman… It’s really bad if you don’t and there are women like that. And when I look back in the past about things that might be said about me or written about, a lot of the time it’s been by other women. It’s disappointing and that is so often that case. So, my message would be… don’t be that young girl, don’t be that woman. Let’s change that.


Beckham doesn’t employ women simply because of their sex. She did it because she says that they were the best for the job.


Sometimes people live their lives like a rudderless boat. They’re tossed around by the wind and change directions all the time.


But when you find your mission, the way that Beckham did, and commit to it, it essentially puts a rudder on your boat. It gives you direction and the ability to steer in the general direction.


The more defined you make your goal, the more control you have and the faster you can get to your destination.




Julie Sweet – Develop and Grow Your Digital Capabilities


Julie Sweet is not just another American businesswoman.


Sweet holds the CEO position at the multinational professional services company, Accenture. She ranked as one of the “Most Powerful Women” by Fortune magazine from 2016-2019. And the New York Times called her “one of the most powerful women in corporate America.”

At the time of her appointment as CEO, she was the 15th female CEO of all Fortune 500 companies globally.


Sweet believes that digital fluency helps women level the playing field. Especially in male-dominated industries like the tech sector.


According to Sweet:


There are many ways to narrow the gender gap in the workplace, but digital fluency is a very promising avenue.


Tools like digital literacy and education aren’t the solution in itself. It’s all in how you use it. And how you apply it to real-life daily challenges.


Challenge Yourself at Every Opportunity


No matter where you are in life, you’re still writing your story. You are in charge of where you go and how you get there.


Are you going to learn to embrace those challenges and strip away limits like Oprah?

Do you see lessons in those around you like Michelle Obama?


Success starts and ends with your mindset. These amazing women learned to embrace who they were and their own journeys so that they could help others on theirs.


It’s hard work growing into your potential. But you can do it if you’re willing to push through your obstacles.


Are you ready for more inspiration about leadership and empowerment?


Contact Sarifa Younes today for your next speaking engagement.

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