Whether you’re taking on a new challenge, rebounding from a disappointment or just powering through your day, repeating a mantra can help. We asked Conference for Women speakers and staff for their favorite sayings. Read them and repeat!
“Do no harm, take no bull. You can stick to your guns and still be kind while you’re doing it. I don’t believe in ever doing anything that’s not nice.”—Jolie Sikes, co-author of Junk Gypsy: Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wander and Wonder
“The only two constants in life are time and change. My father used to always tell me this. So if you don’t like something, you can be sure that it will eventually pass. And conversely, if you love something you have to treasure it because it will also eventually go away.”—Jay Newton-Small, author of Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works
“There’s no such word as can’t. My mom gave that to me. Growing up in the Deep South, I was surrounded by messages saying you can’t do that. But my mom would say that I just had to believe that I could. Self-conviction is half the battle—no, it’s more than half.”—Trudy Bourgeois, CEO and founder of The Center for Workforce Excellence
“Do what’s closest to cash. It helps me prioritize, and means circling back to people I need to follow up with, making a phone meeting, sending a proposal, whatever will move the deal along. It’s especially useful when I’m really bogged down.”—Joanne Black, author of No More Cold Calling
“How hard can it be? I started saying this to myself when I trained for a marathon the first time and was going for increasingly long runs. Then I used it while writing my first novel. Now I say it whenever I’m faced with doing something new, including motherhood.”—Caroline Hwang, editor of the Conference for Women’s newsletter
“Failure is today’s lesson for tomorrow. Ignoring failures or trying to fix them right away deprives you of the opportunity to gain insights from what went wrong. But if you try to extract their lessons, you can put them to work and that will lead to your eventual success.”—Mark Coopersmith, senior fellow of entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Hass School of Business and coauthor of The Other “F” Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work
“If your husband brings rice, you must bring the charcoal to cook the rice. My grandmother would always say this and it’s one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given. That was her way of trying to teach us girls about empowerment, not to be dependent on a man, and to dominate our space.”— Leymah Gbowee, Nobelist and founder of the Gbowee Peace Foundation