When talking about success, no one claims to have the right answer. Success is individual with everyone, but at the same time regards all of us.
Behind every definition of success, we can find the essentials for building a life for oneself: work, money, productivity, love… The essentials can vary from one to another, but the purpose remains constant. For this reason, now that women are collectively defining what success means, we need or we should, land on what success means for each of us and what it really means from a holistic point of view.
Because of the subject matter, strong successful women have so much to offer as role models and the world should learn more about them. Thus, in this post we look at 5 women who have overcome challenges over the last few years to channel new ventures and make it to the top of their respective industries – redefining success in their own terms.
Every success story has its ups and downs, if not, then ask Gal Gadot.
Gal Gadot claims that landing the role of Wonder Woman was just a matter of luck. So much that CNBC reports that before becoming Wonder Woman, Gal nearly bid farewell acting. In her appearance on The Tonight Show, Gal discussed how rejection was “tough”, and confided in host Jimmy Fallon that she once wondered if she would be able to handle being rebuffed. But the former Ms. Universe contestant didn’t give up, and she was rewarded accordingly as she landed the role of Wonder Woman. The film went on to become a massive hit, pushing Ms. Gadot into super-stardom.
Wonder Woman, is herself, the personification of “girl power”. That’s why she has been an inspiration for many female characters in the entertainment industry. Even big gaming companies have created games that feature characters in the same mold as Wonder Woman. Digital games provider Slingo has tapped into this trend and has several games that feature strong iconic female characters, including Lara Croft, Black Widow, and yes, of course, Wonder Woman.
The gaming industry is known for being male-dominated, but with performances like Gadot’s making female heroes more popular, we shouldn’t be surprised to see many more empowering women in leadership roles in the coming years.
From wearing potato sacks as a child because clothing was more than her family budget, Oprah Winfrey became a media mogul – a force of nature. She is somebody who, against all odds, was able to become one of greatest role models for young women.
She had so much against her, but she managed to make a name for herself. She once said, “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness” and she has clearly been thinking like a queen, otherwise, she wouldn’t have become the most influential woman of her generation.
Unafraid to fail and taking leaps and bounds forward for every setback, Winfrey worked her way up from starting as a news reader to creating the most successful chat show host in US history, inspiring millions along the way.
Simone Biles is another clear example of what a role model is. Although she was the daughter of a drug-addicted, this Time profile narrates that Biles, was blessed with adoptive parents who made her feel special and cared for.
She then dedicated much of her life to gymnastics, practicing with utmost zeal all the tricks, twists, and turns that would make her one of the faces of US gymnastics, and one of the best in history.
“Most athletes get intimidated once they see how many fans are out there,” – says Biles, “but it almost calms me down in a way because I think of it as a fun way to show off what I’ve been working on.” And showing off was exactly what Biles did at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games as she delivered a historic four-gold haul for the US.
She followed that principle to the utmost, which has helped her not to lose a competition since 2013.
Before being known as “JK”, she was Joanne Rowling, a middle-aged parent doing her very best to win the battle of life. Fortunately, Rowling was as driven as she was a dreamer, and failure helped fuel her pursuit of literary excellence.
“Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way,” said in her Harvard University commencement speech in 2008. “I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected.”
Ms. Rowling’s strong will and discipline were none more evident than way back in 1995 when she was writing the first Harry Potter novel in various cafes all around Edinburgh. Several years later and many millions richer, Rowling wrote the seventh installment of the series in the city’s finest establishment, The Balmoral Hotel.
Vera Wang is one of today’s most prominent fashion designers, and it was, ironically, a series of failures that led her to her lucrative career.
According to the Huffington Post , a younger Ms. Wang was one of the best figure skaters in the US and had dreams of making the Olympics. Unfortunately, she was unable to make the US team.
Three years later, this failure brought her to what was going to be her once in a lifetime chance – working at Vogue, where she spent 15 years in different capacities. On the verge of becoming the magazine’s editor in chief, Wang was ultimately passed over, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Although rising back up from a fall takes time, she soon found her way to the fashion design world, where she became a legendary icon. “It takes an acceptance that you have to move on,” she says, “and it takes being open to new experiences.”
Her hard work mixed with a lot of Chinese traits, was what turned her into a real risk taker – fairly fearless. However, this doesn’t come without a price. For this reason, her key to success is keeping herself creative, not feeling any parameters in which she has to define herself within.
She is a skater-turned fashion icon, who has moved on from her failures and has embraced all the twists and turns life offers.
Girl Power, Indeed
Girl power is alive and well, and every woman is beautiful in her own way and has her own desire to succeed.
Thus, we all have our own definition of success, and we should look at things in our own way so as to be able to really believe in ourselves.
All women mentioned above are just five of the many who have achieved success. With such successful role models, this century is not the century of women, but the century of change.
Now more than ever, enjoy the change!