Michelle Obama. Her name alone could be synonymous with strength, grace, beauty, and inspiration. She is most well-known for being the first African-American First Lady of The United States. But she is also a best-selling author, one of Times 100 most influential people of 2019, a mother, and did we mention she is nominated for a grammy?
Her accomplishments are historic and her integrity has made a lasting impact on our nation and the world. She has continued to rise above what seems like impossible odds with diplomacy, eloquence, and power. She has also navigated her career, global responsibility, and successes without sacrificing her truth. In fact, her unapologetic authenticity is the driving force of her legacy and fingerprint on the world.
There are countless ways that Michelle Obama is an inspiration, but here are the top 5 ways Michelle Obama inspires us daily:
To Believe In Yourself
Michelle Obama is passionate about empowering women and girls to believe in themselves. Society often discourages and discredits women from using their voice. She encourages women to stop selling themselves short, dumbing down their ideas, over apologizing, and silencing their voice. She also compels women to take time to know what they want, what they value, and to advocate for those values and wants. She said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey,
“We seat our power so easily. And I want young girls out there to know… that what’s in your brain is really useful.”
She wants women and girls to use their voices, raise their hands for opportunities, and pursue the things they want with remorseless purpose.
She urges her mentees, her daughters and women everywhere to not be afraid to fail. She sees failure as the key to success. She believes that fear of failure prohibits us from challenging ourselves, taking new risks and achieving new heights. She said at Glamour’s 2016 International Day of The Girl,
“I tell my daughters this every day, don’t be afraid to fail. Because that oftentimes is the thing that keeps us, as women and girls, back."
To See Our Struggles as Adventures
When obstacles hinder our plans and ambitions it’s easy to feel discouraged or like giving up. Especially, if your adversities are unjust like being discriminated against due to your race, gender, or sexual orientation. During her commencement speech at the City College of New York, she challenged graduates to change their perception of their hardships. She said,
“you should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experiences facing and overcoming adversity are actually one of your biggest advantages.”
To Work Hard
She believes that women can do anything with dedication and hard work. Michelle Obama has often spoken of the hard work she has had to put into her career, family and overcoming racial and gender discrimination. She encourages people to take the high road and prove all the haters wrong with the excellence of your work. In her commencement speech to graduates at Jackson State University, she said,
“ excellence is the most powerful answer you can give to the doubters and the haters… and the most powerful thing you can do for yourself.”
To Practice Being the Person You Want to Be
She also reminds us that becoming the person you want to be doesn’t just magically happen. But it is a continuous effort to push yourself. Self-growth is intentional and requires practice. She has often said that the good things in life don’t come easy, but instead require a lot of hard work. In her commencement speech to graduates at Jackson State University, she said,
“the process of striving and struggling and pushing yourself to new heights- that’s how you develop your god-given talents. That’s how you make yourself stronger and smarter and more able to make a difference for others.”
Michelle Obama’s candidness of her own struggles makes her even more inspiring. We all have to overcome different adversities in life to achieve our dreams. When life is hard or unjust it can feel like our dreams are impossible. But Michelle Obama sets an example of how you can truly achieve anything if you work hard. She is a testament to the power of believing in yourself, hard work, and not being afraid to fail. She reminds us that no obstacles, self-doubt, fear, or other people's imposed limitations can stop us from succeeding.
Analisha Sanitni is a copywriter, bargain fashionista, and student-debt owing millennial. After overcoming many of her own financial obstacles, she hopes to share some helpful tips to avoid money-sucking pitfalls.