Learn out your boundaries and build a support system for yourself

Four things we learned from female role models this month.

  1. Learn out your boundaries and build a support system for yourself

Sophia Bush, actress and activist

“Sometimes you have to row your own boat up the stream until you get past the section of water that’s trying to drown you” Sophia told us. “I think of it [a support system] like making a mood board, that’s the visualisation. I pin up the things that were not OK and the weird loops that came out of those things, and then I pin up all the experiences next to them that have been educational, inspirational and heartbreaking but that came with great lessons which taught me who I am. And you look at the whole thing and you begin to figure out where your boundaries are.”

2. We’re all role models to each other

Robin Chase, Zipcar co-founder

“In your own life you are an incredibly important role model of values in the way you live your life to the people around you. If we think about issues of racism or sexism, the reason those persist is because of all of us, in our own everyday lives, did not own up or stand up and did not ‘role model’ that these are unacceptable. I don’t think any of us appreciate well enough how we are individually role models to our family and friends.”

3. There’s no such thing as work/life balance

Soraya Darabi, founder of Trailmix Ventures

“There’s no such thing as work/life balance — that’s a myth. If you strive for that you will inevitably fail and feel like you’ve let yourself down. But if you integrate your life in such a way that you’re not living to work but working to live, and you determine for yourself what ‘living well’ means, inevitably you’ll discover a balance which will help you persevere on the long road ahead.”

4. Apply your talents in unexpected ways

Anna Winger, Deutschland ’83 creator

“I think especially nowadays, people have to be open and flexible to the ways in which our talents, skills and experience can be applied in unexpected ways. That’s the adventure of it, I actually think it’s a great thing. In the past there was this expectation that the only kind of career you could have was a career where you just put one foot in front of the other and if you fell off it, to one side or the other, that was it, you’d failed. But I think the failures are the journey to the success.”

Role Models hosts candid conversations with inspiring women and is a bi-weekly podcast and event series motivating the next generation of global leaders.

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Kerstin Musl