This post is a continuation of a previous article, “Successful Women Learn to Empower Themselves.” We continue with Mala Chandra’s interview of Bonnie Miller, who shares three thought-provoking insights and tips for women on how to lead happy, successful, fulfilling lives.
An Unshakeable Belief in Oneself
Bonnie loved to play volley ball in school. She is petite. Her team-mates typically towered over her. Many were skeptical about her ability to hold her own, to contribute effectively, but even more inhibiting to her than the skepticism of others was the limitations she artificially placed on herself. She remembers thinking, “Oh, I will never get to that ball. “ She didn’t trust her brain to determine the speed and trajectory of the ball, and make decisions about how, when and where to intercept the ball for maximum success. She limited herself. One day, she just pushed these limitations aside and decided to try to dig out every ball even if she thought that it was impossible to reach. What she discovered was that she could often reach about 45% of the balls that she thought were impossible to get to. She was limiting herself by low expectations. From then on, the game became exciting, life became exciting: “What can I do that I never thought I could do before.”
In summary, Bonnie would suggest that women wanting to live successful lives cultivate self-confidence, choose their actions mindfully and seek mentors to help them along their way. If life puts you in a situation where mentors are hard to find, read books, she suggests. Literature has a tremendous power to inspire and empower. Many lessons can be learned from characters in a novel. How do they overcome their trials and tribulations? What characteristics or skills did they acquire and how? “Books are wonderful teachers because you can learn lessons from such a wide variety of people overcoming their life challenges throughout the ages.
“The world puts enough limitations on you. Don’t put any more on yourself. Believe in yourself. Be passionate. Be open-minded, choose wisely and deliberately,” says Bonnie.
Our guest writer is Mala Sarat Chandra, a faculty member of the University of Washington’s iSchool and CEO of MyMobilife, a consultancy focusing on the convergence of mobile, location and social media technologies. Prior to that she has held executive positions at several F100 high tech companies.