On Monday evening, I had the privilege of attending an event featuring Hillary Clinton. She was here in New Zealand to talk about resilience including her experiences in the previous elections, her journey so far and the lessons she’s learned throughout her life.
I entered the event with uncertainty as to what she would be willing to discuss. I wasn’t sure how a woman with her experience would present herself, or what she would talk about. But, I also entered with excitement. You should know by now, I love to learn. And I was excited for what lessons she would have to share. I was excited for what I could learn from her.
What I must say is, regardless of what side of politics you sit on and regardless of who you support, there is much to be learned from the experiences of Hillary Clinton.
So, what did I learn from Hillary Clinton? She shared some key lessons from her recent loss at the USA elections. Of these were the following stand outs for me:
Everyone in life gets knocked down. It’s about if you get back up again.
She talked about the importance of taking time to recover and doing things to help you restore your energy. The things she did to restore her energy included taking time out to do yoga, spending time with family and of course, enjoying the odd drink of wine.
A lot of what she shared about restoring her energy linked back to reminding herself as to what her purpose was. Understanding why she needed to keep going and connecting with her own purpose, which was to help improve the outcomes for children, for healthcare, and democracy.
We can certainly all relate to this, reminding ourselves what our why is. What our purpose in life is, be it to feed our families, to help others or simply because you’re doing something that makes you happy. Taking time to focus and connect with your why can help you get back up after a knock down.
She also spoke of sexism in politics and how just having a woman ‘at the table’ can bring a new perspective which may have been overlooked.
She discussed how there is a key difference in how success is viewed for men and women. When men are more successful, their likability increases. However, with women it’s the exact opposite. When women are more professionally successful they are less liked.
Women are also seen less favourably when they advocate for themselves, and more favourably when they advocate for others. Michelle Obama recently spoke about how, as women, we set a high standard for each other. This is something we need to change. Now.
When asked to run for New York Senate, Hillary Clinton originally declined. She turned down and refused offers. Until she attended an event for women in sport. During the event, Mrs Clinton was commending a female basketball player on her achievements, when this woman leant down and whispered in her ear, “dare to compete Mrs Clinton, dare to compete.”
It was then that she realised that, as women, we spend a lot of time encouraging each other to step up. Yet, we don’t encourage ourselves to do the same. A few months later, she ran for New York Senate.
She spoke of many other things that evening, being very open and honest about what she learned through her run for presidency. It truly was a great and inspirational evening. An opportunity I am truly grateful for. Although, the clear purpose was to sell copies of her recent book entitled, “what happened?” which is her memoir of ‘that election’, there was still a lot gained from the evening.
Regardless of political views, women, and men, can do a lot to encourage and support each other. Each bringing our own strengths and unique perspectives to the table. We can do more to be more open to the roles of women in leadership. And we can certainly do more to encourage and support ourselves. To expect that of ourselves which we expect of others. Dare to compete, ladies! Dare to compete!