10 Inspirational Words of Wisdom Women Have on How to Reign their Lives

In October 2015 Angela Cleveland and I Co-Founded ReigningIt, a platform to highlight womens’ experiences in STEM and to share their stories. Each woman that we interview has the choice of free write their own story or answering a few questions that we pose to them. Most choose the latter, and the very last question is:

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?

Below are 10 answers from women we’ve featured. It’s fun to hear from celebrities and famous people, but what we love most about this platform is that these women are doing extraordinary things in ordinary life.

1. “If you see an opportunity that looks interesting to you, go for it and believe in yourself! Too often we discount ourselves before we apply for things or dive in. I’ve struggled a lot with self-doubt and used to shut doors for myself by telling myself I didn’t have the qualifications for something before giving someone else a chance to decide. Over the years I’ve learned that we tend to underestimate ourselves, so go out there and try things! You may be surprised by how much more prepared you were than you thought.” - Jacqueline Ali

2. Don't let anyone stereotype you. What people say and what they don't, in the end, doesn't matter. I don't fit into a lot of boxes, and I'm happier that way, but most people didn't take me seriously when I started in computer science. I'm female, and I'm also into fashion. I like wearing makeup and dresses and heels, and so sometimes people (both male and female) overlook me or assume that I'm the designer in the room, maybe not even in the right room. That's happened before, someone telling me I was in the wrong place based solely on appearance. It can be discouraging, but I didn't focus on it, and I'm finally reaching the point where I'm objectively qualified enough that people can't dismiss me anymore. What others think should never be your priority, but I know that it's there, and when it does bother you, use it to get better and prove people wrong.” - Jackie Luo

3. “I would ask them to just go out there and do things, things that make them happy. Never been to a hackathon, run a marathon, written a short story, or tried to build your own company? Don’t wait for someone to invite you to do these things, don’t wait for more experience, don’t wait for a sign. If these things are what you want, just do them. Yes, you may not know what you’re doing initially and you might even suck, but you’ll ask for help or learn from your mistakes, and the only thing you can do from then onwards is to get better. You don’t want to be a 90yo looking back at this time in your life wondering, “What if…?”. If there is something that you want to do, do it now.” - Nikita Parikh

4. “I've learned a ton from actively trying to be part of the communities/networks in my field. This means asking a lot of questions, joining conversations, and contributing knowledge when I feel it's the right time and place. Being supported has gotten me a long way, and if you can find support that will be a major help (and if you don't know how, ask)! But most importantly, giving back to the people who support you can foster incredible relationships and help you reign in your own way. Remember shine theory and always say thank you.” - Terri Burns

5. “Know the biases. Our brains are wired to categorize and generalize. Most people do not want to have biases and do not think they have one. Our biases summarize all the information we get. Unfortunately, sometimes these biases are not accurate and do not serve our purpose. It is not possible not to have any biases at all but since we grow up with it, it blends into the background.” - Sabera Daqiq

6. “Passion will be your greatest motivator and most important reward; Everything else can be learned. 2.) Networking is just a fancy name for meeting interesting people and expanding your own horizons by getting to hear about their journeys. It will lead to some of your greatest friendships and most important mentorships. 3.) Stay humble, never stop learning, and don't be afraid to take risks. Sometimes I get this feeling like my life is playing with fire, and that's when I know I'm growing the most. 4.) Work that fulfills you is work where you'll be able to make the largest difference. Find the difference between "knowing when to go" and being persistent in the face of adversity.” - Briana Vecchione

7. “I think the thing that isn't stressed enough is to have a support system in place. I've met so many talented, tough, and smart girls that have no problem going after their dreams. Everyone has bad days though, no matter how good you are. It's important, then, to surround yourself with people who support you and will cheer you up on these days.” - Aila Enos

8. “Go after the big goals, the ones that feel important but also scare you a little bit (or a lot). Surround yourself with people that will always be honest with you and encourage you to grow, and be that person for others. Own your accomplishments and take credit for your work, but don’t forget to advocate for others who don’t have the same access to opportunities as you do. And if you figure out any other great ways to reign your life, let me know too because I’m on this learning journey with you.” - Marie Chatfield

9. “Fear nothing. Always wear comfortable shoes. They are belittling you because they envy your success. Little drops of water, tiny grains of sand; make up the mighty ocean, and the pleasant land. Books over boys, chocolate over everything. Workout for at least 45 minutes every day. Dress up on your down days. Grow stronger every day.” - Safia Abdalla

10. “Impostor syndrome is so real. Don’t let those feelings of self-doubt take over and discourage you. Be patient but persistent; it takes time and hard work to gain skill and confidence, but you’ll get there with the right attitude. As an engineer, you never stop learning--and that’s what makes this field so exciting. So embrace the learning process and celebrate your accomplishments!” - Raisa Cuevas

For more inspirational stories of our interviews visit https://medium.com/@ReigningIt. Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reigningit
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