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8 lessons of confidence and happiness that my mom taught me

To celebrate Mother’s Day, inspiring women share the advice that have helped shaped their lives

Donna Francis
Contributing Editor US
12 May 2024
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Mother's Day often makes us pause and reflect on the invaluable lessons our moms have given us over the years. But beyond the flowers, cards and gifts, it’s a day that reminds us of the lasting impact they have on shaping who we are and the values that are important to us.

To celebrate, we asked some inspiring women to share the lessons their mom’s taught them and the ones that had a profound impact on their lives. 

Feeling happy in your skin

“My mother, the most wildly talented person I will ever know, taught me about confidence without even knowing the lessons were happening. Her hair, long while I was growing up, was effortlessly tied back with a scarf because she cared more about what was in her head than on it. Her figure, still slim now in her eighties, wasn’t a focus because she was always on the move. And her smile was bright because she had smart things to say. My mother wordlessly showed me how to be confident and happy in my skin – and I’m grateful every day.”

llana Raia, Founder and CEO of Être, the powerful mentorship programme for girls

llana Raia, Founder and CEO of Être, the powerful mentorship programme for girls© Erin Borzellino
llana Raia, Founder and CEO of Être

Kindness always

"My mother always taught me from a young girl to be kind and show empathy to others.  She has always led by example and I love her dearly."

Samara Daly, Co-Founder and Board Chair of Let’s Talk Menopause, the non-profit organization raising awareness about menopause.

Showing up prepared

“I can still feel my mom's firm hand on my shoulders – pulling them back and telling me to put my chin up. My mom would make me practice giving speeches in first grade, while everyone else could use note cards in class – I had to memorize the remarks. I look up to my mom for many things in my life. A big thing that I owe her is instilling self confidence by always showing up prepared and acting like you deserve to be there – wherever 'there' is.”

Danielle Weisberg, Co-founder and Co-CEO of theSkimm, a digital media company giving women the information they need to make confident decisions.

Danielle Weisberg, Co-founder and Co-CEO of theSkimm
Danielle Weisberg, Co-founder and Co-CEO of theSkimm

Accepting and learning from failure

“My mom taught me that building self confidence is getting good at accepting failure, but not letting it define you. Growing up, I found it odd that we would talk about failures so casually, so light-heartedly. I realized when I got older, that talking about and accepting failures is a great way to get better and grow stronger. Thank you mom!” 

Anda Pho, President of Evite, America’s go-to website for all things party.

READ: Why dressing up happy sets me up for success

Looking within for validation

“My mom showed me from an early age how to be strong yet feminine, and how to have presence in your own skin by loving being your own unique person. I learned the most not from just her words, but from watching her actions, and seeing how she valued herself and prioritized her health. She always looked within for validation, not from others, which in turn helped me build a level of self confidence and inner focus from a young age that helped me navigate competitive environments and eventually, become a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry.”

Loren Castle, Founder & CEO of Sweet Loren’s, the #1 natural cookie dough brand in America. 

Loren Castle, Founder & CEO of Sweet Loren’s, the #1 natural cookie dough brand in America.
Loren Castle, Founder & CEO of Sweet Loren’s

You are enough

"I would say that my mother impacted me in a number of ways before she died. One she told me always to hold your friends close and then at the end of your life if you have five of them, you were a blessed person. I never forgot that and it always helps me remember that friends are cherished. And the second lesson that she left me with was, “you are enough”, and it was something that she said often that I never really understood until I got older. I know that I draw a lot of confidence from that and I go back to it often when I’m feeling those not enough days!

Tamsen Fadal, journalist, author and Let’s Talk Menopause Board Member & Ambassador

Tamsen Fadal, journalist, author and Let's Talk Menopause Ambassador and Board Member
Tamsen Fadal, journalist, author and Let's Talk Menopause Ambassador and Board Member

Avoid negative talk

“My mom championed the power of South Asian traditions that connect me to my roots and promote mindfulness. Rituals like speech fasting, where one refrains from negative speech for a period of time, and morning walks in the sunrise, have taught me the value of inner peace and harmony. From her, I learned that prioritizing these practices helps me maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle, allowing me to face life's challenges with resilience and grace.”

Neha Kumar, Co-Founder & COO of Full Glass Wine Company, a brand acquisition and management firm focused on rapidly acquiring Direct-to-Consumer wine.

Neha Kumar, Co-Founder & COO of Full Glass Wine Company© Joshua Delagarza
Neha Kumar, Co-Founder & COO of Full Glass Wine Company

Caring for your body inside and out

“As a child I watched my mother in awe as she navigated a busy professional career while raising two daughters. She instilled in me the importance of taking care of your body from the inside out by always cooking healthy, balanced meals and prioritizing a great night of sleep. As a leader and a mom, I know that when I'm taking care of myself and taking the proper steps to nourish myself from the inside out I feel the happiest and show up as my best self.”

Ariel Kaye, Founder of Parachute, a brand that makes bedding and bath essentials for a more comfortable home. 

Here's to all the moms! Thank you for everything. Happy Mother's Day!

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