Women have faced many challenges throughout history, and the list is long of those who overcame adversity and became influential, inspirational figures.
Often, though, a young girl doesn’t have to read about famous females to find her heroes. Her mother’s actions while overcoming challenges and taking care of the family can influence and even help transform that daughter’s thinking well into her adult life.
Among the main life lessons that author, speaker and tech entrepreneur Betty Ng learned from her mother, Po-Ling, was that adversity doesn’t have to define you. Rather, it can strengthen, shape and liberate you to do important things and bring people together.
“Anything is possible, regardless of your background, as long as we help each other to succeed,” says Ng.
Ng’s mother, Po-ling, was widowed and left to raise four young children. She earned two master’s degrees, became devoted to the community and was honored by the Chinese government for her work. She became her daughter’s inspiration in the process.
Now Ng focuses on the ability of people to inspire and lift each other to achieve goals. She offers six tips to women about empowering themselves, inspiring others and making a difference:
Set priorities. “These are individually-defined and should also take into consideration your personal vision and passions,” Ng says. “It’s critical to align what you do or plan to do with your personal vision. This is how you find your authentic self.”
Turn focus to others. As you make progress on becoming your best self, the focus, Ng says, can shift to finding ways to elevate others. “You should think about how your personal success should be tied to the success of your community, organization and those around you,” Ng says. “You are now empowered to do more for others.”
Learn to Lead. “Being proactive is where leadership starts,” Ng says. “You take the initiative to drive change, not just waiting for others to act.”
Inspire. “Inspiring others to follow you, exuding that confidence and conviction for what you believe in, makes good things happen,” Ng says. “And with people drawing that energy from each other, the possibilities are endless.”
Network. “Establishing and leveraging your network brings strength and knowledge in numbers,” Ng says. “Building strong relationships leads to group opportunities they would not have had before. You collaborate and elevate.”
Grow. “We learn from all our experiences, both good and bad,” Ng says. “Mistakes and failing are ultimately about helping one to learn to succeed sooner. Embrace adversity, diversity, and change by taking every opportunity to challenge and reinvent yourself.”
“Life stories that you get from anyone about dealing with and overcoming significant challenges can inspire you to strive for more than you ever thought was possible,” Ng says. “They will motivate you to persevere for your priorities and personal vision every day of your life.”
Betty Ng is the co-author of PO-LING POWER: Propelling Yourself and Others to Success, and founder/CEO of Inspiring Diversity, LLC “iD,” (www.Inspiringdiversity.com), which builds inclusive, collaborative and high-performing communities. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School, she is a tech entrepreneur, media and content creator, author, trainer, public speaker and consultant. Ng was a high-level executive at Citigroup and Moody’s.