Eleanor Roosevelt, An Inspiration.


Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American politician. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, holding that title from March 1933 to April 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms in office. By common consent she changed the nature of the position of First Lady by being outspoken and political herself.

I’ve used one of her quotes for years when running courses:

No one can make you feel inferior without your own consent.

It’s so true. Lack of confidence is cited time and time again in surveys/reports on why women don’t progress.  Yet we’re not born lacking in confidence. I think so much of that apparent lack of confidence stems from women being undermined at every level by the inequalities present across all sectors of society. Much of it passes unnoticed; it’s so institutionalised. Male is always the norm, however subtle this is. Which means being a woman is deviating from the norm. Male behaviour is always the yardstick, the norm.

Once you become aware of this the empowering begins. It doesn’t mean becoming a man hater, by no stretch do I describe myself as a man hater. It means understanding how this has developed and taking a personal decision to resist. It means reclaiming your power, and your confidence.

Other posts may be of interest:

Women Are Not Born With Lack of Confidence

Confidence, Why Men Have It and Women Don’t

RenewYou is my one day course for women. If you’re in need of a boost or an opportunity to take stock, check it out. It’s available at locations across the UK and beyond.

Photo Credit: The only attribution for this picture I could find said ‘Pinterest’. If you know better, please let me know.


Posted on July 9th, 2014 by

3 Responses to “Eleanor Roosevelt, An Inspiration.”

  1. Michele Winter says:

    Excellent article. Very relevant given the bashing Harriet Harman is getting today in some quarters after coming out about the sexism she has experienced.
    I use this quote too, a lot.

  2. Gaynor says:

    Interestingly I am a governor of an infant school and at a recent discussion about teachers observing each other’s good practice – a comment was made that they dont like to say “I am an outstanding teacher”. That they would be too modest. I kept thinking ‘why on earth wouldn’t they be prepared to shout this out?

    Men do not seem to have the same trouble in ‘blowing their own trumpets’.

    In my experience, I think women also put this upon themselves and colleagues – not liking other women to be ‘over confident’ and so often women conform to the ‘norms’ of modesty and in some – self doubt. I’ve also seen this manifest itself amongst friends of mine who are in the nursing profession.

    I think we should take more opportnities to celebrate each other’s sucesses and support each other to be able to ‘blow our own trumpets’ without the fear of ‘not being liked or accepted’ by other women.

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