The annual Tri-Cities Women in Business Conference typically takes place in January, but has been postponed to later in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked past ATHENA Award recipients for their favorite inspirational quotes, podcasts, books, and more to help motivate you through 2021.
A colleague and friend recently sent me an article on the 15 Traits of Unabashedly Successful Women. She couldn’t help but note that we have talked about every single trait throughout the course of our own conversations and relationship (see #6!). The article drew me in immediately because it’s simple, short, and powerful. In particular, trait #1, Play to your Strengths, has been my mantra for more than 30 years, except I tweak it a bit and live by the principle that we should all “Play to our Giftedness.”
Because these are such extraordinary and challenging times, especially for women in business, I’ll add an additional quote that has served me well and is from one of my favorite people, Eleanor Roosevelt:
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
It’s that last line that has served me well as I have taken on challenges throughout my life and my career. I welcome the difficult, complex, no-one-thinks-it-can-be-done, undertaking. It serves to energize me, get my creative juices flowing, and puts me in a space where I’m continually learning - which is when I reach out to others who are gifted in ways that I am not. It serves to remind me that only together, with a united sense of purpose, do we accomplish truly worthy efforts.
Above all, I remain grateful.
Paula Linnen is Executive Director of External Affairs at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.