When asked what advice she had for future female leaders on International Women’s Day, Michelle Obama encouraged girls to “not be afraid to fail” and “to be supportive of each other.”
“My best advice to girls, including my own daughters, is do not be afraid to fail. So often, our own fear of failure is the thing that keeps us back,” the former first lady told 16-year-old Alejandra Santizo of Guatemala.
“So often, our own fear of failure is the thing that keeps us back. We think we have to be perfect, that if we make even the tiniest mistake, it’s a catastrophe. That’s simply not true! In fact, the only way you succeed in life is by failing and failing well. And by that I mean you cannot let your failures eat you up or make you want to quit. You have to learn from them, let them challenge and inspire you to do more — to take some risks and to step outside of your comfort zone,” she continued.
“I also advise girls to be supportive of each other. I cannot say this enough! Too often we’re taught that we have to compete, or that someone else’s failure is our success. But we can all rise together; we can all win,” she added.
The Hill added:
Santizo, an aspiring English teacher and education advocate, has taken to the airwaves in her community to speak out against sexual violence and harassment. She first started raising awareness of the issue in 2017, at age 16.
Obama encouraged Santizo and other young women across the globe to reach out and encourage and serve as mentors to other girls in their lives. “Because if we don’t cherish each other, no one else will,” she said.
The former first lady met with another person she believes could be a future female leader: two-year-old Parker Curry, who was photographed staring in admiration at Mrs. Obama’s official portrait in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.