Written by Michelle Hutchinson

March is National Women’s History Month and Smart Women’s Coaching® has spent each day this month honoring inspirational women who have paved the way 

for the rest of us.  We’ve been posting them to our Facebook page and Twitter.  Unfortunately, there are only 31 days in March and obviously more than 31 amazing women in history, so we won’t be able to cover everyone.  We welcome you to add to the list by commenting below though.

There are no criteria to be on the list – except that they’re all women and they’ve all done something to open the doors for other women to pass through.  Now, not every inspirational woman opened a specific career path for you but they all do have something in common and that is they didn’t give up.  They likely took on a male dominated field and broke down the door to make their presence known.

Let’s take Sally Ride for example.  Some of you may remember that Sally Ride was the first female astronaut who traveled to space on the Challenger in 1983.  Sally may not have inspired a lot of girls to join the NASA program, but the fact that she took on a very male dominated field and won showed commitment, confidence, and a belief that she had what it took to travel in space.  That alone is incredibly inspirational and I admire that.

Personally, I am inspired by those who don’t give up and never stop believing in themselves.  One of my favorite stories is J.K. Rowling who was a divorced singled mother on welfare struggling to get by while writing a novel.  She sold “a few” books about a wizard, maybe you’ve heard of them, and became the first novelist billionaire.

Another story of perseverance is Kathryn Stockett.  If you’re not sure who that is she is the author of the incredibly successful book “The Help” which spent over 30 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and turned into a successful movie that earned a few awards.  Kathryn says she received like 60 rejection letters before someone agreed to take on her story.  How many would you have received before giving up?

And probably one of the women I truly look to for inspiration is Oprah Winfrey.  I don’t necessarily admire her for having a television show;   I admire her for her drive.  Did you know that she was fired from one of her first jobs because they told her she was “unfit for TV”?  You know that manager is probably kicking himself today.  She had a childhood that most may not recover from but she persevered and it has paid off.  She always believed in herself and what she had to offer the world and never stopped trying.

Whenever I feel like I’m so close to succeeding but not sure if I can do it I ask myself…WWOD – What Would Oprah Do?  It always reminds me that if you believe in yourself others will too.

It’s not difficult to find a woman out there who inspires you and provides you with the motivation and drive to move towards your goal.  She doesn’t have to be famous; she could be as close to home as a family member or friend.  The important thing is you have someone to look to when you question your own path.

So here’s what I ask of you:

  • Share a story below of someone who inspires you and honor them.
  • Strive to become that woman for someone else.
  • Make sure your path is leaving doors wide open to the next generation of amazing girls.
  • Share this article.
And keep up the great work ladies!