Life Advice from The Last “Today Girl”

In the spring of 2011, one of broadcasting’s boldest dishes, Barbara Walters, shared some words of wisdom to celebrate International Women’s Day. One would naturally expect to hear some pretty amazing stories from this pioneer who ended the era of the “Today Girl” and landed the coveted spot of first female co-anchor of network evening news. But what she actually did was deliver a crash course in living boldly from a career chock full of lessons and glass ceilings shattered. 

So if you’re looking for some sage advice from a living legend, here’s a recap of my favorites from her talk.

  1. Everything you do is an audition…for the next job, the next promotion, or the next big break.
  2. Just when you think you’ve done it all, there’s something else that comes along to challenge you and inspire you to continue to evolve.
  3. Every once in a while you are able to do something that you feel might make a difference. Those are moments to cherish.
  4. Do one thing during the course of the day that brings you pleasure. Something just for you.
  5. Get rid of the shoulds when you can.  “There were so many things I did because I should and not because I wanted to….it’s the party you go to because you should just to show that you’re invited…you know what, nobody cares.”
  6. When you take risks, “you have to know that if you fail, there’s one way or another that you can survive.” You have to feel that where you’re going is going to be better, more fun and that you are able, if it doesn’t work out, to live.
  7. “[Confidence isn’t] unfeminine, pushy or arrogant.  It’s normal.  And it should just be part of your thinking. I’m good I deserve it and ask for it.”
  8. Don’t just take a job for the money. You have to know that what you’re moving towards is going to be better for you, make you happier, etc.
  9. “Have something else in your life besides your work” so that you have something to rely on when things get tough. They will be there no matter what happens in your job.
  10. You don’t always know your true destiny or your passion in the beginning…it’s the serendipity in life and you cannot plan every aspect of your life.
  11. You SHOULD have to put up with some things – the feeling of accomplishment is a rare high. Everything isn’t always wonderful and glamorous.
  12. “Do not expect balance – try to do the best you can and don’t hate yourself when you don’t.”

Have you been feeling out of sorts, doubting if you’re on the right road, or scared to take a chance? Which piece advice from Babs rings true for you and what you’re going to do about it?


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