Gutsy woman by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton

Hillary Clinton, the woman who almost became the first-ever female US President (and some argue should now be president), has released a book with her daughter Chelsea called The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience

Featuring the stories of women they admire, from Maya Angelous and Malala Yousafzai to Greta Thunberg and Ellen DeGeneres. Here they share with GLAMOUR their advice on the 10 inspiring ways to be a gutsy woman, based on their personal experiences.

You’ll get knocked down in life. Gutsy women get straight back up and go at it again.

It’s not always easy. You might not want to get out of bed today. The structures of power don’t support women. I’ve lived that. I understand that. At the same time, it’s really important to point out that everybody gets knocked down. Everybody gets discouraged in whatever they’re doing in life, but the real question is are you going to get back up and go at it again?

Maybe you stay down for a while, but always get back up and go. In order to get back up and keep going you have to be optimistic. Keep working on you and the cause you’re rooting for, whether it be running for office or breaking athletic records. You’ve got to be optimistic.

Be inspired by great men as well as other gutsy women.

The first great man who popped into my head was Nelson Mandela. He is someone who literally had to detain his anger and emerged from 27 years in prison knowing if he didn’t rid himself of his hatred for what had been done to him, taking the best years of his life, he would still feel imprisoned in a very real way. I think about him a lot. He was one of the most remarkable, gutsy leaders. In times where there’s a lot of toxicness coming from male leaders, it’s important to recognise the good male role models

Take criticism seriously but not personally

I learned a long time ago to take criticism seriously but not personally. You can learn a lot from your critics and you want to pay attention to that. But to those who are trying to tear you down and undermine you, pay no attention whatsoever.

Want to be the next female politician? Consider what you want to run for and why you think you could win.

I’m supporting a lot of groups in America that are recruiting candidates, particularly young people, who are helping to train these individuals and raise money for them and their campaigns.

You need to consider what you want to run for and why you think you could win. That’s what voters will want to know. If you don’t have those answers, it’s pretty clear when you get out there and you haven’t thought about it.

Preparation is key. Seek advice from people with experience. Understand how the government works and match your ambition in a way that will serve and give you the greatest chance to make a difference. Then it’s a leap of faith. If you decide you want to do it, jump in deep, be prepared and know exactly what you’re talking about.

Take risks and be yourself

When people ask how they can have the best future, I really do stress the importance of education and not just education in school, but reading books, understanding how different cultures operate, getting involved in your community and figuring out how to make things happen. When I was 11, I had teachers in my elementary school who really stressed the importance of giving back. It was a public school funded by the government so it was all about you’re going to get an education, what are you going to do with it.

As every teacher would have, they encouraged us to think beyond just what we were doing in school all you know, ‘we want have fun,’ ‘we want to spend time with our friends,’ but it was really something like my sixth grade teacher which is when you’re about eleven would say, you know, you’ve got to get a good education and then don’t hide your light under a bushel, which always was a great image to think about.

Thinking back to that age, I would keep encouraging my younger self to learn as much as I can, challenge myself as much as possible and take risks. It’s also important to be yourself. Part of the challenge is to not get diverted because it’s so easy to get knocked off track. Live your own life and live it as gutsy as you can.

When a man is breathing down your neck, ignore it

I have probably given more thought to this than the average person. The way I reacted when that happened to me was to ignore it. If a woman looks like she is upset, she is often viewed as not being able to handle it. If a man’s invading your space, you just have to say ‘Excuse me, please back off, let me finish what I’m doing’ and then you can have your turn. You have to stand your ground but you can’t overreact to it.

During the second date when she debated Donald Trump in 2016, I was trying to answer questions about health care and immigration and the economy and my mind was going what is he doing? I did entertain saying, ‘back up you creep, you’re not going to intimidate me,’ but the news and political press would say ‘he rattled her, look at that, she thinks she can stand up to Putin but can’t handle Donald Trump’.

Be fearless

Chelsea and I put Greta in the book because we had read about her lonely, solitary climate strike in front of the Swedish parliament and we were so moved by it. Then of course, you have the book and she sailed across the ocean and speaks to the UN. It’s been fascinating to watch how scared a lot of grown up male leaders are of this young 16 year old girl.

In our country, there’s a lot of people who aren’t on her side about climate change. There are a number of people who are attacking her because they cannot attack the science. More broadly, her clarity and fearlessness is incredibly threatening to a lot. She’s a young woman who is standing up for her future and speaking out so effectively and it rattles people.

Like it or not, as a woman, the way you look will be judged. Own it.

I was once told the trouble about being a female politician is that you have to have policies and a hairstyle. It’s so true. Articles on female politicians will almost always mention what trainers she was wearing, or why she wore black jeans and no makeup. So what? I’ve never read an article about what colour tie a President is wearing and what that means. Women in politics are covered by the media in a completely different way. The best advice I was given was to choose a haircut and stick with it.

Don’t aim for perfection.

Part of what we wanted to do with the book was to be both explicit and in some cases implicitly describe some of the personal challenges and disappointments that the women in the book live through because I’m really on a campaign against perfectionism and making particularly young women think they have to be perfect, look perfect, act perfect. There are these pictures on Instagram that are breeding insecurities and anxieties, but they’re not real.

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