3 things we can learn from Taylor Swift on International Women's Day

female empowerment life lessons taylor swift
image of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s star is shining brightly, and rightfully so. What she has achieved in 34 years is nothing short of miraculous, and she’s a wonderful role model for girls and women everywhere.

And while I wouldn’t necessarily label myself a Swiftie, I’ve been reflecting on her success and some of the valuable lessons we can learn from this global icon.

Here are my top three: 

Lesson one: don’t let others dim your light or your joy

As someone who coaches women on how to break the people-pleasing pattern and live more authentically, I resonate deeply with this quote from Taylor:

I don’t think it’s the most important thing in life to fit it. I think it’s the most important thing in life to dance to the beat of your own drum and to look like you’re having more fun than the people who look cool like they fit in.

I’m reminded of an incident from years ago when I worked in the music industry. I was at the Brit Awards in London (a dream of mine) and I recall pulling out my camera to take a photo of one of the world’s most iconic bands who were on stage at the time.

The record company executive sitting next to me pushed my camera aside, looked at me with disdain and said “we don’t do that here”. I was devastated. My excitement and joy were shattered in that moment, and I remember feeling inadequate and like I didn't belong there. I wish 23 year-old me had had Taylor's 'hutzpah' as looking back, I realise the problem wasn’t me – it was him.

This from Taylor:

“The worst kind of person is someone who makes someone feel bad, dumb, or stupid for being excited about something.”

Be careful who you listen to - don’t let someone dim your light or your joy in the name of being cool or fitting in.

Lesson two: turn adversity into triumph and don’t let it stop you

Taylor has taken every adversity she’s faced - whether it’s heartbreak, criticism or even losing the rights to own her own work - and turned it into a triumph. She even took on the might of the music industry and, thanks to some sage advice from Kelly Clarkson, re-recorded her first six albums so she could own the rights to her own music.

She always seems to find a way forward and doesn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wants or believes in. And she’s able to balance her ambition with incredible kindness, humility and generosity.

Lesson three: allow your creativity to flow

I’m paraphrasing here but I recall an interview where Taylor said that when inspiration strikes she goes with it and puts her work out there before her mind has an opportunity to tell her it’s not good enough. There’s a lesson in there for us all.

Whether or not you appreciate Taylor’s music, there is much we can learn from this global superstar. Personally, I’m grateful to have someone in the spotlight who spreads kindness, joy, and positive female power.

Photo by Rosa Rafael on Unsplash


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