International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of all the women we know and admire.
At the House of St John’s, we believe in the importance of empowering girls and women. Embracing our experiences and sharing our knowledge contributes to the creation of communities where women can thrive. We possess the ability to excel in all areas of life, whilst supporting our peers, serving as positive role models, and taking the lead when promoting the importance of friendship, courage and resilience.
Celebrating women starts with recognising our power, and that walks hand in hand with acknowledging our past as much as preparing for our future.
With this in mind, we sat down with some of our members to ask them the advice they would give their younger selves. We hope that by sharing these inspirational thoughts, we will start a conversation about our experiences as young women, whilst offering an insight to the thoughts of powerful women in business.
Amy Grant, Head of House, House of St John’s:
Believe in yourself and know that confidence is power. Don’t try and slot yourself into how you believe you should fit into society. Know your worth, act on your talents and push your boundaries. If you’re told no then ask why and better yourself to get a yes next time. You are here once and experiencing everything for the first time. Learn from it and push against expectation, but ensure every decision made should have an end goal of your happiness as the priority. Finally, remember to enjoy the little things in life. Be grateful for what you’ve got and who you get to share that with be it your family, friends or in your career.
Victoria Whipp, Pegasus Bath Leat Sales Advisor, Lifestory:
When thinking about the advice that I would give to my younger self, the saying ‘those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter’ springs to mind. As women, we tend towards a belief that our worth is inherently hinged on what others think of us, and I have certainly fallen victim of this view point far too often. However, the further I go through life, the more experiences I have and the more people I meet, the more I realise that everyone else is far too busy worrying about what people think of them to be taking much interest in me. As long as you are good to yourself and kind to those you meet, being the truest version of yourself will always serve you the best. Ultimately, what other people think of you, is really none of your business.
Fina Charleson, Co-Founder and Podcast Producer:
Make the most of what you have right now. It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, and no doubt there will be highs and lows, successes, and failures, but learn to appreciate the small things and find joy in the journey. You are the one who has to live with the choices you make, so make sure they align with your values and desires. If you look back and cringe at things you did 6 months ago (or even yesterday!), then you’re on track and progressing. So, take a deep breath, eat well, move often, be around good people… it’s up to you to make the most of what you’ve got.
Gemma Denning, Studio Manager, HELLO:
My advice to my younger self would be don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more you ask, the more you learn, and the more you know, the more you can contribute. Always be willing to listen and explore new ideas but don’t compare yourself to others. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself, but it’s important to remember that everyone has their own unique strengths. Focus on your own journey and what you are good at, what you want to achieve and keep working to improve. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and the rest will follow
Rachel Davies, Rachel Davies Nutrition:
I would tell my younger self not to sweat the small stuff and to trust the process. If you are passionate about what you do, work hard, and stay true to yourself then the rest will fall into place. Even though life often throws you curveballs, trust that you have the resilience and tools to deal with it. I would also tell myself not to ignore niggling physical and mental symptoms. Whilst working in very stressful jobs in my 20’s, I experienced uncomfortable digestive symptoms, hormone imbalances and anxiety- believing it to be the norm. By addressing my nutrition, gaining a better connection to my body and what lifestyle approaches worked best for me, I was able to transform my health and wellbeing. As a nutritional therapist, I am now passionate about supporting others to do the same, and to improve their health and wellbeing for good!