Success Mantras from Strong Female Leads

Strong female leads teach us so much, like that it’s ok to have haters, drink wine before 5 p.m. and expose midriff after age 17. Most importantly, they teach us to laugh in the face of danger/the patriarchy. We collected their best mantras for success to inspire you to be the protagonist of your own life.

Pro tip: These mantras work even better when you’re wearing this shirt.

“I’ve decided that life’s too short not to be honest.” – Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife

There’s something so relaxing about watching TV lawyer Alicia Florrick blink in the face of bad news only to open a bottle of red and figure shit out, un-phased.

“If the apocalypse comes, beep me.” – Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy shows that you can bounce back from the brink of death, defy danger and land your crush, all with just the occasional shrug, spinning hook kick or clever pun.

“No retreat, no surrender.” – Alex Parrish, Quantico

Miss World Priyanka Chopra is so powerful that ABC handed her 26 (!) scripts before she finally accepted Quantico. Maybe she was waiting for a character as badass as Alex. Conjure this mantra next time the office vending machine takes your quarters. Eff that.

“I am the person you need to impress right now.” – Peggy Olson, Mad Men

Next time someone looks at you at work like you are a little girl and not like the high-powered success story that you are, repeat this Peggy Olson quote with a stone-cold stare.

“I’m here to get what’s mine.” – Cookie Lyon, Empire

Be like Cookie. Build an empire. Lose it. Get it back. Whatever!

“Let go of who you were to become, who you will be.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

There’s Carrie Diaries you, and Sex and the City You. Imagine if you’d only stayed put where you came from. You may never have gone on to look demure on New York City buses. SMH.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle, Rihanna.” – Ilana Glazer, Broad City

Perfect for when you feel like saving the earth and crying in your car at the same time.

“I pretty much just do whatever Oprah tells me to do.” – Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

Following this rule will basically mean that you make cute pies, read extremely compelling books and give your nieces the hippest stuffed animals during the holidays.

“Ovaries before brovaries.” – Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

Bros before hoes just doesn’t have the same rhythm, IMHO.

“You don’t make history by being liked.” – Annalise Keating, How to Get Away with Murder

Amen. Leave it to Viola Davis to remind us that legacies are built on bravery and boldness.

Godspeed, you force of nature you.

Image from Imaginary Beast


wd_contributor_headshots5Becky Lang is a writer, creative director and occasional podcaster living in Minneapolis.

She also likes to draw dogs and female protagonists.