Abby Wambach’s 4 rules for success brought this graduating class to its feet.
Her commencement speech to Barnard College Class of 2018.
“Like all little girls, I was taught to be grateful. I was taught to keep my head down, stay on the path, and get my job done. I was freaking Little Red Riding Hood”.
“If I could go back and tell my younger self one thing, it would be this: ‘Abby, you were never Little Red Riding Hood; you were always the wolf.”
“Non-athletes don’t know what to do with the gift of failure. So they hide it, pretend it never happened, reject it outright — and they end up wasting it. Listen: Failure is not something to be ashamed of, it’s something to be POWERED by. Failure is the highest octane fuel your life can run on. You gotta learn to make failure your fuel.”
“Here’s what’s important. You are allowed to be disappointed when it feels like life’s benched you. What you aren’t allowed to do is miss your opportunity to lead from the bench. During that last World Cup, my teammates told me that my presence, my support, my vocal and relentless belief in them from the bench is what gave them the confidence they needed to win us that championship. If you’re not a leader on the bench, don’t call yourself a leader on the field. You’re either a leader everywhere or nowhere.”
“As you go out into the world: Amplify each others’ voices. Demand seats for women, people of color and all marginalized people at every table where decisions are made. Call out each other’s wins just like we do on the field, claim the success of one woman as a collective success for all women. Joy. Success. Power. These are not pies where a bigger slice for her means a smaller slice for you. These are infinite. In any revolution, the way to make something true starts with believing it is. Let’s claim infinite joy, success, and power — together.”
“Women, at this moment in history, leadership is calling us to say: ‘Give me the effing ball. Give me the effing job. Give me the same pay that the guy next to me gets. Give me the promotion. Give me the microphone. Give me the Oval Office. Give me the respect I’ve earned and give it to my wolf pack, too.'”
“Don’t just ask yourself, ‘What do I want to do?’ Ask yourself, ‘Who do I want to be?'”