Embrace Your Dreams: Life Lessons from Eleanor Roosevelt to Inspire Your Journey

By Joanna Barrett, LMHC, E-RYT

Eleanor Roosevelt was an influential American political figure, diplomat, and activist. As the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, (the 32nd President of the United States), she was the longest-serving First Lady from 1933 to 1945. Mrs. Roosevelt was a champion for social causes and human rights. Her advocacy extended to issues such as civil rights, women’s rights, and workers’ rights. She was known for her forthrightness, compassion, and unwavering dedication to improving the lives of others. Her legacy continues to inspire people worldwide to fight for justice, equality, and human dignity. Her legacy continues to inspire me and the ways in which I live my life and work with clients.  

Mrs. Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” This quote has resonated with me for decades, as I have crafted a life I love and seen my dreams come to fruition. As she said, “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” For me, this has led me to reach the life I could previously only envision. I encourage my clients to envision the changes they want to make in their lives and to set reasonable steps and goals to reach their dreams.  

Mrs. Roosevelt also said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. In my experience, the things that feel the scariest are often the most impactful and life-changing. Therefore, as Mrs. Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you,” I aim to lean into vulnerability and fear.  When my clients do the things that scare them, their lives (inner and outer) change. Trust me, it’ll have a huge payoff! 

Mrs. Roosevelt also said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Many times, I felt discouraged and small, but no one “made me” feel this way.  I simply felt it.  Yes, you may have critical feedback along the way, or people who don’t support your changing of your life.  That’s okay.  You can stand in your inner knowing of who you are and the direction you’re going. 

I believe in you. I trust that you can see the beauty in your dreams and know that your future is yours to create. With every experience, you will grow and expand, and the scary ones will be the most transformative. Stay strong and soft. Be open and willing to taste all that life has to offer you. Reach out for support and encouragement. I’m here for you.  

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Photo Credit: Joanna Barrett, Washington, D.C. (July 2024)

Eleanor Roosevelt statue in Washington, DC

July 8, 2024

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