7 Women Who Inspire Greatness

Role models are very important for children and they are equally important for adults. They are reflections of aspects that are already within us and which we aspire to develop even further. Role models function as guides. They are representations of a certain state of being that we would like to reach. In that sense, they can be powerfully inspiring and make a difference in our wellbeing and personal growth.

Last week I had a conversation with my mother in the aftermath of some family drama. The drama was not between me and her, thankfully. I think I achieved a healing level in which I don’t activate or feed into situations in which my wounds are easily reopened and rawly exposed. The drama came instead from our extended family, and the conversation ended up with me giving a message from beyond to my mother about the root cause of the drama.

I was perfectly conscious and in the moment that the message came through I thought of how surreal karma is. There I was, transmitting the exact same lesson I learned from being my mother’s daughter, and the lesson was this:

Sometimes we need to look out for the role models we wished to find among those who are closer to us.

My mother was never a role model for me because her mother was never a role model for her either. I grew up looking for female examples outside my immediate reality. Throughout my developmental process I didn’t realise that the pain I usually felt about my mother was to a great extent linked to this lack of guidance, inspiration and even greatness. Of course we are all great as individuals and I have learned many great things about my mother, but she didn’t teach me what mothers have the potential to teach their children. Today I know why she didn’t and I can see my mother’s inner child showing up every now and then looking for healing.

Right now, I feel very grateful for the pain I processed and cleared out, especially since the beginning of this year. I don’t know if I can say I healed the mother wound, but I can say there is peace about it. I would never aspire to be like the seven women I bring you today in this post, if my mother had been present in the way I wanted her to be in the past and, although she didn’t play the role I wanted her to play, she played the role that I needed to become who I am and who I will become in the future. She played herself, the only role she could, a girl and a woman in the middle of an heavy karmic thread of codependency and lack of self-worth.

So while I and my mother heal our own wounds and learn from each other’s example, let me tell you about the seven women who became my role models and teachers. They are researchers, scholars, entertainers, political figures, writers and activists. One of them was a princess and another is currently running for president of the United States. I think all these women have one thing in common – they are strong and yet highly sensitive. They have challenged the status quo and they have given me strength to be myself. They taught me that there is nothing wrong with being sensitive and yet powerful at the same time.

Lady Diana Spencer

According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, Diana was an INFP, someone who has a more introvert nature and who is rather intuitive. They are strongly guided by their principles and their motivation is driven by values such as honour, beauty, morality and virtue. I think this is very true about Princess Diana. Her attitude and humanitarian work inspire me a lot, and I always feel really proud of being an INFP because of her example.

Dr Elaine Aron

Elaine is a psychotherapist and a Psychology researcher. She is also the author of the book The Highly Sensitive Person. She brought new light into the high sensitivity topic and she has shared a lot of valuable information about the trait which seems to be present in only 20% of the human population. She is also the author of the documentary Sensitive: The Untold Story which I strongly recommend.

Dr Margaret Paul

Margaret is a counsellor, best-selling author and the co-founder of the Inner Bonding process. I learned a lot when I discovered her work. She works a lot with the inner child concept and the importance of going within to change the way we relate and talk to ourselves. Her approach is also very open and spiritual.

Audrey Hepburn

Besides being a great actress and someone whose sense of fashion is very appealing to me, Audrey was also an introvert and yet she became an unforgettable icon in the entertainment industry. What I most admire about her, however, is the humanitarian work she did and how involved she was with fighting hunger.

Marianne Williamson

Marianne is one of my favourite (best-selling) authors and teachers. Her book A Return to Love is one of my favourites and she is one of those women who embraces her yin and yang energies. Her writing has taught me a lot about the importance of having the courage to shine and stop asking for permission to be. I was surprised when I saw she was running for president of the United States and yet it is not something really shocking.

Dr Judith Orloff

Judith is a psychiatrist and also the author of one of my favourite books – The Empath Survival Guide. I find her work very reassuring and she provides great information on the neuropsychology of empaths and on how to cope with such extreme level of empathy. Her book is honestly a bible for me!

Gwyneth Paltrow

If I had to describe Gwyneth in two words, I would pick effortless elegance. I absolutely adore her casual chic style. She was also married to my soul crush, Chris Martin, of course! Jokes aside, the number one thing I admire most in Gwyneth is how she built her lifestyle company, Goop. The only thing I don’t like about it is the fact that the content is mostly directed to people who can afford porsches and Louis Vuitton bags. I’m not one of those people and, even if I had such amount of money, I am very sure I would not spend $800 dollars on a pair of boots…

So here it is, this is my list of women who inspire and reinforce both my personal and professional dreams. I hope you can spend some time researching more into their work and have a chance to dive in their books too. Consider paying a visit to Goop, but don’t get discouraged by their super pricey suggestions. It’s insane, haha!


  1. I loved each woman that you chose and your reasoning…you really went right to the heart or the very quality about each woman that makes them stand out. And while they each share such different qualities, their sense of humanity is prominent. Will definitely check out Dr. Aron’s book and the others you mentioned. Lovely post, Vanessa. Really. Well done.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❤ In terms of books, if I had to pick only one, I would go with Judith Orloff's one. I got the audiobook version and I was like "Yes! I'm not crazy after all!", haha. I do think there's a lot to do in supporting people's hypersensitivity. I often think about you when working on it! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely post, I will certainly take a look over the authors. Role models are certainly important in our development and growth. I do like Gwyneth Paltrow as well. I am trying to think who my role models are and who has made a difference in my life. I think one would have to be my Grandma Gladys as she was always so happy and cheerful and didn’t let life get her down. We always had a laugh. Thank you for sharing these. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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