I have been inspired by the christmas film The Holiday into researching how to be the leading lady of my own life. And my research shows that I am not the only one who has been inspired by this film to do so. See for yourself, look it up and you’ll find article after article from women who have taken the film’s words to heart. Many I agree with, some I don’t, this one is a half-way house and worth a read, you know, once you’ve read mine obviously: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/9764314/Skirting-the-issue-Festive-rom-coms-make-me-realise-Im-not-the-leading-lady-in-my-own-life.html

Christmas and New Year is a time to reflect on the past and bring about change for the future, your future, to become the person that you want to be. But without the right inspiration, the thing that makes change – no matter how small – seem like the most obvious answer and give you the kick up the arse needed to get you started, nothing is going to change. My kick up the arse has come in the form of a conversation between Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) and Arthur Abbot (Eli Wallach) in one of my favourite films The Holiday. Finally it has spoken to me:

And in case you can’t watch the video:

Arthur: “Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like you’re the best friend.”

Iris: “You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake…”

Too many times do I feel like I’m walked over, passed off for a better option or simply just taken for granted. And honestly, it’s not the fact that this stuff happens that I’m bothered by, it’s the fact that I’m bothered by it in the first place.

I believe a leading lady should be strong, always have a back up plan and be able to ‘go with the flow’ to make any situation work best for her, be able to take life by the balls and seize opportunities and have a firm grasp of perspective. Without being rude or cruel in the process, I might add. After all, manners don’t cost a thing.

I suppose confidence is a lot of what being a leading lady is about and being able to take things in your stride when life doesn’t go your way. Two things that I am working on. I have always been shy and find it difficult to talk to people (I always have a nagging voice at the back of my mind telling me people think I’m boring so there’s no point saying anything – so I don’t), and I take things to heart and have a mini meltdown when life throws me a curve ball. But as I said, I’m working on this.

As I mentioned, I’ve been researching and finding what words of wisdom can we take from and learn from to become the leading lady in our own lives? Here are the ones that speak most to me:

  • gumption

    [guhmp-shuh n] 

    1. initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness:

    2. courage; spunk; guts:

    3. common sense; shrewdness.

Gumption is what Iris learns to take control of her life and, take these as you will but, I think initiative, resourcefulness, courage and common sense are the ideal traits to behold.

  • “Give from your own strength. Depend less on the strength of others. Develop your own talents and don’t envy other people theirs.”  – J.Donald Walters

Doing things for yourself can be empowering. It is too easy to take the quick route out of a problem and ask someone else to deal with it for you. Take control and sort out the problem, show yourself that you can handle anything that is thrown at you.

  • “If not me, who? If not now, when?” – Emma Watson

Yes I know that was part of her UN speech about gender equality, but this doesn’t stop them being powerful words that we can learn from. If we are not going to take up the role of leading lady in our own lives, who is?

  • “Write down every negative thought you have about yourself today so you can see them for what they are. After this, every time you catch yourself with a negative thought, I want you to do this, STOP IT!” – Paul McKenna

We really can be our own worst enemies. How many times have you put yourself down for something only for someone else to give you praise for it? And I bet I know which one you believe over the other…

  • “If you want to attract appreciation for what you do, then move through your life appreciating and complimenting others.” – Rhonda Byrne

Don’t forget about other people and know that many of them will be feeling the same way as you do about yourself. It’s not difficult to give others a little boost and being nice won’t cost you a thing – even if you don’t get anything in return. Don’t give to receive.

  • Remember the blue sky.
    “When you get in a plane and rise above the clouds, you see that incredible bright panorama of blue sky. The mind is no different; thoughts are like clouds, and although they may build up and even look stormy, the blue sky is there all along. Just remembering this is enough to help you get a little more clarity.” – Andy Puddicombe

The calm, contented and negative free space we all desire, is within each of us. We just have to remember to rise above it all into the clear space where we can think logically.


I hope some of those will speak to you as they do me and inspire you to become the person you want to be – not that there was anything wrong with us in the first place! There’s just perhaps more to us than we like to let on. Let the New Year inspire you, there’s no better time to make a change.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am off to start my new life in the starring role I was born to play.


32 thoughts on “Be the Leading Lady of your own Life

  1. I LOVE this post. The Holiday is one of my favorite movies and the “Be the Leading Lady” scene was so inspiring to me–and it’s so true! It’s easy to get caught up in pleasing others and worry about what they’ll think of you. Sometimes I find myself changing a bit to fit into other people’s lives, but we must stay true to who we are and be bold enough to make choices we will thank ourselves for in the future

  2. Can not agree more… People pleasing can temporarily make you happy when you see people accepting you but it weighs down on your conscience. It is diffult to to true to yourself but that is the only way to shine…

  3. Pingback: New Year’s Resolutions | Lisa Tiller

    • Thanks so much! I like to write advice for myself that I can look back on when I feel a bit lost, so if it can help others along the way too then that makes it even better. I’m wishing us both luck x

  4. Such an amazing post.. This is a film I definitely plan to watch now. Be Your own leading lady. I love this. You touched on a subject I feel so strongly about. Love x

  5. Favorite part of this amazing movie! So many of you have commented on the exact issue that I think many women face. It’s easy to conform to what those around you want to see but at what point do you stop trying to fit in and create your own path. The hard part of that is losing friends who can’t handle when you have your own voice and stop being the supporting actress of your own life. Have any of you experienced this situation?

  6. Great post! I loved it! Thanks for liking my post on learningtocry.wordpress.com. I really appreciate it!
    Leave me a comment sometime. : )

    • Thank you! A lot of what I write is advice to myself, this was one of them, so I keep coming back and reading it to remind myself of what it is I’m trying to achieve. Glad to hear when it helps others too, good luck. Thanks for stopping by x

  7. I am such the “best friend” in my own life story. I wonder how we slide into that role of supporting player? Your post has given me alot to think about. Well done.

    • It is difficult, I’m trying to not be so afraid of airing my opinion and trying out more new things. Small changes to promote the big ones. Or that’s what I’m hoping for anyway. I wish you luck Jody, remember you are a special lady and will get to where you need to be x

  8. Pingback: Be the Leading Lady of your own Life – Act 2 | Lisa Tiller

  9. Such a great post! It’s taken me a long time to put my foot down (with myself) and do things. I find myself doing most things with my eyes closed because of insecurities but I want to be the leading the lady in my life. Emma Watson’s words is my mantra for now.

    • Thanks so much for that! I’m completely with you on all of it, I want to live my life the way that’s best for me and not to just fit in around everyone else’s plans. We need to stand up for ourselves and realise that what we want matters. Good luck to you and thanks for stopping by x

  10. Late to the party here, but…this is excellent! You’ve inspired me to do my own. 🙂 (Though I should probably watch The Holiday first!) I really like your blog. Also, thanks for liking my post. 🙂

  11. Pingback: One more sleep until 2016 | Lisa Tiller

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