Blake Lively shares the one piece of life advice that made her a success

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Kayleigh Dray

An award-winning actor, a lifestyle blogger, and a spokesperson for women’s rights, there’s no denying that Blake Lively’s career is in full swing – and it might all be thanks to some advice she received years ago.

Last week, the Shallows actress appeared at the L'Oreál Women of Worth gala and spoke on CTV's eTalk. During the chat, Lively was asked for the secret to her success – and the 29-year-old readily admitted that it was all down to some words of wisdom given to her by her mother, Elaine.

Explaining that her mother instilled her with a strong self of self-belief from a very young age, Lively explained: “Whatever it was, whether I was doing a school project, I was doing something creative, she would always say, ‘You can't mess it up’.

“I mean, I could mess it up really severely, but just the fact that she told me I couldn't almost made me feel like I couldn't.”

Lively added: “[So] I took risks and I would do things I otherwise would have limited myself with.”

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It is not the first time that Lively – who now has two daughters herself with husband Ryan Reynolds – has credited her success to her mother.

At the People’s Choice Awards earlier this year, the actor was up against the likes of Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep for Favourite Dramatic Movie Actress. However her standout performance in shark thriller, The Shallows, cinched the win – and the former Gossip Girl star was quick to dedicate the gong to her mum.

“My mum, she always taught me as a kid that you can’t ever let anyone limit you,” she said.

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you there’s something you can’t do.”

However it seems as if Lively’s mum wasn’t the only woman to inspire her while she was growing up; the actor went on to add that her first goal as a youngster was to meet the Spice Girls.

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“What was so neat about them was that they’re all so distinctly different, and they were women, and they owned who they were, and that was my first introduction into girl power,” she said.

“Watching this movie, and the women nominated in this category — when you guys voted for this, you didn’t just vote for this movie or me, but you voted for girl power… and men voted for girl power, too, and you guys are awesome for doing that.”

Warming to her theme, Lively finished by saying: “Thank you for sending a message to Hollywood that people want to hear stories about women, and we want to hear your stories.

“Whether it’s social media, your iPhone – whatever, tell your stories, now more than ever. You need to be heard, you are valuable, and no one can limit you!”

Images: Rex Pictures


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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