In light of Her World’s Young Woman Achiever Forum held earlier this month on March 21, 2015, we got six successful Singapore women to share what advice they would give to their 18-year-old selves. Read their words of wisdom here:

What 6 successful Singapore women would tell their younger selves

Janice Wong, 31, Asia’s Best Pastry Chef of 2013 and 2014 (Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna):

“Got a dream? Chase it. Got a passion? Pursue it. When I discovered my interest in pastry, I started to seek opportunities in creative kitchens around the world. I eventually opened 2am:dessertbar, the first progressive, dessert-centric restaurant here.

Now, besides an innovation lab in Japan, I’ve launched Janice Wong, a boutique showcasing whimsical, handcrafted sweets. Good things happen to those who persevere, and even if you fail, the experience can be priceless.” 

What 6 successful Singapore women would tell their younger selves

Guo Huili, 31, junior investigator from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*Star, and the 2014 L’Oreal For Women in Science, Life Sciences fellow:

“I would tell my younger self … to be more confident and not be hesitant in voicing out my thoughts and opinions. It is common, especially among Asians, to hold back our thoughts for fear of sounding stupid. But doing so would just mean you are short-changing yourself. Nobody can recognise that you have the smartest idea if you keep it inside your head!”

What 6 successful Singapore women would tell their younger selves

Gillian Tan, 34, founder of clicknetwork.tv and Munkysuperstar Pictures:

“I would tell my younger self … to be as unemotional as possible at work – it’s one of the biggest advantages you can have. Don’t take things personally, even though that’s one of the hardest things to do sometimes. When faced with setbacks, focus on solving the problem logically and practically, instead of being tied down by emotions – it will not help you solve anything and will only hinder you.”

What 6 successful Singapore women would tell their younger selves

Christel Quek, 24, Twitter digital strategist:

“… that it’s natural to be afraid when you are just starting out – don’t beat yourself up over it. Take time to understand people as individuals; know where they are coming from. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – have a mentor whom you can always trust to have your best interests at heart. Treat challenges as opportunities to gain more wisdom, and never see kindness as a weakness. Success is not an end goal, it comes as you slowly become the person you hope to be.”

What 6 successful Singapore women would tell their younger selves

Oon Shu An, 28, actress: 

“… to understand that it’s okay to make mistakes because this helps to make you more empathetic towards others – when you understand people better, it makes life less lonely too. I used to be very hard on myself and would demand perfection, even from others. But during my one-woman show, #Unicornmoment, with Checkpoint Theatre last year, I had the chance to interview people from my past – old friends, ex-boyfriends and teachers… unresolved confl icts were dealt with and I learnt to see them in a very different light. It’s interesting how my job taught me about living life.”

What 6 successful Singapore women would tell their younger selves

Dr Yeo Sze Ling, 37, research scientist from the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), A*Star, and Her World Young Woman Achiever 2013:

“Be thankful for all your blessings, continue learning from your own experiences and learning from others, and accept your own shortcomings. Research work is possible even for someone with visual impairment. There will undoubtedly be challenges, so it’s important to keep an open mind and pick up new skills all the time.”

This story was originally published in Her World magazine March 2015.

Relive the Her WOrld Young Woman Achiever Forum 2015 at http://campaign.herworldplus.com/ywaf2015, with videos and more details to come.