3 days ago I went to watch Cars 3 with three eager boys, my son and my two nephews. My son has been eagerly anticipating Cars 3 since the past few months so even though am not an avid fan of anything even remotely related to cars, I knew had to take him as soon as it came out. He knew the release date and was counting days- (isn’t it fascinating that six-year-olds know their favorite movie’s release date even before you do, but well, that could be a separate topic for another time) Most children movies fascinate me and awaken the child within me but I must admit, some of them can be quite boring and I have even dozed off while watching a few of them. Sssh don’t tell my son. And I honestly thought Cars 3 would be one of them. But to my surprise, it turned out to be exactly the opposite. I watched the movie with the same nail biting enthusiasm as that of the older two boys seated next to me. Cars 3 by far is one of the most inspirational movies I have seen in the past few months, possibly even years. As I sat there nibbling popcorn and Maltesers, I was mentally taking notes of all the great lines I was hearing. I had to share them not only to remind my son but also reinforce the wonderful lessons for myself and the people I coach and train. To my surprise, or not, when I searched the net to find out the exact quotes, I found many articles already discussing the great leadership lessons derived from this movie. So it wasn’t just me, other people found it interesting enough to write about it as well. Here is what can be learned about dealing with adversity and challenge, the Lightning Mcqueen way!

Persistence and resilience even when you are unsure

To keep going and not give up despite all odds is one of the biggest lessons of this movie.

This can be seen when Sally Carrera wisely advises Mc Queen. ‘Don’t fear failure.’ She says, ‘Be afraid of not having the chance, you have the chance!’

This was such a powerful statement. The fact that you don’t try is worse than failing because you miss an important opportunity when you refuse to try, the opportunity to try and fail and learn a lot in the process or better still, the opportunity to try and be successful. I also wrote about this in my article on Impostor Syndrome published in Huff Post and later re-published in Thrive Global (shared by Arianna Huffington) and liked and shared hundreds of time in less than 24 hours. One way of keeping impostor syndrome at bay is to keep trying even when you are unsure. ‘Pursue your goal relentlessly regardless of what you feel…continue taking action, irrespective of how you feel. It is said that if you take the risk and do what you fear the most, then you can do anything. It takes a lot of courage to pursue challenges even when you’re doubtful. After all, you can never really know how much you can accomplish if you don’t try’

Adaptability & Continuous Learning

Lightning McQueen: I can’t go out on the track and do the same old thing, it won’t work.

It was clear to Mcqueen that he had to change his old way of doing things if he wished to stand a chance against his newest contenders. However, there was also a time when Mcqueen appeared brash and over confident about his knowledge especially when operating the new simulator which resulted in him destroying the machine. This evidenced that no matter how good you are, chances are there still might be things which you don’t know about and accepting that sooner than later can be the first step towards managing a challenging situation. Whether you are an entrepreneur or working professional, there is no limit to learning and continuously reinventing yourself.

Show Willingness To Start Afresh

Then there was time when Mcqueen looked discouraged and that’s when Smokey gave him some important lessons on how to keep up with fierce competition

Smokey Yunick: You’ll never be the racer you once were. You can’t turn back the clock, kid. But you can wind it up again

Smokey Yunick: [to McQueen] you’ll never be as fast as Storm. But you can be smarter than him.

No matter how intimidating the change or your invincible your opponent seems, you can still have a chance if you are more sensible and quick-witted and even though you cannot turn the time around, you still have the power to start afresh & turn around the situation keeping your past experiences in mind. Many times in life we need to be ready to begin from scratch, like moving to a new country and starting all over again, reconstructing your business after a huge loss, changing your field/ career, recuperating after a disaster or in this movie’s case recovering and getting back to the field after a major accident. Several people give up and are not ready to wind up the clock, But there are others who refuse to give up and begin again with renewed determination. And these are the ones the world knows as survivors, champions and heroes.

Believe In Yourself

When asked how he became a great racer, Lightning responded with the below Cars 3 quote.

Lightning: I don’t know. I just never thought I couldn’t

He never believed he couldn’t do what he set out to do

This was perhaps one of the most powerful dialogues for me in the entire film. Just because Mcqueen believed he could so he did! I have often emphasized in my articles, training, and podcasts, how crucial it is to send positive signals to your brain and make it believe that it can achieve something even when and especially when the situation is not favorable.

Smokey Yunick: You will never be the racer you once were, accept it

Lightning McQueen: I decide when I’m done

No one except you should take life decisions on your behalf and moreover, no one should have the power to disengage you and negatively influence you. You can’t control what people around you will think and say but you can control your own reaction and not let any negativity get to your head.

Coaching & Mentoring

Smokey: Hud some something in you that you don’t even see yourself

Hud loved racing… But coaching you, I’d never seen Doc so happy.

These quotes emphasize the importance of coaches and mentors in one’s life particularly when you need direction or facing a challenging situation in life.

Doc Hudson helped Lightning realize he needed help. He wasn’t the best. But he could get better. Coaches & Mentors help you do exactly that- get past obstacles and achieve your goals. Coach & Mentors help you steer your way through unsurety and overwhelm. They help identify as well as bring out the potential and talent in you, which you yourself didn’t know you had

Owning Your Success

Cars 3 taught us that Impostor Syndrome is real and very much exists but with the right support, it can be overcome. Cruz Ramirez’s story is about finding confidence and represents a classic example of someone experiencing Impostor Syndrome. She felt unsure of herself; her self-doubt prevented her from following her dreams and putting herself forward.

In her blog titled CARS 3’s Cruz Ramirez Knows All About Imposter Syndrome Amy Ratcliffe writes, ‘Cruz is every person who’s ever experienced the unnerving tendrils of impostor syndrome wrapping around their brain. Cruz is every person who’s ever experienced a lack of confidence. For many of us, particularly for many women I know, Cruz is the very picture of relatable. Though it’s not strictly a gender issue, the confidence gap does exist. In many situations, especially in the workforce, women are less self-assured than men’ However, even though Cruz did not believe she could win the race, given the right motivation and encouragement, she let go of her fears and outperformed her competitors who had been in the game much longer than her. One of my favorite lines of the movie

Jackson Storm: You don’t belong on this track

Cruz: Yesss I do!!!!

This last statement teaches you about owning your success and believing in yourself. The moment you start believing that you belong where you are and you deserve to be there, you will start flying! Watch out for the wings

Do you want to learn more about self-coaching yourself towards productivity and success and dealing with challenges and limiting beliefs? Check out my course Awaken The Coach Within which will be re-opening very soon. Subscribe here so that you are notified when the cart opens

Originally published at advancingyourpotential.com

Hira Ali is Founder of Advancing Your Potential & Revitalize and Rise She is a Leadership Trainer, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Podcaster, Professional Coach & NLP Practitioner. She tweets @advancingyou and can be contacted at [email protected]


  • Hira Ali

    Author | Writer | Speaker | Executive Coach | Women & Ethnic Leadership Development | Gender Gap | Glass Ceiling | NLP

    Advancing Your Potential

    Hira Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Advancing Your Potential, Managing Director of International Women Empowerment Events  Co-Founder of Career Excel  Co-Founder of The Grey Area is a multi-faceted career coach and trainer who has impacted hundreds of people from various industries and professions across the world. She is an Associate Certified Coach accredited by International Coach Federation and a professional member of the Association for Neuro Linguistic Programming. Her widely acclaimed leadership and coaching articles have been published across a variety of leading outlets: The International Coach Federation, The Huff Post, Thrive Global, Women @ Forbes, Ellevate Network, Entrepreneur, Women Entrepreneur, Gulf News, The Female Lead and many more. Hira’s work has been featured in several interviews the recent one being by former BBC journalist Dan Parry -some of her blogs have been shared by Arianna Huffington herself. Her career development podcast, 8 Minutes of Learning With Hira Ali, has been featured in HuffPost as one of the top 100 rising podcasts with guests. Hira is a registered coach and mentor at various international organisations including: American Corporate Partners, the National Health Services, Mentor2mentees, and The Cherie Blair Foundation. She is the recipient of the Top 100 Women – Lift Effects Star Award and was one of the top three finalists for the Baton Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year. She has recently won Highly Commended women in media award sponsored by Microsoft at the prestigious win trade awards. In her recently published book Her Way to the Top: The Glass Ceiling is Thicker Than It Looks, she highlights the internal and external road blocks impeding a woman’s climb to the top irrespective of her culture and geography. The book has earned outstanding reviews from global influencers like Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Cherie Blair, Valerie Young, Dr. Lois P Frankle, Chiara Condi, Dr. Yvonne Thompson, Carole Stone, Dr. Shola, Ziauddin Yousafzai (Malala’s dad) and many more and received a letter of appreciation from the London Mayor himself. Her Way To The Top has made it to the local newspapers such as Ham and High and international ones such as Europe Breaking News. Hira has been featured as a role model in the book Girls Who Do you Want To Be alongside global influencers like Arianna Huffington, Reshma Sujani, Claire Shipman, Sallie Krawcheck and many more. She is very passionate about empowering women and ethnic minorities and is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion at work place. https://advancingyourpotential.com/reviews/   You can follow her on Follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Insta or Facebook