After four decades in the entertainment business, country music superstar, Golden Globe–nominated actress, and entrepreneur Reba McEntire knows a thing or two about staying strong in the face of adversity. Not only is she constantly reinventing herself, transforming everything she touches into gold in the process, she does it with grace and hope, despite past heartache, tragedy, and loss. Here, Woman’s World catches up with the icon to find out how her faith, hard work, and humor help her make her own luck!
Pearls of Wisdom
For Reba McEntire, March 17 has always been a special day, and not just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day. “Mama and Daddy got married on St. Patrick’s Day, and my sister Alice and her husband, Robert, did too!” the red-headed firecracker shares with Woman’s World. “My parents got married in 1950. Mom is 93 now, and is doing amazingly well. I hope I have some of her genes to hang in there as long as she has!”
Growing up on a ranch in Oklahoma, McEntire developed a work ethic that has made her one of the world’s most successful women — She’s a singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman, who is equally comfortable belting out her hits on stage or creating new items for her line of clothing and home goods. In fact, these days the 64-year-old has even more irons in the fire, as she prepares to launch a podcast, continues her Las Vegas residency with Brooks & Dunn, embarks on a new arena tour, and makes guest-star appearances on hit shows, such as CBS’ Young Sheldon.
And yet, despite her upbeat spirit and go-getter attitude, McEntire has also suffered her fair share of hardship, from divorce to the loss of her father in 2014 to becoming newly single again last year. Still, as her thoughts return to the luck of the Irish, Reba believes that even in the darkest times, she is very fortunate.
“I don’t believe in coincidence,” she confides. “I think God had everything planned. I’ve been blessed to do so many things, so right now, I’m trying not to stress about anything. If I meet the right person, I’ll give love another chance, but for now, I just want to enjoy life and live in the moment!” Below, find McEntire’s tips for finding joy — and a little luck —no matter what comes your way.
1. Live Outside Your Comfort Zone
“The first time I went to Africa, I didn’t want to go because I was afraid,” McEntire admits. “But after I got there, met the people, and saw the animals, I was in love! In fact, I blew up the pictures that I took of the wildlife into canvas photos and decorated my house with them. Not only are they beautiful but they also remind me of all the wonderful rewards there are on the other side of your comfort zone and inspire me to keep challenging myself every day.”
2. Tackle the Hard Things Head-On
“I faced a huge challenge after my divorce: buying a place all by myself,” McEntire sighs. “Furnishing it how I wanted without having to ask anybody else for their opinion was a huge thing for me! But I found that even though it was tough, I really came to enjoy it. I chose an African-cowboy theme, with all of these things I’d gotten in my travels, and of course, my Western bronzes and belt buckles. It was very rewarding and fulfilling for me.”
3. Find True Joy in Giving 110%
“In life, showing up is the key to so much joy,” McEntire says. “My mama and daddy gave me the best advice: When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t back out. If you’re put out and don’t want to do it that day, too bad! You said you were going to do it, so show up. I read years ago that actress Barbara Stanwyck said, ‘When you show up for an interview or audition, be prepared and give 110 percent.’ That’s all anyone can ask of you — and most of the time, that simple thing brings so much happiness.”
4. Carry a Little Luck With You
“I have two lucky charms that I always have with me,” McEntire shares. “The first is a wooden cross from Jimmy Walker, my friend from Celebrity Fight Night. He gave it to me years ago, and it’s something that I cherish. I also have a little angel coin that I’ve had for years. Those two things I keep with me at all times — and just knowing I have them with me brings me endless comfort.”
5. Boost Confidence With Friendships
“If you’re ever feeling down or in need of a confidence boost, call a girlfriend — that’s always a good thing to do!” McEntire cheers. “Of course, I go to the Lord for everything, but talking to a girlfriend or getting together always helps. We love to play a game called Rummikub and to go on walks. Sometimes we go to the movies and then sometimes we just hang out and watch TV, but just spending time together, talking and sharing, never fails to lift my spirits.”
6. Focus on the Good All Around You
“If I’m ever having a ‘blah’ day, I do one thing: I surround myself with positivity,” McEntire says. “In my life, I choose to be around upbeat, loving people only. I don’t hang out with negative people at all. I also go to a church here in Tennessee that I love. Pastor Betty lifts my spirits and if I get a little down, I can’t wait until Sunday morning when I get to go to church — it never fails to give me the boost I need to turn it all around!”
Want more from McEntire? The country crooner will be hitting the road on a 12-city trek, and for the first time, she’ll be offering fans VIP experience packages, including meet & greets, premium seating, exclusive merchandise, and an exhibit featuring special memorabilia from her illustrious career. For more information, visit Reba.com.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.