Self, obviously, is ourselves, right? It's yourself. And esteem is how much you value, well, self-esteem is how much you value and like yourself. Esteem is to value, hold in high regard, and admire. So obviously, when you put the self in front of the admire, (audience chuckling) it's all about you. It's how you view yourself. The thing that a lot of people say to me and ask for help with is their confidence. But their self-esteem is so low, that the confidence isn't really going to be able to build up too much. They're different things. Self-esteem and confidence are different things. Self-esteem, you were born with it. We're all born with self-esteem. If you ever, we all know that I'm not a huge children fan, right? I make that quite apparent. If you know me, you know that I make that apparent. Although I will tell you, as I'm aging, I'm changing my ways. I like children now. (audience laughing) Have you ever, I defy any of you to ever tell me that you've seen a baby, like being pushe...
d down the street, baby in a stroller, little, cute, chubby baby somewhere, and people have gone, "Ooh, look at that "fat-thighed, rolly cheeked baby." Right? Everyone looks at a baby and go, "Oh, it's a, but look at how cute you are!" Even if you don't want one. I do it. Even if I never wanted children, I still look at a baby, and there's something about a baby that you just go, "Oh, it's a baby, and they smell kinda delicious, "and I love those little fat rolls, "and they're cute, and cheeks." Right? That's how babies are born. Babies come into this world with this self-esteem because everyone just puts all this praise on them, right? No one goes up and goes, "Ugh." Even me! Everyone loves them, and praises them, and builds up their self-esteem. It's when we start to get older in our childhood that that self-esteem, and it starts innocently, right? You drop your milk everywhere. "Aghh, you're so clumsy, what are you doing?" It's really innocent. It's really innocent. And it's no one's fault. It's innocent. But as we keep growing, something chips away at our self-esteem. You know, maybe you were a kid and you went to do the school play and you got on stage, and you couldn't sing quite as well as you thought you were going to or dance quite as well as you thought you were going to, and the other kids made fun of you, right? For me, I'll tell you mine. I was a really overweight, obesely overweight child. And unfortunately, I was lucky because my school had a swimming pool. That was torturous for me to put on a bathing suit in front of all those other kids, and then right when I'd get to the water, I'd get in the water, they'd call me Orca. 'Cause the movie had just come out, Orca. If you don't know, it was about a killer whale. That's how big I was. And all the kids would just start calling me Orca. It was devastating. I have never worn a bathing suit. I just will not wear a bathing suit. And if I do, Mama's got a caftan all over it. They're the kind of things that ruin your self-esteem. And it happened so long ago that it should be an easy thing to let go, but we often have one of those. Maybe it's not from childhood, right? But there's something that someone has said to you, "You're a bitch," right? "You're ugly. "You're stupid. "You're fat. "You're impossible to love. "You're mean." Whatever it is. And that has chipped away at your self-esteem, which then in turn will chip away at your confidence, and then, there you are. You're stuck again. So self-esteem is really how do you value yourself? How do you show up for yourself? You know, we're taught, don't be cocky. Don't talk about yourself. Don't toot your own horn. 'Cause you come off as, you know, really egotistical and narcissistic. There is nothing wrong with saying, "I have a successful business." Nothing wrong with that. There's nothing with saying, "I have a great family." It's not boasting. It's not putting anyone else down. It's what you value, and what you've worked hard at, and what you've put your blood, sweat, and tears into. Remember I keep asking you, what will you sacrifice for? You've sacrificed for it. So if you've sacrificed for it, you better bloody own it. Otherwise, where's the balance? And your self-esteem is something that you need, we all do, to work on and realize that it is our value. It is how we hold ourselves in regard. It doesn't depend on an outside influence. It doesn't depend on a partner, a friend, a loved one. It's ours. We own it. It's ours. It's not about anyone else. It's about us and how we hold ourselves, value ourselves, respect ourselves, and hold ourselves in high esteem. Does that make sense? And a lot of people think it's selfish to think about themselves and to put themselves first. Self-esteem, again, you cannot pour water from an empty vessel. You know, I have struggled with this being a caregiver, of having to replenish, and when do you put yourself first and when don't you because someone else was more important and needed me more and needed my help. And it's a struggle. But part of having healthy self-esteem is knowing that I have to take care of myself. Not just because if I don't take care of myself I can't take care of anyone else. But I have to take care of myself because I value myself. I'm of value, and I'm important. I may not be important to anyone else, and that doesn't matter. I'm important to myself. And if I don't take care of myself, and I don't juice myself up and eat properly and sleep when I need to and put up my boundaries and say no to someone, that's not acceptable, you're just too much of a drainer on me and I'm really sorry, I can't be there for you at the moment, but I wish you well. Right? And to be able to walk away because that's what you have to do for your own protection, your own self-esteem, and to keep you going and to keep juice in your tank. You know, when a friend comes, when you've got a great business idea and a friend comes and starts, "Oh, well, you know, "the last thing you did didn't work, "and you're always full of good ideas, "and how much money is it going to cost you, "and I thought you were bright." They start with all of that, the Negative Nancy? I'm really sorry, I so value your opinion, but I don't wanna hear it. (audience chuckling) Right? I value what you have to say, and I value your opinion, but I don't wanna hear it on this matter. I've made my mind up. This is what I wanna do. This is what I'm doing for me. This is what I wanna try. Thank you. Thank you for your concern. Right? I wasn't rude. Was that rude? No. But it was putting yourself in high esteem. And when you do have high self-esteem, because your realize you're of value, and you realize that you matter, and you realize that the only person that you really have to matter and be of value to is yourself, not anyone else, you don't look to the outside for validation as much. You don't need stimulants. You don't need the outside things that sometimes we need because you like yourself, and you feel okay with yourself, so you don't need to numb yourself and look to any kind of outside substance or people to float your boat, tell you you're pretty, right, tell you you're sexy. You don't need that because you know what feels good for you, and you can own it and take ownership of it. So let's talk about self-esteem, shall we? Levi, would you like to come up? Come up to the hot seat.
I feel very small when I sit on this seat, especially next to you.
This is really great to be here. I just wanted to say that I've been watching you for almost nine years, and I just think you're incredible.
Well, thank you.
I have your book in my little bag over there.
Aw, thank you. Thank you. Thanks for being here. So tell me, how is your self-esteem? Do you struggle with it? Is it an issue for you?
I mean, I think that the last year has been a lot better for me, but I'm still a little bit struggling. I feel like the last four or five years, with the family issue I've had to deal with, it's kind of drained my self-esteem. And I identify with what you were talking about earlier, that if you don't fill up your own glass first, you definitely get drained. And that's definitely been my life the last four or five years, and it's really taken a toll on my career and probably like my friendships and things like that.
So how do you fill up your tank, then?
I would say, probably just finding things that are inspiring to work on. I have some clients in Las Vegas who I work with, and some of their projects are really exciting and fun, and it helps to kind of like put that creativity back into my own box. But also simple things, like hanging out with my seven-year-old nephew. It's fun to go and hang out with him and play laser tag sometimes and act like a kid. Just things like that to kind of make me feel a little bit more back to myself. That's a great point, because any creatives out there, there's the thing that, all hairdressers come to me as well, there's a couple of things that are pretty much worldwide that people say, and a lot of hairdressers just say, "I've lost it. "I've lost the mojo. "The creativity's gone, and I don't know where it is. "It's just like it dried up." And that's true of a lot of creatives, right? It doesn't matter what your medium is that you work with. It doesn't have to be hair. Just a creative person often feels like their mojo is gone, and they don't have it anymore. And often self-esteem comes into that. It's their self-esteem isn't working because someone has not liked what they're doing, right? Has not appreciated their art, whatever that art form is for them, it doesn't matter what it is, and they don't self-care enough. When you don't give yourself that time and that space to do whatever it is, I don't care what it is. Go and play with your nephew. Sleep in. Have a cup of tea. Read a trashy book. Watch junk TV. I don't care. Something that really just kind of replenishes you. Have a lovely bath. Buy a nice candle. There's a million things that make you feel replenished. Then you feel like your creativity is gone as well. And that's always a really hard place to go in. It's not, it's just that you're burnt out because you haven't taken care of yourself, right? And you haven't put yourself first, typically.
Definitely. I was gonna say, almost a year and a half ago, I met Britney Spears, and that was my question to her is, whenever you feel creatively burned out, how do you recuperate and--
Ooh, what'd she say?
Well, I was really excited to ask her that question. And she said that "Usually I just take time off." I mean, it was like a shorter meet and greet, but no, to her point, I do feel like that's also, it's kind of like unplug and turn off all your devices and not take your laptop with you and just completely unplug sometimes.
I also think just unplug from people, right? (audience chuckling) And anyone that works with people, which we pretty much all do, especially in any kind of service industry or leadership role where you're interacting with people a lot, it's good to unplug sometimes, you know? And step away and go into your cave. I have no problem with it because I am an introvert, but it's a great way to take of yourself and realize that you value, you're of value, and you need to do that for yourself to be able to give yourself what you need to go forward. And make a decision, right? When you have all that stress compiled on you and you've got that narrative, you've got that stress, all of the walls keep getting smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller and start kind of closing in on you, and you need a little space to kinda go like this and just open it up so it can breathe. And that brings clarity to a situation as well. So thank you.
Thank you so much. (audience clapping)
So let's talk about self-esteem.
So I just recently had a baby, my second one. Thank you.
So when you're talkin' about how cute they look, I can relate. But also with how cute I look, I can't, so. (laughs)
Let's put that up there a bit.
So havin' a baby's kinda, it's my second one. So the first, I grew up also as a chubby kid. So growin' up, I was called the barrel. (laughs) So that was my nickname. And I have a sister who was thin rail. She was tiny, so being always compared to someone, someone that's my sister, I could never look like her. But I got a trainer when I was in college, and I lost so much weight. I looked good, I felt good. Everything about my, at that time I was in college, so I did good on my studies. I didn't care what people thought. I didn't care, all likes on Instagram or social media, that didn't matter. Then I had the baby, the first one, lost a lot of confidence, didn't lose the weight, had the second one, didn't lose the weight, and now I'm here.
So this is honestly a question from, clearly, a person that didn't want children and hasn't had one, but I find it just the biggest miracle in the world, because it is. Like, the fact that you can actually grow this human being, right, and have this human being. As humans, we have that capability to do it and produce this little human, I think is just a miracle. So you've done it twice.
And that's amazing.
Do you ever sit in that for a second? And just sit, like really just sit in that and go, "Wow, that is an accomplishment. "I did that, and that's an accomplishment."
Yeah, and sometimes when I look at them, they don't care what I look like. So that kind of gives me a little bit of confidence. 'Cause like my mom, too, I don't care what she looks like. I love her regardless, so that kinda helps me out, too, a little bit, but--
So where else do you think it comes from? Because, I mean, yeah, everyone puts on weight when they have a baby. It's hard to lose weight anyway, so I could imagine what it's like. I mean, it's just hard to lose weight, right, if you put on weight? I can't imagine what it would be like after a child. It has to be really hard, and then you have another one, so it kind of goes through a little bit. But you have these two amazing kids. How do you feel that your life would be different if you lost the weight? What would happen to make your life so different?
I wouldn't put so much emphasis on it. You know, just enjoy life, I guess, more and not... 'Cause I'm a photographer, so people take pictures of me. And to me, I hate it, I hate every picture. I don't post any pictures anymore. But I actually want my clients to feel different than I do, so it's hard for me to basically be on the other side. I can't imagine what they feel like as well. So I feel like if I lost the weight, I wouldn't care what I looked like, and I would feel good about myself and seeing myself in pictures and not caring about people's validation, I guess.
Do you care about what you look like in pictures or what the people in the pictures look like that you're taking?
I like, even if they're overweight, I think they're beautiful. But when it's of myself, I can't see the beauty in it.
So that was the key statement that you just made right there, right? You're not judging. Are you a good photographer?
I think so. (laughs)
I'm a good photographer. (laughs)
Yeah, own it. It's self-esteem, so own it. Do you think that, do you want people when they're standing in front of your camera to just feel like amazingly great about themselves and not feel self-conscious, and you do whatever you need to just capture that point in time?
Yes, I feel like if I can tell them what to do, I see it, but if it's reversed on me, I turn into this like hunchback and kinda go into this like scary mode, and I don't want--
Do you think that ever transfers to your clients?
All the time, yes. I noticed it, too. I noticed a huge change, yeah.
Because that's what you're putting out there, right?
So that's why when I talk about these narratives and talk about our actions and how we communicate, even if we don't realize, yeah, it transfers. It transfers onto our people. So, you know, sometimes when you're half in your job, you're like, "I think I'm doin' this okay," you know, "I'm not sure if they're gonna like this meal" when you're a chef starting out, you know. And you go through all of that insecurity, and it comes from your self-esteem, then it transfers to people, right? They pick up on it.
Oh yeah, definitely.
So what are you going to do? What can you do today after what you've learned to take the steps to make just a small change?
To feel better.
Yeah, self-care. So I'm gonna go to the gym and make it a party. I haven't been makin' myself party. So I'm gonna go back to how it used to be. Like, take some time off a little bit. Unplug from people. And just work on myself.
Then you're gonna Facebook me, and you're gonna tell me all about it. Thank you. (audience clapping) So look, we all do it. It can be, I don't mean it's easy, because it's not easy when you've got two kids and you've got a business and you're tryin' to get your butt to the gym as well. That's not easy, right? But if you make yourself of value, you put it on the priority list, it moves up. Instead of kids, family, friends, all of the people. Normally, sometimes we put ourselves on our own list down near takin' out the garbage and walkin' the dog, right, by the time we get to ourselves. By the time you get to yourself, you're so spent you don't have anything for yourself. So it's making sure that you do. And praise. Praise yourself. Own your success. "Yes, I'm a good photographer." There's nothing wrong with that. Why do we feel so bad about that? "Yes, I have a successful business." It's okay. It's absolutely okay, and we need to hear it. Self-esteem needs praise. It needs to be fed. It needs to be watered; it's a garden. You can't put all these beautiful flowers in and then never put water near it, never give it any love and expect it to flourish and grow into this great thing. You need to tend to it. And part of that tending to is praising yourself. "You know what? "I may want to lose weight because I'm carrying "some extra weight because I've had kids. "But look at what I've done! "I've got two kids! "That's amazing that I did that. "And I'm running a business. "Kudos to me." Right? It doesn't mean that you can't still want to lose the weight and make a plan to do that and change what you want, but give yourself the praise that you deserve for what you've already done, for the success you already have. And look, praise is a gift. Think about when someone else gives it to you, someone else tells you that you've done a great job, right? Praise is a gift, and if you don't accept it, it's like givin' the gift back. Because someone has just given you a gift. So how many times has someone said, "Oh, I love your boots." "Oh, these old things? "Yeah, I wear them all the time, they're nothing." Right? You don't need to do that. Take it! "Thank you." You don't need any more, just thank you. Be in comfort of taking that. "Thank you." "Oh, I like your jacket." "Oh, yeah, I've had it forever, "and you know, there's a hole in there, and its..." Right? You don't need to go through all of that, and it doesn't have to be a long explanation. "Oh, yeah, I bought this, and I wear it all the time. "And you know, it was a big inve..." No! Just, "You gave me a gift. "Thank you! "Thank you. "Thank you for that gift." And give the gift to yourself. Notice the little things. They don't have to be big. Everything doesn't have to be a bloody parade, right? It can just be a little, "You know what? "Good job, Tabatha, you didn't eat "that chocolate bar today." (audience chuckles) Right? "Good job. "You know what? "Good job, 'cause I know that situation "would sometimes make you angry. "You didn't get angry today. "Kudos to you." Just recognition. Recognize yourself for the things you've done. Recognize yourself, as simple as that you showed up today and devoted your day to this class. But you have to give yourself praise. You have to accept that gift. And when someone else gives it to you, whether it's about your work, your person, "Thank you." That's how simple it is. Just take it, right? Because normally, when you start taking praise, a lot of people with either reject it, or deflect it, or accept it. And a lot of people accept it really uncomfortably, right? So it's either, "Oh, no, this old thing," right? "Oh, no, these aren't nice. "I don't like, no, these aren't good at all. "I've had them for years. "I've got a hole in the bottom." That's how we do it. "Yeah, thank you." Stand in it. Take it. Because that will help to build you self-esteem up as well. And if someone's telling you whatever it is, a compliment and giving it to you, take the bloody gift, right? You never know what's in there.