How to Tackle Fear and Live Boldly with Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Hey, buddy, what's up? It's Chase. Welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis live show here on Creative Live. You know the show where I sit down with amazing humans and today's amazing human is lovey aji Jones. If you don't know Levy's work, your infra treat And if you do know her work, then this is gonna be a fun ride because lovey is on fire now. I met Lovey. Originally on stage. We were both on a Panelist, Sir Richard Branson talking about entrepreneurship and carving your way in the world. And we have stayed close ever since. And she's just I think this is her second time on the podcast. She has just released a new book and we talked a lot about that. If you're not familiar with lovey, I'm going to give you a little bit of back story here. New York Times bestseller of a book called I'm Judging You. And now her new book, which comes out this week called Professional Troublemaker, which adequately describes Levy and a bunch of you out there. So I I know that that's going to reso...
nate. Um, in addition to her work as a writer, she thrives. I've seen her on stages all over the place. He's got an amazing Ted talk. She lives at the intersection of comedy justice and again, that professional troublemaking. Um, today's episode is an absolute doozy. We do talk a little bit about her book about her philosophies on life, entrepreneurship, building an audience and, most importantly, carving your own way in the world. So I'm gonna go out of the way, and we're going to turn it over to Livia. Jackie Jones. Go, lovey. Mm hmm. We love you, LA via Jackie Jones. Welcome to the show. So happy to have you back, Chase. So good to be in conversation with y'all was like, Chase wants me back. I'm there. I think you set the record for the guest with the shortest amount of time between two episodes. And the show has been, like, 11 or maybe 12 years old. And we had you last year and you just lit the stage up so couldn't wait to have you back. Of course. We're celebrating your new book, which comes out this week. Congratulations on all that stuff. How are you feeling? I'm feeling good. I'm feeling excited because I know this book is amazing, and I'm just, like, excited to see what it does for people. It's I was shared this with you just before we started recording that. I follow you very closely and, you know, it's sort of like you're watching a tidal wave coming into the beach, and I'm just seeing it build and seeing it build. And it's been so fun. You've been really engaging around with your fans and followers on all your different channels around the new book, and that's one of the things I want to do today. But for the handful of people who happened to be living under Iraq and aren't familiar with your work, I'm wondering if you can take us back, give us a little background. So who you are, what your roots are, then we'll touch on, uh, the last book, which is incredible. I'm judging you. Uh, that was, I think about when we originally connected. I think via Sir Richard Branson, we can go down that tangent a little bit later, shared a stage together, but go back to the beginning and paint a picture for those of us who may be new to your work? Yes. Uh, my name is Lovey, and I am a writer speaker, professional troublemaker and a lover of using her words to shift people's hearts and minds. I was born and raised in Nigeria. Moved to the United States when I was nine. Nobody told me I thought we were going on vacation. So when I got enrolled in school, I was like, Oh, so we're staying here. Okay, Alright. Yeah, I could have let me know. Basic. Cool. Fine. You don't consult the baby. Um, I thought I was gonna be a doctor growing up. I really wanted to help people. And I was like, I'm gonna be a doctor. And people told me I was gonna be a doctor. And they affirmed that in me. And I want to college and took chemistry 101 and chemistry one. No one told me you would not be a doctor. No, you don't even like hospitals. I got the first and last d of my academic career. And you know how people typically tell you never quit? No, no. Sometimes you should quit, because sometimes some failures are actually to direct you to what you're supposed to do. that semester I started blogging and I hadn't haven't stopped. That was 18 years ago when I graduated with my green psychology. I end up also falling in love with marketing. So I was a marketing coordinator for a nonprofit by day by night, uh, struggling blogger. I got laid off my job April 2010 because I was a trash employee. Let's be clear, I was a trash the employee because I was at work writing on my blog. I was at work, not really producing in the way I wanted to because, really, I wanted to be a writer, but was afraid of all the things that came with it. So I didn't call myself a writer. I thought my blog as a hobby. Uh, but when I got laid off, it was really the universe being like listening. You're stubborn. You're not listening to me. I'm gonna do this thing. So push you out the way so you can go face this thing you're supposed to do. And my blog took on a life of its own. People started reading it, it started winning awards, and I got to the point where I couldn't deny that I was a writer. I couldn't deny that my gift was to use my words to make people think critically, to make them feel joyful and to compel them to take action. That leaves this world better than we found it. But once I did that, everything changed. Got my book deal. My first book deal in 2015. That book came out September 2016. I'm judging you to do better manual. And it was a manual on how we are all ridiculous and why we all got to do better. Uh huh. And that book changed my life. Um, it allowed me to retire my mom, which was a lifelong dream. The next year I did a Ted talk that went viral, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. That also changed my life because it had people from all over the world saying what impact my words made on them, what big action and made them take. Um, and I started realizing that I really want to show people what it's like when you insist on doing the things that scare you and doing the things that feel bigger than you and all the rewards that come from it and ever since that Ted talk. That's been my goal when I didn't realize it was my goal. So now here I am. I am on a mission to empower one million people to fight their fear, to insist on doing what feels right for the greater good, whether it's hard or not, because what happens when a million people decide to commit to a life that feels audacious? That is audacious, because my testimony is that my journey, this Cliff notes version of my story really at the core of it is of a woman, a girl who always did the things that were necessary even when they were scary. And, um, I've won because of it, and that brings us to now and why I wrote professional troublemaker, the firefighter manual. That concept sat on my shoulders, convicted me, and I felt like this is what my second book needs to be about, and that's why I'm here. What an amazing arc. So, um, there's so much to unpack in there of what you just said, So I want to. But I want to start out rather than the tactics and the blocking and tackling. I want to start out with feelings because at some point along that arc, you decided it sounds like or the universe pushed you. You can you can explain which or both or whatever. But at some point you started to follow the thing that was in your heart, as opposed to the thing that was on paper or the things that all of the people around you, yeah, wanted for this one precious life for you and you shifted out of their universe into your own. And I'm sure that was, I'm sure if it's anything like everyone else I've ever talked to on this subject. It's hard. But I want to know what it felt like, what you did and how it contributed to where you are right now. But it felt like in your heart, when you when you get out of the sort of like up on the plane, you're bound planes, you're bouncing around and then you just drop into a groove, and that's the way that I think about it. But I want to know what it felt like when you started doing, because that's the feeling that so many of us are looking for, right we and it feels like. Does it feel like purpose? Does it feel like, you know, I don't want to put too many words in your mouth, But from from your perspective, walk me through that sort of emotional, um, landscape and then how how it actually contributed to where you are right now. When you shifted gears, what it felt like I was uneasy was like a lack of Angkor in that the thing that you thought you were going to do for your whole life when you realize that's actually not what I'm supposed to do its uneasy because you're like, I'm about to disappoint a few people and you know that this really you're like, I'm about to do something that a lot of people are gonna disagree with. So how am I going to handle that? So there was a moment where I actually when I realized I wasn't a doctor, I think I compartmentalized it for a hot second. I said, You know what? I'm still going to get my degree in psychology. The doctor dream is dead. And I actually didn't tell my mom that I dropped my my premed major. She found out a graduation I don't think that everybody she found out a graduation. Yeah, yeah, yeah, She found out because I realized very early and I didn't realize I did until I looked back. I realized very early that my best decisions, the best decisions for me are not council decisions. They're not group decisions that require somebody else's input. So I knew I didn't want to receive anybody's input, so I actually didn't seek it. Once I knew what I wanted to do. I didn't necessarily look for other people's approval in there because I knew they would disagree. Because oftentimes, if your vision for yourself is different from what everybody sees, you don't want to have to sit there convincing them. And when you do, when they still tell you, we don't see it for you, all it does is add doubt to your dream. All it does is add like it puts water, pours water, not gas on your on your fire, and you want somebody to put gas on it. So I was like, You know what? I'm just gonna keep it to myself and go, I'm just gonna move. And in the process of me moving and me not also asking for people's feedback. I also wasn't receiving people's, um, people's questions, so I had to realized that, Okay, this permitting this life where I removed myself from somebody else is willing to put myself in line. All I did was I just honored myself by doing what I felt like doing without doubting it, question it and not doing it. So a lot of times, you know, we'll have a dream, will have a plan and we'll be like I shouldn't do that. That sounds crazy. I just was like, It sounds crazy, but I'm still gonna do it and I didn't have a plan. I didn't have a strategy. I wasn't like, I am now figuring it all out for myself. I actually battled with myself at certain points where I said, You know what? Maybe you shouldn't do this. Maybe this writing thing is actually not real. Maybe you should quit this blog and chase every single time. I would want to quit my blog. I would get a note from somebody, and I remember two of them in particular. One was a woman who emailed me and said, I just wanted to send you the snow because I was laughing when I read your blog because and that was significant because I was sitting in the waiting room. Is my mom got chemotherapy? So I just want to say thank you for making me smile in this moment. That's really tough for me. And I was like, Fine, God. Okay, universe, Dang. I was just trying to quit, but you won't let me. So even the times when I started getting to my own way, I always got something that stopped me. That was like, No, pay attention. Pay attention. I need you to stop. Give this thing honor it. But it wasn't till 2012 that I actually really started honoring that writer piece of it all because I still didn't call myself a writer. How important? How important was that? It was that trade that was that movement in your psychology and your experience. How important I call myself a blogger. I just like, yeah, I have a blog. I blog. Sometimes I blog. I didn't call myself a writer because I was afraid of all the things that came with that title. I was like, Okay, if I call myself a writer. Does that mean I'm like, comparing myself to like Toni Morrison? Does that mean I have to write novels? I was somebody who was writing her thoughts and her feelings about the world, about just random shenanigans about race, about just anything. I felt like I didn't see the version of Writer that was me. So I was afraid of what it meant to take on that title in 2012, and I got credentials to press coverage at the Academy Awards. I'm standing on the red carpet and backstage with BBC Entertainment Weekly, all these multimillion dollar outlets, and here I am. It's awesomely lovey. And I was like, Oh, snap, my words got me in this room. I'm a writer. The moment I made that shift, it was interesting, because I'm not sure if I did anything different intentionally, But the moment I started calling myself a writer and when somebody asked me, How do we credit you in this thing? Are you a writer? The first time I said I'm a writer, I was like, whole snap. I guess I'm this now. All the things that I was afraid of, how would I make money? You know to Smith have to change the way I show up. All of those things got addressed like I started getting offers to do columns in magazines, and my blog took off even more. I'm doing brand ambassadorships, and it was like the universe was like, I was waiting for you. I was just waiting for you to own this thing so I can give you what I had for you and yeah, wow, follow on question because this is absolute fire. This is This is there's so many people listening and watching right now for whom? This shift that click that recognition. I might even call it a reconciliation of identity, because when you call yourself something, you start to label yourself as that thing there's like you said, time to pare it back to you. There's a you know, you there's a discomfort when you start using that word, but if you can sort of align with that experience that I have, and what I heard from you and so many others on the show is that your life just accelerates. And so adopting this identity that is at first fearful, I'm the follow up question is, can you tell the people how How did you do that? Was it again? Was it uh, was Did you program your mind? Were you casual about it? Was it the world's label that just hit you enough that you finally allowed it to stick? Because there's so many people. This is such a hurdle for so many people. I'm dying to get your experiential wisdom. I'm a very practical, pragmatic person. That's part of why I struggled so long for calling myself a writer because I was like, rather, it just feels like pie in the sky. I need to just stay in marketing or get my degree in psychology like my masters and just do this thing that has a path that pragmatism sometimes stunts us because it stops us from leaving the ground. We're so grounded they were rooted into the earth. And when we're asked to fly, we don't even fly. We don't levitate because we're still so grounded and what shifted in me One. If you use your pragmatism in these moments, you can actually you can either weaponize it or you can use it to affirm what you're doing with. At that point, I had been writing outside of the classroom in a way where I was not required to write. Nobody was like saying, You have to write for nine years, nine years in 2012. On top of that, sometimes people call me a writer. On top of that, I started seeing myself in the rooms where other writers were in other people whose words got them in that room. I was in the room with them. I actually, at that point was arguing against logic, to not call myself a writer. I was arguing against what made sense when was rational. Why would I not call myself a writer? Am I writing every day? Do I sleep and think about words and wake up and write down paragraphs in minutes? Yes. So I had to finally be like, You know what? For you not to call yourself a writer. You're actually arguing against what makes sense. So for my pragmatic people out there, figure out what you're actually arguing against. If a dream feels so big, we talk about dreams and it feels like this, like, again pie in the sky thing. We think like, oh, Ted, talk terms. That's cute. No. If there's something that you want to do that you wake up thinking about that you cannot stop thinking about that. Sits on your shoulders, shoulders and victims for you not to do what you're arguing against, what actually makes sense? Because there's something that's clearly there. If you can't stop thinking about it, then you know what honor it, give it some room, and then if it doesn't go well, that's a different story. But start with the fact that you're not arguing against logic. Lasers, lasers. Um, I'm going to share a personal story. Um, our first meeting. I don't remember what city it was in. Maybe it was in San Francisco, Seattle or San Francisco. Francisco. Okay. In San Francisco, and we were on a panel together and with Sir Richard Branson and a couple of other dashing spirits that think are less relevant to the story. But I remember the the soulful conviction with which you said every word on that stage. It was captivating. It was You know, what I like to think is you can feel people who are doing the thing that they're supposed to be doing, and I don't know, but We don't need to talk about whether it's energy or vibe or like whatever it is. But I think that, you know, I'm not. I wouldn't be alone in saying this. And was there some? Was there anything that happened between this declaration of calling yourself writer? And that moment when we were on stage where you were just spitting fire and owning the stage basically is there was There was was that just momentum was, Was there Was there some psychology that you were doing on your on your brain? Was there a you know, Is there a routine? Was it just a muscle that you've built because it was contagious? It was light and vibrant and thoughtful and also aware and critical and intelligent. And where what were some of the things that practices that maybe got you from the levee that I first experienced from the lovey that said, Okay, fine. I'm a writer. I'm here backstage at the at the Academy Awards or the Grammys. Figure what you said, but Academy Awards, that little show. Um, what was there a series of behaviors that you practiced besides writing? Or was it just writing paint a picture for us because there's so many people. Now we've tipped the people who are listening, watching into like, Okay, cool. Like, he's giving me some courage to call myself a writer. And then the next thing they wake up in the morning is like, Okay, I did that. Now what? So help us fill in your experience from that decision to you can pick any time, any moment in time. I'm just picking the one that I can personally validate because I shared that stage with you. Yeah. Um when I when I said I was a writer, there was something that shifted in me that realized that I had not been honoring my gift as I should have been. I had spent so much time saying I wasn't that, that I didn't consider my gift a gift. And the things about gifts is we think we are supposed to have earned it. It's a gift because you didn't earn it. You didn't necessarily do much to get this gift. Now you can hold it right? You can hold the gift. So what? I happened. What happened when I said I am a writer? I started holding it. I actually started being intentional about the fact that I was a writer. I said, You know what? This is not just the cute blog. This is just not the hobby. Do this thing intentionally. This is your work. This is your purpose. So instead of like procrastinating like you typically would do instead of being like, I don't know, I'm not gonna say anything about that thing. I actually started writing with intention, and I was like, This is my job. This is my purpose. And that also led to me doing a lot of speaking because I ended up because of my writing. I'd be invited to come speak at conferences because of my background in marketing and communications. I used to speak, so it was like it was like a perfect storm of Oh, my God, I'm a writer. Okay, My words that I'm putting on paper, bring it on the stage, and I just let it be. I didn't I stopped doubting it. You know, I stopped giving the energy to the fact that this is just a hobby, and I focused it on. I'm actually supposed to be here. I'm supposed to be doing this. I belong here and I started walking with more confidence in it. And that changed so much because a lot of this is also who I've been and I didn't realize it. One thing I always realizes, like past me always leave breadcrumbs for new me and present me even when I don't realize it. What are what are some examples Keep going grown up in Nigeria. Uh, I've always been opinionated. I'm talking. I was a four year old girl who would get in trouble for her mouth not because she was insulting people, necessarily, but because she would like challenge people. So if I got in trouble after I received whatever punishment, I would go up to my mother and say, I feel like you owe me an apology because that wasn't fair. You didn't take my considering. You didn't take my perspective and consideration. I have notes that I wrote my mom and I think she kept them every single time I get in trouble. A couple of hours later, she would get a note on her like nightstand, explaining my perspective, talking about why I thought it was unfair and talking about how I felt I was cheated that means what I'm doing right now when I'm talking about the world when I'm like, Hey, guys, this is what's happening that I don't like that. I don't think it's cool. Here's how I think we should fix it. So I've always been the person that use her words. I just didn't know I was supposed to stand in that. So I find that if we actually stop doubting ourselves early enough, we will save ourselves a lot of trouble. Imagine if somebody's like you're always writing stuff. Maybe maybe you should be a writer. Imagine if I remembered four year old me when I was 22 was like, You've been writing. You've been using your words to like on a real intentional way for a long time all your life. So stopping the doubt propelled me forward because I've now moved the energy of the doubt into focus and practice because no matter what it is, our gift is if we're not holding it, we're not practicing it. We would not get better at it. So the fact that I kept on writing and kept on speaking by the time I met you you saw version four point now, and to me that's in front of you. Today is like version eight point no South. Well, I love that idea of consistent growth and all the tools and work and awareness that goes into it. I think there's something so practical that I could extract, which is basically in order to be the now, and you have to do the verb. There are so many people out there who are like would consider themselves a filmmaker, and my question back to them would be great. Show me the films that you're making, and there's a gap between the people who are feeling fulfilled, and this is in my experience of surveying and bang around them. And advising and learning from them is that there's a gap and that gap is wider. If you're calling yourself one thing and you're not doing it and the gap is dramatically reduced for if you call yourself a writer, you call yourself fill in the blank. Whatever it is, whoever is listening aspires to be do or become. If you're doing that thing, then there's no there's no fiction. There's only fiction if you're not doing the thing. But calling yourself something and you are living proof of of your your path. So thank you for sharing that. I want to shift directions a little bit because last time you were on the show, we talked a lot about your book. I'm judging you and its success, Um, and how it has just continued to sell and carve out its space in popular culture. Um, but I want to focus the next next bit on your new book, which is over your shoulder. If you're listening to this, you can't see it, but it is beautiful. Cover bright red professional troublemaker. And I'm I'm holding up the book on my, uh, my my phone here. I've been reading on my phone because it's not out yet. While we're recording this, it's right. Now, if you're listening to this, that it is out in the world because we're dropping this in your public. So you and as you know, if your listeners out there, it is a huge support for authors to buy their book, especially pre launch or the week of it coming out. So let's double down and do what we can to help Levy. Um but I want to go to it in the intro. I think there's, um it's It's very useful because you tell us what a professional troublemaker is not, and then you end with what a troublemaker is, and I'm hoping you can help us here on the show. Um, in your own words rather than me reading your book, describe a professional troublemaker first. I actually have to say Chase that I can say with full confidence that this book is the best thing I've ever done. Like professionally. It is the best thing I've ever written. It is the thing I'm most proud of professionally yet, and it's because that concept of a professional troublemaker remember past me and the breadcrumbs. The first words of my Ted talk is I'm a professional troublemaker. My job is to critique systems and the things that are happening that are not okay, and I think that's the core. A professional troublemaker is somebody who is committed to disrupting the world for the greater good, who is committed to walking in rooms and saying, because I'm in it, I will be proud of what comes out of this room. It is somebody who is saying I will be audacious. No matter if the world is telling me I don't deserve to be professional troublemakers, not just the contrary. And it's not a troll. It's not a hater. There Trailblazers, their truth tellers. They are change makers. They're activists. There are people who are pursuing a life that feels bigger than they could ever think. There are people who are, you know, doing their best and making sure that their friends are doing their best. There are people who just want to exist in this world, and when they leave, they know they've done all that they could have done. Mm. You do it with Grace. Is that a Is that A? Yeah, But you bring humor in a time where the conversation of the topic at hand is cutting and critical and um, certainly required, especially if it's going against the status quo is that your unique gift is that Am I reading into it, or how do you approach these topics that are so socially relevant and important, important and complex? How do you How do you approach it? With grace and vigor and humor? In some cases, humor around some of the hardest things we could find to talk about. In our culture, humor is the great equalizer. If you can make people laugh, you will find common ground. And for me it's just something I naturally infused in my personality. I am somebody who does not take herself too seriously, even as she takes the world very seriously. I am somebody who is like You know what? There's always something that we can point out that's absurd. And humor at its core is just pointed out absurdities and the world is strange, so there's no like there's no shortage of absurd things happening. So humor is a major part of how I write, how I put forth ideas and how I connect with people. How I show up that you is that a I don't want to use the word Well, I use the word tool. Is that a tool that you have chosen as your path? Or did that? Was that something that you looked inside and said, You know what I got? I got this humorous side and I have this gift. So did you go out and cultivate that gift? Or was it something inside that you pointed a flashlight at and said, Ah, this is my tool, pointed a flashlight at it. I didn't go out looking for humor because funny enough, when I started blogging, I actually didn't think I was funny. I mean, me and my friends are goofy, like we make fun of each other, just feel like sports because that's how we do. And But when I started writing and blogging, it wasn't with the intention of being funny, and I actually don't even set out to be funny. Necessarily. I usually I'm just like, just say what you're thinking and what I'm thinking happens to be funny to people, because when I'm usually writing, I'm writing with a straight face chase like I'm typing or writing with completely straight face and people are like, That's hilarious. I'm like, Really, What's funny? When I was writing, this book actually was like, Man, this book feels really serious. And then my agent, when she was reading the first draft, she was like, Yo, I'm cracking up and I was like, Wow, there was humor in it. I'm I'm glad to hear it. So it's just me again, honoring just what feels natural and the humor just comes out and I love it. I'd like to go to another piece in the book where troublemaking meets fear because to save people right now who are watching and listening ah are bound up with fear would be an understatement. I think so many in our culture myself, on occasion included. It's a muscle that I've worked really hard to strengthen so that I do not feel that negative gravity. But fear is a thing that confronts us all. And in professional troublemaker, you share through lessons from your grandmother in part how one place through that fear and I can I'm hoping you can, um, talk about that. So fear was a topic that I really wanted to tackle because I realized what happened for me when I stopped moving and stop using fear as the first decision factor like my life transformed in 2015, which was a year that turned 30 when I decided I actually made it a point that year to tell myself, this is gonna be a year where you are going to not be afraid of everything. And if you are afraid you're still going to do it, because again, remember, I was afraid of calling myself a writer for years and all the things that was attached to it and all that fear in the moment I was like, I'm still afraid, but I'm still gonna do it transformed my life. So when I turned 30 and I, like, embarked on this year of fear fighting, I went to seven country solo. I got my book deal. I met my now husband because I grabbed his beard at a party. Okay, like completely out of my usual style that year. Those habits changed everything, because from that year that book came out, hit the times list. I retired my mom. I met this amazing man who I'm now married to. My career shifted in such a way that I was able to start seeing some of my biggest dreams realized. So that's when I was like, for us to really live in this world, we have to do the things that scare us, and that usually looks like trouble making. You know what people think about you making trouble there like that goes a troublemaker because usually the person who is challenging something or you're speaking up or you are doing the weird thing nobody thought was possible. Like building a million dollar company. Troublemaking and fear are very much tied for you to fight fear in this world. You're gonna make some trouble with yourself with the people around you. And just with with comfort, you're gonna make trouble with comfort. So I wanted to write this book and really focus on what happens when we all realized that fearlessness is not just like, I'm not going to be afraid. Fearlessness means I'm not gonna do less because of fear. Encourage can't exist without fear. So how do we do it? So that's what this book really helps focus on. And that's why I really my goal is to my mission. And what success looks like for me is if I can help a million people fight their fear because they read this book powerful. What about your grandma? There's a great picture. At the front of the front half of the book is a great picture of you and your grandma locked in eye line together. It's just a beautiful picture, and you can feel the power of it, especially, um, as it unfolds across the the pages. I can I can hold it up. Yeah, There it is. Yeah. So this is I was six years old. It was my grandmother's 60th birthday party and I walked up to her to tell her something that somebody did to me that I didn't like. And in the middle of this party, she gives me her full attention. Like what I am saying is the most important thing in the world like tell me, what did they do? And it was such a great capture. Uh, what it means to be a troublemaker for me. I spent a lot of my life not being told not to be this person. I basically was allowed to be this person and my grandmother was the troublemaker that I was looking at, but I didn't realize I was studying as she walked through the world. This woman was orphaned at the age of 17 and had to start a whole new life. The woman who I knew was strength personified. She allowed herself to be celebrated. She loved hard. She was kind. But she would also tell the truth. And in her life I know she was afraid of 1000 things. But she never let it stop her from doing these things, and she end up building a legacy that now involves includes me. And it's a legacy that I'm proud of. And I looked at her and I was like, That was a troublemaker and her life was so beautiful how it unfolded. She still had people who loved her deeply, So I'm just like one of the fears that we have around being a troublemaker. Being a fear like being somebody who exhibits and shows up in a big way is that we're afraid of. We will lose community because of it. We will lose tribes. We will not have love. And I'm like I am proof of all of that. My grandmother was proof of all of that that that's not true. You can show up and insists on disrupting a room because you're lovingly challenging it. You can be the person who insist on living in integrity and still thrive. You can be the person who has all the reasons to be marginalized and be on the margins of the world and not be respected in certain rooms, and you can say you know what? That doesn't belong to me. I will still sore because of it. And my grandmother was the epitome of it. She this spring that I wear, that I have not taken off and seven years was hers. One day she was wearing it, and I was like, Oh my God, I love your ring And she literally took it off her hand and gave it to me and my grandmother passed 10 years ago. And this book is like the perfect tribute Mark May will be 20th anniversary of her passing. This book comes out in March, so I'm just like it's the best way for me to honor her legacy because now her name will be known and her life will serve as a lesson that can actually help spur other people's lives forward. And for me, that's the greatest honor of my life so far. I love the thread that your grandma provides for the reader through this book is so powerful, and I love how you got that picture up front. One of the things I also do when I consume um, the words and thoughts and the spirits of other people is I look at some structure you've got amazing structure in this book. Uh, just for those who don't have a copy in front of them right now, if you don't, you're missing out. Go. You press a button, and by that you can you can buy it right there where you wherever you're sitting, you can buy. But, um, it is a couple of they're just three sections. B say do yes. And what? One of the many things that I took away from that and the one I'd like you to comment on is this. Those are, um there's action in those words. And if I know anything about you know what? I've heard you the stories that you've told us about how to get to where you are. Um, what role does? Does action play in it? Mm. So much. I organized this book and be say do because the first thing you have to do is like, be right, be right within yourself And what's possible for you on who you are on how you can dream. Be right. Okay. And then from there, Now, you gotta put some words to that feeling. You gotta now say it out loud. Let other people hear it. You know what I mean? Like do things and say it. So it leaves your head also. Well, think a lot of things will be like, Yeah, I wanted to, uh I say it out loud and let somebody now also hold you accountable and let it be clear where you stand and then do words don't really matter if your action does not match. So now put a verb on it. Do do something, Move different, build that squad. You know what I mean? And that's key. I think in all of this it's not just inspire you. It's actually compel you to now move like, ask for the raise, right? Like, have that conversation. You know, just do something in your life that will now allow you to be in a better place because I always say, like, at the end of it all, I don't think here, you know, is a problem. I don't think that's the issue. Regrets for me would be the worst case scenario If I regretted that I didn't do something that might in action is my inaction. Something I'm proud of is my silence, something I'm proud of. And am I letting fear take me out of the best case scenario because I'm afraid of the worst case scenario. So that's why we must do. We must act. There's a threat of trust also. And in fact, there's a chapter here that I was reading called Trust Where You Are. What role does that play? Because everything you've talked about is very much, um, oriented towards moving forward in progress. And, um and sometimes that can create some dissonance. Because if you're not where you want to be, then you know that there's a little internal dissonance. And what role does trust play in your what role did it play in your journey, and how would you, um, encourage others to think about the role that trust plays? And there's Yeah, as we are existing, this really tough world, you have to trust as many people as possible. But first you've got to trust yourself. You got to trust your gifts. You got to trust what you're being pushed to, Dubai. You right. If you have this idea that you just can't get out of your head, trust yourself that you're actually supposed to try it right when we don't trust ourselves. We will doubt the opportunities we get. We will doubt the promotion we've been offered. We would get out the great things that people in our lives tell us because we don't trust ourselves. And in the moment when we don't trust ourselves and we also don't trust the people around us, then what are you standing on? So for me, whenever I don't trust myself, I at least trust the people around me. And usually that means moments where I might have imposter syndrome moments where I might forget or have lose perspective on my gift, go on to other people and having them loan you their power in that moment is a great way to handle it. So if you're like I don't know if I can do this, go call a friend who, you know, believes in you and have them loan you their power. Have them loan you some trust. In that moment. It's a big part of my journey. My Ted talk, which I declined twice. Yeah, I can trust myself that I was ready for it. I was afraid of that stage. I didn't think I was gonna go on it and kill. I thought I was gonna bomb, and I called one of my friends who is the closest thing to a coworker to me. Unique. Jones. Gibson. She's brilliant. And she was just like, What? Do you find it up? And I was like, I don't know, Like everybody else has already had a coach and everybody else already prepared. And she says, Everybody's not you. Your life has been your preparation. You're experiencing your preparation, your credentials and the work that you always do with your preparation. So go forward and do it. So, yeah, trust yourself. And then if you don't trust yourself, trust other people who will now loan you trust for yourself. Mhm. What about people have been burned? Mm. People have been burned. Those people who burned them to entrust themselves and entrust them. A lot of things come down to trust. You don't trust people around, you will lash out. You will project. So instead of saying what I've been burned so I can't trust anybody else. Well, by the many times you haven't been burned, right, humans. We are programmed to take the negative on. We will drill down the negative and instantly forget the positive so one person can tell you that was trash. You believe that person rather than the 10 people who say that was amazing. It's how we're creative. We have to know when we're doing it, though. You got to know where you're doing it. When you get a bad comment on the Internet, you'll remember that comment before you remember the 25 amazing ones. So the one person that burned you cannot be the totality of your community. There cannot be the reason why you pull up a titanium wall, so you just gotta It's trial and error. Humans are going to disappoint you, but the one person that disappoints you cannot negate the love and the support and the trust that you receive from everybody else. They cannot don't let them. Don't let him. Don't give it up to that end. Uh, don't give it up. There's a great chapter in the book called Take No Shit, Take no shit. This is what I mean this threat of profound statements, stream of consciousness, I think, The New York Times said. Ah, it's like very well organized stream of consciousness when referring to your writing. Um, What do you mean when you say take no shit? Take no shit. We have been tricked into thinking that we have to exist in this world just to be polite to everybody. You know, we've been told it's okay. Don't rock the boat. And what happens when we internalize that is we now think defended ourselves is rocking the boat. We think challenging something that's not okay is rocking the boat. So we think we're supposed to just say yes, yes, yes to everything. I was just talking about Adam Grant, and he puts it really well in that you want disagreeable people and it's not disagreeable because they're just showing up and messing up what's happened in the room. It's disagreeable in that they lovingly challenge it because they realize it's an obligation. When you take no shit, you put kindness over niceness. Now let's talk about the difference between those two, right? I don't think nice means anything. I think nice is empty when you ask somebody chase. If somebody asked you How is that person? And they say they're nice. What do you instantly think? You're full of shit full of shit. Thank you. If if the descriptor that somebody uses for somebody is nice, It tells me Here's what it sounds like. It's the complainant thing. You can say it's like water so plain. It's so colorless. Odorless tells me nothing. It's nothing of note, but we're so obsessed with the nice when I'm, like kind is what we should be Being nice is being chipper being like Hi, Chase. No, no, no. I don't need you to be super chipper, but are you kind? Am I saying, Chase? How are you doing today and actually caring? Which answer is I think the difference between nice and kind is nicest chases. Training kind is chase. Do you have an umbrella? We need to be kind and kind is not always in. The chipper kind is in the who's speaking up for you when you're not in the room, who is affirming you whether you're hearing them or not, how are you showing up in the world to make this world better? That kind is What I said was really important to me when I wrote I'm judging you when I say like we judge each other on the most random things. But how are we being kind to each other. How am I making sure you have food to eat a roof over your head? Take no shit in this world. And don't think that you are just supposed to lay down in the face of things that are happening around you that are not okay. Take no shit by standing up for yourself standing up for people who don't have the power and privilege to stand up for themselves standing up for people who have nothing to do with you. You don't know them Nothing to gain by being kind to them. But in this world, you gotta learn how to take no shit put Put some boundaries up like without guilt. Don't be afraid of rocking the boat. Rock the boat. The boat is trash rock. The boat is a trash boat. I want to read a paragraph that I highlighted in advance of our conversation. Today we will ruffle feathers. We might be the villains in a few people's stories. We might even blow up a few bridges. But our work is not based on how much we acquiesced to do. How much we acquiesced to the people We know our goal is to betray ourselves less, so be kind, but take no shit. Makes me want to ask more about self betrayal. And what what what do you have any internal alarms that go off that you could coach people listening? Because this idea of standing up for yourself and it's not always in profound or violent or ways that has the spotlight on it. But this idea of the erosion of self is an erosion of your, you know, your moral compass, the erosion of your positive psychology, the erosion of all these things, like it's I'm wondering if there are. It's not that's not the big ones. Like if someone says something about you that is harmful or hurtful, and it affects a lot of people and you, it's clear to stand up in those moments, I'm wondering, but those small, quiet moments alone in bed where we may be. And so it's like announced self betrayal. I'm wondering if you have some alarm bells or how to think about those quiet moments where we might just say man. Okay, all right. I don't want to rock the boat, Okay, this is it's It's small. It's not a big deal of it because I only got so much time a room or space in my life for drama or fill in the blank. I'm not afraid. And so many people here, unafraid of the big moments. Should you stand up in service of social justice? Yes, what about the little teeny moments where you're not sure or you don't? So here's the thing, though, for the big moments of self betrayal to happen. Little moments will happen, too, because how do you prepare for the big moments if you're not already handling the smaller moments? How do you speak up about a big issue if you also can't have a conversation? We do compartmentalize in certain ways where we can speak up on social media and then let our family be on ridiculous mode. I think self betrayal is in tiny moments and you speaking ill about yourself. That's a bit of self betrayal. You're telling yourself that you're not deserving of something that you're getting yourself betrayal. The alarms go off in my head when I keep saying you should have said something or you should have done something. You knew that in that moment, usually the self betrayal. Alarms don't go off until after the fact, because I'm like, Shoot, I should have handled that better. Or did I use my power and the way I was supposed to? If you're lucky, you will feel it. In the moment you will feel the actual discomfort in the meeting or sitting across the dinner table as somebody is making an appropriate joke and you'll you'll squirm. You know what? People squirm in their seats and you can see them. You're like you are. Self betrayal is happening, you know you're supposed to be doing saying something different. So I think we we should betray ourselves less by just trusting ourselves less. It takes us back to that. If in that moment you're squirming because you're uncomfortable, then that's your body. Telling you. I want you to do something. If you're sweating, I want you to do something. If you look up in five years and go, I wish I got that degree. That's a bit of self betrayal. What made you not pursue it? And here's the thing, though, when we recognize that we've done it, it doesn't mean you beat yourself up more because that's further stuff betrayal. Because all you do is you just you're just gonna dig yourself in a hole. Now is the time to recognize and say, How do I make sure it doesn't happen next time? How do I pick this up earlier So I can actually do something about it faster? Don't beat yourself up even more. You just commit to betray yourself less commit to doing better. That's all we can do. Our past mistakes been done. Can't erase them. You can't go back to that moment. Don't drive yourself crazy about it. You just insist on charging forward. You make the intention and say All right. The next time I'm faced with this situation, I would do it different. And I think that moment is when you choose courage. Courage is the moment by moment decision to make. It's not about you. Choose courage, and all of a sudden you're courageous for the rest of your life. Every thing that we do every day we have opportunities to choose courage over self betrayal. We have opportunities, truth being brave over fear. So just commit to it and just say, I'm going to do better. It's hard to find a better way to end the show than by inspiring us to do better. To not betray ourselves and to go after our dreams is the way in the way that you have. Um, before we wrap, I have to just personally say your latest book is pure genius and it's such a treat to read. And I find myself, um, thinking back on moments where I wish I would have read this. I wish it would have been the world to have been read, Um, as I made you know, big and small life decisions. And your grandmother is an amazing figure to weave to the story as a I don't know, it's just a bright light. So thank you for writing this book. It needs to be read. If you're listening right now, you don't have a book. Uh, professional troublemaker by Livia Jerry Jones. Then you're missing out. Folks, you are missing out. I got to tell you that reflection matters a lot to me because I wrote this book basically, as a book to myself. I I am a forever student. I always want to create work that I need. And I know I needed this book 10 years ago when I was afraid to call my sister for a writer. I needed this book when I was afraid of the Ted talk. I need this book now. Like when the world shut down during the pandemic. I was like, damn it, I wish this book was already out because I need to read it. So I What I end up doing in the work that I do is really for me, that is front facing. And I think that's also allowed my work to connect is I keep honoring myself by creating work that I need. And I know that if I need it, then other people will need it. So the fact that you said that I'm like, yes, you have from exactly my intention for this book and I already have a story of how he's changed somebody's life. Can you share it? Yes. Um, my editor at Penguin Random House, Meg Leader. When she sent me the first draft for this book, she put in her comments on the side in my chapter. Ford my ask for more chapter. She said This chapter just made me ask my boss for a raise. A few months later. Actually, yeah, I didn't even ask for anything else. I just laughed and I was like, Yeah, that makes me happy that you had the audacity to ask because you read this in December. She goes, So you're one of the first people I'm telling this. But your book has changed my life and I said how? And she says, I just got promoted to editorial director of Penguin, Random House Penguin Penguin Life in Viking Books. She was like, and it's because of your book. I asked my boss and I asked again and he said yes. And not only did she get promoted, her assistant is now an editor. She's like Your book changed my life, so that's before it's even out. It wasn't even out. I was like, Oh my God, I was on the call with my mouth on the floor and in that moment I felt so affirming because I was like Yes, yes, and it was a sample size of one. At that moment, there's only one person read the book and you're batting 1000. Yes, and I said, and I realized that I'm like, Yes, my goal is for a million people to come back to me and say I did this thing because I read this book and it changed my life. That is when I realized that I've done what I wanted to do. That is what will really let me know that this book has done its job and that my words have done their job. So I I have an audacious goal. I set an audacious goal for myself, and I am excited to hear the stories, and I'm excited to hear people just even telling me the small stuff. I don't even care if it's like I had a tough conversation with a friend that I meant to have. I'm just looking forward. So people getting this book in their hands and making making the move because of it so highly recommended. And I know our community will show up for you and good luck getting this book out there because it is a masterpiece and you are a complete and total gem. I'm so grateful to call you a friend and is there anywhere else? People know where to buy books these days, right? If you can support the local bookstore, that's the best, especially during public or before. If you can preorder it, that's the ideal, Um, but I don't need to tell folks where to do that. But I would love you to share a couple of coordinates on the Internet if you want to steer people towards your work beyond the book. Yes, so I now have I renamed my podcast to professional troublemaker because I want to be in conversation with people who I see as professional troublemakers in the world. And so people can go listen to the professional troublemaker podcast because, honestly, being a professional troublemaker is a book. For me. It's a podcast, but it's also a life habit. It is a live habit, so I want to encourage everybody to become professional troublemaker so you can listen to the podcast and then I'm all over. The Internet. I am at lovey is my handle. I have the one named handle on all the platforms, so you don't know if it's L. U b two B and one u L U V v I E. And Chase. I am honored that you always want to share space with me and honor that you see my work that you spent time with it and that you share your platform with me. It is so significant to me. And I'm so grateful. Keep doing what you're doing. I'm grateful to call you a friend, and I cannot wait to see the work that this book does in the world. Uh, signing off. Now you know how to follow. Levy and, uh, pick up her book. And, um, this is we're at the front end of an amazing arc. With your career, I know you're going to continue crushing it. So thank you again for showing up here on the show. And without further do I want to say farewell to our folks who've tuned in. Thanks for paying attention to the show. Go track down Levy and her work. And until next time I bid you ado Mhm! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah