Amy Schumer and the Bold Value of You: Part 1 —Four Lessons in Self-Confidence
This is part one of a three-part series on valuable lessons from the wildly successful comedienne and actress, Amy Schumer. Amy is a lifelong friend and kindly offered her time recently to tell me about what confidence & personal relationships, hard work and opportunity have meant to her. I hope you enjoy this series and take away some valuable lessons!
What are the values that matter most to you? I think about this consciously and I recognize that subconsciously, my values structure is the core of my decision-making. As I continue moving forward in my life, I become more shrewd and selective with how I use my time. I’m more confident in who I am and as a result, I have a much greater idea of what I want.
The centerpiece of most values-based structures is confidence. A major component of confidence is the value you place on yourself. Confidence is about the faith you have in your abilities, the person you are, and how you view your most important relationship — the one with yourself.
Confidence gives us the strength to pursue our romantic partner, it psyches us up to get the job or opportunity we’ve prepared and dreamed about. Confidence tells the story of who we truly are in the most authentic way possible. It is our representation of the way we want to be seen and how we want to see ourselves.
I’ve been tremendously blessed to have parents as role models who instilled confidence in me from a very early age and always told me, “The sky is the limit.” I’ve always believed that I’m destined for great things, not out of conceit, but because I believe in myself and I have the confidence to pursue building the relationships, and accomplishing the goals I desire.
A very good childhood friend of mine similarly had confidence instilled in her heart and mind from a very young age by her parents and siblings. She believes passionately in herself and in pursuing meaningful causes for greater humanity — particularly women’s rights. So I felt it apropos to provide more insight into the boldly confident and highly successful friend of mine, Amy Schumer.
The person I’ve known since we attended grade school together in Rockville Centre, New York, is as kind and authentic as she is funny. She’s s open-minded and caring as she is creative. Amy is a lifelong friend who has always had my back and who values her family, friends and personal relationships above anything else.
We chatted recently by phone and I asked her about the derivation of her confidence and how she has prepared for success all along her path to becoming one of the superstars of the entertainment world. I’ve organized the conversation we had into four parts of confidence. Enjoy!
The primary way Amy built up her confidence was through positive thought and self-encouragement, but equally as important, she never let negative thoughts block her from the pursuit of her dreams. As she told me,
“I never got in my own way. I’ve never had a voice saying, ‘You can’t do this.’”
She stressed the importance of blocking out two things that can stand in the way of progress: jealously and anger. This combination of focusing on her own work, doing it with confidence and never getting in her own way has been a winning formula.
Question for personal development: Do you find yourself living with jealousy or anger that holds you back from what you really want?
Born and Raised
Second, and related to the encouragement and belief she has, Amy told me that she was, “raised with confidence.” I knew this first-hand from having known her parents from a young age. Amy benefited from having some great people in her corner, while simultaneously surrounding herself with a group of friends from her youth that she remains very close with to this day.
This natural foundation of believing in herself, “raised me to think I was great and that I could accomplish anything,” she set her sights on. Amy’s genuine style and caring nature has endeared her to many fans. She’s one of the funniest people most of us know, but it’s her personal touch, inspired at an early age, that has helped her to connect with millions of people.
Encouragement: Let the people close to you know that you love them — this reciprocal relationship of love and confidence engenders belief in self and one another.
Pride in How You Live
“I’m proud of how I live. I’m loved in my family. I like who I am.”— Amy Schumer
What stood out to me during our conversation the theme of pride, which is derived from her self-confidence. Amy is proud of the way she lives and is passionate about helping other people. She’s passionate about women’s rights and she spends time trying to get women, “back to their child-like confidence.”
She’s a major proponent of telling women to never criticize themselves and to accept themselves as who they are. Her voice has lent hope to many women who get confused and conflicted with the images they see on television of models and beautiful actresses.
I similarly believe that life is not about conformity to unrealistic norms, but rather, being audacious and bold enough to love yourself as you are.
She told me that she often asks herself the question, “Am I doing all that I can?” to make a difference in the lives of women and those who welcome a voice to speak for them.
Be Kind to Yourself
“I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will.” — Amy Schumer
Amy told me that a good friend once gave her some brilliant advice that has stuck with her: “Be kind to yourself. Love yourself like you’re your own mother.”
She offered the following great nuggets of wisdom in confidence and self-respect:
- Be happy with what you’re working on and doing. How you look is so little of what should have to do with your confidence
- Focus on the positive feedback you get and don’t harp on the negative
- It’s not about how anyone else sees you — it’s about how you see yourself
Thank you for reading! I am sending out my first newsletter next week. Please subscribe via my website and Like my Facebook writer’s page! My book, A Values-Based Approach to Living will be out in Spring 2017. Follow me here on Medium and recommend my story if this inspired you! My goal is to make both of us a better person. I will always do my best to achieve this. Keep Going on your journey!