Self-esteem is not something you build once and then you’ve got it for the rest of your life. It’s something you must continue to consolidate in yourself because life will always continue to throw you a curveball every now and then. Internationally acclaimed, award-winning media personality Clarissa Burt teaches us how to do this through her book, The Self-Esteem Regime. Clarissa argues that to gain self-esteem, we must put our big girl britches on and get on with it, no excuses. Her book is an action call for women to cast away their fear and own the beauty and brilliance that they have so they can live a life worth living. Tune in as she shares nuggets of wisdom and rays of inspiration with Julia in this episode.
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The Self Esteem Regime With Clarissa Burt
We are on the 2nd day of the 10-Day Author Platform Building Challenge. It’s not too late to jump in and participate. You can find it on BreakthroughAuthorNewsletter.com. That’s going to take you to subscribe to our LinkedIn newsletter. From there, you’ll be able to participate in the challenge. There’s no opt-in. You can follow along at your pace, but it’s not too late to get in and play with this.
The real benefit is being able to figure out what parts of your platform you’ve fully developed and what parts you haven’t. If there are parts that you haven’t, start to build that awareness and get that going. At the end of the challenge, we are going to offer a workshop called Platform planning Palooza. You can find that at PlatformPlanningPalooza.com. We’re going to have the forms. We’re going to go through what’s good for you and what you need to work on and then plan that out. We do realize that so much of this can be overwhelming to build. Building strategically will help you.
Our guest is Dame Clarissa Burt. She is an internationally acclaimed award-winning media personality, producer, director, writer, author, public speaker, former supermodel and winner of the Celebrity Survivor show. With hundreds of television and film credits to her name, this Who’s Who of International and American Women brings over 35 years of experience in the entertainment industry in both international and American markets.
Clarissa is the Founder and CEO of In the Limelight Media, a multi-media platform consisting of TV, radio, video and digital magazine. Her shows can be seen on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV. Her podcast is heard on over fifteen different distribution platforms. Her bestselling book entitled The Self-Esteem Regime was published by Roman and Littlefield on November 11th, 2021. The audiobook was published by Recorded Books two weeks later. Her book drops in Italy on November 11th, 2022.
She’s also the first American to present on Russian TV at the Kremlin and has two private audiences with Pope John Paul II, honoring her social work. As the ambassador to the United States, she actively helped African women win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. We’re excited to have this talk with her and find out a little bit more about In the Limelight Media.
We did it.
We have been trying to get this together for a month. Clarissa had some things happen out of her control with a relative. She’s back. I have to tell you, that is one of the most impressive bios I have ever read. I’m very impressed that you met the Pope twice.
I have a picture of it, also. I can see him right from here.
I don’t know how much you want to share, but you wrote a book called The Self-Esteem Regime. It’s a great title. You shared why it is so important to you and how you acquired it, which was probably my first question. You were telling me that you wrote the book and then the universe challenged you.
First of all, it’s called The Regime because the regime is an organized way of doing things. I feel as though if you’re going to put on your big girl bridges and get on with it, you need to do it. No more excuses, “I can’t,” or fear of anything like fear of fear, yourself and failure. Get on with it. Do it. You are not promised tomorrow so let’s use the time that we have wisely. The regime came from that. The idea of writing the book came from watching my mother, my grandmother and other women in my life and seeing that there was commonality and a common denominator.
Mom was a beautiful woman but was like, “Never take my picture. I look horrible in pictures.” She was gorgeous and in a toxic relationship with my dad. My grandmother is a beautiful woman but was like, “I got to lose weight.” She didn’t need to lose an ounce. She was gorgeous. One day, she takes two diet pills, swallows them, perforates her esophagus and spends the next six weeks in the hospital. I thought to myself, “That was silly, grandma. You didn’t need to do this to yourself.”
I had the great fortune of working with some pretty amazing women in the modeling field. That’s called the 1% of supermodels, the gals that are gorgeous creatures. Not all of them but some of them, I could see that there were issues as well with either toxic relationships, abusive substances or bulimia and anorexia, all the things that we do when we’re not content with ourselves. I saw this coming like, “What do my mother and my grandmother have to do with the gals that I’m working with on the runway?” It was a lack of healthy self-esteem.
There’s another reason that I thought that this was a great time. The book has been out for a while. It was a great time post-COVID when we went through so much loss, such as loss of faith, family, friends, hope, motivation, health, money, jobs and individuality like, “Who am I now that I’ve lost my job,” with the great decision that’s happened in the nation politically. It’s been a very challenging time. According to reports by the CDC, 44% of our middle school children, high school children and into college age are either depressed, anxious, contemplating suicide or have committed suicide. They call it unliving themselves, but I’m old. I use the old words.It’s not enough to be enough. Click To Tweet
With that having been said, those are pretty alarming statistics. These are the kinds of statistics that are scary. Women and men pick up the book, but we have our younger generations picking up the book. I’ll show you the book only because I want to show you that there are three different colors of blue here. This is my working copy, but when I first got it back, it was orange, pink and yellow. It’s very bright and certainly more queued up for a female audience.
The only thing I asked the publisher for was to come back to me with these three iterations of blue. I did that because I found it to be more calming and I wanted men to feel comfortable picking it up. I’m happy to say that many men have read the book and have come back to me with some great commentary about how it’s helping them as well.
Does anyone ever have this perfect self-esteem? I would like to say I have pretty good self-esteem, but I have periods of doubt.
First of all, you never take a test. There’s no self-esteem test you get 100 on and that’s it for life. Life triggers you and will continue to do so. It’s one of those things that life will do. It ebbs and it flows. One of the most important things my book can offer is to help you learn how to stand strong in your stead, meaning that you stay very firmly planted and well-rooted when a storm or tornado comes through and something’s going to happen in your life. You may lose 1 leaf or 2, even a branch, but you’re not going to be uprooted, uplifted and transported away with the storm. That’s because you will have the tools in the shed, those resources that you need that will be able to serve you to not lose it or go ballistic when something of grave importance happens in your life.
Would you say this book is for someone who’s become aware that they need to take responsibility for their destiny? I feel that part of the population that’s unhappy is also the blaming part of the population that doesn’t want to say, “I am the master of that destiny. If I am down, I have to fix this.”
This is what’s called the blame game. “I want to blame my life on someone else.” It doesn’t work that way. We can all look back and find those woe is me moments, “Maybe we didn’t have the most perfect parents,” and all of that. We also have what we take from our natal tribe. That’s where we learned first, whatever we’re taught at home. It doesn’t necessarily mean that what we were told is going to serve us for a lifetime. What I do say is take what served you and leave behind what didn’t.
When I say leave behind, I don’t mean forget about your parents and family. You’re always going to go home for a Thanksgiving dinner, be there for Christmas and all those lovely things, but sometimes you’re going to have to learn how to love them where they’re at. The most important thing you can ever do is to say, “I thank you for the information and education you did in part. In part, I didn’t believe quite everything, but thanks again. I’m going to make my life my own.”
Remember that self-esteem takes a lot of courage. Sometimes when you go down that path, you’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings, nobody’s going to get out to join or they might get a little offended, but a hug and a kiss, some love and maybe even a slight explanation, “Mom, I still love you, but this works better for me in my life.” It’s with our faith. What did our faith teach us that we may not necessarily always 100% believe in or agree with?
I hate to say, but maybe it’s okay to take what serves and leave what doesn’t. I’m going to get a lot of backlash on that, but not everything I was taught in the Catholic faith is something I believe in, friends, your education, the education process, your peers and those sorts of things. What was it that you picked up along? The things you pick up along the way that help form you are the things that you find yourself with one day. If things aren’t jiving for you and not working for you, if you’re unhappy, depressed, anxious or you’re blaming, this book is for you. That’s not it. That’s not what we’re going for.
I love that you said that because I feel like part of what’s wrong with society is people who expect you to cater to their feelings. I’m very unpopular in the sense that I’ll say, “That’s your stuff. Go figure it out. I’m not responsible for making your self-esteem.” It was in my mid-twenties when I started to say, “I can’t be mad at my parents for this.” That’s where you meet them where you’re at. I have kids in my mid-twenties whom I told, “It’s my job to screw you up and for you to unscrew yourself.”
That’s a way of life too. There’s no way around that. I have found very few people along the way that have ever said to me, “I have the most perfect childhood.”
I know a lot of people who pretend they did.
Join the club, everybody. It is the way it is. There are a couple of other things that I like to tell people and that is this whole, “I am enough.” “I am enough. You are enough. We are enough. He is enough. She is enough.” That’s all great, but if you ever look up the definition of enough, it’s as much as is required now. I don’t know about you, but I know about me. I know I am so much more than is enough.
When I worked at Shy Day, we had t-shirts that says, “Good enough is not enough.”
It’s right. It is not enough to be enough. That’s exactly what I say. It’s one of those kinds of things that you have to be careful of, but you tell your subconscious because it might believe you. With the whole enough thing, take another good look at that. Failure is another thing we talk about a lot with self-esteem. People are living in fear. You need the courage to do this work. You must know that you’re going to get uncomfortable with yourself. Others may get uncomfortable with you. You might have to cut some people out of your life.
Those toxic relationships that aren’t serving you that are pulling you back and dragging you down, may need to be, if not cut out, at least redimensioned. You’ve got to be able to have the courage to walk away, pull away and stay away. That is not always going to be a pleasant place to be. FEAR is Face Everything And Rise. I don’t know if that works for you, but it works for me. Start facing everything. Stop running from everything. Start your ascension toward a bigger, better, bolder and more beautiful you.There's going to be failure along the way. And every time you fail, you are that much closer to success. Click To Tweet
Let’s talk about what you made a point there. You were talking about boundaries when you’re talking about toxic relationships. When you set good boundaries, you are always going to encounter people who have gotten into a life pattern with you. It can get pretty ugly and you have to learn how to stick to your guns. When you’re reading this book, you have to remember that change is going to require and there’s some hardship there. There are going to be some hard times because those people are going to challenge those new boundaries.
You might have some weak moments. It’s up to you. It’s on you. How quickly do you want to grow? Great change comes from great pain. How much pain are you in? “How is that working for you,” as Dr. Phil would say. If it’s not, then it’s up to you. It’s only on you. No one else can be able to make those kinds of changes.
Failure is another ground. “I’m so afraid of failure. What if I fail?” What if you don’t fail? I love the acronym for FAIL, which is your First Attempt In Learning. Nothing is perfect that was done the first time, like the first car that came off the assembly line or the first light bulb. It doesn’t work that way. There’s going to be failure along the way.
Every time you fail, you are that much closer to success, which is something that I do like to remind people of. I don’t suggest that you fail for life because there’s a point where you get it and the light bulb goes off. Understand that there is a little bit of fear of failure component but let’s face everything and rise. It’s going to be your first attempt at learning and it’s all going to be okay.
As an entrepreneur, I would say that I fail every day. It’s a matter of, “Am I going to curl up in the fetal position on the carpet and pick lint out of my tears or am I going to say, ‘What can I take away from this? Can I get up tomorrow morning with a new attitude, understand what I learned and move on?’” I say that to my children. “What was the lesson you learned?” They say it back to me, which is hilarious. I know they’re being sarcastic. You have to train yourself. “How badly is it? Is it an epic fail? Can I fix it or do something?” We can always learn from failure. As a business owner, how many times a day do you fail?
I don’t exactly know. Moving right along, I’d like to go back to boundaries for a second because it’s so important. Most people are very uncomfortable setting boundaries for themselves. They feel as though it might even have to be done with anger or upset. It doesn’t. I like to call them boundaries with ease, joy and glory, being able to explain to someone in a very kind, calm way. “Can I talk to you for a second? What you said hurt my feelings and this is why.”
Sometimes if you explain yourself, other people don’t understand that they’ve done it. They may not have meant it the way it was said. When you open it up to that, what you are doing is teaching someone how you will and will not be treated and what you will and will not accept. That can be done again with a very calm voice. If somebody doesn’t get it and doesn’t want to get it, then they probably don’t belong in your life.
I’d like to underline that boundaries are super important to your happy and healthy self-esteem. How you advocate for yourself is important. Nobody’s going to do it for you. You’ve got to do that for yourself. I’m going down another path here, but if it hurts, it’s not love. Be careful about what you feel love is and what isn’t.
If somebody is pulling you down, degrading you, yelling at you, screaming at you and, God forbid, putting their hands on you, all of that, there are ways out of those kinds of situations. It takes courage and I get it, but I will promise you that the light on the other side of that tunnel is so big, bold and bright that you’re going to be glad that you did. I get there’s a lot of fear and I’m going off on a tangent here, but I’m very passionate about the position and condition of women.
Another thing I like to talk about is loyalty. When you are loyal, it makes you feel good about yourself. Loyalty is when you’ve got my back behind my back. Those kinds of water cooler moments when you’re with the pack or the tribe and they’re trashing somebody, do you stand up for that somebody that’s not there? Do you foment and join in? You could say, “I know Susie Q and that’s not my experience of her. Maybe she was just having a bad day. Maybe she needed a little extra love or hug.” Walk away. Their jaws are dropping. Not that you mean to sound sanctimonious, but you do want to take a higher road when you can. It’s not that hard.
I have a friend from a long time ago who has to be the queen bee and the center of attention. That trashing used to irritate me. I’m to the point where I go, “If that’s what she needs to feel better about herself, that’s her. I don’t have to participate.” That’s her low esteem that needs to be filled. You talk a lot in the book about the importance of support groups. Who are they? Why are they so necessary for you?
There are people that you’re going to meet along the way. It could be family. I don’t know. Everyone has a different set of people that they have in their lives. Usually, in a lifetime, you can count these people on the one hand. The ones that you can call at 3:00 in the morning are the ones that I like to refer to, your ride or dies. Your support groups can be larger than that, but the ones whom you will create those kinds of relationships with are to be nourished and cherished. You would do the same for them no matter what.
These are the people that you can tend your hand and you’re always going to find. You can call them at 3:00 in the morning and they’re always going to pick up the phone. You can cry and find a shoulder. This is all reciprocal. My last chapter in the book is reciprocal. It’s the idea that you’ve got these people in your life that you can count on no matter what.
Some support groups would be a little bit larger. I love my mastermind, for example. I’ve got amazing women on my mastermind and we’re all there for each other come hell or high water. I didn’t know that I would call all of them at 3:00 in the morning. I don’t know that I could do that. I haven’t asked. I’m sure they would say yes but you understand the point. It is the idea that you may be born into a family that wasn’t necessarily there the way you need them to be or would like for them to be. It can happen, but you can and should create your group of close dear cherished friends.
I’m going to even add to that. You should model that for your children, so it passes on to the next generation. They see your actions and loyalty and they will carry that on in their lives as well. You frequently mention one of the tactics in the regime. Which is it?
Frequently I say, “The toxic stops here.” That is part of the work in self-esteem that we do. We want to make sure that we are not projecting or passing on the things that we know hurt us to others. That means mostly from parents to children. I’m glad you did bring that up. Everything you do, say or which way you act is what you are teaching your children to do. It’s pretty big shoes you have to step into when you become a parent.It's normal and natural that we want to look and feel our best. There's nothing conceited about it. That's not a narcissistic statement. Click To Tweet
You’re not perfect so do the work that’s in personal development. No matter which book you pick up, it could be mine, I hope it is, but there’s a whole billion-dollar industry in personal development that you could pick and choose from but continuing to do the work on yourself is the message. I want to be a better person tomorrow than I am now. I work on that all the time.
What are the most important things that we need to remind ourselves of every day in that statement, “Look good, feel good, be good and greater good?”
If our self-esteem is looking good, we always know we look good. That’s a little bit of lilt in the step. We’re feeling it, but we know that we look good. It’s normal and natural that we want to look and feel our best. We all want to look good and feel good about ourselves. There’s nothing conceded about it. That’s not a narcissistic statement. It’s just we look good. We want to make sure that we’re looking good and feel good with diet, exercise and nutrition.
It all works as one. Especially solopreneurs and entrepreneurs know that if we go down, it all goes down. We want to be sure that we are taking good care of our body, mind and spirit. When you’re working at home alone, especially during COVID, it was quite a challenge at times because there were no accountability partners.
I would venture to say, “Thank God for Zoom.” It kept us not in the same room, but it kept us connected. In the very beginning, when we all started, there was a moment of disconnect. We’re like, “What’s happening? The dolphins are coming into the ports with the boats.” It was that moment where it was touch and go for a minute. We need connectivity. We must stay in close contact with one another.
Be good is everything we are thinking. It’s our leadership, relationship and finances. It’s all of the other things in life that are not look good and feel good. Being on top of our game when it comes to being good at what it is we do. To me and in my life, it means lots of education, courses, classes and staying on top of the networking events that are coming along. I constantly want to be learning what’s coming down the pike next and what’s new. Staying on top of my game is the most important aspect, especially for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs.
The greater good is giving back, paying forward, tithing, volunteering and doing something you know is going to put a smile on someone else’s face. Invariably, it’s going to put a smile on yours. It could be that little thing that you do like getting up on public transportation for the elderly or a pregnant woman. I don’t know if a lot of the younger generations still do these things. These were manners that we were taught at our age. I don’t know if they were taught.
It’s something that is sorely missing, like holding an elevator door open for someone you could see throw in to get there. It’s the littlest thing. Sometimes saying things like, “You look pretty today or I love that top,” to a lady you never saw before in your life. You never know what somebody else is going through and what a kind word or gesture from you may do. It goes a long way in changing the energy in someone else’s day and certainly in yours.
This is another one. Model for your children. When I lived in California, men quit opening doors there. I remember visiting my son in college in Utah and there were these 9, 10 and even 5-year-old boys that would run up and open the door for me. I’d be like, “I love this state.” It has good old-fashioned values. We even see that. If you look at the news about the queen of England, many people are afraid that her values will die with her. We could bring back a lot of that. You’ve introduced mirror therapy in your book. It was originally spoken about by Louise Hay. How does it work? Tell us a little bit about that.
Jack Canfield used it in his work and so did Louise Hay, which is where I heard of it first. It looks and feels weird and silly in the beginning when you start. You may want to have a box of tissues close by because what you’re going to do is have a dialogue with yourself, which is something you never do. You’re always talking to someone else but the only time you’re having a dialogue with yourself is in your head. It’s never when you’re looking at yourself and taking that deep dive through your eyes into your soul.
When you can start to say, “Juliet, I’m so sorry. I forgive you. I love you so much.” You have the prompts that are in the book. Thanks to the work that I know have started with Louise Hay. It might have even started before. You take this deep dive and do this daily. If you only do it for a few minutes, that’s fine. In the beginning, that’s great. Get started.
A lot of people live in shame and blame. They took on things that were not theirs to take on. This is a way of releasing. Remember, my first chapter is Release. My second chapter is Rebuild. The third chapter is Responsibility. Where is it that you are taking responsibility for your life? Where is it that you’re shirking responsibility? When you get into this book, it’s going to take some work.
Remember the courage part because that’s a big part. Chapter four is Replace. “I’ll never compare myself to others as everyone’s journey is unique.” That’s one affirmation right there that if you get that one through your thick skull, you’d be 99% of the way there. I picked that out of the blue. I didn’t even know I was going to read that. How many of us are comparing ourselves daily on social media? All of us. “Look at that car, her dress, business, husband, kids or their success.”
It’s natural and intrinsic. What I say is you are so lucky that you get to be you. Forget about Susie Q. Susie has her pile of stuff she’s got to deal with. You’re not walking in her shoes. You don’t know where she’s been and where she’s going. It’s her path and journey. You must be worried about your own. Leave everybody else out of the picture and your equation.
This is chapter six, which is Reinvent. I know how many times I’ve had to reinvent myself in my life. “I am so excited about whom I am becoming as I map out my future. It’s okay to say yes to getting up, moving on and never looking back. I will do what is necessary to complete my reinvention and conquer the world.” There are many more affirmations here. I’ve only chosen three. That’s just part of a chapter. We have the clarion call, Clarissa’s Corner, review, case studies and affirmations. Each chapter is so chuck full of the resources I talked about before that you need to have in the shed when that storm comes through.
The other thing, Juliet, is that when you read the book now and you read it 8 or 9 months from now, it’s going to be a different read. You’re going to get things out of it the second time you read it that you never even saw the first time because you weren’t ready for the message then, like many other books you’ll read. When we talk about the importance of this book, it’s an ebb and flow. Where are you at the moment? How can it serve you for where you are? That can help you as you move forward.
This has been amazing. Thank you. Where can we find you and the book? Where are you distributed at?
I am Clarissa Burt pretty much straight across the board on social media. That’s pretty simple. The book is in Barnes & Noble. You can buy it in the Barnes & Noble stores. You can find it online on Amazon Kindle and Audible.
The way I listen to most everything is Audible. Let me ask you. Are there exercises in it? Would it be something that you would maybe listen to on Audible, buy the soft cover and work the exercises?
I’m working toward the workbook. You have your workbook, so find a notebook and jot things down. We do a lot of journaling. The power of journaling is something else. It’s pretty spectacular. Let me leave you with one more little one. Let me see what I’ve got here. We have the final clarion call. I love clarion call. Maybe because it was the beginning of my name as well. You can see that there’s Clarissa’s Corner. There are all kinds of great stuff in here.
The affirmation is reciprocal. “I will donate my time and money to good causes and open my heart and soul to others. I will be financially generous to others as much as I can afford.” There’s something different for everybody. Whatever you can do, do it. Sometimes it’s a couple of cans of beans at the food drive. It doesn’t have to be a broad stroke. Sometimes it’s those little things that you’re adding to a greater good and that can make you feel good too.
“I will be a kind person even to those who have offended or hurt me.” I don’t know if you know how powerful that is. That one affirmation can change a life. Here’s something else I’ll leave you with. We always say, “I can do anything.” You can do anything until you can’t. What I mean by that is tomorrow is not promised. Who is it that you can make amends with? Apologize to. Ask forgiveness from. Reconnect with. Thank. Who is it that you need to be picking up a phone and saying, “How are you? It’s been a while.”
When you do these little things, not only are you making yourself feel great, but you’re making someone else feel good too. You can do almost anything, but not everything. NASA is not going to call me tomorrow and I’ll be on the moon next week. I don’t think that’s going to happen. You can do many things, but tomorrow is not promised. Do the right thing.
Thank you for sharing that. That’s so wonderful. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show.
Thank you so much for your time, Juliet.
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About Clarissa Burt
Clarissa Burt is an internationally acclaimed award-winning media personality, producer, director, writer, author, public speaker and former supermodel and winner of the Celebrity Survivor show! With hundreds of television and film credits to her name, this Who’s Who of International and American Women brings over 35 years of entertainment industry experience in both International and American markets.
Clarissa is the Founder and CEO of In the Limelight Media, a multi-media platform consisting of TV/video, a podcast and a digital magazine. Her shows can be seen on ROKU, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, etc. and her podcast is heard on 15 different distribution platforms.
Her bestselling book entitled The Self-Esteem Regime published by Roman and Littlefield published on November 11th, 2021. The audiobook was published by Recorded Books two weeks later. The book drops in Italy on November 11, 2022.
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