List out your positive qualities. You can believe in yourself when you feel good about yourself! So, what do you like about yourself? Write it down, and journal your thoughts.
Starting something new is scary. Learning to believe in yourself can be a critical precursor to starting a new initiative. Why is it so important to learn to believe in yourself? How can someone work on gaining these skills? In this interview series, we are talking to business leaders, authors, writers, coaches, medical professionals, teachers, to share empowering insights about “How To Learn To Believe In Yourself.” As a part of this series we had the pleasure of interviewing Lillee Jean.
Lillee Jean is an actress, model, filmmaker, producer, writer, director, and anti-bullying advocate. She is most known for her webseries ‘Lillee Jean TALKS! Live’, where Hollywood stars have guested on. Her latest productions include two popular short films she directed, produced, and wrote including ‘Peony and Violet’, as well as ‘Miss Roxie’. In her current role, she portrays different monologues in the show, ‘So Lillo Qui’.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I started with two blogs. In one, I created stop-motion films featuring the American Girl Dolls and in the other, I created beauty videos! As a ten-year-old, I founded The Makeup Bloggers, which later became “Thaeyeballqueen”. At such a young age, not only did I create and act in my own makeup tutorials using various online resources, such as YouTube, Instagram, etc., but I also expressed myself artistically. By the time I was 13–14, I would post to Beautylish and the Sephora Beauty Board to further promote my blog! My interest in entertainment began at a young age, and by the time I was 20, I was creating my own webseries. ‘Lillee Jean TALKS! Live’ was my first show, and I had a great time creating it.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
My parents have always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and they have always been there for me when I need them. As a young teenager, I began making short films before veering into beauty. My career of being an influencer/beauty guru developed more into my mid-teens. I was inspired to continue creating content under my ‘Lillee Tutorials’ series in hopes I would continue to inspire others to share my looks, and perhaps even do them. I started shifting career goals and focus when I reached 20 years old. My inspiration became a lot of internal thoughts and thinking.
I started concentrating on my goals for the future and how I wanted to conduct myself. A big portion of that advice — that I should do what makes me happy rather than just what’s “okay” — came from my friends. The truth is that “beauty” ultimately brought about a lot of pain from the toxic community, and a lot of danger from the parasocial relationships that individuals were forging, as a result of watching my videos. It’s the culture of the online community. It’s a culture I reject. I came to the conclusion that Lillee Jean needed something that would make her shine inside and out. Acting and filmmaking actually do that! I sparkle, and that makes me incredibly pleased. My friends and family have contributed to the person I am today. I hone my craft in acting daily.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Although I’m not entirely convinced this is funny, it is a crucial lesson that, in my opinion, requires a lot of self-control. The best lesson I ever learned is to “never complain, never explain,” as the late Queen Elizabeth II once said. It is real. Don’t engage with the rhetoric others post online. It has no real worth in life and only serves to propagate hate further. One lesson I frequently think of is that one.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I am currently working on several projects! My short drama film Miss Roxie just debuted, with a positive reaction from fans and new viewers alike. I worked incredibly hard on that short film, as it is an original piece by me! I wrote the entire script, produced the film, and acted as two characters, which was a challenge. I also am developing another Peony & Violet. This one is called “Take Deux”, where the two sisters are at it again! I hope my films bring joy to people. I have a few auditions as an actress lined up, but I can’t say much more than that.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to believe in yourself? Can you share a story or give some examples?
It’s important to believe in yourself because if you don’t, most people won’t be your backbone. Is that really what they should do? You’re so powerful yourself. It’s good to lean on someone, but it’s important to be an individual first. There is no limit to what you can accomplish in life! I view it this way. When I act in a script, I consider how the character feels, what they would say, and how they would react. In my experience, I do a better job when I believe I can be this character than when I second-guess myself. You cannot grow past doubt if you live your life in doubt! The majority of successful individuals take chances because they believe in themselves and live with confidence.
What exactly does it mean to believe in yourself? Can I believe that I can be a great artist even though I’m not very talented? Can I believe I can be a gold medal Olympic even if I’m not athletic? Can you please explain what you mean?
Belief and reality I suppose can be argued. Believing in yourself can create different futures. For instance, I believed in my ability as an actress. I am making that dream happen every day. If I didn’t believe in myself maybe none of my short films would have ever come out, and never would have given people joy. I chose to believe in myself, and I chose my future. What you choose for yourself is largely determined by what you believe. My faith in myself had led me to leave the influencer/beauty community, believing I would be able to produce films I wanted to share. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. My decision was based on what made me happy, and that is what matters.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
The only time I have ever felt wavered in my abilities was when I was in my old career as an influencer/beauty guru. Every second of the day I had to deal with more drama, draining me of my artistic abilities. That community thrives on the relationship between content farms and influencers. It seems that influencers gain publicity from drama rather than traditional celebrities from their contributions. The drama for me, lasted from 2019 to 2022, and it was a total mess.
A group online created the Lillee Jean Clone Cult and spread misinformation about me 24/7. In order to make sure I wouldn’t receive any payment or be included in a campaign, they contacted brands I worked with. They tried to get me blacklisted from any corner you could think of starting at the age of 18, as a teenager. My family was put on black websites because of this cult, and we have several police reports to date due to a violation of my privacy being breached constantly. The cult members developed into stalkers who persisted in lying and distorting the definition of “truth” in the process. They ended up being Lillee Jean’s “victims”. This alarmed people, and the cult developed as a result. Nevertheless, none of their claims were accurate.
The whole beauty guru/influencer part of my life became creepy, and very invasive in my life. I’m not a reality television show. I’m a human! Thus, I didn’t want any of that. I had a personal retreat moment where I thought to myself what I wanted in my life. I started remembering when I used to film-make and produce small productions with my dolls. I quickly realized there is no future in influencing. I wanted to be an actress, and create my own short films! This impacted my life mentally in an extraordinary way. My confidence came back, and I felt rejoiced. I created Project: Bullyish from the pain I suffered to spread awareness of the dangers of the internet.
At what point did you realize that in order to get to the next level, it would be necessary to build up your belief in yourself? Can you share the story with us?
Almost every month or so, I had to file a police report due to stalking, privacy violations, or aggravated harassment. I realized I needed to change paths and regain my confidence. Was it worth it to influence a bunch of people who are hell-bent on ruining my life? The answer is no! In the process of starting Project Bullyish, I found many interesting things. For instance, YouTube is a cesspool for farms and money grabs. The very platform where a lot of misery came from. It made me feel better to know the truth. One channel that made a negative “video” about me actually uses a digital influencer and is a British digital media agency. The digital influencer teases viewers with the promise of a face reveal, but if you go online, you can see job openings for both scriptwriter and voice actor positions for the channel. People who are already being dishonest about who they are are being listened to. My realization that I needed to make a difference in everything began with my own self-belief. I acted on my belief that I could do it. The next level was leaving the influencer part of my life. It had no promise for growth. That is why now I live my passions daily, with acting and filmmaking. I will never go back to that old career or part of my life, partially because I believe in myself.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
1 . Think about what you’re good at. Is it art? Scriptwriting? Photography? Then, consider the job opportunities in those areas.
2 . Take a class on something you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe you always wanted to cook. Take a cooking class! It will give you the confidence to believe in yourself.
3 . List out your positive qualities. You can believe in yourself when you feel good about yourself! So, what do you like about yourself? Write it down, and journal your thoughts.
4 . Meditate. Meditation helps sound off negative energy and thoughts. People stop believing in themselves when they can’t focus on who they really are. Negativity clouds thoughts.
5 . Belief comes from being good at something. Do the things you’re an expert in.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
It is possible for any creative being to harbor negative thoughts. It’s hard to overcome self-criticism, but you need to keep one thing in mind. In a normal sense, you will actually critique yourself more than anyone else. If you keep criticizing and putting things off, you will never grow. To live, means you need to grow!
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
To me, self-confidence is misconstrued as arrogance. There are a lot of people who are jealous and envious of those who appear to be doing well. Be aware that you too can feel that confidence and good! You just need to embrace yourself and be true to who you are. Self-confidence is being assured of one’s abilities, while arrogance is being snobby about the blessings one has received in life.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
If you have impostor syndrome, you need to find who you are inside. Once you can identify what you are good at and what you love, everything becomes much clearer.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The movement I would like to inspire is for people to be kinder to one another. To have more compassion and understanding. The issue is that because comprehension is removed by the internet, compassion is muffled. There has to be greater awareness of how the internet affects people emotionally. The internet is not human, but kindness is.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I would love to have the honor of meeting Angelina Jolie. I think she is a savvy businesswoman, and very brilliant with how she has worked her career in acting, and now her new clothing line!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Lillee Jean TALKS! LIVE: https://www.lilleejean.com/lj-talks-live
Mind Over Beaute Episodes: https://www.lilleejean.com/lillee-jean-mind-over-beaute-episodes
Voyager With Lillee Jean: https://www.lilleejean.com/voyager-with-lillee-jean
So Lillo Qui Episodes: https://www.lilleejean.com/so-lillo-qui
Deviant Art: https://www.deviantart.com/lilleejean
Mind Over Beaute Podcast: https://www.lilleejean.com/mind-over-beaute-podcast
LJ TALKS: https://www.lilleejean.com/podcast
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.