Own your flaws. I was never good at math, and I absolutely suck at singing. Like, seriously cannot carry a tune to save my life. Of course, no one ever likes to be told that they are not good at something. But, for me, I found it much easier to believe in my true talents once I embraced the things I suck at. It’s like staring at one of those colorblind tests, where you can see the number plain as day because the negative space is divided by color. Once you acknowledge those differences between the positive and negative, you can appreciate your positives so much more.
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 Tylar Paige.
Tylar Paige is a Manhattan-based author, advertising professional, and notable artist who is passionate about all things creative. Her life experiences led her to find her own journey to self-love that she shares in her memoir, F*ck You, Watch This. This book is inspiring thousands of readers to challenge their core beliefs, love themselves, find happiness and be happy single after toxicity, trauma and narcissistic abuse.
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 was born in Huntington, WV to parents who didn’t want me. They kept me, but throughout my childhood and youth I was made aware very often that I was a burden. My father abandoned me when I was three years old, and my mother remarried a man who sexually abused me for four years. My mother was not around much, and when she was, I felt ignored quite a bit. My grandma was my hero, she was the one who taught me what true love really is, since those inside my home me were saying they loved me, while also hurting me. This created a sense of confusion as to what love should and should not be. I became someone who had to have a challenge or some sort of drama in a relationship in order for any love to be “real.”
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
Television advertising inspired my career. When I was about two and a half years old, I told my mom that I had figured out that the toy commercials came on during my cartoons and the mommy commercials came on during her soap operas. It was in my blood to understand an audience and know how to speak to them! As soon as I learned to hold a pencil and knew the alphabet, I was writing. I would write neighborhood newsletters, short stories, poems, even my “I’m sorry” letters to my mom after I’d gotten in troubled worked like a charm!
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?
Sure! So, when I first decided it was time to write my memoir, I knew that I wanted to challenge a lot of the choices I made and provide some inspiration for readers who may have had similar experiences. I read another woman’s book, which really pushed me even harder to write my own. Once my book was published, I sent this author a signed copy of my book, thanking her for inspiring me to write my own. She wrote me a message and scolded me for formatting my book similar to hers! I instantly questioned if I’d made a mistake in reading hers first to gain inspiration from her story. I learned something interesting from this perceived “mistake” … that if any of my readers felt inspired by my story, I would send them my entire book design template. If they want to copy my Belief, Action, Challenge model, I encourage them to do it. We should stand together and help each other as a bonded survive and thrive tribe.
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 writing the sequel to my published memoir, F*ck You Watch This. The sequel is called F*ckery Free, and I am excited to give readers continued inspiration for finding self-love and healing after experiencing trauma, abuse, narcissism or even just false beliefs of self, love or life. I’m also publishing two journals. One is an adult journal with prompts to establish self-love, heal, find happiness, forgiveness and reflect on choices based of false beliefs of love (for yourself and others). The other is a journal for teens who have suffered from childhood trauma, abuse, abandonment, rejection or hardship. For every adult journal sold, I will donate a teen journal to at-risk youth organizations. I am also publishing two more fiction novels this year!
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?
Because people will let you down. Sure, you will have those people who are in your corner and will help lift your spirits when you are down, or doubting yourself, or need an ear. But even those people who you think you can always count on will sometimes be too busy, or unavailable physically or emotionally (unintentionally or innocuously intentionally). I once was codependent on others to validate me, my feelings, my worth and my value. But ever since I’ve discovered true self-love, I have found that I am able to fully believe in myself in more dynamic and multi-dimensional ways than ever before.
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?
The opposite of BELIEVE is ABANDON or reject. So, to truly believe in yourself, you must run towards yourself, never let go, hold yourself and stay by your own side. You can be your own cheerleader in instances where you are striving to be achieve more or reshape your life. However, contrary to the popular quote that “you can achieve anything you believe,” it’s important to be realistic in your journey to believing in yourself. Accept yourself for exactly who you are. That doesn’t mean you can’t continue to evolve as a person or go after your goals, but be genuine to your talents, your goals, your dreams, your mind and body. Part of believing in yourself is knowing what you are capable of, and what you are not.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
Not for any significant length of time, no. I was living in my car when I was 17 years old, working 2 jobs, and trying to go to high school. When I made the tough decision to go to work full time instead of finish 12th grade, a friend told me as I walked out the main entrance of my high school for the last time, “you’ll never amount to anything.” I didn’t say anything, I just turned my head back towards them, nodded in disbelief, and thought to myself, “Eff you, watch this.” To believe in myself to that degree at such a tender age was bold, but I knew that I had a bright future ahead. I just would have to work much harder than most, never give up, and believe in my talent and ambition.
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?
It was shortly after my ex-boyfriend physically assaulted me for a second time and I filed criminal charges against him. My reflection was dim, and I felt invisible, ashamed and embarrassed that I’d even chosen to be in a, albeit short, relationship with such a monster. It was time to search deep within myself for just why I had chosen horrible men as partners. My ability to believe in myself was shaken, because I knew that I needed to be more than okay being single, alone, and dating only myself for quite some time. I needed to heal, forgive, love myself and challenge false beliefs of love that I’d been taught as a child.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
1 . Own your flaws. I was never good at math, and I absolutely suck at singing. Like, seriously cannot carry a tune to save my life. Of course, no one ever likes to be told that they are not good at something. But, for me, I found it much easier to believe in my true talents once I embraced the things I suck at. It’s like staring at one of those colorblind tests, where you can see the number plain as day because the negative space is divided by color. Once you acknowledge those differences between the positive and negative, you can appreciate your positives so much more.
2 . Give yourself a superpower. I love to pretend that sometimes I am invisible. That’s my feign superpower. When you give yourself permission to be a bad ass of some sort of global force, you empower yourself in ways you never thought possible. It’s a feeling that can’t be matched!
3 . Accept yourself for exactly who you are. You are uniquely you, just like a snowflake or fingerprint. When you realize just how freaking awesome it is that there is literally no other person in this world that is exactly like you, you find reasons to celebrate yourself. You can certainly continue to evolve as a person and go after your goals, but it’s about accepting your talents, your goals, your dreams, your mind and your body.
4 . Keep a list of “good things.” Believing in yourself is easier when you know you have kindness in your heart. No matter how small the deed, keep track of things that you do that make you feel fulfilled. My list includes the smallest of gestures, such as holding the door open at the department store for a trail of about eleven shoppers one after another who all thanked me. I could have quickly just strutted back out into the Manhattan shuffle of life, but instead, took a couple minutes to make sure no one would have to push that door open. My list also includes big acts of kindness, such as when a friend lost his job, and they forfeited his company owned laptop. He had no way of searching for work, and no funds to buy a new machine. I had an extra laptop around, and I gave it to him. Never asked for anything in return, either. I just wanted to help.
5 . Buy yourself something. Believing in yourself means knowing your worth, and sometimes we wait around for “perfect scenarios” before we get the things we want in life. For me, I wanted to wait to buy a house until I was married. Although my ex-husband (who turned out to be a narcissist) and I never got to that point of buying a home together, it was one of those things I just didn’t want to do alone. Once I started dating myself exclusively, I decided I was going to buy myself the ring I really wanted when I got engaged. It wasn’t a diamond; it was a cheap peridot. I was worth it. And just as I placed that ring on my finger, I made a commitment to myself that I would treat myself the way I wished my ex had treated me. Once in a while, buy yourself those flowers, or that little bracelet, the gym membership, the magnet… whatever it is that reminds you that you are worth it!
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
Every time you have negative thoughts or feelings, picture them as snow inside a snow globe. Close your eyes and picture those flakes swirling around without purpose or direction. Shake the crap out of that globe, then throw it with all your might. It will amaze you how quickly your mind becomes a blank slate, ready for new, healthy, positive thoughts. (It works, I swear).
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
Believing in yourself, loving yourself and having self-confidence is not “selfish.”
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
I would tell them to write down a list of their skills, talents, accomplishments, accolades, etc. and then write out all the worst-case scenarios of someone (anyone) doubting each of them. They may quickly realize that there is no reason to question themselves, based on the fact there is no true evidence that they are not who they are, and there would be no repercussion if someone doubted them to begin with.
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.
I just want to help victims of abuse find their own journey to self-love, so they can lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. I’d love for my writing to become a beacon of hope for these people. I want to inspire adult victims of childhood trauma to live their best and most rewarding lives, without falling back into false beliefs of love. Love should never equal pain, abandonment, rejection, fear or abuse. I’m not sure what that ‘movement’ looks like, but I’m ready to start it, and just like everything in my life, I will make it happen.
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 🙂
Mariska Hargitay. She is an advocate and a voice for domestic violence, childhood abuse, trauma recovery and women’s voices. If anyone would truly understand my story, it will be her.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.