Laugh At Myself…

Sara Blakely founded Spanx in 2000. She is the world’s youngest self-made female billionaireowns and is the 100 most influential people in the world, according to Wikipedia.

In 2001, BBC agreed to give Sara a live interview for her new Spanx products. During the talk show, Sara told over a million audiences why they needed this product; she said, “… it’s all about fanny….”.  The interviewer had lost all the color in his face and said, “ I think you mean bum.” Later, she explained that she used “fanny” was because “it sounded like such a British word.”

In the article on her “mortifying moment at the BBC” in the Newsweek April, 2012 issue, Sara said:

“I think very early on in life we all learn what we’re good at and what we’re not good at, and we stay where it’s safe… The BBC interview ended up opening more doors for me because I was willing to laugh at myself. I feel like I’ve had that approach with my business through the messaging and marketing—it’s a very honest and real and “oops!” mentality. There’s always a gift in something, even if it first feels like a failure.”  What an enormous courage she had!

A couple of weeks later, I listened to Brene Brown’s “Power of Vulnerability” on the Ted Talk.  Brene said that she had spent six years to collect data and she was able to understand the pattern of the people who had the sense of (self) worthiness. They all have:

  • Courage: to be imperfect
  • Compassion: to be kind first to themselves then to others
  • Connection: to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were.

To my surprise, the courage was not about being perfect, compassion was not about what you do, and the connection was not about others, but about connecting yourself.

I think that Sara Blakely’s experience– “to laugh at myself” and Brene Brown’s findings of self worthiness are interrelated. To laugh at herself, Sara must be willing to allow herself to be imperfect, be kind to herself, and let go who she thought she should be in order to be who she was.

Hope you find it interesting. I know I am learning to laugh at myself instead of kicking myself… 😀

More about Brene Brown’s talk click here.

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25 thoughts on “Laugh At Myself…

  1. I find as I grow older the more I am able to be ok with being imperfect, and laugh at myself, not talke myself so seriously. I salute women like Sara who learn this early on in their lives. Great post.

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  2. Great advice for everybody. We ALL have one thing in common – we are not perfect!! Usually imperfections are pretty funny! Unfortunately the ones who CAN laugh at themselves usually feel bad about themselves A LOT, but fortunately, they usually are successful. A couple who did and did from what I read were Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, both funny, real, and suicidal. It’s a tight walk!

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    • That’s a great point! It could be because the line between who we should be and who we are expected to be is not easy to define for some people. Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland probably had not have a chance to choose to be who they should be.
      Thank you so much for reading it and sharing your thoughts!

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  3. What an inspiring story. Truly an amazing woman who’s success is not about her wealth but what she is from within. I agree, we need to be able laugh at ourselves and our mistakes . To love ourselves and give our potentials to shine.

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  4. A perfect post! Exceedingly well written Amy. yes, yes yes, I am so liking this one! 🙂 Here’s a good one to remember, “The best person I will ever know in my whole life is me!” The thing is you say those words to yourself, not others and then you help them to feel that way about themselves also. It took years for me to get that one right! For some of the same reasons I think you have Amy!

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    • Having read your exquisite writings, I’m flattered by your comment, Penny. I agree, the best person… is me!” Yet, we continue to move forward and change… You were right that I said those words to myself for a little while before I put in writing. I think one thing we may have in common is willing to discover ourselves (an exciting journey), except you have done so for 20 year.

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