Do you know that you can increase your self-esteem by following a regime? Jen Du Plessis introduces Clarissa Burt, the Founder and CEO of In the Limelight Media. Clarissa is the author of The Self-Esteem Regime, a book that gives you an action plan to become the confident person you’re meant to be. If you’re willing to do the work, you’re going to see significant changes happening in your life. One way to increase your self-esteem is to stop comparing yourself to what you’re not meant to be. Thank the lucky stars that you’re not like anyone else. Join in the conversation and be inspired to increase your self-esteem!
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Increase Your Self-Esteem: Become More Confident With Clarissa Burt
Welcome back to the show. In this episode, we are going to have so much fun. Let me introduce you first to Clarissa Burt, who is an internationally acclaimed award-winning media personality, producer, director, writer, author, public speaker, former supermodel, and winner of the Celebrity Survivor Show. She also released her book, The Self-Esteem Regime. We are going to be talking a lot about that.
She has had a private audience with Pope John Paul II honoring her social work. I want to ask you about that too, Clarissa. She has graced the cover of over 250 fashion and beauty magazines. She is also an actress and best known for her role as the mean queen. You also were in Wishman, which Frank Shankwitz has been on this show as well for his life story.
Welcome to the show. I am so excited. I know we are going to see each other again. We are going to have lots of fun, but I really want to talk about self-esteem with you, and then we will divert and talk about some other things. Let’s start with your story because I know you are from the East Coast, but then lived in Italy. How did you get into everything that you got into? Given the fact that your company is called Limelight Media, what makes you glow?
You talk about my story, and what I love to do is pull up these two Polaroids that go all the way back to 1965. I don’t know if you can see Mary Poppins there. She is standing right there in the middle of the stage. Way back in the day in Collingdale, Pennsylvania at Harris Elementary School, thanks to Mrs. Bailey and her seat-upons, I would sit behind her and sing. I guess I was the loudest voice in the room. I told you already that they told me that I was vaccinated with a photograph needle. I’m a talker and I always have been. I’m a communicator and I love the stage. That is where I caught the bug and that was where it happened.
You are younger than I am, but you will probably remember Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth. For me, those were the women that I wanted to be and emulate. I wanted to sing, dance, and dress like them. They were so gloriously gorgeous and my go-to girls. They were my idols, so I knew, in some way, shape, or form, I was going to be in front of a microphone.
It didn’t happen yet again for quite some time. I was living in New Jersey, graduated high school, and moved into the city. I was working as an administrative assistant. It is a long story, but I knew I wanted to be a model. I just didn’t think I was pretty enough or good enough. I wasn’t enough. It was the whole I’m-not-good-enough thing and I had very little support. There wasn’t anything going around me that was like, “You can.”
[bctt tweet=”Continue to add more tools so no matter what life throws at you, you’ll have what you need to get through. ” username=””]
When I moved into the city, people started to say, “You should be a model,” and I went, “I could never.” I tried it, and it went rather well. With that being said, that is where it was the foray for me into some acting and then television. I lived in Italy for 30 years. I worked in television there, produced television there, and learned the language. It was destiny and destined for me to be in some way, shape, or form in communications and certainly in front of a microphone.
What brightens your light every day in what you are doing now? What is it specifically?
Apart from the microphone, what I love to do is the media. I love interviewing people and bringing their light to Limelight Media. That is exactly what I do. I help to promote their businesses and their services through what I call my Seven Touch System, which we can talk about later. I love talking to people, getting to know people, pulling the story out, getting their messaging or their brand out, and helping them get their brand on point as well. We do a little bit of work with some people before we get them on air. I love what I do. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
What I did notice along the way, from a very young girl, was the lack of self-esteem in women mostly. I saw it with my grandmother, my mother, and with other women that were living not happily, didn’t think they were enough, or were in toxic relationships. Certainly, when I was in the modeling world, I was amongst some of the most beautiful women on the planet. There were women or girls that I met along the way that you thought they had the world at their feet, and for some reason, they either were living in a toxic relationship or doing drugs. They were not living their best selves or best lives, so I knew that there was something to that.
After the #MeToo Movement, and again, I take my hat off to the younger generations that said, “This is not okay,” because in my generation, it was, “Close a blind eye. Pretend it didn’t happen. Cross the street. It is just the way it is. Pretend not to know. Don’t look at that stuff.” This book, by the way, The Self-Esteem Regime has been in me for years. I went to Secret Knock and I spoke on stage. There was a gentleman there. It was in the audience by the name of Gary Krebs, who has written many of Greg Reid’s books. He came to me and said, “I need to write your book.” I said, “Okay.”
We have been working on the book for the last couple of years because we are both busy, but it finally dropped. We are excited about it. It is a self-esteem regime and an action plan for becoming the confident person you were meant to be. I use the word regime because it is an organized way of doing things. This is the do-your-business or get-off-the-pot thing where we go, “No more excuses. Here is the game plan. This is what you need to do,” and if you are willing to do the work, you are going to see major changes happening in your life.
As I was telling you before, I have implemented this now into my mastermind. The gals are coming in every other week. I cannot tell you the number of breakthroughs that are happening. We all have our tissues in front of us, in case, but I will tell you that it is so heartening to hear, “This book has changed my life.” When I heard that, I thought to myself, “My goodness.” This is a manual. It is a book, but it is a mission and a movement for me because I’m going to be happy the day that I see all women everywhere living in happy, healthy, and self-esteem.
We are going to talk more about that. I have a question I want to go back to because we lost Betty White, and ironically, I got the People magazine that said Betty turns 100. When it happened, I grabbed the magazine and was surprised. My husband tried to throw it away and I’m like, “We won’t be doing that.” I want to ask you about her because you happened to mention some people in the past that were not idols for you, but you looked up to.
What role did Betty White play in your life, if she even did? I may be bringing out something that you didn’t even think about because this is a woman who had the most self-esteem that I have ever seen. She has overcome so many things. What are your thoughts about this great loss that we had in a very powerful woman?
Certainly, back in the day when she started in the late-‘40s or early-‘50s, women were not in TV and she was able to weather the storm if you will, but here is the thing about Betty that I think we can all relate to and certainly appreciate. That is, you never heard one negative word about her. She was never involved in a scandal. She always brought a smile to someone’s face. You always had that heartwarming feeling like it was someone that was your grandmother, your aunt, or your sister. Whatever it was or however it landed with you, there was always a very warm feeling whenever she was in the room.
I was reading something in the People magazine with William Shatner, who I have had the wonderful pleasure of meeting because we named our son Kirk after Captain Kirk. It was not because I’m a Trekkie, but my husband is one. We had the opportunity to meet him and he signed a thing for my son, which was cool, but in the People magazine, he had said that he got roasted by her.
They had this big roast, and it was the first time that I’d ever read anything negative. He had said, “I love Betty White from a distance. She said some things that hurt me, but the thing about her is that she says it in such a nice way you don’t even know you are getting harmed.” She was the epitome of killing people with kindness in her approach.
Her comedic timing was impeccable, so I think that she might have been a little too sensitive.
I couldn’t tell if she was being comedic and saying this thing.
It is her love for animals and the foundation that she had. She was a lovely and wonderful human being.
I know you addressed a little bit about nowadays environment, but I want to share a little bit of a story to get us to start talking about self-esteem. I have the wonderful privilege of being asked to speak on a panel at the University of Washington in Washington DC every year for a group called WIB, Women in Business. These are all college-age children. I would not say that the group is not people that are coming from the outside or older people that are coming back in, but it is all women who are studying Finance or Accounting. That is also where my background comes from.
A little thing about me is that I have fun with my nail polish and I always wear a dress. You will rarely see me in pants. Here I am speaking at this event, and it is like popcorn. Whenever you make popcorn, it sits in the oil, you wait, and then there is a pop. As soon as one popcorn goes, a whole bunch of popcorn goes.
[bctt tweet=”We need to keep encouraging our kids to be comfortable with us being there for them. ” username=””]
These women were very timidly raising their hands. That is a self-esteem issue. She raised her hand and I said, “What can I answer for you?” She goes, “I was wondering. When I’m in a business meeting, can I wear a dress?” I thought, “This is our future.” I go, “Yes. Look at me. I’m wearing a dress. I have been in the financial services industry for many years and I have always worn a dress. I’m going to command the room to wear a dress.” The next question comes up and the popcorn starts happening. She says, “I got a question. Can you wear nail polish in a business meeting?” I said, “Yes. You can wear nail polish.”
I bring this up because every time I talk about self-esteem, women’s worth, or we are talking about women, I know that we are going to talk about men as well in this and children. It has always reminded me of what is going on. Where does this come from? Let’s talk about the root of this. Why is self-esteem such an issue?
I still have my grades from kindergarten, and every one of them said, “Jennifer lacks self-confidence and self-esteem.” I wonder where that came from. Why did they think that I did? When I was a little, I don’t recall that I did. I knew I was told I would be worth nothing, but I don’t recall that I did. It was superficial because I don’t recall feeling that. It wasn’t until later that I felt that.
I’m sure that you felt something. You just didn’t address it at the time as a 4- or 5-year-old.
I’m not sure how I did this, showing up as a kindergartener, as a 1st-grader, or a 2nd-grader. This will walk us into childhood and then we will progress ourselves into adulthood. Here is the core of this. What is it that triggers the lack of self-esteem?
You have said it and that is we are who we are. We create all of our corporate beliefs by the time we are 5- or 6-years-old, whatever our environment or our mother is doing, and most of us are modeling after our mothers. Certainly, we are extremely sensitive to our fathers because they are our first love. I only had three television channels. We didn’t have the plethora of information that we have now. Look at a fire hose of information that we have now. It really niched down what information you have and then UHF came afterward. On UHF, we only had three channels.
My internet was the Sears catalog. That is how I had access to models, makeup, and fashion. Twice a year, I got a thick catalog and only 30 pages were dedicated to what I wanted to see. This was when we were younger. We only had a certain amount of information that we could formulate our opinion and find who it was that we wanted to emulate. There wasn’t that much.
Now, there is, but the other side of that coin is you are much more open and exposed to the bullying to end, which is one of the things that I constantly am talking to, especially to younger girls. That is comparing yourself to everyone else. You were not meant to be everyone else. Thank God you are not everyone else and thank your lucky stars that you get to be you.
I didn’t want to be like anyone else. I still don’t want to be like anyone else. I’m happy with the way that it took a while. It does take time. I still deal with my daily demons. You will read about it in the book. I have daily demons, but I have the tools now to brush them right off my shoulder and to combat whatever it is that wants to come in and tear me down because I will not let it happen. It will not happen.
We only are as good as the tools that we have in the shed at that time and our job is to continue to add more tools, sharpen the tools, keep them clean, keep them tidy and hang them back up so that we know whatever we need in any given moment, no matter what life throws at us, we can pull the proper tool or tools that we need to get us through a difficult time.
I have a plaque here in my office that says, “Be yourself. Everybody else is taken.” That is true. I love what you said about tools. I want to talk about the tools for a second because I think before we even get to the tools, there is a conscious awareness and choice. We have to make a choice to want to utilize the tools that are there for us. We have to have positive self-talk, affirmations, and belief. This is why my book is called Tell Me I Can’t.
The show is also called Tell Me I Can’t because if you tell me I can’t, you better get out of my way. That is not going to happen, and certainly, as you said, the daily demons. We all look in the mirror and sometimes, the person who is telling us we can’t is ourselves but it starts with the awareness and the choice to not succumb to what you believe everyone is telling you or you have seen.
In nowaday’s society or in this environment, it has nothing to do with the pandemic. I’m talking about nowadays’s environment. What are some of the suggestions, tools, and resources that you would be giving to parents to help their children through this maze that they are experiencing? We had post-Christmas because we all had COVID during Christmas and we were talking about something. My granddaughter said, “I’m not a girl or a boy. I’m right down the middle.” I said, “You are a girl. You are just a tomgirl. That’s all. You can be a tomgirl. Your mom was a tomgirl. She is athletic. You are good.”
You said it before and that is, be you. I have a feeling that the pendulum might be swinging a little bit too far in the other direction because the message is still be you and you will be you. You will not have an issue with being you if you know that there is no resistance, especially from your natal tribe. The natal tribe is where we encounter the first blows, if you will, to our ego that tells us we are not good enough or whatever we think, say, or do is going to be that hammer on the head thing. It keeps knocking down. 5, 6, 7, or 8-year-olds don’t have the tools yet. What we need to do is to keep encouraging kids to be who they are comfortable being and be there for them.
I wouldn’t want to be a parent now because of the difficulties that these children are going through, not only in school, with COVID, the internet, and all of these security systems that are put in place. You can’t get all the information. I don’t know how you can keep tapping the holes as a parent, but I will tell you they all seem to be very precocious. They are learning a heck of a lot more and faster than we ever did.
[bctt tweet=”Do what you need to do to come back into self and center. ” username=””]
We have to also give them and insist that they find outlets that are not just device-based. Those examples are outside of TV, computer, iPad, and iPhone. Get them in the sunshine. Get them playing and kicking balls in the street. Get them to an activity or whatever the things that we used to do, whether it is baton throwing, ballroom dancing, ballet, or whatever that is to continue to support and encourage activities that are not done in front of the devices. Otherwise, we are going to lose our younger generations and I don’t know how we would ever get them back.
I have to say I’m very proud of my son and my daughter-in-law because my granddaughter can’t have a phone. She gets a once-a-year charge on the phone. It was an old phone but she was so excited because she had the charge. She is careful about it. She is like, “Let me turn it on and take a picture and turn it off.”
They won’t let her have all these kinds of pads. They allow me to do it. They allow grandma to bring it and play something with them, but they won’t buy it for them. They could not have a Nintendo. They had to go play at someone else’s house for Nintendo. I think that helped my kids, so thank you for that. The message is to just be yourself.
Let’s progress into this self-esteem. You are on this mission and have this passion of giving back to people and saying, “We are going to work on your self-esteem.” You sent me a couple of notes about perfect self-esteem. I know that it fluctuates. It ebbs and flows. I will have moments where I’m like, “I’m good,” and then, “I’m an imposter.”
That is life and those are the daily demons. You are always going to have those. You never say, “I’m 100% good. I don’t have to work on this anymore.” That is not the way life works. You constantly are going to have to be working on it.
Why are you bringing out this book now? You said this book has been with you for your whole life. You have worked on it for four years. Why are you now compelled to get this message out to everyone about self-esteem? I then want to go into the four pillars of self-esteem.
I was happy that we were able to get this book picked up by Rowman & Littlefield during COVID, and it was as COVID was breaking. We got the okay to move forward on the book from them. They are a huge publisher. I was thrilled that they were interested, and when they said yes, I knew that we were onto something. We didn’t know back in the day when they said yes or at least I didn’t know how long this pandemic madness was going to last.
I think that because there has been so much loss, like loss of faith, hope, family member, friend, job, self, or money. There has been a lot that was not lost. Don’t get me wrong, but there has been so much loss that people continue to take a hit. Every time you lose something, you are thrown off balance. You got to find your sea legs again. I’m talking about all of this psychologically. It is one after the other, like, “This one died of COVID. My friend’s mother died of COVID.” It was all of the mess.
There is a lot of instability. I think you agree when I say the instability is enough to destabilize anyone. This is the book that is like, “Regime? Do you see that? It is an organized way. Open it up and start.” We need these kinds of books. We need the rah-rah session and do the deeper dive work also for the things that we may have never fronted or confronted as we are wobbling our way through life.
You only get to stuff a certain amount and only for so long, and then there is no more room. There are depression, anxiety, and all of that stuff. I like the idea of coming up with a clean slate. You were asking me about some of the tools before. One of the tools that we were talking about is when you said that when I look in the mirror, it is mirror therapy. I’m not the first, but Louise Hay did it. Jack Canfield also talks about the importance of mirror therapy. It is very powerful stuff. Affirmations are great and also meditation.
Here is another thing that came out strongly from my last mastermind. It is not a new word. I’m not coining anything brand-new. It is not Earth-shattering, but something that we continually, especially as women, overlook and put over to the side or say, “I will get to it when I can,” is self-care. If you look at your calendar, especially as a solopreneur and entrepreneur, it is full of appointments.
We make time for everything else and everyone else but ourselves, so put in an appointment with yourself. I don’t care what you have to do. “Saturday from 8:00 until 12:00 PM, I’m taking care of me. I’m going for a massage, pedicure, or nails. I’m jet coloring my hair. I’m taking a nap. I’m going out with the girls.” Whatever it is that you need to do so that you can come back into yourself and center. You need to find centering time in order to be able to confront sometimes, everything else that is going on in your life, business, life, marriage, and children.
To coin a phrase, which now we don’t like this phrase, but put your mask on first. You have to do that so that you can be available to everybody else and be more powerful for everybody. You and I will talk about this when I’m on your show, but this is exactly what I talk about all the time. I love that. Let’s talk about the four pillars of self-esteem. I know you have seven strategies in the book, but let’s talk about the four pillars of self-esteem.
There are twelve steps in the book, but the four pillars are look good, feel good, be good, and greater good. They are pretty self-explanatory but look good is when I’m here by myself, I don’t get all this. This doesn’t get done. When you know you are pulled together, I call it sassy and classy, you are feeling good about yourself. That is number one. Feel good is huge because there is your diet, your exercise, and your nutrition. You better be on top of that because if you go down, it all goes down, especially as a solopreneur.
For entrepreneurs, if you have a little help, that is great. I saw it when I got sick with COVID. I was out for three weeks. It took me eight weeks to catch up. If I’m not here every day showing up 100%, it all goes to pot. Be good is being at the top of your game, making sure your finances are in place, reading the bright books, and making sure that you are continuing your education.
I constantly am taking a course or a class. It could be just Udemy or whatever it is. I signed up for another one now. I’m constantly in front of a course or a class to make sure that I’m leveling up all of the time. Being good is taking your courses, your classes, and your finances. That is one of my weakers. It scares me. I hate going to the accountant and I don’t like going to the bank.
[bctt tweet=”You’re only as beautiful as your last good deed. ” username=””]
The finance thing has always been a little scary thing. I have made the concerted effort this 2022 as my resolution to put on bigger girl purchases and not be afraid anymore to learn as much as I could. These are the be good things. The things that we know that we need on a daily basis and the other thing that I do is I sign up for about 4 or 5 different newsletters that are from dictionaries. Every day, I get five new words. I love to reinforce my vocabulary because I think that this is another huge way of leveling up.
There is something else I have over here. It is the different ways of saying amazing. You are like, “Everything is amazing,” but I’m like, “Is it really? Probably not.” Let’s find ten other words you can put into place. It is simple, but I will tell you that it is perception. It is my perception of myself and how you perceive me, and it is also impressive. I don’t do it to impress you but I do it so that you know that I do the work and it takes to be the best that I could possibly be.
Then the greater good is what we all know. It is volunteering, paying it forward, tithing, giving back, or volunteering. One of the things that I like to do is collaborate with DomesticShelters.org. I scream it from the rooftops when I can. This also is part of my self-esteem regime and the work that I want to do with women who are in toxic relationships, abusive relationships, and are victims of domestic violence. Even if you don’t have the time to do a lot, you can still do it by volunteering, giving back, and paying it forward.
The look good feels good. It does contribute to your feel good if you look good. I’m not saying look good from the outside. I’m saying that that joy inside that makes you feel good, you glow, and you look good.
The quickest way is if you do something nice for someone. I don’t care if you are holding open an elevator door. There is going to be a little teeny-weeny part of you that is going to feel good about doing that so that somebody else could jump into the elevator with you. It doesn’t take a lot sometimes. It just takes the little things. It is the kindness that Oprah talks about so much and Ellen does the same. Be kind, for God’s sake. It doesn’t cost you that much.
That is what Betty White said, too. It is kindness. Everything is about kindness. Being kind to yourself and being kind to others. We end up our time here together because we have done an hour and a half and I want to be respectful of your time. If someone is reading this and says, “I got to connect myself with Clarissa. I want to be part of her world and what she is doing.” You have mentioned your mastermind and the book. You want to be on stages and speak at different events and podcasts. What does it look like for you moving forward? What is 2022 going to be for you? Let’s talk about three things that you need help with so that we can manifest your goals.
That is very kind. What I am asking for is different media connections. This is not about selling books. It is not the amount of money you get by selling a book or once the publisher gets theirs and my co-writer gets theirs. This is not about getting rich. This is about getting the message out there, reinforcing those women mostly, and men can certainly read the book as well. I love the fact that we can, as a collective of women, get in there, sink our teeth in, and help one another level up.
One of the most beautiful things I had ever seen was someone who has a hand-tended forward and a hand-tended backward, and that is someone who will be helping me up as I am helping someone else up. I think that that is really what it is about to do. It is into everyone’s brain, mind, thought processes, and all of the greatness and goodness that is you and that you are not what they told you who you are many times.
You have to create your new narrative about who you truly are. That is why there are women like you that are out there writing powerful books. It is to help women everywhere and there are women much more powerful than me that will do the same for me. That is what I think my mission is anyway and I would like to see The Self-Esteem Regime become the movement that it is meant to be. I’m also @ClarissaBurt everywhere. I’m everywhere on social.
I always make sure I connect with my guests before we meet, so if you have a connection request, you got to accept it to make sure that we can hear everything once we are done with the show here. What words of advice would you like to leave us with?
One of the things I like to say is you are only as beautiful as your last good deed. You also worked a lot in the beauty industry. I certainly have worked in the beauty industry, and I saw beauty do a lot of really nasty things that were not necessarily always on the up and up. I certainly saw beautiful women not living their greater good. Beauty is a gift. You are only as beautiful as your last good deed because if you were gifted the gift of beauty and you are acting like a jerk, you are not so pretty anymore. That is one of the things that I like to leave everyone with.
Hopefully, the men will read that too, because this is the beauty from within. Thank you so much. I had so much fun.
I don’t know if we can handle each other again, but it will be interesting. We can.
I think smoke will rise when we get in the same room.
I know. I cannot wait for that to happen. We are going to have so much fun. Thank you so much for sharing this message and I can’t wait to talk to you about your book. I encourage everybody to reach out to Clarissa. If you want to be part of her mastermind, get her book, book her for a stage, a podcast for you, eSummit or a webinar, I encourage you to let this light shine in. I know you have a big mastermind over in Italy, and it is not for everybody, right?
Yeah. We are probably going over in October 2022, and that is when I take you back to the Italy that I love, adore, and where I lived for 30 years. I take you to meet some of the coolest people on the planet. It is a great trip. Ask Sharon Lechter. She will tell you.
If there is anything that you are interested in doing, don’t wait a minute longer. Get in touch with Clarissa and she will help make all of that happen. I want to say thank you again for joining me in this episode. It has been a pleasure. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet you. I want to tell everybody thank you so much for reading and letting us be part of your day.
We hope that we have made an impact on your life and something that will trigger you to create this movement for yourself, for someone, or a loved one in your family. Get the book for everybody as a gift. What a great way to change the world. Thank you so much again, everyone, for reading and thanks again, Clarissa. I appreciate that.
- Clarissa Burt
- The Self-Esteem Regime
- Frank Shankwitz
- Tell Me I Can’t
- @ClarissaBurt – Twitter