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“You Aren’t The Only One”: Helen Mirren Opens Up About Battling Negative Thoughts

Courtesy of L’Oréal Paris

Spurred by the unsettling statistic that 40% of young people in the UK say they don’t believe in themselves, L’Oréal Paris has leant on the star power of some of its famous faces for a rousing and joyful new venture: the “My Self Worth’ Podcast.

In partnership with The Prince’s Trust, the podcast tackles issues around body image, and combines the power of positive affirmations with advice from psychotherapist Lucy Beresford.

In the podcast, Mirren talks candidly about her own personal journey with her self-esteem, and how it remains something that is crafted, not given. “Those negative thoughts are always lurking there under the surface –everybody feels this way, you aren’t the only one,” said Mirren encouragingly. She went on to reveal, “If I walk onto a movie set and see these humongous movie stars I feel incredibly intimidated. Sometimes I lock myself in the loo to give myself a talking to: ‘You can do it Helen, don’t worry, you can do it!’ What always comes up in my head is that ‘I’m boring, I’m stupid, I’m not exciting enough.’ In my job I meet a lot of extraordinary people, and for me, it’s incredibly intimidating.”

Courtesy of L’Oréal Paris

Mirren is joined by presenter AJ Odudu, who speaks of feeling ostracised as a child. “In Blackburn where I grew up, there was no other black children. I looked different, I had different skin, my hair was different, so I would get called names in school. It would always be reflective of what my hair and skin looked like.” Hearteningly, Odudu said that she’s come to embrace herself fully, adding “The differences that I had grown up disliking were the exact differences that got me [my dream] job. I have anxiety and self-doubt all the time, it’s a battle. Asking yourself, ‘Are you good enough? Are you too loud? Are you too opinionated?’ I think it’s really important to embrace what’s different about yourself. Being different means being unique and that’s what makes the world an exciting place to be in.”

It may come as a surprise that even the most accomplished and well-loved of celebrities struggle with self-doubt and negative thoughts, but as the podcast reveals, success does not always determine self-esteem.

As well as sharing personal journeys, the celebrity guests also present their own affirmations. Beresford, who is known for her TED Talks explained “During psychotherapy sessions with my clients, we identify the limiting beliefs that are holding them back. We then craft new, positive empowering affirmations. By saying an affirmation every day, we embed a new belief into our lives, and affirming ourselves enables us to transform self-doubt into self-worth, and to value ourselves completely.”

Also featured are model Iskra Lawrence, Olympian Tom Daley and activist Katie Piper, among others. Free to download and listen to, the podcast is available on Google Podcasts, Spotify, iTunes and online.



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