New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!


Lisa Nichols

How to Find Your Life's Purpose and Love Your Imperfections

Don't forget to love yourself.

It’s always a good day when I get to start off a podcast episode with a quote from Winnie the Pooh. In the movie Pooh’s Grand Adventure, Christopher Robin says, “You’re braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

While this quote comes from a children’s movie, it’s meant for everyone. On The School of Greatness, we talk a lot about how your mindset impacts your reality. If your mindset is self-deprecating and negative, then your reality will be sad and disempowering.

You might be thinking, “Well, there are parts of me that I want to improve! I’m not happy with who I am, and I want to be better!” First of all, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be better. We all need to strive to be better people than we were yesterday. But we don’t become better people by resorting to self-hate. If we obsess over our imperfections and let them define us, then we’ll never be happy, and we’ll never be better.

On the flip side, if we treat ourselves with love, grace, and patience, we can make the most out of our imperfections and become better people. We can literally use those imperfections as stepping stones to greatness! 

My guest today truly understands the value of self-worth in the face of doubt, self-care in the face of uncertainty, and self-love that fosters growth, not complacency. I’m so excited to bring back Lisa Nichols!

“Awareness plus action equals transformation. Please don’t skip that ‘plus action part,’ because action is the antidote for despair.” – Lisa Nichols

I first interviewed Lisa Nichols back in 2016, so make sure you check out that episode after this one! It was a mindblowing conversation, and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to bring her back on!

Who Is Lisa Nichols?

Lisa Nichols is one of the world’s most successful motivational speakers, media personalities, and entrepreneurs, and her global platform has reached nearly 80 million people. From a struggling single mom on public assistance to a millionaire entrepreneur, Lisa’s courage and determination have inspired fans worldwide and helped countless audiences break through to discover their own untapped talents and infinite potential.

As Founder and CEO of Motivating the Masses, Inc., Lisa has developed workshops and programs that have transformed the lives of countless people and altered the trajectory of businesses throughout the country and across the world.

Lisa is also a best-selling author of six books, including her New York Times bestseller No Matter What. Her newest book, Abundance Now, is a follow up to No Matter What and continues her journey with her fans, providing a clear and practical blueprint for personal success. Lisa’s extraordinary story of transforming her own life from public assistance for her family to leading a multi-million dollar enterprise is the inspiration behind her bold mission to teach others that it is possible to do the same.

Lisa has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, The Dr. Phil Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and Extra – just to name a few, and she’s also celebrated for the impact she has on the lives of teens. Through Lisa’s non-profit foundation Motivating the Teen Spirit, she has touched the lives of over 270,000 teens, prevented over 3,800 teen suicides, supported 2,500 dropouts in returning to school, and has helped thousands reunite with families.

Lisa lives, plays and works in the greater San Diego, California area and on stages around the world, working alongside her world-class team committed to Motivating the Masses. She has wise catch-phrases for days, and I can’t wait for you to hear and learn from this inspiring, empowering woman! Let’s get into it! 

Why Self-Care and Gratitude Are So Important

In a recent tweet, Lisa talked about the importance of self-care, and I was curious about what her definition of self-care actually is. Many people think self-care means getting your nails done, treating yourself to a massage, or eating your favorite dessert. While treating yourself to these things can be a part of self-care, I think it’s a lot more than that, and so does Lisa.

“I think self-care is a reflection of the worth that I believe I have … the flip side of self-care is acknowledging your self-worth, acknowledging your value to yourself … self-care is your responsibility to your future [and it’s] so much bigger than [getting] your nails done … Self-care is recognizing [that] this is not a sprint. This life is a marathon … Your job is to identify and have the courage and the tenacity and the resiliency to own your purpose.” – Lisa Nichols 

I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone sum it up so beautifully. It’s your job to make sure your body, mind, and spirit have the energy, clarity, and focus to sustain the marathon of life and manifest your purpose. 

A self-care ritual for Lisa is saying a gratitude prayer every morning. If you live in a mindset of fear, pessimism, and anger, you aren’t prioritizing self-care. 

“And so every day … I’m grateful. And I share my gratitude for my mind, thinking logical thoughts, being able to rationalize and my body following my command. Your body is your instrument. It’s your tool. It’s the first person, the general in your army.” – Lisa Nichols 

If we don’t take the time to practice gratitude, here’s what happens: We live in a state of irrational thoughts or negatively charged emotions. We are not taking care of ourselves and what’s more — we aren’t taking care of the people around us. 

“And when you think of the Nelson Mandelas, Dr. Martin Luther Kings … Mother Theresa … they recognize that emotion and logic cannot coexist and make a logical decision.” – Lisa Nichols 

Are you seeing why self-care and gratitude are so important? If we aren’t grateful, then we let negative emotions and thought-cycles determine our reality, and that reality hurts ourselves and the world. And if we don’t take care of ourselves, then we limit our potential for impact, growth, and self-love. 

If you struggle with self-care, I want to encourage you to take some time to meditate and think about what gives you joy, what you’re grateful for, and how you can intentionally set a time to restore your energy. You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll produce. 

“Self-care is a reflection of the worth you feel for yourself.” @2motivate  

Chase Your Conviction, Even if it’s Not Convenient 

Lisa is such an inspirational leader, providing counsel to thousands of people worldwide, so I wanted to know her advice for people who are leaders or who are aspiring to become leaders. 

“I’m gonna tell you what my grandmother told me … ‘Baby, other people’s opinion of you? None of your business.’ That doesn’t mean you don’t care, but it means you got one job — do you. … You are a unique, unrepeatable miracle. And the moment you try to carbon copy somebody else, you’re going to be a failure of yourself. And so find out who you are. What’s your belief system? Speak to inspire, not to impress like all day long. Speak to inspire and speak to disrupt, to disrupt for forward movement.” – Lisa Nichols 

This advice applies to everyone who has a dream. The path to purpose isn’t always an easy one. Some people might criticize you and try to bring you down. You’ll struggle with self-doubt and rethink your decisions. But at the end of the day, you have one job — Be yourself and do what you feel called to do. 

“My grandmother also says, and many people have heard me say this, ‘Your conviction and your convenience don’t live on the same block.’… you have to be willing to be inconvenienced with new information in order to have an impact on the future.” – Lisa Nichols 

If you operate on a level where you follow your conviction instead of what’s convenient, your mind will be, as Lisa says, “at the highest level of consciousness.” This means that you’re always reaching for the greatest potential, and you’re doing it from a place of authenticity and service.

Don’t settle for shallow victories. Don’t let yourself live a mediocre life when you could live a great one. Pursue your passion and become a leader in your zone of genius.

Dance with Your Imperfections 

So you’ve decided to live a life of conviction instead of convenience — amazing. But know that a life like this doesn’t come without bruises, insecurities, or mistakes. 

“There is no perfect pursuing. Perfect is a false pursuit that will always leave you disappointed. Right? And so our job is to perfectly dance with our imperfection … I tell people, me and my imperfection, we will do the electric slide because I’m embracing it.” – Lisa Nichols 

What imperfections do you see in yourself? If you’re anything like me, you might have a list of things you want to improve. For Lisa, she struggled to believe in herself, especially in the beginning of her career: 

“I have to heal not feeling like I was good enough … because of my mocha skin, my full lips, my round hips, and my curly hair … I felt the calling on my life to help humanity, but I didn’t think that I was qualified as a black woman to help humanity. I didn’t feel like I would be listened to by humanity.” – Lisa Nichols 

Over the years, Lisa learned how to dance with her self-doubt. When her insecurities would tell her that she wasn’t good enough, she’d answer with “I am worthy.” Another struggle of Lisa’s, one that I resonate deeply with, is dyslexia. 

“I struggled in school because I am, to this day, functionally dyslexic.
[I thought that] because I didn’t graduate college, that I wasn’t qualified to be of any great impact.” –
Lisa Nichols 

Like Lisa, I also struggled in school. I was at the bottom of my class. I had countless tutors. Just graduating high school was a huge success for me. But also like Lisa, I have learned to embrace my imperfections and be grateful for the gifts, talents, and passions that I have. 

“I believe it’s important for you to understand what we’re still working with … there’s no arrival place for me. I am a constant stream of motion and acceptance and growth.” – Lisa Nichols  

I think Lisa’s words are so powerful. We shouldn’t aim to be perfect. We should aim to be better. And for the things we can’t change about our lives, we need to learn to love those imperfections and embrace them. Your imperfections are not problems — they are stepping stones to growth.

Self-Love Does Not Equal Complacency 

Our discussion of imperfections naturally led to a discussion of self-love. I truly believe that we need to accept ourselves to be happy. We need to accept our past and let go of the pain. And we’ve got to accept where we’re at, but I’m always trying to improve where I’m at. 

If I’m not fully happy with something, I ask myself, “What are the sacrifices I need to pay right now to see improvement?” It’s going to take time and energy. Self-love does not mean being complacent. I wanted to get Lisa’s thoughts on the self-love movement, and here’s what she had to say: 

“Self-love is the soil in which you plant future contribution seeds in … Don’t mistake self-love with complacency … Self-love says I’m whole and complete and enough with where I start, but hold me accountable to where I’m going.” – Lisa Nichols 

It’s true: If you’re always focusing on your mistakes and what you dislike about yourself, you’re never going to be 1) happy or 2) make positive changes. Your mindset determines your reality. However, if you accept who you are but don’t try to better yourself, then you’ll hit a brick wall. 

Don’t stay at where you are right now and just be okay with it forever. Identify your challenges and problems. Be aware. Own your story. And then ask yourself, “Where am I going to go from here? How do I want to impact people’s lives?”

“[Your life] impacts the way they choose to show up in the world. When you recognize that then the question becomes, so what are you sending out? What are you doing with all your power?” – Lisa Nichols 

Love yourself. Give yourself grace for the mistakes you’ve made. Don’t sit in complacency. Don’t live a life of mediocrity when you could live a life of greatness.

Why You Should Listen to this Lisa Nichols Podcast Episode Right Now…

Guys, this interview is jammed back with so many words of wisdom from my wonderful friend, Lisa Nichols. Listen to the full episode for more, and don’t forget to share the episode with someone who needs to hear it: You could change someone’s life.

Follow Lisa on social media (listened in the show notes below) and check out her free fitness program #SnatchYourSexyBack! In this 120 day challenge, Lisa is toning her body, restoring her energy, and releasing 20 pounds before the summer ends! It’s totally free, and you can join here! 

I want to acknowledge Lisa for being an incredible human being of spreading positive energy. Our life is not for us. It’s for other people as well. And every action, every word, every intention she set creates a ripple, and she’s made a powerful impact on me. Her definition of greatness needs to be made into a plaque:

“[Greatness is] being willing to lift others as you climb [and] being willing to speak. Even if your voice shakes.” – Lisa Nichols 

Friends, join me on Episode 979 to learn about finding your life purpose and turning your imperfections into impact with the wonderful Lisa Nichols! It’ll change your life!


To Greatness,
Lewis Howes - Signature

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What is self-care?
  • What are we saying to ourselves when we come from an irrational state of mind?
  • How can you get past the pressure of your audience?
  • What was the price you had to pay when you lost 90 pounds?
  • What are your thoughts on the self-love movement?
  • What was the biggest thing you’ve needed to heal?
  • Why is it easier to stay in misery than attempt to grow?
  • How important are the thoughts in your head and the words you speak?
  • What do you say to those who are not finding their purpose?

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How self-care is the responsibility to your future
  • Why you must chase your conviction, even if it’s not convenient
  • How listening to others with open hearts and open ears is essential
  • How awareness can amplify joy
  • The importance of sharing hard news
  • Why you shouldn’t mistake complacency with self-love
  • How to dance with your imperfections
  • Plus much more…

Transcript of this Episode

Music Credits:

Music Credit:

Kaibu by Killercats

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