Imagine this: Your palms are sweaty. Your heart is beating fast. Your legs feel like jelly, and your stomach is full of butterflies. Whatever you’re about to do, you’re extremely nervous about it.
Actress Maisie Williams — you probably know her from a little show called Game of Thrones — is no stranger to that feeling. You might think, “What? There’s no way she gets anxious! She’s so famous and talented!”
That’s definitely what I thought at first. But it turns out, Maisie deals with nerves just like the rest of us. She recently gave a fantastic TED Talk, but she felt just the way I described earlier the whole time she was on stage.
Despite her massive talent and world-wide acclaim, Maisie Williams experiences fear and anxiety just like anybody else. But she’s developed an awesome perspective on anxiety that helps her own her identity and thrive.
In fact, at different times in her life, Maisie has even experienced really low self-esteem and even self-hatred:
“… sometimes I would be with people and talking, and I would say ‘I hate myself.’ It’s just because thoughts in my head [were] getting overwhelming that I would just say [them] out loud and not realize that I had done that. … I felt very negatively about myself.” – Maisie Williams
In our interview, Maisie and I get real. We talk about where anxiety comes from and the low self-esteem that a lot of young women face. We get into identity and discuss the importance of embracing who you are. And we talk about the power of self-care and the importance of looking into yourself for love and validation instead of finding those things in external sources.
Maise Williams is an incredible inspiration to me, and I know she’s going to inspire you too, so let’s dive in!
Maisie Williams is one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation. She earned a major role in HBO’s Game of Thrones when she was just 14 years old, and she’s been acting ever since. She’s been showing us her talent for becoming different characters on screen for over 10 years, so she definitely knows what it’s like to grow up on camera!
Maisie has even won awards for her work on Game of Thrones, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She’s a real talent and a true inspiration to a young generation.
Besides being a prolific actress, Maisie is passionate about creating great original content. She’s getting ready to launch her own podcast called Thinking Big with Maisie Williams. The podcast will feature up-and-coming creative people and will explore their childhood dreams, present career successes, and future goals. I know I’m looking forward to listening!
And finally, Maisie is also getting ready to launch a very special website. In fact, it’s her very own social media platform called Daisie just for creative people to meet each other and find networking opportunities. I’ll let her explain it:
“People always say, ‘if you want to be in the industry, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ And I think when you know nobody that’s kind of a very jarring thing to hear. So, I wanted to create like a social media platform for artists and creative people to be able to discover … other people across industries and collaborate with them on projects … that they want to build.” – Maisie Williams
Maisie is passionate about her work. She loves creating spaces for artists and creators to come together, build new relationships, and make awesome stuff. I’m so excited to see what the future of Daisie will be!
Maisie also just loves helping people. She said it herself in our interview — her superpower is empathy. Maisie has a unique skill for understanding the way humans think and feel, and I want to honor her for sharing that talent with the world today.
Maisie’s insights and wisdom about owning your identity despite anxiety are valuable for all of us, and I’m so excited to get to share them with you today. Let’s go!
When you’re an actress, it can be hard to know who you really are. Maisie has been playing characters on TV since she was a kid, and as a result, she’s experienced times of doubt about her identity.
“I think as an actor you spend your life playing like a character … like I’ve been doing for about a decade, and you know there are times when I feel like I am putting all like character and portraying a version of myself, but I think there’s nothing that’s more terrifying than like truly being yourself, and I get very anxious about a lot of things.” – Maisie Williams
But here’s the thing: Maisie doesn’t think this is a problem only professional actors and actresses face. She believes that all of us are pretending to be someone all the time, especially on social media.
“And I think it’s really the act of … creating a character, of pretending. I think … people live their entire lives pretending to be someone they’re not. … People don’t really know who they are, and you do that for so long that you really lose touch with who you are.” – Maisie Williams
So how can you discover who you really are? How can you embrace your true identity? For Maisie, it was essential to come to terms with the thing about herself she was trying to hide the most: her anxiety.
“I am a very anxious person, and I don’t know if there’s a way to fix that about myself. I’ve definitely tried. [I’ve] gone through therapy, and I’ve been medicated, and I’ve tried a lot of different things. But I think the best … medicine I was ever given was really just [trying] to embrace it and stop trying to fight it really and just accepting that’s how I deal with things and not letting it stop me from doing a TED Talk.” – Maisie Williams
Maisie has anxiety, and she knows it. She has moments of major panic. But instead of continuing to try to hide behind a mask of false confidence, she embraces that anxiety is just how she processes things.
She isn’t ashamed of herself! She just focuses on doing what she wants to do — like giving that TED Talk or performing in a play on stage in London — and deals with the anxiety when it comes instead of trying to ignore its existence. Confidence doesn’t mean an absence of self-doubt. It means pushing through in spite of that self-doubt to achieve greatness.
Are you hiding behind a mask? What parts of yourself have you been covering up? Choose to embrace your true identity and enjoy the freedom that comes with loving yourself!
Here’s the thing: your self-worth can’t come from other people. If you’re constantly hoping that you’ll get enough likes on Instagram to feel completely happy and satisfied with yourself, you’re never going to be truly happy.
But your self-worth can come from the service you give other people. If you’re genuinely reaching out, investing in relationships, and serving others because you care about them, you’ll find yourself a lot happier.
I asked Maisie where her sense of self-worth comes from these days, and here’s what she said:
“I think like real connections with people. Like, I pride myself and judge myself based on … how many people are … good to me and help me and how many people I help, like 1:1. I feel like that’s how I feel I’m worth something — if I can be that friend to call or if I have someone to call.” – Maisie Williams
Our value truly does come from helping other people, especially when it comes to being open and accepting of each other as we learn to embrace our true identities.
So how can we help each other? What’s the best way we can support our friends? Maisie says this is one of the most important questions we can ask our friends:
“Why do you find it so [much easier] to think bad thoughts than good thoughts?” – Maisie Williams
If you have a friend dealing with low self-esteem or struggling to embrace their identity, ask them that question and then be a good listener. For Maisie, finally meeting someone who asked her that question truly helped her turn a corner and understand her thought process.
And here’s the thing: when we understand where our negative thoughts come from, we can start to stop them. We can retrain our brains to stop thinking in those same negative patterns and begin to operate from a mindset of self-love instead.
So take some time today to reach out to the people around you. Invest in your friends and trust that they’ll invest in you too. When you foster those important relationships, you elevate yourself to a whole new level of greatness.
It’s critical to take good care of the important relationships in your life, but it’s also essential to take care of yourself. Self-care is the final piece of the puzzle to accepting your identity and embracing yourself for who you are.
“… I think the last step really for me was just realizing that I [need to] take time for myself, and I need to say ‘no’ to things and people, and I need to … actually take the time to sort things when I feel sad because it just makes you [the] most ineffective person when you’re just stressed about a million things.” – Maisie Williams
It’s so important to take care of yourselves, guys. I cannot emphasize this enough. And while it’s awesome to be a good friend and to do things to help the people around you, make sure you’re taking care of yourself first. If you spend all your energy trying to make everyone else happy first, you’ll burn out fast. Make sure you’re taking time every day to practice self-care.
And what are some ways you can do that? How can you incorporate self-care into your life? For Maisie, self-care is all about slowing down and taking some time to be alone and happy.
“I used to fill everything with seeing people and doing things … but I think really now I look at my life, and it’s like 5 miles an hour, and it just looks peaceful and very calm, and I think that was the biggest change for me is having a free evening.” – Maisie Williams
Do you ever feel like you’re running a million miles an hour? You’ve got your job, your family, your kids, your friends, your hobbies, and a hundred other things to worry about every day, right?
Sometimes self-care just looks like having a free evening. It’s slowing down your pace just enough to give yourself a night off. Even just a few hours to chill out and decompress from the day can be enough to fill your cup and re-energize you so you can keep being the best version of you!
You don’t have to look for validation anywhere else but yourself. Be your own hero! When you decide to believe in your worth and accept yourself for exactly who you are, you become truly great.
Here’s Maisie’s definition of greatness:
“My definition of greatness is … that feeling of not being able to be brought down. And it’s not arrogance, and it’s not disregarding other people’s feelings, but greatness is a feeling that you can achieve anything, you can be anything. It’s that feeling that will get you through that next hurdle.” – Maisie Williams
When you choose to love yourself and take care of yourself for exactly who you are, you get that feeling. Your confidence grows, and you can take on any challenge life throws at you.
It all starts with you.
This was a powerful interview, guys. Maisie is such an inspiration to me, and I’m so glad she agreed to come on the show and share her wisdom!
If you want to connect more with Maisie, make sure to check her out on Twitter and Instagram! And don’t forget to check out her upcoming podcast, Thinking Big with Maisie Williams. I know it’s going to be inspiring! And if you’re a creative person looking to connect with other people, remember to look up Maisie’s new social media platform just for you, Daisie.
But before you click over to any of those other sites, hang out right here just a little longer and listen to this episode. If you’re ready to embrace your identity, be your own hero, and learn how to take better care of yourself and others, you do not want to miss Episode 784 with Maisie Williams!
Keep your eyes out for Maisie’s Podcast Thinking Big!
Lewis: This episode number 784 with Maisie Williams. Welcome to the school of greatness my name is Lewis Howes, a former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today now let the class begin.
Maya Angelou said “As you grow older you’ll discover that you have 2 hands, 1 for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” And Oscar Wilde said “To love oneself is the beginning of lifelong romance.”
Welcome to this episode with Maisie Williams, someone I’ve gotten to know recently and got to spend a few times with and has really open me up and inspired me in a lot of ways. She started acting in the massive hit Game of Thrones back in 2011. She’s won a number of awards for best supporting actress, number awards for best young actor, and has inspired a young generation.
In this interview we talked about how acting has affected Maisie’s ability to be herself when she’s off set. Also how Maisie embraces anxiety and she dives into her anxiety early on in this interview and how she started to really overcome it. The power of self-care and making time for it and the importance of looking into yourself for love instead of outside sources.
I think this is a really importance conversation we’re having. There’s a lot of vulnerable and sensitive moments that Maisie has, and I really honor her for sharing and diving in and opening up about these topics that I think a lot of people struggle with. So, if you enjoy this make sure to share it with a friend who you think can support as well, the link is lewishowes.com/784. Make sure to check out her new company called Daisy, we’ll talk about it later and have it all on the show notes as well.
Before we dive in big thank you to our sponsors who support us with the production of this, make sure that every time we do this we can make it better and make sure to share as far and wide as possible to inspire as many people as possible. The first sponsor is care of. Now, care of is a subscription service that makes it easy to get vitamins, protein powders and more personalize just for you and deliver straight to your door. And careof’s fun online quiz ask you about your diet, your health goals, life choices and takes only 5 minutes to find out your personal scientific back recommendation for vitamins, protein powders, and more. It can be really hard to know what vitamins or supplements you should be taking, I’ve had supplements and protein powders for years and you never know what’s good and what’s not good. But careof makes it easy to find out what you specifically need to be your healthiest. Your personalize care of subscription box gets sent right to your door every month with personalize daily packs. Care of makes sure you’re getting your vitamins and proteins from the best sources backed by honest guidance and transparency. And for 50% off your first careof order go to takecareof.com and enter SOG50.
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I want to take a moment to share with you guys the summit of greatness. Now this is our annual event, this is where all of the dream makers around the world come together and get inspired that connect and build relationships. And we bring the biggest speaker names in the world to help you unlock your inner greatness. If you haven’t got any tickets this year make sure to get tickets right now just go to summitofgreatness.com and sign up for the early bird discount right now.
And also many of you have been asking about past episodes, we’ve had almost 800 episodes on the school of greatness, and unfortunately iTunes and other podcast players don’t allow you to have a number of podcast. So, we’ve got incredible episodes with Mel Robbins and Tim [?] and Alanis Morissette and Tony Robbins that aren’t actually on this platform right now. So, we’ve decided to support you even more by creating a new show called ‘the school of greatness hall of fame’ these are hand selected episodes that aren’t available anymore online. So make sure to go search for school of greatness hall of fame and you can go and see the past episodes as well. Again, thank you to our sponsors for helping us make this podcast the way it is. Without further ado let’s dive into this episode with the one and the only and inspiring Maisie Williams.
Welcome back everyone to the school of greatness podcast I’m very excited we have Maisie Williams in the house.
Maisie: In the cool part of town.
Lewis: We actually drove to I don’t know 15 minutes away then there were a bunch of kids in like outfits, you know school outfits uniforms and the look like harry potter kids.
I’m excited about this we met a couple of months ago in L.A. you are a powerhouse in the world, a star in a big show game of thrones which I told you I’ve never seen, I saw like 10 minutes of episode 1 years ago and never got into it, but now I will get into it because of you.
Maisie: Thank you.
Lewis: You’ve got the final season coming out like right now.
Maisie: Yeah, April 14th it’s coming so it’s a lot of press right now.
Lewis: You’re doing it all?
Maisie: Yes, exactly.
Lewis: You are massive but you still get anxious before an interview with a simple American guy in a podcast right?
Maisie: I think as an actor you spend your life playing like a character and then you know like I’ve been doing for about a decade and you know there are times when I feel like I am putting all like character and portraying a version of myself, but I think there’s nothing that’s more terrifying than like truly being yourself and I get very anxious about a lot of things. I think it helps me in some ways, I do a lot better when I put myself under a little bit of pressure I think and I think nerves is sort of way of doing that.
Lewis: You get in the zone more.
Maisie: Exactly. But also can be just very nerve racking I think, you know because a lot of people listen to this.
Lewis: Why is being yourself so nerve racking?
Maisie: Because I think for a long time I wasn’t really sure who I was, so I couldn’t really be authentic because I was trying to search in so many other places for who that was, and I guess that sort of fear being found out and you know trying to say the right things and trying to be the person that you want me to be in this situation, which I sort of try and scrap about a year ago and then I think since then my nerves have gotten a lot more intense.
Lewis: More intense?
Maisie: Yeah, when I try to sort of like drop that. I just, you get it a lot younger when you grow up and you try something and you know a lot of people have a lot of opinions and say that you’re not being authentic, you trying to figure that out is I think quite a daring to hear, and for me I’ve always really felt I don’t really know who I am. If I’m not pretending to be someone.
Lewis: You’re 21 now 22 soon, you think most teenagers feel that way even if they are not on a big show and everyone is looking at them?
Maisie: Absolutely. I think you know whenever anyone can see through my [?] and they see me looking my nervous I am, I think I get quite a positive reaction from that. So, I’ve really just tried to embrace it a lot more because I think people can relate to that and getting on stage and doing it is terrifying, and I think to see someone terrifying makes you feel kind of good.
Lewis: Not the superhuman thing.
Maisie: Yeah, I feel like it’s a natural thing to be a little nervous to stand on stage and talk to people.
Lewis: Is it different being on camera in front of a film crew? I mean I don’t even know how many people are filming and on set while you’re doing a scene. Is it more nervous when the camera say “Okay action time to go?” What’s more nerve racking that or a ted talk for 15 minutes in front of a thousand people?
Maisie: A ted talk. Acting/performing that’s like in my bones and being able to switch that on and, like I can pretend to be like still and calm and like focus and thoughtful and that’s what my entire job is on game of thrones, Arya is very calculated and she can command a room by doing very little. And I understand that feeling and can portray that and can convince people, but my hands are shaking right now.
Lewis: So you can do that on a camera and be super calm but on stage or in a simple little podcast with me you still get nervous or anxious?
Maisie: And I think it’s really the act of you know creating a character of pretending. I think people do it time, people live their entire lives pretending to be someone they’re not.
Lewis: Putting on a mask for something.
Maisie: Yeah, people don’t really know who they are and you do that for so long that you really lose the touch with who you are. And I think you know being able to do that so strongly and so convincingly means I’ve created a [?], but when I strip that away and decide to drop that like I am a very anxious person and I don’t know if there’s like a way to fix that about myself, I mean I’ve definitely try as I gone through therapy and I’ve been medicated and I’ve tried a lot of different things. But I think the best like medicine I was every given was really just try to embrace it and stop trying to find it really and just accepting that’s how I deal with things and not letting it stop me from doing a ted talk. I’m still gonna go and do it even though it means that I’m going to be uncomfortable and probably make my anxiety worse or do a play. I did a play for 3 months at [?] here in London.
Lewis: Was that nerve racking?
Maisie: Completely. On opening night I looked at myself in the mirror I was alone in my dressing room and I outwardly said to myself in the mirror “What made you think you could do this?” Like said it to myself.
Lewis: that’s probably not the best thing to say right before.
Maisie: But I just couldn’t believe that life past Maisie thought this would be an amazing idea. But then you have to stop and breathe and realize that I’m not gonna let this hold me back from the things that I enjoy because ultimately I enjoy performing, I enjoy being on stage, I enjoy that sort of thing, and I enjoy helping other people and I know that the word that I wanted to say in my ted talk could be inspiring to other people, and I want to do that and it’s difficult but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t. So it’s like trying to not listen to those voices in my head.
Lewis: How did the play and the ted talk go for you personally? How did you feel they went?
Maisie: The play was amazing I felt so proud of myself afterwards, and I wanted to do more. The ted talk. The thing about the ted talk is you do on the day in front of those people on stage and then it lives on after you because on the day delivery was not strong. It was a lot of pauses where I looked at the crowd and thought “What am I doing?”
Lewis: What am I doing here? Who thought I should be doing this?
Maisie: Yeah, and then got it back you know. I was really being myself up after it, I was with Ruben and we walked back to the train station and I basically cried the whole way back to the train station. I was so embarrassed and disappointed at myself. Then we just got to the train station and I pulled myself together, and this girl came up and she said “Maisie, I just was at your ted talk it’s so interesting to me that you are so terrified and don’t beat yourself up about that because it wasn’t the most punchy talk that anyone has ever given.”
So, that’s what I like needed to hear just be like ‘suck it up it’s bigger than that.’ And then they edited those out and the videos wonderfully, people are happy.
Lewis: Now, where do you think anxiety comes from for you?
Maisie: I think my entire family are quite anxious people, and I think mine is definitely sort of enhanced and.
Lewis: You’re the youngest of 4 right?
Maisie: I am.
Lewis: So am I.
Maisie: Yeah it was the same place and the baby.
Lewis: You think yours is enhanced?
Maisie: Yeah, it’s different you know mine gets worst like being famous and the things that come with that, you know like being stop on the street. So, I don’t know if that is the root of it really I feel like maybe I would have been an anxious person anyway even if I wasn’t famous, so I don’t want to say that because I think that’s untrue. I think just self-doubt like me and my entire family.
Lewis: You doubt yourself a lot?
Maisie: I think we all do.
Lewis: But you’re this big star.
Maisie: I don’t think that’s where self-worth comes from though.
Lewis: Where does your self-worth come from?
Maisie: I think like real connections with people like I pride myself and judge myself based on like how many people are like good to me and help me, and how many people I help like 1 to 1. I feel like that’s how I feel I worth something if I can be that friend to call, or if I have someone to call. I think that’s kind of like where my self-worth is.
Lewis: The intimate personal connection you have, the relationships you have if they are stronger they are not strong.
Maisie: And so I think the reason why it sort of got worse is maybe because I have got this fame and it’s understand what people’s intention are and it’s hard to have time for those relationships and. So, you know if you go a long way from home then it can get a lot worse, and I spend too much time away from my family. But I think you know for all of us is just a bit of self-doubt and I think we have quite low self-esteem and you know I can look at every single member of my family and I think I can pinpoint, I can see it in their eyes the things that I feel and things that I think about myself, and as soon as you know one of my siblings said something to me, which is a sentence I probably would say to myself. You know I hate this about myself, I hate and it destroys me and it’s really hard to be like don’t you dare because I know I’m exactly the same.
So, I think that it’s just something within us but we’re getting much better at talking to each other and being more supportive of one another.
Lewis: How do you think you can shift that personally moving forward?
Maisie: Well, I definitely I used to like I hated myself.
Lewis: Like before you started the show or during the show?
Maisie: So maybe this started when I was 15 or 16.
Maisie: Yeah, sometimes I would say it but it’s not like it’s in my head I can think of something like cringe or something like you know feel disappointed or whatever. And then it started getting worse and worse until like sometimes I would be with people and talking and I would say “I hate myself.” It’s just because thoughts in my head are getting overwhelming that I would just say out loud and not realize that I had done that. It was quite like I was very, I felt very negatively about myself.
Lewis: Why do you think that is thought? What could’ve change on the outside for you to think differently? Tons of people loving you but on the inside you aren’t loving yourself it sounds like, what would have to change on the external world for you to shift?
Maisie: I think that was the point was that I was waiting for something on the outside world to change and it was never really going to. So, I think it was important for me to find peace within myself. I think I had you know like a lot of rocky relationship with friends and my family, you know a lot of thoughts about you know what did I get this task, you know next to like my siblings and you know how much.
Lewis: The guilt you might have felt?
Maisie: Definitely. And so I think what I needed to do was start punishing myself for that and that’s what came out as I would punish myself for being successful.
Lewis: Surprised you’ve made it this far for that internal hatred and punishment you have yourself.
Maisie: It definitely hit rock bottom before I got where I am right now.
Lewis: What was a year ago like?
Maisie: About a year ago I was in a relationship, but I unfortunately got into a relationship where I wasn’t ready to love someone else and I had just before that relationship I’d had a very big argument and like a huge fight rift with my life and in my heart and you know loss of friendships. I met this person and I fell in love with him and our entire relationship was beautiful but it was so separated from anything that I was feeling before. I created this new avenue of life with this person and I think it got to 2 years in and I realize I hadn’t actually write the wrongs from 2 years previously, I had just cut like an arm basically. I was angry at the world because I was obviously upset about this huge part of my life I’d cut off and just feel that with this relationship I couldn’t love him properly and in turn I couldn’t love myself and he couldn’t love me properly. So, that ended up ending and I went on a very self-destructive path.
Lewis: For how long?
Maisie: Maybe like 3 months. It wasn’t like crazy but I realize in that time like I had, I couldn’t be alone myself without just being awful to myself and I couldn’t even be with people without feeling like you know hated every single person there and myself, like I didn’t have any connections with my friends that I was with at that time. I think people listen to this and people have said to me like [?], people couldn’t even been there for me. I was like dead on being like self-destructive. I just got very sad and a lot of overwhelming feelings of not really wanting to be here.
And then I met someone who just listened really. And I think a lot of people really want to help you and when you see someone who’s in pain you want to help them.
Lewis: Like coach them or tell them what to do.
Maisie: Yeah, you want to take that pain away. I think a lot of my friends are people who want to make me feel better but you have to do that yourself and no one had really tried to ask me the questions that I need to be asking myself you know.
Lewis: What are some of those questions they should’ve asked?
Maisie: Why do you find it so easy to think bad thoughts and good thoughts? And I really love being negative and getting whole, I used to say like I’m in a hole.
Lewis: I don’t even know how you did anything in your life.
Maisie: I had a bit of time last summer and I think it was very good through that period of time.
Lewis: Because how do you say I hate myself or whatever you were saying to yourself, but also go land this like great part.
Maisie: There’s other thing about medication though. So, I was on a lot like [?] which I understand but I thing are kind of actually the worst things. One like big memory and this is something I hopeful make people sort of realize where I was at, it was like the final like a big celebration of game of thrones the final season and I was taking this sort of medication that was like very numbing.
Lewis: So you didn’t feel anxious?
Maisie: Yeah, but I didn’t really feel anything and everyone around me is sobbing and crying and hugging and looking at pictures of us when we were children and just came for the life of me couldn’t feel a thing.
Lewis: You feel nothing?
Maisie: Literally nothing. It was flowing through these last few months of the show. And then I think and did start to sort of bring myself out. And now I would dream of telling myself that I hated myself, and it makes me so sad to think that I was like that and, because everything is so wonderful now.
Lewis: Beautiful life isn’t it? Well I’m glad that you have someone and people who can really listen to you and ask you the right questions so that you can start to shift those conversations. I think I used to have those conversations with myself as well for many years, and I think a lot of people are listening or watching had those or having them now. So, I think it’s beautiful that you’re sharing this and I really appreciate it.
Maisie: That’s okay, I’m happy too.
Lewis: I love that someone ask you this question ‘why is it easier to say bad things or think bad thoughts that it is to say good thoughts.’ Because I’m all about the positive things we tell ourselves. The intention of saying something positive because the opposite isn’t gonna help you, it’s only going to create more anxiety more stress and frustration and anger. What are the other questions that he was asking you or your friends were asking you?
Maisie: It was.
Lewis: What were the things that helped you shift to start looking at your life differently?
Maisie: I think what I first realize was I was punishing myself for my success.
Lewis: Because your family or siblings wasn’t achieving that?
Maisie: Yeah, so I had a bit of rift within my family. Anyway so I was disconnected with them which means I was kind of disconnected from the truth because when you are disconnected from someone you can tell yourself whatever, even convince yourself to think something and people do it all the time. So, I think realizing that a lot of the things I tell myself was based on things I was telling myself not like facts and understanding that I didn’t need to punish myself and actually that my family were really proud of the things that I was doing, and wanted to support me and care you know I didn’t feel jealous or angry or bitter, they’re actually very supportive it was actually afraid of I guess. I think after that I was looking for apologies and was looking for, I wanted people to feel bad for the things that they’ve said and I realize that wasn’t gonna happen, but I still felt bad about the things that I said. So I decided to apologize for those things even though I wasn’t gonna get anything.
Lewis: So you did this in person to people?
Maisie: Yeah, on the phone and skype and things like that.
Lewis: How did you feel after you apologized to all the people you said bad things to?
Maisie: I was shaking, I mean it was like you know a conversation that should’ve happened years ago, 2 years ago. I was like panic attack you know on the edge of that sort of like feeling than I was with my best friend Sophie Turner at the time, and I went into the room with her and I said, I just had this conversation and she knew a lot of the backstory.
Then I think the last step really for me was just realizing that I take time to take care of myself and I need to say no to things and people and I need to like actually take the time to sort things when I feel sad, because it just makes you most ineffective person when you’re just stress about a million things and it could all been solve by that 2 weekends ago when you wanted to do that thing that was going to make you feel good and didn’t.
So, I think like actual time for self-care and stop doing things for other people because you know it made them feel good but make you feel kind of horrible
Lewis: Well, I’m glad that you said to me to do this even though maybe you didn’t want to. What are some of the things you do now for self-care?
Maisie: So, I’m more creative now, I do painting which I like. I write words and like poems but like telling myself I’m just looking for my Elton John. I get eight hours of sleep every night but like now or before kind of get ready for bed and like makes you feel good.
Lewis: You don’t do anything, you don’t eat good food.
Maisie: Yeah and it’s like. I stop binge things so I struggled with that sort of thing.
Lewis: And just a box of brownies and cookies.
Maisie: I quit drinking but now I like you know have a glass of wine for my dinner or something, but I don’t drink at all anymore. I just live more simply now I think and like I spend just a lot more time with myself. I used to fill everything with seeing people and doing things like you know trying to do things for other people but I think really now I look at my life and it’s like 5 miles an hours and it just looks like peaceful and like very calm, and I think like that was the biggest change for me is like having a free evening.
Lewis: Not booking your schedule to do everything all the time.
Maisie: Yeah, just cooking dinner and not ordering delivery on your way home. It was like around mayhem and now you know I just feel very calm.
Lewis: What advice you have for other young women who maybe feel super anxious, super stressed out hate themselves? What advice would you have for them or coaching or guidance?
Maisie: I think to just slow everything down, to write things out, I mean it really depends but I think like giving yourself the. There’s lots of different type of therapy that you can go and do and if that’s not really for you I think it’s like just asking yourself really difficult questions, like looking further and further within because the answer is all there and I think you’re capable of finding that on your own. Ask yourself like why do you make yourself feel like this because no one else is doing that to you. And like don’t stop until you’ve like cried every last tear about the reason why, like keep picking yourself and keep trying to understand it. I think trying to find getting support and help from friends can be like really wonderful, but at the end of the day like you can’t mask any of your problems with that because just come back in 3 years’ time when it’s even harder to grasp.
Lewis: You did that, you got into a relationship and then you masked it and everything was good for a while but then you are still angry underneath, because you haven’t address certain things that you [?] before.
Maisie: Exactly. So, I think it’s just like it’s all within you understanding that and you know every day I live my life differently now, I feel like even being aware today that I am anxious like an understanding you know if I come off a certain way, because I understand that I am anxious rather than pretending that I am not and being me, and you know however it comes out with different people.
Maisie: Exactly. So, I think you know it’s like looking into yourself is like the answer to so many problems in life.
Lewis: Have you read the book ‘the alchemist?’
Maisie: No, it is Reuben’s favorite.
Lewis: You got to read it. It’s all about the treasures within you the answers within you. What do you think is your biggest fear right now?
Maisie: I think I have no doubts that I’m going to do wonderful things with my life, but I have a tendency to judge myself based on other people’s opinions of me and that sorts of where a lot of my anxiety has always been, and something that I’m trying to change. So, I think now with the show ending and moving forward into my life and deciding what I want to do I just worry if people are very vocal about what they think on my life that it might affect me, even if it just upsets me. Like that kind of scares me because even if I get upset it makes me just forget a lot of the things that I’ve worked so hard to try and understand.
Lewis: That energy upset or people’s opinions as opposed to the good things you’ve done or the mission and what you want to create.
Maisie: Yeah, and that’s where it starts creeping back in and you know one knock or one thing you read and then it can just spiral, and I know that I am still very capable of doing that, so it’s that just what my biggest fear is for the future because I don’t want it to stop me from doing things I want to do. But other people’s opinions do still like really affect me.
Lewis: So how do you detached your emotions to what other people say about you?
Maisie: For now what I am going to do is not see them.
Lewis: Don’t read any newspapers or social media comments.
Maisie: Yeah, I mean that’s definitely not the answer.
Lewis: That’s helpful I think too.
Maisie: Yeah, but I think for me it’s going to be about coming away from social media and you know if I’m trying something new I wanted to be able to try it and realize it and figure it out before I like I have to present it to someone for their opinion. The thing about being famous and doing anything is that people are always watching you so you can, you know I can’t ever be a beginner at anything again.
Lewis: Judging you.
Maisie: Exactly. So you know at least locking myself away until I know what it is exactly I want to go out and do next, I think that’s important and something that I am so excited for just to be able to take time out and be creative on my own and maybe even study again. I always told myself to never get back to school but I think I might.
Lewis: You’ve been doing this show for 10 years now?
Maisie: Yeah, 10 years in a few months.
Lewis: It consumed your life.
Maisie: My whole adolescent. It’s like I was a full childlike 12 years old and now I’m like I mean like a full adult.
Lewis: You’re officially an adult at least age wise.
Maisie: It really has been, everyone has watch me grow up.
Lewis: Are you more excited about the show being over and seeing what’s next or are you more worried? Because I know some actors they’ve been big stars for years and the show ends and then they can’t even get a casting for the next 3 years.
Maisie: My idea for my success in future is in trying to do something that was as successful as game of thrones again.
Lewis: That’s smart most people don’t have that point of view.
Maisie: Yeah, I think that’s where I’ve clashed with sort of opinions with a lot of people in my life for what I want my future to be and for me I don’t see success is always going bigger and better because it’s not what I want, I have no intention of being any more famous than I am right now. In terms of like being an actor and characters that I want to play and the emotions sort of portray ratifying those sort of things then very big movies, and they sometimes don’t ask questions that are you know moving enough or deep enough or real enough.
I think that really want to tell stories that are heartbreaking or I wanted to just feel like I’m a very emotional person and I feel things very deeply and I love that and I want other people to feel that.
Lewis: Okay, so you want to create more opportunities like that for yourself?
Maisie: Yeah and even not just in the acting world but other personal achievements and things that I judge my life on. I do want to run a marathon.
Lewis: What age do you want to complete it by?
Maisie: This is the thing I want to do it for myself and no one else, and so I don’t even want people when I’m doing it. You know I could raise so much money by doing a marathon and you know I’d rather just out of my own pocket rather than having this. So, it is things I want with my life that I think like it’s hard to convey like a manager or be like.
Lewis: Personal stuff.
Maisie: Yeah, personal stuff and little things I wanted to do for my life.
Lewis: What would you say is your superpower?
Maisie: Empathy maybe?
Lewis: That is super powerful.
Maisie: Feel like I’ve felt a lot of emotions like and I can feel them for other people and I have friends that aren’t anywhere near as commotional as me and I love that and I can see it, but at the same time I can like feel sadness in people and it consume me sometimes.
Lewis: Super power it can also be your kryptonite?
Lewis: So you got to learn how to manage it sometimes.
Maisie: And be proactive and like on your empathy. See what is making them sad and be able to understand it within myself about what I needed to do at that moment and you know how I can help someone in that moment.
Lewis: Who is the most influential person in your life growing up and what was the biggest lesson they taught you?
Maisie: My mother was the most influential person in my life and she taught me everything, but I mean two things are coming to my mind right now. She taught me to never like put a limit I am capable of and like according to my mom I could rule the world and having that sort of support makes you feel.
When you ask how did you manage to get all through that when you were putting yourself down so much? I just never believe I could do something, so she taught me that. And then I think through seeing my mother grow up and I think understanding about how my mother feels about herself definitely like sometimes negatively impacted me. But I think in turn now that I’ve understand it has made me love myself. So, I think that was something that’s very fresh to me and I can see a lot.
Lewis: That’s cool she seems like an inspiring woman.
Maisie: She is incredible. My mother has done everything she is just, there’s no one quite like her.
Lewis: If you were 30 years out and hypothetically you’re still here now but 30 years older, and you are seeing yourself right now going through everything you’ve gone through in the last 5 years especially in the last year. What advice would you give yourself now in hindsight 30 years out for the next chapter of your life?
Maisie: Just keep running. Try everything what you aim for. I think I’m very excited for the next 10 years of my life and I definitely have no ideas what’s gonna happen and that’s so exciting to me. And I hope by the time I get to 30 years down the line I’ve done everything, everything there is to do in this world and I’ve met everyone and that’s what I want to achieve. I don’t want to be stuck anywhere. I think I’ve relied so heavily on this really great opportunity I was given so young but it’s like I want to run away and just live a normal life and see what I can achieve on that.
Lewis: That’s good advice. I want to do a final couple of questions and we’ll wrap things up. You’ve got a new start up called ‘daisy.’ Can you explain what it is and what’s your mission is? And how can people get involve?
Maisie: So, I started daisy for artist and creative people. People always say “if you want to be in the industry it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And I think when you know nobody that’s kind of a very jarring thing to hear.
Maisie: So, I wanted to create like a social media platform for artist and creative people to be able to discover network other people across industries and collaborate with them on projects that you know they want to build. So whether that’s a musician who needs a videographer to shoot like a music video, or it’s like photographer who’s gonna shoot an artist in their new gallery or across industries to be able to really like source these people that they need to be able to alleviate the work that they’re doing. I think the keys to success is like collaborating and finding new audiences and I think the more people you can work with and the big your network can become, even if it’s like a very basic level and like you know amateur level, I think that’s the sort of thing that starts to catch people’s eyes and help keep breaking the industry.
So, that’s why we created it.
Lewis: All types of creatives?
Maisie: Yeah. All of it across the boards we want you to be a part of our platform and we want you to find likeminded people and find your place amongst. I think a lot of creative people feel rejected from social Medias like Instagram or you know like they feel they are not part of the club, and I think daisie is really about celebrating that messy middle and giving these people a place to really express themselves and find the people that love what they do and don’t think it’s weird.
Lewis: That’s cool. Right now it’s in beta but people can get on the wait list or they can sign up?
Maisie: So, May will be when people can find us www.daisie.com and you can follow us on Instagram or join our mailing list. You’ll be in very soon.
Lewis: In the club.
Maisie: the club of like the anti-club.
Lewis: So daisie.com on social media as well. That is happening right now you also have a podcast you’re launching?
Maisie: Yeah, thinking big with Maisie Williams. It’s about childhood dreams and you know when you’re a kid what you wanted to be when you grow up and how that compares to what people are doing now, and then you know the idea of like from now what’s your big [?] for the future.
It’s been really wonderful and I’ve just speak with a lot of creative people and I think it’s really interesting to see for so many creative people like their career is taking off but also that means you’re [?].
Maisie: Yeah, I think isn’t that a line from I think from devil wears Prada? I kind of misquote it but it’s a really great line from devil wears Prada.
Lewis: Like your personal life is suffering because you put all your energy into your career and dreams but then you lose yourself.
Maisie: I think you talk to so many people and [?], but in terms of interviewing people for daisie.com or the magazine or the profiles and the content that will be up on the websites soon. I think what I’ve really learned from creative people is that like it’s a lot of pain that’s what makes you so good, but that also what tears you apart. And trying to balance that is like the mission for so many people and it’s just like a constant like teetering on that scale. And I think you know for anyone who wants to get creative industries it’s like that, it’s like people who have this drive and mentality to go all of the way it’s not within a lot of people.
Lewis: Very powerful but can be very toxic. I mean that’s where you see some of the greatest most talented artist in their 20’s where they kind of either go the other way through or they just decide to not to.
Maisie: People that struggle with this disorder and it’s like making this life very creative people who are gonna do amazing things with their lives, and like it’s very interesting what I thought ADD was and then meeting these people and realizing like ‘Oh, it’s people that don’t have their focus.’
Lewis: Because when you have that.
Maisie: Oh my goodness, people are like you know. It’s like painted pictures of like her and her friends and it’s like multimedia kind of. You know artist can’t do that a lot except for very interesting part of her brain that can churn out like that. So, I think it’s really interesting for me in seeing this odd people and realizing that’s what makes you successful, and I think for people it’s very important to find that odd ball things about yourself.
Lewis: Embrace them. You got daisie, thinking big, game of thrones all happening at the same time. So you got a very exciting couple of months for you, is there anything else?
Maisie: No, I don’t think so. With all of that crazy stuff
Lewis: So we can follow you on Instagram? Even though you want to be less famous.
Maisie: Maisie_williams on most social platforms.
Lewis: Go follow her right now before she goes off social media, take a screenshot of this video or audio tag her, and let her know what you thought.
Lewis: I’ve got 2 final questions for you this is called the 3 truths. So, imagine it’s your last day on earth 100 or 200 years from now. You have superhuman strengths and live as long as you want, but then one day you got to call it quits. You have done it all, you listen to your 51 year old self who said go adventure, go do everything and meet everyone. You live the most incredible life of your dreams, you look back and have 0 regrets, and you get to leave the world with 3 lessons that this is all they would have to remember you by. 3 things you would leave behind that the world would remember you by, what would you write down as your 3 truths?
Maisie: I think the first would be, I don’t know how to put it into words I guess it’s like ‘how I’m remembered by other people means nothing unless I feel good about myself.’ So, I don’t know how to turn that into like.
Lewis: So kind of like the pains of other people doesn’t mean anything unless you love yourself.
Maisie: Exactly. The second take care of the people around you, put out good energy into the world. Be a beacon of light even in some like real dark days that we’re going through right now.
I think the last one would be look up when you’re in the world, because I don’t do that. And I think we can all learn a lot from realizing how beautiful this world is.
Lewis: I want to acknowledge you Maisie for opening up, thank you for sharing even though you said you didn’t want to be this vulnerable. So, I acknowledge you for your gifts for being a beautiful young women, for caring deeply about people because I think that’s superpower that most people don’t have empathy like you do. So, I acknowledge you for that and I acknowledge you for waking just realizing that way of living wasn’t powerful for you and wasn’t helping anyone else, and now you can do some beautiful things in the world even more so.
Maisie: Thank you.
Lewis: I have one final question and that is, what is your definition of greatness?
Maisie: My definition of greatness is that feeling. The feeling of not being able to be brought down and it’s not arrogance and it’s not disregarding other people’s feelings but greatness is a feeling that you can achieve anything, you can be anything. It’s that feeling that will get you through that next hurdle. Greatness to me is like your best day when you wake up and you know my 3 truths that I spoke about you’re gonna do every single one and it’s gonna be like no sweat and that it’s gonna be a beautiful day. Greatness is that feeling that you get.
Lewis: Thank you.
Maisie: Thank you.
Lewis: There you have it my friends I hope you enjoyed this interview with Maisie Williams, such a young incredible star who is tapping into her heart in a big way and inspiring the world. So grateful for her for sharing and for all that she’s up to. If you want to listen to the full video or watch the full video you can go to lewishowes.com/784 and watch there. Make sure to subscribe to us on YouTube. Make sure to leave us a review, if you enjoyed this please leave us a review it helps us spread the message of greatness far and wide. So head over to your iTunes app or apple podcast and leave us a review over on school of greatness.
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I know some of you are struggling, some of you are dealing with emotional anxiety stress overwhelm, some of you are dealing with insecurities, some of you are dealing with depression, and other challenges. And Oscar Wilde said “To love oneself is the beginning of lifelong romance.” I can’t emphasize how important it is to take care of your own heart and your own thoughts and emotions. The things you say about yourself you manifest, so if you talk negatively and continue to say ‘how ugly, how stupid, how unlucky you are.’ Then you will manifest and create that in your body and in your environment. I used to be this way for many years that used to cripple me, that used to always be anxious, stress and overwhelm. I used to always beat myself emotionally and it manifested enough the way it is.
You are so deserving of love but it’s your choice and you have to choose in every moment to love yourself or not. I choose to love myself it’s something that takes a lot of practice and was weird and unfamiliar when I started to do it because I never really felt like I was deserving, but when you start to develop the habit of love for yourself it starts to become a norm and you look back after the years of doing it and you say to yourself “Why did I ever beat myself up? Why did I ever doubt myself? Why did I ever question that I was deserving of love?” It’s something that is foreign but then becomes so familiar and you’re so grateful when you are in that state. So, I want to remind you that you can have the most incredible romance if you just start love yourself, and this doesn’t need to be egotistical love but it can be a calm centered knowing that you are worth deserving of that love.
And as Maya Angelou said “As you grow older you’ll discover that you have 2 hands, 1 for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” I think both is as equally important but it’s really hard to serve other people and humanity when you don’t help yourself. I love you all so very much and you know what time it is, it’s time to go out there and do something great.
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