If you were to get stripped of your job, money, relationships, or skills, who would you be?
This is a great question to ask when you’re evaluating your self-worth. In today’s world, we tend to measure our value through the number of followers we have on social media or how much money we have in our bank accounts. But the real meaning of self-worth is so much deeper than that.
Actress and former global beauty pageant winner Priyanka Chopra Jonas is no stranger to the importance of having a strong sense of one’s worth. Despite being a movie star and accomplishing feats that some people would never dare to achieve, she doesn’t deny that even she questions her value sometimes.
In our conversation, Priyanka allowed herself to get real and vulnerable. We talked about insecurities and how you can lean to them so you can build your self-confidence. We also got into how she sets herself for daily success and cultivates happiness for herself. Lastly, we discussed the importance of always “choosing yourself” in order to achieve your life’s biggest dreams and goals.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a genuinely remarkable individual, and I am so excited to share her insights with you in this episode of School of Greatness. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!
Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a multi-award-winning actress, producer, and one of the world’s most recognized personalities. A former Miss World, she made her movie debut in 2002 and has appeared in more than 60 films produced in India and the United States.
She has recently written her new memoir, Unfinished, to commemorate her career and life up until this point. In this memoir, Priyanka shares her challenges and victories with love and vulnerability. The result is a philosophical, sassy, inspiring, bold, and rebellious book — just like the author herself.
From her 20-year-long career as an actress/producer to losing her beloved father to cancer and finally to her work in Netflix’s The White Tiger, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s story will inspire generations around the world to know their self worth, find happiness, and gather their courage to always choose themselves.
It was my pleasure to speak with Priyanka, and I know you’re going to love hearing her wisdom!
You can achieve so many incredible things but still, question your self-worth. Priyanka has made more than 50 Bollywood films, but this does not mean that she never doubted what she could do. This was particularly true when she first stepped into the Hollywood industry.
“It was 2014, and I had a talent deal with ABC studios to do a show with them. This was my step into America. It had taken me a lot of lamenting because it was a considerable risk. I already had a prolific career in India for almost nine years at that time. I had these questions like, ‘What if it doesn’t pay off? What if it’s a waste of my time?’ All of those were playing in my head.” – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
But if you think that these questions would stop Priyanka from going after her dreams, you’re wrong. Though she knew that taking the chance meant that she had to audition again — something she hadn’t done for a while — Priyanka decided to go with her decision despite fear.
“I remember when I walked into the studio where the audition was, and there were two other girls there. They are beautiful, and they were everything that this character was. I was freaking out in my mind. … I went to the restroom, looked at myself in the mirror, and reminded myself that I’d done 50 movies. I told myself that I have more experience than those girls sitting outside. I like to empower myself. I strutted down that hallway into that room and got that job.” – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
How was Priyanka able to do that? How was she able to push past fear with full-force? She harnessed the power of positive thinking. Priyanka is a big believer in positive self-talk and voicing out her insecurities to weaken their power over her.
“I have a healthier relationship with my insecurities because I take away their power by discussing them. I choose not to live with them alone in the dark recesses of my mind because then they become monsters, even when they’re not real. It’s always been beneficial to me whenever I’m feeling crazy or insecure or afraid.” – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Just like you and me, Priyanka has insecurities. However, what might be different is how we approach them. Some of us might try to hide them, while some choose to embrace them. Priyanka decides to choose the latter path and use it to build her self-confidence. She transforms these ugly monsters into little reminders of self-worth.
“The world won’t believe in you if you don’t believe in you. … But I think it’s also important to recognize that confidence is not something we’re born with. It’s more of a skill we can train ourselves to work with, just like how we do with our muscles. We start from warmups and stuff like that. So to build confidence for me is starting to use that at a minimal level.” – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
I’m a big believer, too, in the power that confidence has on achieving greatness in life. You could have the most incredible experience, the most significant degree, the skills, the family, the money, and even good looks, but if you don’t have self-worth and build confidence, all these things do not matter.
Remember — if you don’t believe in yourself, the world won’t believe in you either.
When you know your worth as a person, you feel empowered to reach your fullest potential and capabilities. You feel comfortable with who you are, which generally helps you achieve happiness!
But for Hollywood stars like Priyanka, creating and cultivating happiness can be difficult, particularly if you’re always under the scrutiny of the public eye. I asked Priyanka how this can be possible, and here was her answer:
“We all need to know that we’re all born alone and we’re going to die alone. Your life is your journey and yours only. So if we’re in this journey and we’re expecting someone else to contribute to your trajectory, it’s skewed. That’s not the truth. No one can contribute to your happiness. It’s only you that can contribute to receiving what you’re receiving.” – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
I think many people find happiness in a lot of the wrong things — the number of likes we get, what someone says to us, or what our partner does for us. It can be challenging to cultivate happiness for yourself to the point where you’re not reliant on other outside factors but yourself. But when happiness is based on you — and no one else’s opinion or external circumstance — then that happiness is much more real and long-lasting.
Priyanka provided her insight into how your sense of self-worth is strongly correlated to happiness.
“My self-worth comes from seeing the successes out of things that I have worked towards creating. I have my hands and feet into movies, jobs, books, business, and other things that I’ve done. Taking pride in who we are and what we bring to the table is the greatest joy of them all, and it can not be compared to what somebody else does. It’s not about having the best partner in the world and the most number of followers.” – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Happiness is indeed something that only we can give ourselves. There will always be challenges or adverse reactions while we’re in our self-discovery journey to greatness, but we still can look at the brighter side of things. This is where happiness can grow.
Priyanka looks at her parents for being the most influential people in her life growing up. She mainly had a meaningful relationship with her father, and that’s why she was deeply affected when he passed away.
“My father used to push me. He would push me never to be satisfied with what I have. He was the one who flamed my ambition. … After my dad died, I felt like I couldn’t keep up with the life that I had built. I took a hit; I was feeling sad. Now, sadness is strangely seductive. It kind of sucks you in, and you feel its comfortability. It feels like you’re floating, and it’s easy. But I cannot let that happen to me. I have to choose myself. It’s such a powerful tool because the longest relationship you have is with yourself.” – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Here’s a simple truth that Priyanka has been pointing out all along:
You’ve come into this place alone. You leave this place alone. The best choice there is to build an excellent relationship with yourself. By choosing yourself, you do not allow anyone else to dictate what you can do and what you can’t. Priyanka was generous enough to share a personal experience she had shooting for her film, The White Tiger, that illustrates this fact.
“I was never approached for that movie. To be a part of this movie, I had to call my agent and the producers. I chased Ramin Bahrani from Mumbai to New York to LA. I met him three times. I auditioned with him three times. I offered to be its executive producer. I just kept on thinking that the worst that could have happened was if they had said no. That’s happened to me multiple times, but it’s not stopped me from trying again. That’s choosing yourself. “ – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka emphasized during our conversation that your actions and decisions dictate the sum of your life. We are the sum of all our choices. If you want to achieve something — if you’re going to achieve greatness — you need to choose yourself because no one else will choose us. We need to be there for ourselves.
Rory T. Bennett said,”If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?
In life, many situations will make you question your self-worth. But just like Priyanka put it, you need to choose yourself. By deciding that you are someone worthy of opportunities and improvement, there is no doubt that you become not just great but happy too!
Speaking of, here’s Priyanka’s definition of greatness:
“I don’t even want to be rich. I don’t want to be famous. I don’t even want to be happy. I want to be great.” – Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Greatness can be in the smallest things. It can be as simple as saying “good morning” to others and telling your parents that you love them. There’s greatness in everyday moments, and as Priyanka said, knowing that you have spent a good day on this earth is a pure form of greatness.
This was a powerful and moving interview — I loved having this conversation with Priyanka. I hope we can get her back on in the future so she can continue inspiring us even more!
If you enjoyed this interview, please share this episode over on your Instagram stories. Don’t forget to tag Priyanka, @priyankachopra, and me, @lewishowes, with your key takeaways. Lastly, please subscribe to The School of Greatness over on the Apple Podcasts —leave us a rating and review to spread the message to even more people like you!
But before you click over to any of those other sites, make sure to listen to the full episode. If you believe that the key to happiness is knowing your worth and choosing yourself, you do not want to miss this interview with Priyanka Chopra Jonas!
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