When life throws you curveballs, are you confident in your identity? What are the key pieces of wisdom that get you through hard times?
Today’s guest has learned a thing or two about identity, and her faith is what has gotten her through a lot of rejection, pain, and ever-present criticism.
It doesn’t matter how much fame or money you have. If you don’t know who you are, and all of that disappears, what is left?
In this discussion, we talk about rejection, reinvention, and the impact of fame with actress and producer, Tamera Mowry-Housley. After all the ups and downs of her Hollywood career, she has learned quite a few life lessons and shares all her nuggets of wisdom with us!
Tamera Mowry-Housley is an Emmy award-winning host, actress, producer, and entrepreneur who has captivated audiences for over 20 years. Tamera started her career in Hollywood alongside her sister, Tia, on the hit show, Sister, Sister, which aired over 100 episodes from 1994-1999. She also co-hosted the groundbreaking and Emmy-winning talk show, The Real for six seasons. She’s an entrepreneur with her own coffeehouse and coffee line called Barnhouse Napa Brews, and most recently she’s been one of the hosts on HGTV’s new show Table Wars alongside Martha Stewart.
Tamera has achieved many awards including the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series two years in a row, a Kids Choice Award for Favorite Television Actress three years in a row, induction into the Kids Choice Awards Hall of Fame, and she has named to Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list in 2013.
Tamera appeared in the Disney Channel original movie Twitches in 2005, one of the channel’s highest-rated movies of all time. She then appeared in Twitches Too two years later. In 2010, Tamera started a production company with her sister, Twilight Productions. She produced and starred in the Lifetime movie, Double Wedding. On the big screen, Tamera co-starred in the Rob Schneider comedy The Hot Chick. Tamera can next be seen guest-starring in 2014 on the ABC Family hit Melissa and Joey.
In 2015, Tamera and her sister Tia authored the book, Twintuition: Double Vision, the first in their children’s book series from HarperCollins Publishers. The twins most recently starred on the hit Style Network reality TV series, Tia and Tamera, from 2011-2013.
Tamera lives in Los Angeles and Napa Valley with her husband, Adam, and their children, Aden and Ariah.
In this episode, we discuss how Tamera dealt with her identity after the end of her first hit TV show, how to deal with self-doubt and find inner peace, what Tamera wishes she could share with her 10-year-old self, and more! Get ready for an inspiring time with Tamera Mowry-Housely!
After an incredible ride as a hit actress on Sister, Sister, Tamera, and her sister had become Hollywood icons. The show ended when they were 21, and Tamera had to transition back to “civilian life” as they called it. It was a really challenging season for her as her entire identity had to be reinvented. No one was calling her for the next part to play. She would have to navigate the next part of her journey on her own. I asked her how she survived this drastic shift in her life:
“I would have to say my upbringing, my environment, and my mom, dad, grandmother, aunts, and uncles [helped me through]. They were all very proud of what I had achieved at such a young age, but it didn’t define me in their eyes. … I feel like that’s how I survived. My parents taught me at a very young age that success is amazing, but it’s not going to last.” – Tamera Mowry-Housley
It took four years after Sister, Sister for Tamera to get another gig. That was a long time to wait after working consistently for years. Tamera shared that there were moments of doubt during that time, and she thought about quitting acting altogether. She decided to go to college at Pepperdine University, get her degree, and do a complete career change.
“I was depressed because for so long I knew exactly where I was going and what I was doing. And then there was an immediate halt and I was like, ‘Oh, what now? Like, what am I going to do?’ I had this conversation with myself where I was like, I achieved so much so young. I have so much life to live. I guess this is it. I guess I just achieved it.” – Tamera Mowry
But just as soon as she was losing hope, providence stepped into the picture and gave her a second chance.
“I was filling out a questionnaire to become a private school kindergarten teacher because I literally thought I was never going to work an acting job again, I swear. The moment I filled that out, I got a call, and it was an audition for Strong Medicine.” – Tamera Mowry-Housley
Tamera ended up landing the role of Dr. Caitlin Thorton in the show Strong Medicine and was so excited to jump back into full-time acting again. She continued to get gigs and eventually landed a coveted host position on the hit talk show, The Real.
Through all of these projects and roles, Tamera grew as an actress, but most importantly she learned how to define herself beyond her occupation. It was a tough life lesson, but this definition of success made all the difference for her.
Even though Tamera was starting to get acting gigs again, she still had to learn how to define success in a way that was not directly tied to her job. She knew it could all end again in a heartbeat, and she wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. That’s why she decided to create her own definition of success.
“So this is what I’ve learned: Success means different things to different people. That was one aspect of my life that was successful. You don’t want those moments of success in your life to define your success as a whole because it’s not going to happen all the time. Success for me now means happiness, no matter what’s happening in my life.” – Tamera Mowry-Housley
Another thing that got her through the hard valleys in life was her faith in God. She believes that things happen for her, not to her, and she always likes to find the lesson in everything. It’s important to reflect on what you’ve learned within the struggles in life. She has learned that God is there in the midst of her struggles because she is supposed to learn something from the struggle.
Speaking of struggle, Tamera shared that being a host on The Real for six years was one of the hardest jobs in her career because of all the critics. She explained that a talk show is not a safe place and that it’s like going into battle every day. Here is a life lesson she learned through that experience:
“What I’m learning in life is: You do your best, and that’s all you can control. There are going to be people out there that just don’t like you. And I mean, I can’t help that you don’t like me, so I had to ask myself, ‘Did I like my work?’ I’d rather have people dislike me for who I truly am than like me for who I’m pretending to be.” – Tamera Mowry-Housley
I love this life lesson because it repositioned Tamera to be a conduit of positivity and impact rather than worrying about pleasing people. I can relate to this so much. Not everyone is going to like my podcast, and that’s okay. It’s not meant for everyone, it’s meant to inspire those who are drawn to living a life of greatness. If I can impact even just one person through these messages, it will have been enough.
We all wish we could go back and give ourselves a little piece of advice to make life easier, don’t we? I asked Tamera what she would tell her 10-year-old self, and this is how she answered:
“I would say, make sure you’re doing this for the right reasons because you have to understand in this business, no matter how many times they say they love you, [or] they like you, it is business, and you’re the product. In a moment, the phone calls can stop.” – Tamera Mowry-Housley
Here are some other pieces of advice she would give to her past self:
Tamera also had to learn that her differences are her strengths. Growing up as a twin, she and her sister Tia always thought they needed to be like each other, but then they realized that God made them differently for a reason and that they are complementary to one another. A “yin and yang” as she describes their relationship.
“Now we have our own families. She is doing her own thing, and I’m doing my own thing. We’ve learned to celebrate our differences, and it’s okay to be different.” – Tamera Mowry-Housley
It’s okay to be different. Some of you needed to hear that today. Your uniqueness is your strength. There is only one you in this world, so stop trying to be someone else. As that old adage goes, “Be yourself — everyone else is already taken.”
At the end of each episode, I like to ask my guests what three truths they would like to leave with the world if everything else about their life disappeared. Here are Tamera’s three truths:
I think these truths sum up our time together perfectly. Tamera is such an authentic person, and authenticity is such a needed trait in this generation. She has shown that it is possible to be a genuine, caring and positive individual in the middle of a very hard and oftentimes destructive business. I applaud her for everything she has overcome. I can’t wait to see what she does next!
This interview was such a fun one with my amazing and talented friend, Tamera Mowry-Housley. 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! You can also Follow Tamera on Instagram and check out her website.
I want to acknowledge Tamera for showing up consistently and setting an example as a really courageous and authentic woman for the last 30 years. The way she shows up for her sister by being in collaboration and not in competition is beautiful to witness, and her authenticity in her content on social media and also in TV and movies is a beautiful gift.
As I do with every guest, I asked Tamera what her personal definition of greatness is, and this is what she said:
“[Greatness is] recognizing the gift that you have because I believe each and every person in this life has been gifted with something. Realize what your purpose is, and share it with the world, don’t hold onto it.” – Tamera Mowry-Housley
Friends, join me on Episode 1189 to learn about finding your life purpose and turning your imperfections into impact with the wonderful Tamera Mowry-Housley! It’ll change your life!