Learning from Chelsea Handler

Can’t it be birthday night every night?


Today is Friday which means the weekend is upon us. A possible hurricane/weather formation/tropical depression looks like it won’t be a major threat for Florida (though that could change). Today, although the nerves got the best of her early this morning, little sister peeled out of the car without actually crying. Arguably things are looking up for me.

Two nights ago after I finished my post, I caught up on some of the new episodes of Netflix’s new Chelsea Handler show. It was good for me to see a person who, all politics aside, is fairly self-made. In one of the episodes she went back to the Italian restaurant that she was working at 15 years ago when she was trying to make a break into acting. Some of the same people who had worked with her then were still working there, in the same kitchen or at the same front door post. She was able to reflect on who she was when she was working there and what she was thinking from a standpoint of being very successful in achieving and even surpassing her goals and dreams in the present tense.

Being reminded of stories like this make me feel so incredibly hopeful. I sometimes get stuck in the rut of looking at situations that are far worse than mine or situations that mirror mine. When I’m doing this I tend to find a false comfort in knowing that my case isn’t the worst and that I’m not alone.

When looking at success stories there is a common theme of overcoming obstacles not quitting when things get very difficult and continuing to raise the bar as you surpass mini goals. That is where I need to keep my headspace. Every person has the same innate chance of achieving what they set their minds to, but a lot of people fall off because it doesn’t come quickly and it doesn’t come easily. I don’t want to end up in that group.

Yes, Chelsea Handler has had financial success. She’s able to afford a lifestyle that she wouldn’t even allow herself to dream of for a very long time. However, it’s the storytelling that I really love about her. She was able to take her grind and her flaws and all the things that she felt alienated her from everyone else and turn that into a career that is highlighted with standup comedy shows, best-selling books, television shows and more.

Once again it’s not that the story of a girl from the East Coast who moves out to the West Coast, waits tables and wants to be an actress is incredibly unique. Her story is on our vision boards and in conversation because she didn’t quit (well I’m pretty sure she quit that job at the Italian restaurant or maybe she got fired). She didn’t get distracted by the fact that her dream hadn’t manifested right away. When things went wrong for her and people turned out to be untrustworthy or detrimental to her she learned from it, getting stronger and braver and more resilient. Time and time again, despite rejection, as Brene Brown so clearly explains, she “dared greatly”.

The challenge and the work is in looking at lessons like this and putting them into play in my own life. Taking strategies and concepts that other people have learned from and fortifying myself with them serves to honor the original work and my subsequent power from tapping into it. Because I am not a quitter I can regroup at any time that I feel like I’m falling apart, I can pick a new route out when I hit a dead end and I can take chances over and over again. The good news is that I have this whole weekend to start mapping it all out.


3 thoughts on “Learning from Chelsea Handler

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