Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TNT
She’s one of the most celebrated actresses of our generation, and currently holds the title for receiving the most Academy Award nominations of any actor EVER. But, despite her gigantic career, the actress – who turned 70 last month, by the way – says she still sometimes struggles with nerves and the daunting prospect of stepping into the spotlight.
It may be hard to believe, but it seems that even the most successful women among us need a self-esteem boost every now and then. Here’s the simple trick Meryl Streep uses to boost her confidence…
On facing fears
It’s hard to imagine, but actress Meryl Streep thinks of herself as an introvert. “I’m inclined to not want to say anything in public,” she said. “Basically, if I had my way, I’d just stay home and think about what I’m having for supper.”
But when she’s in a situation where she feels out of her depth, she focuses on channelling her mother’s confidence. That’s who she looks to for guidance. “My mother walked into a room and lit it up,” says Meryl. “I’m not like my mother, so that’s why her legacy sustains me. I’m much more of an introvert.”
Growing up, Meryl got great advice from her mom who told her she could do absolutely anything she put her mind to. Today, when she needs to step into the spotlight, she says this to herself…”Mary [her mother] could do it.”
According to Meryl, the trick is to imagine yourself doing something you think you can’t. “It’s a very good thing,” she says.
On finding balance
It’s something we all struggle with, isn’t it? When you’re trying to balance work and home life, it can be tricky to make the time you spend with family really count.
Meryl says, “I don’t think about my work as time away [from family]. I think of it as integrated into my whole life.”
She went on to admit that her work is different to other people’s in that she’s portraying people, their concerns and their humanity, and you need to be able to draw on your own experiences for that. One thing she did state was that when her kids were little, she wouldn’t shoot a movie on location for more than two or three weeks. “That was the rule,” she said. “In my mind, three weeks was the point where a toddler would not even look up at you when you came back home. And that I didn’t like.”
On making a difference
Sometimes it feels as though the big decisions need to be left to people way up there on the power scale. No matter how hard we try, it’s difficult to imagine that our recycling habits and conscious lifestyle patterns have any impact on the world at large. But, according to Meryl, they do.
When asked about the one thing an ordinary woman could do to have an impact on the world, the actress had this to say… “Be a mindful shopper,” she responded. “Think about the impact your purchases make: Is what I buy good for the environment? Where is it made? How are the people who are making it treated?” According to the star, these small considerations can go a long way.
There’s so much we can learn from this decorated actress and these three tips are just the start. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any more Meryl-inspired moments of wisdom.
Compiled by Features Editor Stephanie van der Plank