Katie Couric always seems confident. Even before becoming a New York Times best-selling author and co-founding her organization Stand Up To Cancer, the award-winning journalist made a name for herself in with her charismatic on-screen presence — and her self-assured nature has captivated audiences everywhere. But talking to Arianna Huffington on the Thrive Global Podcast, in partnership with iHeartRadio and Sleep Number, Couric explains that her confidence is not always as natural as it looks.
“I think women do tend to put themselves down because they feel uncomfortable with power and accomplishment and even confidence,” Couric tells Huffington. “Women are taught not to brag and to stay away from anything that resembles a self-congratulatory remark.”
The negative self-talk Couric is referring to is what Huffington calls the “obnoxious roommate living in our heads,” often intruding our thoughts, telling us that we’re just not good enough. “That negative self-talk… is so destructive,” Huffington says, highlighting the importance of learning from those who lift you up instead of put you down. “I love it when our daughters are basically feeding back to us what we’ve taught them,” she adds.
In fact, Couric says her daughter Ellie is the one that often reminds her to quiet her inner negativity when the obnoxious roommate shows up. “It’s interesting when you learn from your daughters,” she notes. Huffington agrees: “You posted something that was self-deprecating about yourself. Then, immediately after you posted, a text [came] from one of your daughters calling you out on that.”
As a role model to so many women, Couric says it’s OK to sometimes question ourselves, as long as we can acknowledge the fact that so much of what we see is fed to us externally. “I think we are programmed to always kind of not take credit or put the attention on someone else,” she notes. “Before we can tackle those biases, we have to acknowledge them and understand them… Our brain is wired to make these associations.”
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