5 Inspiring Life Lessons From Actress Charlize Theron You Should Know
Charlize Theron has been many things over the course of her incredible career — a powerful queen, a military leader, and even a frigging superhero. Although she lives in America at the moment, Charlize Theron is still very active in her home country, she started an anti-rape campaign and is a well-known animal rights activists. I believe that she is a beautiful and inspiring human being and that is why, I give you throughout this article five inspiring life lessons by Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron is one of Hollywood’s most down to earth actresses, she is funny, absolutely beautiful, not afraid to share what she thinks and is a feminist by heart.
With a start to life full of close encounters with alcoholic aggression, domestic violence and murder, Charlize Theron provides a shining example to all Africans today of the possibility to overcome hardship. Having gone on to forge a glittering Hollywood — and modeling -– career, in 2003 she became the first South African ever to win an Academy Award in a main acting category. She is a consummate business professional, and alongside her acting work now owns her own film production company, Denver & Delilah.
Charlize Theron has an impressive acting career, which all started when she moved to America with nothing more than 400 dollars, a suitcase, and a very big dream!
Her talent and prowess pushed her to seventh in the Hollywood Reporter’s 2006 list of the highest paid Hollywood actresses, and she went on to earn $10 million for each of her following two films, the kind of financial rewards for her work that most young African actresses could only dream of. In 2008, Charlize was asked to be an UN Messenger of Peace, a culmination of her dedicated work to give back to the community she grew from.
In honor of Charlize Theron’s fame, let’s take a look at some of the time she’s totally inspired us.
Even some of the most glamorous women in the world can teach us about empowerment. For 25 years she has refused to conform to anyone’s expectations of who she should be. And therein lies the secret to her singular success. Here are the five life lessons that you can learn from Charlize Theron.
Lesson #1: Chill Out Once In a While
When someone asked her during an interview what advice she would give her younger self, she answered that her biggest regret is that she did not chill every now and then. Which, we believe, is perfect advice for busy people. When you frame your priorities and cultivate mindfulness in daily life, you realign and relearn what truly matters so you can still excel at your goals without sacrificing your joy.
Rest. Recovery is part of the process of getting stronger.
Being a diligent student or a working professional, can make giving yourself regular idle time to switch off a real challenge. And if you feel guilty about it, perhaps you haven’t experienced the connection between reaching peak performance/balanced health and downtime. This means there’s an abundant opportunity to learn more about what makes you tick and what is essential for growth. Efficiency can also be measured in the way of your happiness, positive energy, level of creativity, or the discipline you show towards the responsibilities you have to tend to, etc.
One very helpful life skill is to be able to chill out.
If you find yourself sitting around too much and not having enough to do then it’s very easy to get stuck in negative thought loops and go into a downward spiral. Simply by filling life with more fun activities and people I have found that I have become a lot more relaxed and less prone to overreacting about the little things. So spend less time analyzing life and more time living and exploring it in whatever way you’d like. By doing that you are also often confronted with having to expand your comfort zone and perhaps face a fear. This leads to better self-confidence and less fretting about if you can handle things that may come up.
One of the best things you can do for your life and for your career, in general, is to be physically, emotionally, and mentally present.
In today’s world, we tend to reward multitasking and opportunities for distraction are never-ending. This can make maintaining a focused connection to the present challenging. The ability to focus on one thing at a time- a person, idea, or topic at hand is extremely rewarding and worth the effort. It can help improve your relationships and your work, while also allowing you to find deeper meaning in your interactions, and ultimately, your life. When you spend time in the moment and focus on where you are, your surroundings, and your senses, you should feel less tense. Focus on the present moment, don’t worry about the past nor the future.
People have forgotten how to relax. How to be lazy. How to enjoy life.
There’s too much emphasis these days on productivity, on hyper-efficiency, on squeezing the most production out of every last minute. People are working longer hours, constantly checking their inboxes, constantly focused on Getting More Done. But to what end? Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but an obsession with productivity is unhealthy. When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax. Let go of the need to be hyperefficient. Stop feeling guilty about enjoying yourself.
Lesson #2: Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
Your life is not an emergency. It’s a wonderful experience that only you get to live — and you only get one shot at it. So stop treating every day like you’re driving an ambulance, rushing from one stop to the next, trying to please everyone all the time and cater to all needs. Quit the people pleasing and just do what’s good for you. There is no one to save but yourself, but remember: your life is not an emergency.
There are so many small things that we allow to affect our lives.
Perhaps somebody you’ve never met insults you. Or maybe a friend does or says something that you don’t agree with. These are the small things that make us anxious. So many of us feel stressed out by them and, at worst, we allow them to control how we think and feel. Charlize Theron says that the small stuff doesn’t matter. When you’re working towards a huge goal, you should just brush that nonsense off. The key to a good life is this: If you’re not going to talk about something during the last hour of your life, then don’t make it a top priority during your lifetime.
Focus on the important stuff…the stuff that matters.
We put so much pressure on ourselves, over the smallest of things, things that aren’t important, yet in the moment feel like they are. That sense of responsibility and need to please, puts so much unnecessary pressure on us, and most of it just doesn’t matter. When we choose to live a more intentional life, we start thinking about the important things, and the rest just seems to slip away. When we don’t “sweat the small stuff” we can begin to appreciate the big stuff. The stuff that matters.
To me, life is all about setting priorities, realizing the difference between things you can and cannot control, and having fun.
Not sweating the small stuff is not an excuse for being lazy or sloppy or not taking responsibility. Rather, it is simply the realization that 99% of the things we worry about — those things that keep us up at night — are probably not going to kill us. It’s about priority, understanding who and what in your life really do matter. If you lean toward perfectionism, you may feel very frustrated as everything takes longer. Just keep moving and try for small successes. Let the rest go whenever you can.
Sometimes the search for perfection just leads to stagnation.
Conventional wisdom says that striving for perfection is the best way to succeed. I disagree. Perfection is a concept that bears no resemblance to reality. Because it is unattainable, those who seek it are doomed to disappointment. The quest for perfection forces your attention onto minor details that don’t really matter. You “sweat the small stuff” but “miss the big picture.” Perfectionists are forever judging people and finding them wanting. As a result, they make both themselves and those around them miserable. Because they’re seeking the impossible, perfectionists give up quickly. And on those rare occasions when they do accomplish something, they can’t enjoy it. Do NOT be that guy!
Lesson #3: Fight For What You Believe In
Whatever your field or your job, you are going to be turned down more than you’re going to be asked to be part of something. The ability to pick yourself up over and over again is part of the job. You can only truly do that if you really love something.
Charlize Theron is an unabashed feminist who’s always vocal about women’s rights in the workplace.
Yes, some people may try to label you or claim that you’re doing something wrong. But the fight for equality is certainly not over yet. And it needs dissenting voices to ensure the movement keeps going forward. Secondly, there’s no reason to feel ashamed about fighting for something that you believe in. If you know something’s right, make your voice heard. Don’t let others silence you just because the right thing shakes up the status quo. Use your voice to empower yourself and others so that you have the strength to take action.
Everyone may doubt you. The haters will voice their opinion.
Negativity will crawl into your mind and you will find yourself pulling off the path from time to time. But you must always maintain that you will continue no matter what it takes. Because when you step into that moment, it really isn’t about accomplishing whatever it is that you set out to do. It’s about what that moment gives you. That moment gives you an understanding of who you had to become in order to achieve that dream. But more importantly…That moment gives you the faith and willingness to step into other dreams.
I believe in fighting for what you want. In life people say that they want things but they never do anything to get it.
When a person wants something really bad they have to be willing to do whatever they have to. In this society today there are people who have big dreams and goals; they have something that they want to accomplish. And they will do that by working hard, practicing, and studying and so on, So that they can get to where they want to be. In this life time you have to be determined to get what you want or where you want to be because if you don’t you will go nowhere. If a person wants something they should be focused and at least trying to get it.
Whenever you get comfortable, know that someone is working twice as hard to take your spot.
For example, acting is constantly evolving and you must keep up if you want to stay successful. You need to show that you can adapt to whatever the world throws at you. You need to be obsessed with finding anyway that you can possibly get better. The word obsession often comes with negative connotations but the word is deeply ingrained into the psyche of every successful person. You don’t master a skill without obsession. You have to be locked in on your improvement. Even if you find success, you have to work even harder to stay successful because others will begin to try and imitate you.
Lesson #4: Embrace Naivety
In one of her famous interviews, Charlize Theron trumpets that being naive is often a professional advantage, in that it allows you to take important risks that you wouldn’t otherwise. “If I really knew what Hollywood was about, and how hard it was to become an actor, I would have never come out,” she adds.
Often cast as a negative personality trait, naivety suggests that someone’s too willing to trust others. Many use it as an insult to say that somebody isn’t worldly enough.
Not Charlize. She says that naivety can be an advantage on both the personal and professional levels. The lesson here is that knowing too much can stop you from taking risks in the first place. Charlize Theron had no idea how difficult it is to become an actress. That naïve viewpoint is what gave her the courage to try it in the first place. It meant that she didn’t have the fear that prevents so many people from achieving great things. Sometimes, trying to learn everything about something that you want to try is a bad thing. Embrace the unknown and learn as you go. You may just experience successes beyond your wildest dreams.
Can you see that, when it comes to creative business, naivety might not necessarily be a negative quality?
Traditionally, being naive is associated with assertions or behaviors that display a person’s inexperience in a particular field or subject. A lack of sophistication and strict adherence to ideals are also signs of a naive person. To be honest, I am not a big fan of the expression “Leap and the net will appear.” More often, it works out to “Leap and the floor will appear.” Naivety is about rejecting stupid definitions of maturity. It’s about brushing aside rules that no longer make any sense (if they ever did). You have to see a bigger picture, and choose to be brave enough to ignore conventional advice that doesn’t apply to you.
Sometimes ignorance is just the push you need to build something new. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut.
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence. Every opportunity you pursue will involve risk. And every risky situation is fraught with uncertainty. Obsessing over the possible negative outcomes from that uncertainty feeds your self-defeating drive. By creating a laundry list of your shortcomings and disadvantages, you may feel like you are doing due diligence. But you’re not. All you are are doing is making the enemy within strong. Disarm him by becoming ignorant to that pessimistic voice of unreason. Recognize those nagging doubts for what they are: invitations to give up before you’ve put forth your best effort.
What you don’t know just might help you. Being unaware of presently accepted, communal beliefs can put you a step ahead of the herd.
It’s like an artist building a masterpiece from a blank canvas. Sometimes it’s better to begin from a clean slate, to create your own way without polluting your mind with external inputs. Knowledge is important. But occasionally what we know (or what we think we know) hinders our ability to take action and make sound judgments. We become consumed with commonly accepted practices and thus fail to innovate. We follow the herd instead of thinking for ourselves. Being ignorant of popular opinion is a good mindset to be in. It allows you to form your own opinions based on firsthand experience. It gives you the freedom to think and to innovate. Oddly enough, the right kind of ignorance can give you the power to succeed.
Lesson #5: Keep In Shape
You need a good dose of self-discipline to go to the gym and to continue going, despite laziness and the inclination to procrastinate. It is the same in all areas of life. It is the same when you need to run a task, carry out a decision or achieve a dream. There are laziness, procrastination and many excuses why it is not the right time. Doing things requires effort, and often, we want to avoid this effort, even when we know that we would gain much by doing what we are trying to avoid.
Charlize Theron is famous for her tall and very toned body, but the South African actress has stepped things up a lot in recent years by becoming even fitter and stronger.
In the build up to filming Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron needed to be in the best shape of her life to play the spymaster Lorraine Broughton. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know about a particular fight scene that was physically exhausting just to watch. So, just how intense was the training that Charlize went through for Atomic Blonde? Believe it or not, she was exercising 4 hours a day for 2 and a half months! No matter which way you slice it, that is absolutely brutal.
Is there a goal you want to accomplish, but you just can’t seem to follow through?
Maybe you know exactly what you need to do, but just can’t seem to do it? Perhaps you’re frustrated because your lack of self-discipline is affecting your confidence, career trajectory, health, weight or relationships? If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my humble life, it’s the importance of discipline and self-control. I’ve also noticed that people don’t pay that much attention to these two things, which are crucial for success. Mastering discipline is the key factor for a better life, having high levels of self-esteem, and boosting one’s inner strength.
The three most important things in acting and in life to achieve success, is commitment, discipline and plain old hard work.
I do not believe either discipline or commitment can be learned. They are both an attitude and a choice which cannot be taught at schools or workshops. Without both these attitudes you are born to fail. It is not something you turn on and off like a tap whenever you work. This is a life commitment. Something you need to practice and perform every day. Yes you may be taught the importance of both commitment and discipline, but I say again it is an attitude. An attitude that everybody needs to self teach.
The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.
A healthy mind is determined by one thing, and that one thing is your thoughts. Your thoughts control everything–every emotion and every act. You are your thoughts. This can be a great thing, but it can also derail every chance you have of success. When someone truly believes in themselves and accepts the potential of great personal achievement, they can become unstoppable. Unfortunately, getting to that point can be very difficult. Actually, resiliency is an incredibly important attribute. I would put it in my Top 5 must-haves for becoming a great leader or professional. Condition yourself to have a thick skin, and to never stay down when you feel like you’ve been knocked to the floor. An optimistic outlook on life is one piece of the resiliency puzzle.
Like many disadvantaged women, Charlize Theron came from a background that left deep emotional scars. But she’s risen above it all to become one of the most successful actresses of her generation. Charlize Theron overcame tragedy and became an inspiration to millions of women. She’s empowered, intelligent, and one of the most driven people in Hollywood.
Simply put, Charlize Theron is the anti-barnacle.
She exudes self-belief, talks with a fearless candor, and shows no sign of limiting the breadth of the roles she chooses. Take Long Shot–her first ever rom-com, in which she appeared alongside Seth Rogen at 44. Or early on in her career, when critics were skeptical of her 2005 action movie Aeon Flux. She was seen, she recalls, as “not that actress.” A clutch of action hits later, with Fast & Furious 9 in the works, she is rightly dismissive of any supposed limitations. The defining trait of her success is her ability to look at a situation that appears intractable and find both energy and hope.
You can achieve amazing things in your life.
The small things aren’t the biggest challenges that you’ll face. Save your energy for the obstacles that need it. When you worry about the small stuff, you give power to other people. You show them that the things they say and do can affect you on a massive scale. Just forget about it and move on. Charlize Theron has a tragic story that shows us that anybody, no matter how difficult the circumstances, can rise and achieve.
Charlize Theron does not leave much room for having a couch potato day. Neither should you.
Embrace the fear and follow your dreams like Charlize Theron did when she arrived to America with no money and big dreams. If you need more inspiration from amazing women why not check out our women’s leadership stories? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.