The 5 Best Life Lessons From Ms. ‘Bossypants’ Tina Fey For DIY Success
Being a working woman is never easy, but if you happen to juggle motherhood, a demanding job, and the pressure to be “on” at all times, then at least you have the benefit of Tina Fey to guide you. Here are five life lessons you can pick up from ‘Ms. Bossypants’ Tina Fey to feeding your success.
There’s no denying that Tina Fey is a comedic force to be reckoned with.
Whether you know her from 30 Rock or her spot-on Saturday Night Live impersonations, it’s obvious: Tina Fey has it all. The actress, writer, and producer has the ability to make us laugh until our sides ache. But she also has the smarts to know her limits in order to keep everyone comfortable. Her easy going nature, compassion, and experience has not only entertained us for years, but taught us some solid life lessons to live by.
Most people know Tina Fey as a comedian, actress, writer and producer.
Best known for her roles on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” she has made us laugh till we cry. But she’s also a role model for business leaders. This once self-proclaimed “super-nerd” turned sexy Weekend Update anchor has many practical lessons to impart for managers, supervisors and leaders. These words of wisdom come from having an unrivaled sense of humor about everyday life and being the first female head writer in SNL’s history!
Because of the way she handles situations and her “be a boss” attitude, Tina Fey is an inspiring example of “girl power.”
Tina Fey has been entertaining us for decades while making a name for herself as a world-famous comedic icon. But she doesn’t get caught up in Hollywood competition and she doesn’t really care about calling people out. Among the narcissistic, plastic women that dominate the pop culture scene, there is still hope found in the hilariously brilliant Tina Fey.
Let’s find out the five reasons why I believe that Tina Fey should be a role model to young women everywhere.
From dancing on foam fingers to mug shots, most of the women we see on television are examples of how NOT to act. However, comedian Tina Fey is a relief to those of us who have been yearning for proof that talented, funny, intelligent women do exist. Though there are many more than ten admirable attributes of Tina Fey, these are some of the reasons she is the ultimate role model.
Ms. Bossypants Lessons #1: Everything Will Be Fine
While Tina Fey is happy and successful, it doesn’t mean her life has been easy. She’s overcome a number of struggles, some more humorous than others. She’s had to make difficult decisions about her personal life and career. She even admits that she was unsure about having a second child. But there is one thing of which she is certain: Everything will be fine in the end. People are adaptable and resilient to miraculous degrees.
Sometimes the best business ideas require belief in order to succeed.
A positive mindset can turn mistakes into success — if you have faith and the willingness to think differently. In business, we often make missteps. Sometimes those missteps are what turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. A factory mistake led to the invention of the Post-It note. There are dozens of other examples of smart innovators who found ways to pivot their direction, react to things that seemed like mistakes and succeed regardless. Doing so requires a mindset of endless optimism. There are no dead ends, only new challenges.
When you combine hard work with a positive attitude, there’s no telling what can be accomplished.
But very little gets done when you combine hard work and a negative attitude. As a child, Tina Fey never lacked confidence, which was an enormous asset for an aspiring comedian. Maybe it was her “fake it ’til you make it” attitude that made her so successful. To achieve the actual 10% self-confidence, surround yourself with positive people, and avoid Debbie Downers and Negative Neds — they suck the life out of you! And, if you have negative voices in your head, tell them to shut up!
It’s not always easy to bounce back from a failure, setback, or outright tragedy. But it is always possible to move forward.
In fact, moving forward is sometimes all you can do. So, keep your head held high, and keep moving forward, even if it means being a bit of a ‘Bossypants’ sometimes. And, hopefully, you’ll be able to look back on those failures and laugh one day, just like Tina Fey. When you think about it, mistakes are actually opportunities for growth! They also hold you accountable for your actions, which can mold you into a better version of yourself! Feeling ashamed or angry about a mistake is just wasted time and energy. Instead, embrace it, learn from it and move on.
Don’t get stuck focusing on the things that went wrong.
Thinking about the same thing over and over again won’t do you any good. While reflection on past failures is necessary, planning your next move and moving on is even more important. Running away from failures or trying to avoid them will never teach you anything. Go beyond your comfort zone, explore new avenues, don’t think about the rejection that you may face and come to terms with the fact that you too can fail. As you move ahead in life, you will come to realize that failure is simply a part of life — the sooner you start treating failures as learning opportunities, the sooner you’ll reach your full potential.
Ms. Bossypants Lessons #2: You Can’t Please Everyone
If there is one thing a woman in the entertainment industry knows, it’s that you can’t please everyone. In fact, attempting to do so will feel impossible immediately. Women are held to astronomical and often contradictory standards of how to look and behave. Fey not only witnessed women getting repeatedly overlooked or outright ignored in the comedy industry, but she also suffered at the hands of misogyny herself, particularly during her tenure at Saturday Night Live when she portrayed Sarah Palin.
You absolutely shouldn’t try to please everyone all the time. It’s just not worth it.
Not only will you begin to live your life according to someone else’s standards, but you’ll deplete yourself of any sense of happiness or enthusiasm. Do what makes you happy and what pleases you. As long as you’re doing the right things with a good heart, that’s all that really matters. What’s important is that you do you. Don’t concern yourself with what others think you should do. Don’t allow that to impact the trajectory of your hopes and your dreams. Don’t allow that to diminish your spirit or change your direction of travel when it’s something that you’re deeply passionate about or have always wanted to do in your life.
Don’t allow peer pressure to hold you back. Set your goals sky high.
You can achieve anything you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter what other people say or think about you. As long as you’re doing what makes you happy, that’s what’s important. As long as, deep down inside, you’re sated, and you’re doing things for the right reasons with the right motivations, you should never feel sorry for it. People are usually frightened by what they don’t understand. Since your journey is unique, you can’t expect everyone to understand it. And you also can’t expect that every action you take or decision you make to please everyone. It simply won’t happen. But don’t let it dissuade you from confidently marching towards your goals.
If it doesn’t make you happy, then it isn’t worth doing.
Pleasing other people, at the very least, should please you simultaneously. If you find that pleasing other people is making you miserable, you clearly shouldn’t be trying to please them. Life is too short to allow yourself to be miserable, especially when there are much better options. You don’t need to die for your beliefs but you can understand that you will always have haters. No matter what you do, there will always be at least one person hating on you. The more successful you become, the more haters will try to ruin your day. Stop caring about them. It’s actually really easy once you rationalize it all.
When you come from a place of authenticity without an agenda, you are bound to be criticized.
This is due to people’s reservations of you. You can be receptive to others’ viewpoints and engage them without being impolite. Form your own judgments so you become accountable for your own decisions. You cannot blame others when life does not work out as planned. Being responsible for your own life is a tenet worth following. When you please others, you disconnect from your authentic power. You deny your magnificence, talents and skills because you believe pleasing others will give you want you need. People’s judgments of you are based on outward observations. It is easy to judge others while deflecting the real task of dealing with your own inner demons. Don’t fall victim to this.
Ms. Bossypants Lessons #3: Embrace Yourself, Flaws and All
In Bossypants, Fey talks with razor-sharp humor of learning to love herself (and her flaws!) over the course of her adulthood. She touches on everything from a facial scar–inflicted at age five by an unknown assailant — to an unfortunate childhood haircut. In a world where judgment runs rampant (and ideals like a “Jamaican dance hall ass,” as Fey put it, are the desired norm), the actress’s self-embracing, self-loving attitude is a breathe of fresh air.
Bring some personal appreciation into your life and devise your own list of attributes you’re thankful for.
Nobody’s quicker to make fun of her own mistakes than Tina Fey herself. It’s part of her candid, satirical brand of humor that makes her so good at what she does. Hilarity aside, both Fey’s writing and acting show a true acceptance of self. Take two of Fey’s most iconic roles: Liz Lemon, the perpetually single, feminist, ultra-geek protagonist of 30 Rock and the awkward, yet heroic, math teacher from Mean Girls — both characters are undoubtedly imperfect, but they’re imperfect in a way that makes them relatable and ultimately the heroines of their own stories. Tina Fey’s work has shown us time and time again that not only is it OK to have flaws — but it’s also actually pretty funny.
You don’t have to hide your flaws, feel embarrassed about them, or worse, let them depress you.
While some bash Fey for constantly downplaying her own success and criticizing her own appearance, this brand of humor reveals the crazy standards that women are held to on a regular basis. In fact, it’s because Tina Fey doesn’t fit the mold of the “perfect woman” that she’s successful as a great role model. If there’s anything we can learn from the author of Bossypants, it’s that the best way to live is to be unapologetically yourself. Embracing your flaws will help you look beyond what you lack and make you shift focus towards what you have, what you can create, and what is possible.
Instead of thinking about your flaws and feeling inadequate, connect with your inner world, turn around your thoughts and pay attention to yourself, your unique abilities, things you are great at.
Shift the focus from what you lack and have no control over to the things you can enhance, better about yourself, and make them work to your advantage. Feel proud of who you are, be every bit of yourself and be comfortable in your skin. It will enable you to feel confident and have a healthier and more positive outlook in life. Like Ariana Grande once said: “Be happy with being you. Love your flaws. Own your quirks. And know that you are just as perfect as anyone else, exactly as you are.”
Once you come face to face with your beautifully flawed real self, and not a distorted mirror image, you know exactly what it is you need to work upon.
Previously, you struggled in the opposite direction, constantly comparing yourself to others and trying to beat them in the race of life, not getting much satisfaction out of it anyway. Now, with your true authentic self-insight, new regions of growth spring up, calling you to undertake spiritual journeys, meditate, and explore the secret sides of your personality. All in all, by accepting your flaws, you have a chance of real growth that produces true happiness.
Ms. Bossypants Lessons #4: You Can Wear the Pants And Enjoy Life, Too
Tina Fey knows a thing or two about comedy. After all, it’s been her bread and butter for most of her adult life. It was Tina Fey’s ability to see the humor in even the craziest of situations that helped her get where she is today. Humor is a powerful coping mechanism for when you fall upon hard times, and Fey knows this personally. Her disastrous honeymoon cruise may not have been funny at the time, but the retelling of the incident in her book ‘Bossypants’ is full of good-natured humor, sometimes at her own expense.
Life is hard and full of problems.
Being able to keep a stiff upper lip, and even crack the occasional joke, can keep you afloat during those darker days, like when your cruise ship catches on fire. So, don’t be afraid to chuckle at life’s absurdities and difficulties. Doing so is actually good for your health. Tina Fey does work hard, as should you, but although you should always strive to move forward in life and business you should also know when it is time to relax and take the edge off. Sometimes all any of us want and truly need is to just lay in bed watching a TV boxset marathon, even Tina Fey.
Work is a lot easier when you enjoy it. We all know what. But did you know that you can also learn to enjoy your current job?
Passion is an important trait to possess. Tina Fey is renowned for constantly re-writing the scripts for “30 Rock” to try and get them as appealing as possible while they were fighting cancellation. If you have big dreams and big passions, make sure you fight for them and never give up even if it seems things are against you. That said, besides her amazing career achievements, Tina Fey is also a mom. Another talking point for the media, Fey refuses to listen to criticism of her parenting; she wanted a career and a family, so she did both. In a world where every new celebrity update dominates the news, it’s refreshing that Fey purposely keeps her personal life out of the limelight. She knows what she wants for her career, but she also knows what she wants for her family—which is definitely something we can respect.
Working hard is alright, especially when you work hard for a goal, a dream, or a purpose.
It’s alright to work hard, but please, don’t forget to take a break too. Don’t feel guilty taking a break from your social life from time to time. You have every right to do so. And you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Working hard is a noble thing, a beautiful thing. But your body, mind, and soul need a break too. Even the sun takes a break at night and shines more brightly the next morning. You too would be able to function better once you have rested and recharged. You too would be able to shine brighter and be able to share your light better with everyone. So here’s a message from one workaholic to another: Don’t forget to take a break.
Working too much means less time with those you love. But it also means less quality time with them too.
It’s pretty difficult to be present and give others your full attention when exhausted and overwhelmed. A balanced lifestyle means more time with family and friends that’s high-quality. Imagine what that will do for your relationships. Additionally, think about how that will affect your outlook (both generally and within your career). There’s a ripple effect that will help you be more positive about your life, your career and even your work relationships. Having a balanced lifestyle means developing deep connections with other people (and not just family, but colleagues and friends too). You’ll derive more purpose from these connections. And you’ll also feel more connected to your work (in a meaningful way).
Ms. Bossypants Lessons #5: Making Connections Matters
Hard work and talent can only get you so far. Both inside and outside of the entertainment industry, if you want to move up in the world, it’s all about who you know. Tina Fey attributes much of her success to the connections she made with people throughout her career. One key figure was Saturday Night Live creator and producer Lorne Michaels, who would ultimately encourage her to create her own show, 30 Rock. The other, Amy Poehler, a fellow comedian, SNL alum, and long-time friend.
In life communicating with others in any context is extremely important.
You should always make sure that you present great communication, not only through speech but also through body language and your behaviour. Always stay true to your words, keep your promises, and try to set a good example for all. Good communication means you will be better understood, and people will respect you for it. How we communicate and treat our fellow men and women can be a great reflection of who we are as a person. Try to help out friends, family, co-workers and even strangers as often as possible. Chances are that somewhere down the line they’ll return the favor when you are in need.
We all know that we grow through our associations and connections more than being by ourselves.
It is a well-known fact that we are the sum total of the 5 people we spend most of our time with. Experts agree that the most connected people are often the most successful. When you invest in your relationships — professional and personal — it can pay you back in dividends throughout the course of your career. Networking is essential since it will help you develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, keep a pulse on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development.
Making connections with people isn’t just good for your career.
Humans are social creatures, and we’re at our best when we’re in the company of others. It’s another important quality of being a Bossypants; making connections requires initiative, being comfortable taking charge, and the ability to work with others. The more people you know–and that includes people who don’t necessarily look or think like you — the more collective wisdom and experience you have at your fingertips. The benefits of meaningful, mutually beneficial, genuine relationships are limitless — you can learn new skills quickly, you’ll put yourself in a place when you could get a backdoor reference, and your connections will help you in unexpected, life-changing ways.
The more connected you are with other people, the more enriched your life becomes.
When you have healthy relationships with others, this improves your feeling of self-worth. When people accept you, consider you a friend, or show that they genuinely love you, this reinforces your belief that you’re a valuable person. In the same way, when you feel like you belong, you are able to thrive and blossom more. And when you spend time with those who make you feel like you belong, this makes you feel better about your life. Having genuine social connections also gives you a feeling of security, especially when you belong to a very supportive and loving social network.
Though her signature character may blurt out phrases like “aw nerds” and “blerg,” Tina Fey’s life in show business has given her some unique and powerful insights about how to become successful and acclaimed. Her wicked sense of humor, intelligence, loyalty to friends, and IDGAF attitude makes her a great role model to many young women.
Tina is a shining example of how talent, hard work and supporting your friends can make your dreams come true.
Tina Fey didn’t become the first female head writer at Saturday Night Live by following the pack. She vehemently rejects the notion that “women aren’t funny” and tells girls to follow their dreams, glass ceiling be damned. It’s an unfair reality that gaining power is more difficult to come by as women, but maybe for that reason it’s also that much more important to learn how to use it.
Tina Fey may have a certain reputation for being slightly bossy and overbearing, but she can certainly teach us a thing or two about being ambitious, successful and an overall better person.
As a whole, Tina Fey has transformed from a stand-up comic into an Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild award winner as well as one of the most dynamic and influential women in the business. If there’s one lesson to be learned from Tina, it’s this: grab hold of the reins to your life and don’t let go. Through her personal essays featured in her book ‘Bossypants’ — ranging from awkward adolescent encounters to the mega success of Mean Girls and 30 Rock — she comes to an important conclusion: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.
Embrace your inner Tina Fey. Fall down. Laugh at yourself. Be human.
Tina Fey is relatable. She doesn’t sit on a pedestal above everyone. Instead she shares her mistakes, her flaws and her vulnerability with others. What do you think is the most valuable lesson to take from Tina’s life and career? I want to hear from you! What off-beat career advice has helped you most? Leave a comment below!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.