Russell Brand: ‘If you want to feel confident, stop judging yourself, work on yourself’

I’ve been on a self improvement kick this summer and have been watching videos on self confidence, overcoming fear and stuff like that. It sounds cheesy but they really help. I recently saw Russell Brand in my suggested YouTube feed. He’s doing self help and advice videos now, which seemed weird to me until I watched a couple and found myself nodding along and relating. He’s not saying anything groundbreaking but I was surprised how relatable he came across, and how useful his advice was. Who knew that Russell Brand would be a wellspring of good advice? (I remember finding one of his old standups helpful when he shared the hate mail he gets. I stopped caring about people yelling at me on the internet as much and just came to see it as part of my job.) Here are some quotes from the first video I watched of Russell, which is above, and there are so many more on his YouTube channel.

He’s confident performing but not in social situations
People always think that I’m confident because I’m a professional showoff but I’m actually quite shy in what you might call normal social situations. I have been performing… more than half my life showing off. I’ve developed a professional persona.

Confidence is the sense that you have enough are enough on your own and don’t require things you won’t be able to get externally. You don’t feel like you’re constantly at a loss.

On how lack of confidence is from comparison
I see why people would suffer from a lack of confidence because I think we live in this highly comparative and combustible culture. Say I look at David Beckham… if you’re constantly comparing yourself to these difficult to achieve external emblems… I’ve been told that real confidence is when someone embraces and accepts who they are.

On achieving confidence despite perceived lack
I know people who seem confident who have [what] I consider my own faults and flaws. Say you’re worried about your weight. There are people who are bigger than what is advertised as the standard size that seem to be really confident… Lack of confidence must be comparative.

He hates socializing around a dinner table
I experience lack of confidence [in] that old nightmare of having to socialize with a group of 12 people around a dinner table. I don’t know how that has even caught on as an idea. I can’t stand it. I hold myself to too high a standard [to be entertaining]. You can’t be in control of any situation.

His formula to achieving self confidence
The answers to a lack of self confidence, 1. Stop comparing yourself to other people. 2. Find what it is you enjoy doing, devote and dedicate yourself to it. 3. Look at what it is you feel is not good enough about you. Is there anything that can be done to improve it? What results do you expect to achieve by improving it?

If you want to feel confident, stop judging yourself, work on yourself.

[From YouTube]

I can so relate to having trouble sitting around a dinner table trying to make small talk with strangers. The fact that even Russell Brand has trouble with this is reassuring to me, although it must be worse with the industry types he socializes with. I’ve been trying to put myself in more situations like that and it actually gets easier and is never as bad as you imagine. Also I agree about finding what you love to do and doing that. It sounds so simple but as women we often don’t make time for ourselves. I love dancing and have been going to concerts this summer and am having a blast. I’ve also been taking dancing lessons and am surprised at how much I enjoy it. What he said about body image is so true too. Just watch an Ashley Graham interview and you’ll see why she’s such a successful model.

Again he’s not saying anything new but neither are any of the other people I’m watching on YouTube. It helps just to hear it and there’s something meaningful about a wildly successful celebrity saying they suffer from the same issues as the rest of us.

I also really liked his video on living with fear and anxiety, and he has interviews with other celebrities too! He has spoken to Jameela Jamil, Karamo Brown, and Brene Brown, among many others. So now I’m a Russell Brand fan and I’ll have to check his channel for updates. I know he used to be a cad! I’m coming around on him definitely, but I still wish he would get a haircut and tighten up his beard. That’s his style though.

I just found a bunch of photos on one of our agency sites, WENN, of Russell on The Great British Baking Show. I need to watch this episode now I love that show.


photos credit: WENN

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

29 Responses to “Russell Brand: ‘If you want to feel confident, stop judging yourself, work on yourself’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Wilady says:

    I really enjoy his videos, and he has the perspective of knowing what it’s like to be someone who made a lot of bad choices and mistakes and also had the drive to correct them and improve. That lends one to develop a unique sense of empathy, and I like that.

  2. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I like what he has to say but lordy, he’s looking rough. But if he’s truly doing better and feeling confident about himself, then so be it. I’m happy for him.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I feel like he’s so ok with everything that he likes cultivating that hippie vibe. That’s why I didn’t say too much about it. He doesn’t want to get a haircut or dye his hair and that’s his prerogative.

    • Pineapple says:

      It’s odd to see isn’t it MeghanNotMarkle. But he is kind of living his idea. He is presenting himself without doing what “society” demands. Covering up greying hair … because gosh forbid we age!!! I don’t dye my hair sometimes. I want my kids to see a vibrant, loving, laughing, human adult, not afraid of aging. XO I know it is odd to see but I wish more people in the entertainment industry did this. Imagine how “normal” it would seem then.

    • Amy says:

      OMG, I think he looks hot! eye of the beholder, I guess!

  3. delphi says:

    Love love LOVE Russell. He’s really been at the forefront of destigmatizing anxiety, and as someone who has been dealing with it since I was 16, it means a lot to see a celeb being so open about their own struggles with it.

    Also…is that Noel Fielding in the GBBS episode, too (in the massively graphic print shirt)? Be still my absurdist comedy heart.

    “You ever drink Bailey’s from a shoe?”

    • LondonLozza says:

      Delphi – once GBBO moved to Channel 4 they replaced Mel and Sue as hosts with Noel and Sandi Toksvig. There was much ado about the change and how awful it would be. It wasn’t. They’re brilliant.

      Also, the stills are from the Stand Up To Cancer version of the show where the get celebrities on to bake – some are truly awful, some have clearly been doing their homework! There’s about 4 episodes per series and 2 or 3 series made. You can find them on 4OD. The new series should be in February/March time next year.

  4. Some chick says:

    I think Russell is a good egg. Beardy, but charming. Imperfect, humble, but knows a thing or two. Also, he went out and supported Occupy. I’d go out to dinner with him. I’m sure we’d find things to talk about.

  5. Sunnyjyl says:

    I didn’t know he had a show, either. I quite like how his mind works. He seems extremely intelligent, and I find him interesting. Thanks for spotlighting him, here, Celebitchy. 🙂

  6. Lady Baden-Baden says:

    Do hunt down that GBBO episode he did (it was for Stand Up to Cancer) – very funny.

    Also his podcast Under the Skin is good. Recommend the episode with Karamo Brown

  7. DS9 says:

    Isn’t this the same man who says he doesn’t parent or provide care for his children but instead, leaves it all to his wife/ their mother?


    • Celebitchy says:

      See: Sharon Stone post today

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      You do realize he was joking, right??

      • DS9 says:

        If he was joking, I’ve seen no clarification and it certainly didn’t sound like a joke.

        And it’s a sexist comment, joking or no and runs contrary to this wholesome, work on yourself, be kind to others deal he’s working on.

        It’s not some thing he said badly years ago.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @DS9 Russell doesn’t “clarify” jokes he’s made. If you’ve listened to his work then you know his sense of humor. Simple as that
        As gor his sexist comment being contrary to what he talks about. Nonsense.
        Why? Because Russell speaks AT LENGTH to the struggles he faces qith his own upbringing and the ideas of what being a man means vs striving to be more than that. He talks AG LENGTH about the struggle against his own selfishness and being consciously selfless. He has never hidden his own shortcomings and has always been very honest about them. As Lady Baden-Baden says below: listen to his stuff.
        It will give you a bit of context.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      Really – listen to his stuff. I’m thinking of his podcast in particular where he addresses this directly. I’m no Brand apologist but he’s a decent guy. (There seem to be too few in the public eye – so it’s worth noting)

      • MsK says:

        Listen to his podcast with Brene Brown. He talks in depth about his struggles to discipline/understand one of his daughters who is headstrong and demanding. His stories are so specific (and relatable to anyone who has raised a toddler) that you can tell he’s a hands-on dad. Brene’s husband is a pediatrician, as it turns out, so Russell is genuinely asking for advice. The last twenty minutes of that interview are a master class on how not to lose your sh** with your children.

  8. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I love Russell. Always have. But what I have loved about him most is that he took a conscious step back from fame. He moved back to the UK, he stopped pursuing the “Hollywood career”. He stated that once he had gotten it it made him realize how empty and meaningless it was. He has been doing YouTube videos for years on various subjects and how they relate to our emotional and spiritual well being. And then he turned that into a podcast. He’s someone who has made a point of trying to do the work to better himself and help others.

    • Lensblury says:

      I like him a lot, too, and agree completely. He’s self-aware and genuine. Another guy who really surprised me in a positive way like that (and I mean – REALLY surprised me) was Andrew W. K. with his advice column in The Village Voice. He’s focused on sharing kindness and intimate insight and making life more meaningful not only for himself, but others, too. It’s great to see guys not only caring about themselves.

  9. Harla says:

    Thanks for sharing your find Celebitchy!

  10. Audrey says:

    He is SO HOT to me. Smart AND bearded! 🙂

  11. Jb says:

    I tend to be more outgoing in social interactions but professionally I tend to shrink within myself so worried about what my coworkers boss think. My husband constantly reminds me to imagine I’m in a social event and to be myself but I get caught up in my head. Anyways yes confidence is a tricky thing and it’s one of the things I wish I had more of in all aspects of my life…

  12. jennifer says:

    The New Age hippie goopsters have done a huge service to self-help and self-improvement. I mean, shouldn’t we all be striving towards being better people? The path to freedom isn’t all fake love and light, you have to look at your dark side and acknowledge it.

  13. LondonLozza says:

    He made a cake that looked like lady parts on “Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off” (which those screen grabs are from) – peak Russell Brand but also hilarious!

    There was a point in the UK where he was everywhere and he was exhausting, self righteous and just a d*ck. Since he’s sobered up and sorted himself out, he’s generally more likeable, and he’s given some cracking interviews about suicide prevention and depression on a Sports Radio show, things that men generally steer clear of. Kudos for that.

  14. Pineapple says:

    Celebitchy, thanks so much for sharing this. It was so thoughtful and lovely. Wow, if you keep watching videos like this you will become the most perfect, chill, serene human adult. XO Thanks again. I will follow his videos now. I am working on myself also and it is so, so nice to hear about what others have found out. He seems wise like Yoda. (And I have an odd fondness for Yoda.)

    • ravynrobyn says:

      I also am thrilled that you posted this, CB!!! Been working on myself for a couple of years now, and one of the coolest things I’ve discovered is that inspiration and wisdom can come from the most unexpected places. As @ Jenba says below, life is one hell of a journey! I’m so damn grateful I’ve survived and made it through to the other side; the side with self-love, clarity, true empathy and incredible, amazing gratitude.

      Love to all 💕💕💕

  15. Faithmobile says:

    I have been a fan of his for a while, but as a guilty pleasure because I assumed his personal life was problematic. I do believe that comparison is the thief of happiness.

  16. Jenba says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Russell Brand, his humor may not be to everyone’s liking but IMO there’s no denying his intelligence or his good heart. He has always been forthcoming with his own flaws and mistakes, as well as his yearning to overcome them and better himself. And really, isn’t that all you can ask of someone? All humans have issues. As long as one has self awareness and true intentions to learn and grow into becoming the best version of themselves, they’re quite alright in my book. Life is a hell of a journey.