How Joan Rivers illustrates Owning Your Awesome

by | Sep 12, 2014 | Mindset, Self Discovey

“For every hundred people whom Joan Rivers offended and repelled,
there are a thousand others who will always adore and respect her.”
~ Camille Paglia

Joan Rivers
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Photo: By Underbelly Limited (originally posted to Flickr as l1010350) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Unless you’ve been on a TV vacation or hiding out in a cave, you probably know that Joan Rivers passed away last Thursday at the tender age of 81.

I can’t say I was a Joan Rivers fan — her shows just weren’t my style (not enough aliens, probably) — but I do have a healthy respect for her. She was a woman who owned who she was and never apologized for it. In fact, if an audience “booed” a joke, her response was often, “Oh! Grow up!”

Rivers was fearless, confident, and was just as likely to zing herself as anyone else. In other words, she understood what her strengths were and she Owned her Awesome.

How can Rivers’ life and legacy help you own your awesome?

1. Know yourself so well that no one can topple your opinion of yourself.
Joan Rivers was always Joan Rivers. She knew who she was and what she stood for and she never wavered. Yes, this can be easier said than done if we’ve bought into the enculturation of woman as being this, that or the other. Some women will fit the stereotypes because that’s who they are. But just because you have two X chromosomes does not mean you have to be a certain way. Be yourself. Love yourself. Stand up for yourself.

2. Don’t apologize for being you.
You are a gift just as you are. And not everyone is going to appreciate that gift. Give it anyway and let the dice fall as they may. Rivers never apologized for who she was. She accepted that not everyone would be her fan. She gave her best knowing that her tribe wouldn’t want her to be any other way.

3. Find your calling.
Rivers had an excellent work ethic. Of course, she probably didn’t think of it as work most of the time, in fact, at least once she called it a calling. When experts say you need passion for what you do to be successful, this is what they are talking about. Find your calling and then live it to the fullest that you can.

When you are about to make a decision in your business, asking yourself “What would Joan Rivers do if she were me?” wouldn’t likely steer you wrongly.

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Now its your turn.
We all have role models for owning our awesome, people whom we respect and look to as virtual mentors. Mine include Carl Sagan, Ray Bradbury and Xena: Warrior Princess. Who are your role models? What about them do you respect and wish to evoke in yourself? Is there a bit of Joan Rivers in you? Please share your comments and sage advice in a comment below.


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