Answer Your Fear (with Esther Perel)

Episode 34

About the Episode

Today on Professional Troublemaker, we’re sharing a conversation from Luvvie’s book tour in March of 2021. All the people Luvvie chose for this tour are those she considers professional troublemakers in their field. They exude excellence in everything they do, and this episode is a perfect example of that.

Luvvie is talking to psychotherapist Esther Perel. Esther is one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. She’s a bestselling author, TED speaker and host of the hit podcasts Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work? She also has an amazing game that is also called Where Should We Begin? Esther is fluent in nine languages, and she coaches pairs around the world of all types on relationship dynamics.


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In this conversation, Esther and Luvvie talk about how fear shows up and how it speaks to us, how troublemakers answer fear, success and how it can inspire and potentially intimidate us, and how community makes us stronger.

Confidence is our ability to see ourselves as flawed and yet

still hold ourselves in high regard.

—Esther Perel

About the Guest

Esther Perel

Esther Perel

Psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her celebrated TED Talks have garnered more than 30 million views and her bestselling books Mating in Captivity and The State of Affairs have become global phenomena, translated into nearly 30 languages. Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular podcasts Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work? Learn more at or by following @EstherPerelOfficial on Instagram.


Creating a life that is authentic, bold and purposeful takes audacity. It takes disruption. That is what it means to be a Professional Troublemaker. Professional Troublemaker is a book, a podcast and a life habit.

I’m your host, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, bestseller of books, aficionado of authenticity, and sorceress of side-eyes here to bring you conversations with world movers and change agents who have gotten where they are through their tenacity, truth-telling, and commitment to making good trouble. From time to time, I will even do deep dives on topics that are on my spirit.
My hope is that this show compels you to do BIG THINGS in a world where we have so much to fear. Let us loan you courage. Listen in!

Before we jump into today’s episode, know that this podcast is named after my second book and 2nd New York Times bestseller Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual. Which btw, is now out in paperback! Not only does the paperback version have a sleek new cover and travels well, it has an exclusive BONUS CHAPTER called “The Guide to Truth-Telling”. This chapter takes you step-by-step through the most common fears of speaking your truth AND how to overcome it with boldness. How do you speak up in the meeting when the tough idea comes up? How do you confront a loved one who hurt you? What are the things to consider when silence is the easiest, not the best answer? I talk about ALL of that in the Truth-telling guide.

How would our lives would be different if we were given permission to be disruptors for the greater good? How high can we soar if we knew FEAR is natural and we’re actually supposed to do the things that scare us? How audacious would we be if impostor syndrome wasn’t holding on to our ankles? I wrote this book to loan people courage. In PROFESSIONAL TROUBLEMAKER, I talk about how my life has transformed because I’ve ran towards what felt bigger than me, doing the things that feel scary as shit.

Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual is game-changing, and I know it. So, if you value this show, if you value the guests and their stories, the lessons and the wisdom.If you’ve ever listened to something I said and wrote it down, YOU WILL LOVE Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual. Courage is a habit. You can choose courage each and every day, and this book is the verbal hype team to let you know YOU GOT THIS.

So, get a copy of Professional Troublemaker wherever books are sold, or go to You can get the hardcover, paperback with the new exclusive chapter or audiobook (which I narrated, AND has the new chapter included). That’s I’m so excited for you to read it.

Today’s episode is a conversation we’re sharing from my book tour for Professional Troublemaker. For this tour, my tour partners are all people I consider professional troublemakers in their fields and they exude excellence in everything they do, and this conversation is a perfect example of that.

My partner for this conversation is psychotherapist Esther Perel. She is one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. She’s a bestselling author, TED speaker and host of the hit podcasts Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work? She also has an amazing game that is also called Where Should We Begin? Esther is fluent in nine languages, and she coaches pairs around the world  of all types on relationship dynamics.

In this conversation, Esther and I talk about how fear shows up and how it speaks to us, how troublemakers answer fear, success and how it can inspire and potentially intimidate us, and how community makes us stronger.

She had some amazing questions, and we ended up in some paradigm shifting conversations around courage, confidence and fear. 

Grab something to take notes when you listen to this, and write down the thoughts that come to you as you listen. Answer Esther’s questions for yourself. And don’t just write down quotes you hear us say, write down the thoughts that come to your mind as you listen. You’ll get so much insight and wisdom. I can’t wait for you to listen to this. Let’s get into it.


ESTHER:                        So I was actually thinking as you were being introduced, when did you write I’m Judging You?

LUVVIE:                        I wrote I’m Judging You in 2015, it came out 2016.

ESTHER:                        All right. So this is so interesting. Tell me what happens that… and how do you get to Professional Troublemaker? Everybody often says it’s easy to write a first book and the question is, do we have a second one in us? And what leads to that second one? And is it a continuation or is it a complete departure? Frame it for me.

LUVVIE:                        Yes, I think Professional Troublemaker is the big sister to, I’m Judging You not a sequel. It is the evolution, it is the growth that I have as a writer, as a thinker, as a person in this world. And I’m Judging You, I’m saying that we can be terrible at being human beings, so we have to do things to be better. And Professional Troublemaker, I’m saying for us to be better, we’re going to have to do some things that scare us, we’re going to have to be disruptors for the greater good. So is a evolution.

ESTHER:                        Beautiful. And in order to do the things that are going to scare me, what do I attend to first? My goal and then I notice what stands in the way, what’s the obstacle or do I first become aware of my fear and once I can remove them, then I go toward my goal? I am fascinated by your analysis of fear. So I am going to talk a lot about that. But I was wondering, did she know even writing the second book, did you know first, this is what I’m going to do and then you have to move all the stuff that’s in the way?

LUVVIE:                        That’s actually… I’ve never been asked that question before. [crosstalk] which came first, man, that’s good. Oh, somebody said my video is a little bit pixelated. Is my video pixelated?

ESTHER:                        Yes you are. Tiny bit pixelated.

LUVVIE:                        That’s interesting. Let’s see. Okay, is it better now?

ESTHER:                        Take your time and just check how your WiFi is, what’s been too [crosstalk]

LUVVIE:                        Let me take my phone’s off WIFI, because I’m actually not even using WiFi right now

ESTHER:                        And in the meantime, for all of you who are listening while we fix this beautiful presentation of Luvvie here, just think for a moment about fears and goals and things that stand in the way for all of you. When you want to go somewhere, because we’re going to talk about fighting fears and diminishing them and overcoming them and diffusing them. What are some of the fears that you experienced when you want to do things, when you want to become a troublemaker, actually?

LUVVIE:                        Oh, that’s good. How do I look Now Esther?

ESTHER:                        Same.

LUVVIE:                        Still blurry?

ESTHER:                        Yeah, you are.

LUVVIE:                        I wonder if I should… [crosstalk] I should refresh Right?

ESTHER:                        Go ahead. We will wait for you.

LUVVIE:                        I’m going to refresh real quick.

ESTHER:                        I’m [inaudible] some stuff to think about.

LUVVIE:                        Yes.

ESTHER:                        We waiting for you. They are saying that you look fabulous, but you know, we can get it better, so why not? Yes good, you good.

LUVVIE:                        Score.

ESTHER:                        You are good to go, perfect.

LUVVIE:                        Let’s do it. Okay, so your question to me was, which came first, me removing the fear or the goal?

ESTHER:                        Yes.

LUVVIE:                        For me to even have the goal, I had to remove the fear. So for me to even think about what I wanted to accomplish, I had to stop being scared, or I had to say, well, I am scared but I’m going to do it anyway. For my second book, I was actually afraid of what I was going to write for Book Two, because I said, how do I follow up book one?

ESTHER:                        That’s right. Better.

LUVVIE:                        Better, the fear of being better.

ESTHER:                        And when fear speaks to you. How does it speak? What does it say?

LUVVIE:                        How does my fear speak to me? See, this is why I asked Esther Pearl to be my conversation partner. She’s asking me questions that I don’t think anybody has even asked me. How does my fear speak to me? I think my fear sometimes will say, no, you’re not ready. That’s how my fear shows up. It’s not that it’ll say no, you can’t do it, it will tell me that I’m not ready to do that thing. And how that shows up is that I will procrastinate. So my late therapist, Dr. Patterson-

ESTHER:                        Yes. But you can speak to her because you posted about it and it was very moving.

LUVVIE:                        Yes. So… and I remember your comment that you left that day. So, my therapist Dr. Patterson, who was through my book, all up through my book, because I’ve been going to therapy for four years. One of the things that we realized in one of my sessions, especially last year, when I was in the midst of writing my book and I was procrastinating on it. Like, I’d go to each session and she’d say, “Where are you in your book process?” And I’d be like, “I didn’t touch it last week”. I’d be like, “I didn’t touch it.” And one day she said, “What are you afraid of? That is causing you to not do this work? What is the fear that is stopping you because this form of procrastination might be a form of self sabotage.” And for me, it was a fear of success, it was fear of what if the book does do what I think it will do, can I handle all the things that come with it?

ESTHER:                        You’re in it, you know that. The book is doing and you are speaking to core issues, to real… I mean, if you read just here in the chat box with the kinds of fears, the self doubt, the procrastination, It is the fear of not being able to do it but then there’s the fear of, I did it, and now what? And how do I sustain it and all of that?

LUVVIE:                        Yeah. And I think it has to be named though, right. It wasn’t until kind of it was pointed out to me that I was doing it, that I realized what I was doing was procrastination to self sabotage. And I realized a lot of us do that in the moment. So like my fears like, alright, I’m going to let you do it under pressure, I will wait until the last minute before I get it done, but I won’t get it done, but I will wait until the very last minute.

ESTHER:                        So let me ask you this way. This was the way you fear spoke. How does the troublemaker answer fear?

LUVVIE:                        How does the troublemaker answer fear?

ESTHER:                        [crosstalk] at each other the troublemaker and the fear. I imagine that that’s what fear fighting is, is the troublemaker answers or reasons or the media or diffuses or reassures the fear, to troublemaker does all kinds of things that lets the fear subside.

LUVVIE:                        Yeah. The troublemaker is one who said, this is your purpose, you’re supposed to get this done.

ESTHER:                        Beautiful.

LUVVIE:                        The troublemaker is like the words are sitting on your shoulders, and you know is sitting there, you need to get it out on paper, so why are you wasting time. So that troublemaking voice is actually what allowed me to finish my book. I wrote half of the book in the last a month before it was due. And it was like, I convicted myself to say, listen, get this done because this is actually your duty, this is part of your journey, this is something that you’re actually supposed to do. So the troublemaker definitely told the fear, I need you to back up a bit, because she has worked to do

ESTHER:                        Beautiful. That’s a great answer. That’s a fantastic answer. So now, we’re going back to the thing about success, because you mentioned a lot of successful women in the book. And I was thinking, being presented with successful women, for some people, it can inspire us and say I can do this too, but I can also imagine that it can intimidate others. As in you could do it, you love it, you managed to write this whole book in the last month, I can’t. How do I switch that? How do I actually use your success, you’re staying the course, you’re digging into your purpose and not having add more fear to me, but in fact, let it really inspire me and believe in me?

LUVVIE:                        Yeah. I don’t think people are extraordinary. I think ordinary people just do the same thing over and over again and they get results and rewards for it. So when people see me and say Luvvie wrote a book, it’s not that Luvvie magically wrote a book, I ended up having the discipline from years of consistency. I call myself an 18 year overnight success because I want people no matter if they see me on social media now, to understand that it didn’t happen by magic, or because I randomly just showed up habit, discipline and consistency.

So writing a book is honestly doing that, it’s putting words on paper over and over again. And it’s not just that I’m extraordinary, because I’m not necessarily extraordinary because there are a lot of really gifted people who we will never know. I think regular people can understand that, everybody’s regular, they just happen to do the same thing over and over again. So for writing a book, it looks like putting words on paper over and over again. For the people who have PhDs, it looks like writing their thesis, that giant dissertation, right. Consistency and habit is way more important than gift because I think sometimes people will take it for granted that people are gifted or they might have a certain skill, but if they didn’t stick with it, nothing comes from it.

ESTHER:                        When you get stuck, you use your own tools to talk yourself out of it, or you turn to others?

LUVVIE:                        Both.

ESTHER:                        Both.

LUVVIE:                        Sometimes my own tools won’t be enough to get me out of it or I don’t listen. So it’s sometimes my own voice the troublemaking voice, I might not listen to it. But then I’ll go outward and ask a friend or family member or somebody who’s close with me, and they’ll give me perspective that I finally listened to. So sometimes I do have to look outward to get the information that I need.

ESTHER:                        So, the reason I ask is because you said discipline and consistency as one of the things that I need to learn to overcome my fears, but I what I found so powerful in your book and so needed is that, it’s a self help book that keeps saying that you can’t do everything yourself, its that very book that basically tells you that you have to turn to community. And I think that that’s so important. So I would like you to add when you said that discipline, consistency and support or help or community or others to know when [crosstalk]

LUVVIE:                        Yes, that’s actually a really good point. I’m glad you made that point. So that’s the other part, is that sometimes we will feel like we’re not enough because we need somebody else’s help to get something done. And we will beat ourselves up for it, we’ll be like, I can be able to do this myself. No, you shouldn’t. You weren’t born to be like belonging as a person of one, a team of one, teams of one don’t exist, everybody needs somebody for something. Which is why in the book, I talk about how I have to unlearn my hyper independence. I actually haven’t even fully unlearned and I’m still working on it. Because I realized that my hyper independence was a trauma response. Right? Like I always, I wanted to figure out things myself, do it myself, I thought that I didn’t have room to ask for help. And I had to unlearn it over the years because it doesn’t do you any favors to be a team of one. All you do is burn out, all you do… and then you frustrate the people around you who were like, hey, I can help, and it won’t actually break my back, but it’s breaking yours right now to not ask me for help. So it’s a big part. So I’m so glad you pulled that out. Absolutely, discipline, habit, and community.

ESTHER:                        And community. It doesn’t do you any favor to be a party of one?

LUVVIE:                        Yes.

ESTHER:                        I want people to register that sentence too. Because your book is dedicated to your grandmother, and you brimmed her as… was she hyper independent or was she communal?

LUVVIE:                        She was communal, but still had some hyper independence in there. But I think the older she got though, she became less independent, because she actually had to get support. Because when she got sick, and again, like one of the things that I put in the book is how when I realized what it looked like to live a life of love is one where you do have a community that’s willing to show up for you. I think a life well lived is one where you don’t have to do it all alone, because people are ready, they’re at the beck and call, they will say yes, when you ask them. And honestly, one of the biggest things about this book tour in this launch, as you all have seen it all over social media, one of the things that I have pulled away is how much my community is a verb. Like how much people were waiting to show up for me, how much help I can have whenever I ask, the fact that you’re here Esther, my goodness, I put the ask out and said, “Can you read my book?” You were like, “Yes, send it to me.” I said, “Can you be my conversation partner?” You said “Yes.” And it really humbled me in a real way because it showed me that I never have to do anything by myself.

ESTHER:                        I know it’s so funny because it humbles you, but it makes me feel important, or that I matter, or that I actually have something to give or that you respect me. It’s not just what I do for you, is in what you’re asking me, I am affirm too. That’s good communal perspective, and that is so the thing that I really want to emphasize in the Professional Troublemaker, is that you’re not just pushing your elbows, and I’m saying me, me, me, it’s the professional troublemaker can make real trouble for good by bringing all the others into the fold. And that is where I feel like I entered here and I’m assuming that that’s for all the people that you brought on the book tour. I mean, we met like this, the first time we met and we spoke and I mean, we put that picture on social because I remember vividly I had never been on Instagram, I didn’t know what it was, you set me on a bench in the middle of the neighborhood, is that “Let me show you, let me show you how it works.” And you took a picture and posted it and it was like this world opened up and this was giving without thinking two seconds, that is professional troublemaker too for me.

LUVVIE:                        After, do you remember actually the first time we met was on a boat.

ESTHER:                        On summit boats

LUVVIE:                        Summit boat.

ESTHER:                        On the floor.

LUVVIE:                        On the floor. I want to tell people how me and Esther Pearl met and became friends. We were at summit and I should write about summit in the book. We were at a cruise that summit did, an invite only cruise that was this boat of 3000 powerful people in business and tech and media that was three days long, and on that boat, none of our phones worked. No technology worked on the boat, you couldn’t attack… you can get on nobody’s internet, you couldn’t text anybody, because they wanted everybody to be present. And we all tried to find ways around it. We were like, can we do Bluetooth? Can we… it didn’t work. That boat was like, we’re going to shut you all down and you’re going connect with real people.

So they had different classes on the boat that was scheduled throughout the three days. And Esther was doing three, you were doing three classes, you were host in three classes. So I remember I missed the first class, because they were like, “Oh my god, it was too full,” by the time I decided because I’d be late to everything. By the time I showed up it had been over capacity for her room, so I couldn’t even get in there. So the second class, me and my friends, me beau’s and like three other people, we were like, we’re not going to miss her class. So we are going to show up early. We showed up.

ESTHER:                        [crosstalk] it’s so funny.

LUVVIE:                        We were not, we were like we came to this workshop, we’re not missing Esther’s workshop. We showed up Esther 20 minutes early. And we have to fight for seats 20 minutes early on this boat. And somehow the other, we made it to the front of this thing, I’m sure when we like had somebody saving us seats. We made it to the front. You did this like one hour workshop blew everybody’s minds away of course, and afterwards it was nighttime, it was like 11 o’clock, and we were headed, we came on stage to meet you. And we all walked over to the after party. We got to the after party to the front of the door, and we all started talking to you and then we all sat on the floor, in front of the door. I’m talking, people are walking around us because we formed a circle on the floor and talk for an hour, and I’m not even sure what we talked about

ESTHER:                        Relationships. We talked about relationships, we talked about race, we talked about women, we talked about fears and we talked… in essence, we talked about troublemaking and about claiming a space, and we were claiming a space and you were all handing me the space, and I was claiming it and I felt so honored to be talking with all of you because I know none of you. And it’s that sense that I really think that reciprocity, in the trouble is very very important for us to highlight and I think it shines through your book all the time. And especially when you talk about Oriki, because they are not just… so explain Oriki First of all, so everybody knows.

LUVVIE:                        Yes, they’re…. you all didn’t get the book but Oriki, I started the book off with the Oriki. Because I wanted to want to talk about some of my tradition as a Yoruba girl, born in Nigeria. And in Yoruba land we have a Orikis, and Oriki is, it’s a word that Ori means head, ki is to greet, so it’s like a greeting of your head, your destiny, your fate, your personhood. And an Oriki is a height mantra. It is something that is basically a standing ovation for your spirit, it is saying, is in poetry form, but it’s saying at your birthday, your wedding, your funeral, because that is the ultimate place where you should be honored. And my grandmother’s Oriki was saying at her funeral. And that was the first time I cried , I think that’s the first time where I couldn’t be stoic anymore.

Even if you are stoic, an Oriki will move you to tears. And in the audiobook, which is why some of y’all should get the audio book, I actually had my aunt do my grandmother’s Oriki, I was like, I need you to record it, not me, so it can do it justice. And I think about what it means because it ties you to your lineage, your ancestry, it reminds you not just who you are, but whose you are. And I think about this world that’s constantly telling us that we’re somehow short of what we need to be or who we are, how we are usually getting insulted and traumatized, and abused.

And Oriki is the opposite, and Oriki exists purely to make you feel proud of yourself, of the people who you come from, of the community you have. So I think we should all create Orikis for each other. I’ve been doing it for years Game of Thrones style to people who whenever I say… y’all have seen it on social media when I write an Oriki for somebody when you see me talk about Korea, Beyonce, Queen of Korea land. That… think of Game of Thrones, whenever you heard Daenerys introduced, didn’t I guess you up when they were like Mother of Dragons, Okay, Queen of the Andals, breaker of chains, that’s an Oriki. That thing exists purely to let y’all know who she be, right. So I’m like why don’t we also make sure we have Orikis for selves.

So in the book, I put a formula for you to use to write yourself one because I wrote myself one, okay, I wrote myself one, so I’ll let y’all know what mine is right now, and I think you should write yourself one. That’s one thing I want everybody for sure do when they get this book. So my Oriki is Luvvie of house Jones, first of her name, assassin of the alphabet, best seller of books, conqueror of copy, dame of diction, critic of culture, sorceress of side eyes, rocker of fear shoes, taker of stages, Nigerian noble and shy town creator. So that’s an Oriki, I need you to get yourself one. I’m going to write you one Esther.

ESTHER:                        I am thinking, it’s so poetic. First of all, it’s so not literal, as in, I’m so great. It’s actually every image, she a breaker of chains, it’s like, there’s such powerful imagery. Yes, do write one for me, I don’t know that I could actually… it really is extremely vulnerable actually, to write an Oriki, because you have to feel like you can say good things about yourself, and that is a real challenge. It’s like, I’m good at this but that’s not the same as to say I’m the queen of that. So I think that an Oriki a fear fighter. Inner of itself,

LUVVIE:                        Yes, it’s a fear fighter because in the moments when you are feeling fear, whether you’re good enough to do something, or ask for that raise, or go for that opportunity, read that back to yourself, and you’ll be like, I got this, I can do it. It is absolutely, it’s the antithesis for a lot of messages that you’ll be getting elsewhere. And it does take some vulnerability because it means you have to throw humility away, it means you have to throw away some of the scripts that you know about yourself or you think about yourself, some of the limited beliefs that you have about yourself, you’re going to have to throw them out to do this exercise, you’re going to have to give yourself extra credit to get this done.

ESTHER:                        So it’s Women’s History Month-

LUVVIE:                        Yes.

ESTHER:                        … and I’m thinking this way, because when you say you’re going to have to silence some of these voices and let your humility, and I’m thinking women History Month is a global story, it’s not just as in the United States, me a Belgian, woman living in America, you a Nigerian woman living in America. Most women come from a history that basically teaches them to be silent, to be subservient, to be nice, to be deferral or deferring, to not make too much noise and not to make too much waves, to be seeking harmony, to make other people get along, to know what everybody else needs. I mean, this is the legacy, the legacy of the women who stand and is a different one, though, but it is not… it’s usually by definition they’re troublemakers, and I like the word professional in front of it. Because the history has said to men Speak up but to women not.

LUVVIE:                        Yes, that’s exactly it.

ESTHER:                        You’re bringing something that is really a cultural shift, it’s not just individual women grab your fears, push ahead, feel more confident, you really change the one of the fundamental messaging that women have received throughout history. You were inspired by familial, you and by your grandmother, and she was that fighter, but a lot of women from all over the world who live in the US as well, don’t come with that.

LUVVIE:                        That’s real. That’s for sure. I like, I realize how much women have been given such messages that have been so damaging to our psyches that have been default messages that we don’t realize that we’ve internalized and taken on. And I’m just like, especially the humility one that’s actually a big one, and a lot of women struggle with and that’s one of the biggest questions I get about this book is like, I don’t want to be known as arrogant. That’s why I wrote a chapter called Own your dopeness, because I don’t think arrogance means you know how amazing you are, I don’t think that’s what arrogance is.

I think arrogance is you if you think you’re amazing purely from your own doing that is arrogance. I think humility should be you know how amazing you are, but you’re also giving credit to those who came before you, the systems that prop you up, the privilege that you have, God or whatever you, the universe, energy, something. If you… I don’t think you need to be diminishing yourself, because I don’t think it does anybody any favors for you to diminish yourself. That for me is not humility, that’s self deprecation, that’s also dangerous because you will do it to the point where you start to believe that you’re actually not good at that thing.

ESTHER:                        When you’re deprecate, when you put yourself down you of course also expect others to bring you up and then you start to go from the power from the bottom up and you can even have power from the victim hood up, you can say I made myself small why don’t you make me big, why don’t you see me, why don’t you affirm me, and then you put the power on the others and then you protest that the others have so much power.

LUVVIE:                        That’s good yeah, no, and because you have dedicated yourself so much you will actually start believing that you can’t do the thing.

ESTHER:                        Right.

LUVVIE:                        Right? Because you think I’m not good I’ll say it, and I think one of the things that women even have a hard time doing is we don’t even know how to accept compliments. I had an interview yesterday with somebody who said like well “I don’t want to accept compliments because i don’t want to be arrogant,” I’m like somebody is basically, somebody has given you a gift and you’re saying receiving it is arrogance.

ESTHER:                        Right.

LUVVIE:                        Actually not receiving it is an insult to them, because that means you’re rejecting this thing that they’re giving you. So, why can’t you accept a compliment with a graceful thank you, you don’t have to say I’m dope, you can say thank you I appreciate that. We don’t even have that [crosstalk]

ESTHER:                        What one compliment that you like to receive Luvvie?

LUVVIE:                        What’s the compliment that I like to receive.

ESTHER:                        And I would like to ask this to question all of you listening as well

LUVVIE:                        Okay, everybody can answer that. A compliment I like to receive, you look fly.

ESTHER:                        Lovely, fantastic. Because I that what you’re doing in…if I see this book as part of women’s history month, it’s about changing the status quo

LUVVIE:                        Yeah.

ESTHER:                        That’s what professional troublemaker is about, it’s not only about achieving your objectives in life, it’s really changing a larger status quo and having all of women part of that, the bigger story for me but that’s what inspired me in this it’s like I saw myself joining a community of other people who want more for women, for girls all over the world.

LUVVIE:                        Yes, I’m loving some of the compliments that people are saying, you have great energy, somebody said you’re really smart, you have a great smile, you’re so creative, you’re doing a good job, and the other one is I see you, is another compliment that I love. I see you.

ESTHER:                        For listening to me your positivity pin, you’re a great listener, I love your energy. Great, wonderful see this is anti-humility training right there.

LUVVIE:                        Anti-humility training. I love that. Yes. Oh my god we need so much more of it because I’m just like, man they’re way more people… there are people who are so confident about their abilities who don’t back it up with actual facts or work or credentials, and then the people who are deeply qualified are the ones who were like, I don’t know if I can do that, the people who are of service are the ones who were like, i don’t give enough. [inaudible] who are truly arrogant are the ones who in the world not trying to figure out how they can be of service to other people and they’re winning purely because of their wild confidence, so I’m just like what happens if you merge get scale discipline and community with actual confidence a lot of women going through that we’re missing this confidence, and once we get that we can truly be unstoppable.

ESTHER:                        So when we draw confidence, I’ll give you a line that one of my colleagues tell me real gave me that i think is one of the most beautiful definitions of confidence.

LUVVIE:                        Okay.

ESTHER:                        Because people often when they hear confidence that mean that it’s flawless, perfect, wrinkle free. Confidence is the ability to see yourself as a flawed individual and still hold yourself in high regard.

LUVVIE:                        Say that again.

ESTHER:                        Confidence is our ability to see ourselves as flawed and yet still hold ourselves in high regard.I want to add that one.

LUVVIE:                        The reason why that’s powerful is because it’s saying that you’re giving yourself permission to not be perfect-

ESTHER:                        That’s right

LUVVIE:                        … and still be worthy.

ESTHER:                        That’s right.

LUVVIE:                        You’re not expecting yourself to be perfect, to be worth love, to be worth care, to be worth gifts, to be worth compliments that you are actually freeing yourself from that whole idea-

ESTHER:                        You got it.

LUVVIE:                        … that you owe anybody permission to exist in this world and be enough that’s exactly it.

ESTHER:                        Yep, because I’m afraid sometimes when we say confidence that it gets heard as i have to be perfect in order to deserve all these things. No, you were totally understood you don’t have to be perfect you will make plenty of mistakes and we are still worthy.

LUVVIE:                        That’s it. I think we really need to kind of, that’s a message that you have to internalize. Right, that’s a message that imposter syndrome is telling you the opposite of, that you have to constantly earn your way into any room, earn some love, earn care, and then you feel like you never earn it. And it’s tough.

ESTHER:                        I’m going take a deep breath for a second, let it sink in. Be, say and do that three clear verbs that organize your book. Well, it’s a book to go to. So for any of those who haven’t yet ordered it, listen to our conversation, but then read it. And it’s a very clear organization, these three and I just want you to speak a little bit about that.

LUVVIE:                        Yeah, I put the book in be, say do, because first, we have to work on what we actually believe our limiting beliefs about ourselves, right? Then we have to now put words to it. And after that, we must act. Because the words and the beliefs don’t really make a difference if you don’t act and execute. I decided to put it in this order because it is the order that I think we must go in our journey in this life. First you got to figure out yourself, then you got to start talking and now you got to start doing, and that’s why I put it in that order.

ESTHER:                        It’s also what I was thinking in the say is that, one is the belief but the other one is, that’s why I asked you before how does fear speak to you. And you said, it’s such an important distinction, it never says you can’t do it, it says you’re not ready yet. And you’re not ready yet, in a way makes you, you never have to confront the success, because you don’t have to ask, you don’t go from the success nor the failure. You don’t finish something, then you can always say it would have been great, it will be great when I finish, but you keep pushing it further ahead. And I thought that order was very important be, then say and then do. It’s also interesting that you don’t have think or feel because they’re implied in be and say and do, for that matter.

LUVVIE:                        Think and feel is absolutely implied, because I want people to also think through just like the moments in their lives when they’ve let fear stop them. I think, the think is all of through it, because it’s like, when we really think about our lives, and when I think about mine, the moments when I have decided to move forward when I’ve been afraid, I’ve grown from it, I’ve won because of it, I’ve had opportunities because of it, and those moments are the ones that make a difference in the journey. The moments when I don’t move, well, we won’t know about those moments, because nothing came from it. Those weren’t the good moments.

ESTHER:                        Do you include guilt and shame in fear?

LUVVIE:                        Do I have guilt and shame in fear?

ESTHER:                        Do you include guilt and shame, in the experience of fear?

LUVVIE:                        Yes.

ESTHER:                        Its not much self doubt, because I think that it’s a bigger, it’s such a big word that you use. It’s a fantastic words, to use fear. But I think that I imagined that sometimes there’s guilt in it, there’s shame in it.

LUVVIE:                        I think we attach a lot of guilt and shame to our fears. Because we think being afraid, oh, I’m ashamed that I’m afraid. Like I feel like the conversation around fear has not been that honest. People talk about fearlessness, and I’m just like that doesn’t mean you’re not afraid, it doesn’t mean you move into the world without fear, it just means you’re moving with fear. It means you’re not letting the fear make you do less, So then you feel guilty.

ESTHER:                        Sat that again, that is so important. You’re moving through life with fear, you’re just not letting fear make you do less. I think that’s really important. This fearlessness is not about not having fears, fearlessness is about living with the fears.

LUVVIE:                        Yes, living with the fears and moving with the fears-

ESTHER:                        And moving with fear.

LUVVIE:                        … make the fears your friends at this point, okay. Make fear your friend because just know what’s coming with you, but it’s not going to stop you, it’s not going to be the door stopper, right. So, you’re not doing less because of your fear, that’s what it means to be fearless. And the reason why I don’t think we’ve been honest about fear is in the conversations about our journeys in this world., oftentimes we like I just went for it. But we don’t talk through the moments when we almost stopped and when we didn’t go for it. Right.

That’s why I went to write this book because I’m like, let’s just normalize the fact that we’re going to be afraid let’s not attach the shame and the guilt to it, because we talk about courage a lot, but you can’t have courage without fear. Fear has to be present for you to make a courageous decision because otherwise it wasn’t courage. So the shame that we attach to it, I think is really attached to our inaction. I think we end up feeling guilty and shameful in the moments when we don’t act, I’ve never felt ashamed in the moments when I acted. When I said I’m going to do or say that thing that felt difficult, I felt ashamed if I look back on it and said, I didn’t act.

ESTHER:                        I’m going to repeat this also, because I think that also is a [inaudible]. That courage does not exist without fear. That to give, you’re a little bit blurry again, just so you know, so I’d see it, don’t pay attention to it people, you can imagine her, use your imagination, she’s stunning, she’s sharp, she’s moody, she’s so connected. And you will see her face to all the blurriness not to worry.

LUVVIE:                        Am I still blurry now?

ESTHER:                        Now, you just went off for a second.

LUVVIE:                        Okay. Boom. All right. Esther you’re blurry.

ESTHER:                        I am blurry? I’m blurry to myself, but I wasn’t looking at myself, I was only looking at you. I hide myself when I talk.

LUVVIE:                        There we go. But we’ll keep moving. We will keep them going.

ESTHER:                        So, the next thing I want to ask you is the word professional troublemaker. We mentioned it before, but I would love, first of all, it’s a fantastic title. This is and it becomes a gateway, a portal into a whole way of thinking about life, say more about professional.

LUVVIE:                        So, being a professional troublemaker is about committing to elevating the rooms that you’re in, committing to being a part of a world that is not a dumpster fire, it means you’re committing to saying the hard things in the places where it requires. For me professional troublemakers are the people who sit in the company meeting and who say we need to fix that campaign because the idea is not as thoughtful as it should be. They’re the people who are sitting at the dinner table and telling your uncle, hey, that joke is not appropriate. And professional troublemakers are the friends that are telling you, I need you to show up better for me, or let’s have a tough conversation about what we’re doing. So that for me is what professional troublemaker is.

Esther is going to come back, but I think professional troublemakers are often silenced in this world. Troublemakers are the people who are told to sit down and shut up or they are punished for using their voice. I want to affirm troublemakers. I want other people to see that you actually need professional troublemakers because they are the ones who are doing what’s hard. They’re the ones going to therapy to unlearn family trauma because they want to make sure they don’t pass it on. So troublemakers I think shouldn’t, it’s not just about them being tolerated. They need to be celebrated because the world needs troublemakers.

ESTHER:                        Beautiful. What other books would you recommend to professional troublemakers right now?

LUVVIE:                        Truly, Glen non Doyle’s Untamed is brilliant for people who want to give them, like see somebody trying to give themselves the freedom to live in this world, audaciously in the way that’s really true. I always love a good Brent Brown book, Rising Strong, Daring Greatly are really good ones. Yeah, those are some that I would recommend to people.

ESTHER:                        And which one of the troublemakers would you like to go to dinner with? You had a table of four or five or six of them, or two or three of them

LUVVIE:                        If I could host a dinner party with troublemakers who are still alive, I would have Stacey Abrams. I would have Brittany Packet Cunningham. Who else? I’d have Bozo ma Saint John in that dinner conversation because they all be lit. And yeah, I think that five people at that dinner. It’d be really interesting conversation as we talk about-

ESTHER:                        Can I invite myself?

LUVVIE:                        Huh?

ESTHER:                        Can I invite myself?

LUVVIE:                        Esther yes, please come.

ESTHER:                        I want to be on that table.

LUVVIE:                        I want to, actually I need this to be like 10, right. Actually, what I would love is the table to be five black women, five white women, to have real conversations about how do we bridge the gap? Or in the chasm between us. So I actually would have Glycanase, I would have Bernie to other white women. Who the other two that I would have? Who’s a good troublemaker who have recently… I would have Dolly Parton-

ESTHER:                        Oh, yes.

LUVVIE:                        … and Sher. That table party would be everything. Yes.

ESTHER:                        I’m putting this right now on the map, I really, really hope that actually happens. Who do I give this book to? Just so to make sure that there’s a few things for all of us listening here.

LUVVIE:                        I would give this book to somebody who’s in their 20s. And then I’m going to write a young readers edition because I want to give this book to somebody who’s seven. The seven year old, I want her to get this message. So as the world sends her these messages over the years, she never loses herself and never think she’s not enough. I would give it to the 20 year old who’s about to saunter into the world as an adult for the first time and say, this is what you’re going to encounter, the person that you were at seven, remember her, keep her with you. And then the 30, something year old, who’s now the mom who was like, I’m trying to raise these audacious kids, I’d give it to them to say, don’t let them lose this part of themselves. And then I’d give it to the 50 year old and say, remember who you used to be? Well, I know you’ve got to be uncheckable, but make sure you remain this person.

ESTHER:                        So here’s the thing that I was thinking earlier, I was telling one of my sons that I was doing this conversation with you. And I said, I will get it for you, because I think it will help you understand your girlfriend’s. You see it, I don’t, I actually said I could give it to her, but I actually think that it would be more interesting if you read it.

LUVVIE:                        Yes, that’s a great, I do want more men to read my books, I really do.

ESTHER:                        You see, because I think that the best books written for women are books that often need to be put in the hands of the 20 year old men.

LUVVIE:                        Yes, because the men are the ones who are also now dealing with us. And maybe they stopped doing the messages-

ESTHER:                        It helps understand what is… how do you encourage her when she starts to fret, when she doubts herself? How can you really be supportive? What are the things that are helpful? What are the things that are less helpful? It actually is a very, it’s the road directly to her, but through, that another audience I just wanted to add here on this pint.

LUVVIE:                        No, that’s a great one. My husband is on these chats too, and he’s been on a few of my conversations. And him and I have these conversations all the time too. We are raising a generation of men who celebrate professional troublemaking women, would give us so much favor it would do us so much good in this world.

ESTHER:                        And for that we write the book for the woman but we also give it to him to read.

LUVVIE:                        Yes.

ESTHER:                        It helps them understand her and it helps her feel more understood by him.

LUVVIE:                        Mm-hmm (affirmative).I have, there a good question that somebody asked that I want to ask you Esther. Please discuss the overlap between Luvvie’s philosophy of being a professional troublemaker in Esther’s teachings about practicing erotic pleasure for a healthy sex life. Do these two areas of life inform one another and how?

ESTHER:                        Oh, I can answer that very quickly. The way I understand the troublemaker of that Luvvie talks about is ultimately you, when you assert yourself in that way, when you affirm your choices, when you heal yourself, you feel alive, you experience a sense of Radiance and a sense of vibrancy. Confidence is a liveliness. You’re doing anything but this kind of shriveling like this, all the troublemaker has that physical position. It’s a position that opens itself up to oneself, to the world, it’s an embrace, it welcomes, it reaches out and that is erotic in the full sense of the word erotism, not just in the sexual meaning but in the real meaning of the word arrows as life force. A troublemaker is connected to life force.

LUVVIE:                        Bars, what that definitely [crosstalk].

ESTHER:                        And for that you can read Mating in captivity or listen to, Where Should We Begin, you’ll see because I don’t come to talk with Luvvie, just talk to Ingluvies. I come to talk with Luvvie because Luvvie participates in the same things that I tried to do to help a woman, to allow oneself to experience pleasure, to allow oneself to feel connected, to allow oneself not to lose oneself in order to relate and to connect with someone else and not to lose the other if one wants to stay connected to oneself. It’s all of that that goes and I know that that is included in Troublemaker.

LUVVIE:                        You all have to go pick up Mating in Captivity, Esther’s book it is brilliant. And listen to her podcast, Where Should We Begin which has been interviewing couples, especially in this quarantine but she has multiple seasons. You got to listen and pick up to Esther’s work, it’s amazing, it is amazing. How do you maintain your peace and positive vibe… this is for both of us. How do you maintain your peace and positive vibe in the face of hostility and fear? How do you keep a healthy personal relationship when your career puts you on the frontline of this problematic world as a celebrity and keep that balance?

ESTHER:                        You go first. There’s a few questions in here not one.

LUVVIE:                        There’s a few questions. How do I maintain my positivity? And sometimes I don’t, sometimes I’m not maintaining my positivity and balance, sometimes I crash. I think there are a lot of times when I will try to compartmentalize to kind of keep some positivity in the world that might be ridiculous outside, so I very much go inward and sit on my couch and avoid the world in those moments when I realized that I’m being overwhelmed by what’s happening in the world. That’s how I do that.

ESTHER:                        I will answer like this, I don’t think much about keeping positivity, I think that there are situations that demand anger and situations that demand sadness and situations that elicit deep suffering and pain in me and situations that are celebratory and are complete joy. And I… it’s the whole range you want, I think the positivity tyranny is toxic. We’re allowed to be sad and hurt and upset and despairing and there’s our range of emotions that we face when we live life at its fullest, that’s positive.

LUVVIE:                        So basically, don’t force it that’s toxic positivity. I love the idea of positivity tyranny, we’re not supposed to be in the world happy, happy joy, joy all the-

ESTHER:                        No

LUVVIE:                        … we’re not experiencing the full grasp of humanity, you’re going to have to feel all of those things.

ESTHER:                        So it’s a whole range of emotions. I really, today I’ve had all kinds of different emotions, this of course I’m positive, I’m talking to a woman who I think is dope, who I think does incredible work and it brings joy outside, inside of me and around me. So, of course I’m positive, next 10 minutes other things may happen and we will have other reactions and think to should be positive about this, this is a tyranny and it actually makes people depressed if they constantly have to think that everything is great.

LUVVIE:                        Because when you don’t, you think there’s something wrong with you.

ESTHER:                        Yeah, absolutely, you personalize the problem. No, that cultural mandate is problematic for me anyway and I’d love to hear the fact that you say, I crash, I crash, all of us crash, all the women that she has the Orikis about in the book they have crashed, they crashed, seriously let’s be realistic.

LUVVIE:                        Let’s be realistic and this is coming from a therapist my people, listen, do not beat yourself up when you’re not feeling good about it, just say I’m not feeling good and do that thing.

ESTHER:                        What other question are you seeing here Luvvie

LUVVIE:                        How can you differentiate good fear and bad fear? Essentially how do decide if the fear you have is stopping you from doing something good or something bad? I think, so the same feeling that keeps us from putting our hand in fire, is the same feeling that stops us from doing that thing that feels audacious. Oftentimes we have to ask ourselves, am I actually in danger, this thing that I’m afraid of, am I in actual danger or did I make it up in my head, did I create a dragon of whatever this worst case scenario is. I think fear is great for keeping us out of physical danger, but a lot of our fears are not in the moments when we’re acutely in danger. Any disagreements on that Esther?

ESTHER:                        No. Not at all, I was actually thinking it’s a very good question and it demands. There is fear that is actually not fully fear, it’s self criticism masquerading as fear, it’s self doubt masquerading as fear, it’s self loading masquerading as fear, it’s what you call self deprecation masquerading as fear. We can… those are fears that are problematic, because they basically keep you imprisoned. Then they are fears that basically say wait a minute, think it through is this what you really want, should you go there, should you stay with this person, is this a good relationship, is this the job you should be in etc. And that is actually critical thinking masquerading as fear that should be seen as critical thinking that is welcomed. So this to me is the best way you know what fear is which is granular, name it, frame it and take it into small pieces, once you have a small piece in front of you it’s much easier to understand it and know what to do about it then when you pull the big thing, fear.

LUVVIE:                        Come on, that’s it. So sometimes we’re the ones causing the messes and the dumpster fires, can you talk about forgiving yourself when you know you’ve done wrong? I think it goes back.

ESTHER:                        I think its liberating, I mean, it’s too heavy, two immediate thought, often I say to people I used to do things that did a bad presentation or if I had a bad session or something, I could spend two weeks but know. Now I feel like I just say there’s another session coming tomorrow, there’s another talk coming in a few days. It wasn’t the greatest and then I would say to us that you can’t be good every time and then there would be another verse that said, how can I not be good of it, of course I must be good at everything. After a while you just basically feel liberated from having the permission, this is the real key word to just say this was wrong, you go to the person you say what I said before was hurtful, what I said before was nasty, what I said before was cheap, I’m really sorry. And when you take responsibility and you apologize and you made a mistake, it liberates you it’s really the opposite rather than it shrinks you and it humiliates you. That’s one quick way to look at this one.

LUVVIE:                        And I think that’s vulnerability, to be able to say I messed up, so I’m going to fix it or I messed up so I’m sorry, takes vulnerability that a lot of people don’t have, right? Because they think and I think it goes back to that thing you said again about confidence.

ESTHER:                        Exactly, I was hoping you would connect it.

LUVVIE:                        The lack of perfection, you will beat yourself up because you then feel bad for not being perfect and your job was never to be perfect, your job was to be human, so your mistake was human, so you got to when you mess up be able to say I’m so sorry or you know what it might even be such a big deal to try to apologize, but just remember that you have to show up better next time. I’ve had a week where I’ve done interviews upon interviews upon interviews and i got on a call to do an interview and the person asked me the same question eight times in different words. I got irritated and I was just like you asked me that already at one point, and I got off the call and I was like was I short and then I was like it’s okay it’s alright the next interview will be better-

ESTHER:                        That’s right.

LUVVIE:                        … and you just have to move yourself forward without the shame and the guilt attached to the mistake you made.

ESTHER:                        Flawed individual and still hold yourself in high regard, that’s confidence, that’s how you deal with messing up.

LUVVIE:                        That is confidence. Esther you want to take a couple more questions?

ESTHER:                        All right, I don’t see the questions somehow, it’s interesting.

LUVVIE:                        Well, there’s a thing that says ask a question about-

ESTHER:                        Ask a question, that’s what I need to go. Now they all pop up. No, you go, you pick you are the lady of the night. You pick.

LUVVIE:                        Okay. This one’s good. What is the sole cost of accuracy routinely to our fears? And what’s the ultimate recompense when we don’t? The soul cost

ESTHER:                        I will, if I think about the soul cost it’s really this, I always think that there’s two ways to be in the world of course there’s many two ways of being in the world. One is if you constantly give into your fear and we talking in circumstances where you don’t have to be afraid because you are in danger, let’s be really clear about this.

LUVVIE:                        Correct.

ESTHER:                        They are relations where we are internalized fears that are no longer serving us, maybe they come from a place where once they were really legitimate and completely necessary to protect us, fears protector us. That’s with the hand in the fire thing that you said before but as a whole there is a way of being in the world where you are not dead but you’re just surviving because you’re living small underneath the thing called fears, and then there is another thing called thriving or being alive because you’ve broken through the fears and you’ve become a troublemaker, that’s the soul cast if you give in you will be not dead but you will not be alive.

LUVVIE:                        That’s a vibe because my whole thing is I want to live a life of, oh well I tried rather than what if I had tried. I want to be able to look back on my life and be proud of even the failures because at least it showed that I tried something bigger than me. and I think the sole cause of constantly letting your fears win, is that you will look back on your life and have more regrets than proud moments.

ESTHER:                        I wish I had.

LUVVIE:                        I wish I had. And I would rather know that I tried and failed than I didn’t try at all.

ESTHER:                        I’m with you completely, completely with you. I can’t live with it, when I haven’t tried, then I can really go into the why couldn’t [crosstalk]. But if I tried and I didn’t, well, I did everything I could.

LUVVIE:                        I did everything, I want, here’s that actually is relevant. Let me tell you, this book launch everything around my book, from the way the cover looks, I have been like I need to be in the weeds of it. And I’m not afraid to micromanage a little bit more than I wanted. But the marketing the launch of it, Esther, I’ve been like I need this book to become a New York Times bestseller. Why? Because it will transform publishing in this category. Because you call this book a self help book, what are the black women can you name is in this category that’s not Oprah or Michelle Obama. So I said, I am going to my whole strategic marketing mind, everything I know about branding, everything, I’m putting it all on the table, with this goal in mind, because I’m going to leave it all on the field, I am going to call my friends, I’m going to ask them to show up for me, I’m going to do these things. I’m not going to be afraid of whether I’m asking for too much, I’m not going let my fear stop me because I don’t want to look back on this time in three months in three years and be like, Is there something more I could have done?

ESTHER:                        Yeah.

LUVVIE:                        So our fears should not be stopping us from these moments, the things that you want to do, the people who you want to be with, leave it all on the field, because if you don’t, and you look back and you go, I could have done something more, you won’t be proud of those moments. And I just want to live my life with very few regrets, I want to always be able to look at myself in the mirror and say, girl you tried, at least you tried.

ESTHER:                        And I would like to say to all us women, that when we see someone who tries that we not cringe because she takes up a lot of room, or that we not think that, she thinks that she’s better than us, but that we really think that we can all be like her. Because you’re doing an amazing job with this. And sometimes, you know the thing about…  sometimes women are most encouraging of each other and sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we look and we say, why do you, and why can you and you know and in I think that that’s where we really need to firm up as community too.

LUVVIE:                        And I think some of that is attached to fear, because we have this fear of scarcity-

ESTHER:                        Scarcity. Yep, you’re right, that’s It.

LUVVIE:                        … people are in competition. I am not in competition with anybody, because if my best work is my best work, that’s all it needs to be. So somebody else’s best work is not somehow diminishing mine. So the fear that somehow there’s only a little bit for us all to compete with is so false. And that’s when I show up with women like you and show that women can absolutely support each other authentically and everybody wins as a result. There is no competition at all, we can all win at the same time.

ESTHER:                        That’s it. I just wanted that to be said for all of you listening because it’s such an important message that is a part of troublemaking as a community. We need to know where we get this book.

LUVVIE:                        Yes. So bookstores like Loyalty Books are really important. Keep buying from independent and small bookstores. I’m so thankful that Loyalty decided to do this. Esther’s book is also available at Loyalty Books. If y’all have loved this conversation, go buy her books, there’s so many, there’s options, Okay. You have like… how many books do you have now?

ESTHER:                        State of Affairs and Mating in Captivity.

LUVVIE:                        Boom, she has two books, you need to go by that, that’s how you’re going to throw into this collection plate and listen to her podcast because the work that you do as a psychotherapist, one you’re normalizing therapy in the world, which thank you so much, because so many people need therapy. And when I started seeing my therapist, four years ago, it was right after I met you, actually. We met I think November 2016 and I started seeing my therapist in April and I was like, well, if a therapist can be like that, sign me up for this. So thank you for even that effect in my life because you’re just amazing and you show up in such a great way, you’ve been so supportive whether we’re sitting on a park bench, or at makers-

ESTHER:                        Or Slam ball match, which you give me the opportunity to participate with you and your entire community, which was so so important for me.

LUVVIE:                        Oh my god, I’m so thankful. So this conversation has been such a gift, y’all like this conversation, has been such a gift because you asked me some questions I need to even still think through. I’m going to watch this replay and be like, what are my fears saying to me, so thank you so much for this time.

ESTHER:                        By the way, this is for the person who asked the question, when do you know if they’re good fears, bad fears, there’s not really a good and bad fears, they’re just fears and they have different messages, but just ask what they say to you, and literally you can have a mic in front of you or a little thing. This one speaks this way, This one speaks that way, sometimes it’s a choir and sometimes it’s a cacophony those fears, but we can always have a conversation with them and let the troublemaker win.

LUVVIE:                        Let the troublemaker win. I think that’s a great way to wrap it up then.

ESTHER:                        Wonderful.

LUVVIE:                        Let the troublemaker. Come on back with one.

ESTHER:                        You go get Professional Troublemaker right now because this conversation will become even clearer once you read the book.

LUVVIE:                        Once you read the book and go buy an extra copy for somebody that you love, for the 20 year old, for the 50 year old in your life, and let’s all commit to fighting fear. I am on a mission to help a million people fight their fears and be more audacious.

ESTHER:                        Thank you so much Luvvie for inviting me to join you on this tour.

LUVVIE:                        Thank you so Esther.

ESTHER:                        My pleasure.

I mean…. Esther is just amazing. She asked me so many amazing questions I have never been asked about my work. I loved that conversation and heard from so many of you who were there that you loved it too. 

How does your fear speak to you? Do you know? When you know, you can understand how to fight it. When you can name it, you can tame it. You can move through it. How will you connect to community this week? So many good things in this episode. Make sure you hit me up on social and let me know what spoke to you as you listened.

And make sure you follow Esther. You can find all things on or by following @EstherPerelOfficial on Instagram, and thanks to the shout out from Esther about me helping her get started on Instagram so you can partake of her wisdom there. Esther’s podcasts are amazing, and her game is so fun, so make sure you check those things out.


Thank you for tuning in to another episode of the Professional Troublemaker podcast. If you loved what you heard, make sure you:

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Until next time, make some good trouble.




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