Imposter syndrome and an inferiority complex plague everyone at times — even celebrities. Some of them, like Kristen Bell, have found a means of dealing with it through the inspirational words of women who came before them. We can definitely relate to her feelings of inferiority, but we’re also inspired by how she puts those feelings aside in order to be confident in herself and her work.
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At the Women Making History Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday, Bell was one of several honorees alongside Gabrielle Union, Kathy Bates, and activist Patrisse Cullors according to Elle magazine.
During the event, Bell said, “I walk into every room feeling inferior.” That may sound surprising given that Bell is one of the stars of The Good Place and since she’s got a long list of accomplishments under her belt, including several awards and nominations throughout the course of her career.
But Bell went on to say that some of this inferiority comes from her size (she’s 5 feet, 1 inch tall), which might lead people to underestimate her. However, she said that when she feels inferior, she turns to the words of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
“Think about that for a second,” Bell said. “No one can make you feel inferior unless you consent. I read that ten years ago, and I think about it every single day.” To overcome her own feelings of inferiority, Bell said, “I just stopped consenting.” Since she first read the quote, she said, “I at least try” to feel capable.
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Bell also said that she’s raising her daughters with powerful female role models, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (they have finger puppets of the Supreme Court judge) and her sister-in-law, who Bell said was “like a third parent.” It’s great for someone like Bell, who’s seemingly on top of the world and totally confident, admit to her insecurities but also offer advice on how to overcome them while paying her dues to women who carved their own paths ahead of her.
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