After years of playing characters online, Liza Koshy’s finds comfort in her own skin.
Liza Koshy is only 23, but she’s achieved more in the last few years than most people do in a lifetime.
The winner of four Streamy Awards, four Teen Choice Awards, and a Kid's Choice Award, Liza was named to both Forbes 30 Under 30 and Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2019.
Koshy recently sat down with Jay Shetty on his podcast On Purpose with Jay Shetty. Here are Shetty’s favorite takeaways from their interview.
Have a Delusional Confidence in Yourself
Liza left home at age 19 to start her career in L.A. Stepping out on her own wasn’t easy, and she missed the support of her family. But she learned how to develop what she calls an almost delusional belief in herself.
“Don’t let those moments of failures define you,” Koshy said. “Just keep going and believe that you have so much to say and you're going to keep saying it no matter what your mind says about your mouth.”
She channeled that belief into creating the characters we all know and love – Jet, Helga, and Little Liza – favorites of Jay Shetty. These characters gave her the courage and bravado to stand out and make herself known, first on Vine, and then on YouTube.
Step Out of the Box
Her characters resonated deeply with her audience. Within just a few years she amassed a following of over 60 million across four platforms. The awards and recognition started pouring in, but inside, she felt trapped. Her audience had defined her by her characters, and felt like she was living her life inside a box she’d created. It was time for her to redefine herself.
“But I literally created this rectangle around how people knew me,” Koshy explained. “They created a definition around me as to what I do or what I create. And I had to break out of that.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” Jay Shetty said. “Becoming a monk was one was rebellious things I could have ever done. No one expected it.”
Koshy did something drastic too. She took a break from social media. She gave herself permission to just be in the moment and found joy, happiness, and quiet confidence within. For the first time in her life, she felt truly successful.
Jay Shetty agrees. “I think the challenge that we set ourselves up for is when we're in the process of reflection, figuring it out, introspection – whatever that may look like – it doesn't have to look a certain way.”
Be Truly Authentic
Jay Shetty knows it’s so easy to get caught up in who we and everyone else thinks we should be. The Japanese say people have three faces. The first face is the face they show to the world. The second face is the face they show to people who are close to them. And the third face is the face they show no one else.
Koshy embraced all of them. She refused to hide the face most of us don't show to the world. The third face is the hardest one to show, but it’s the one the world needs the most. And people like Liza are an amazing encouragement to just be who we really are for all of us.
Focus on Gratitude
That doesn’t mean Liza doesn’t have her own personal struggles. She’s openly admitted she suffers from social anxiety, yet it doesn’t keep her from her very public career. She credits video journaling for helping her process her anxiety and give her a healthy perspective.
Koshy clings to the fact that anxiety is a feeling that ebbs and flows. It’s temporary. When anxiety hits, she chooses instead to focus on gratitude. When we focus on gratitude, we experience gratitude. One way Koshy focuses on gratitude is by revisiting old video journal entries that remind her anxiety is fleeting.
“I'm so thankful for that because in my times of darkness, I just feel grateful that I know what light feels like,” said Liza. “And so that's what I hold onto at all times.”
Video journaling is something Jay Shetty is a huge fan of as well, and he loves that she uses it as a way to record what she’s grateful for.
“All of us should be making the most of being a part of our journey because there's a story in it and you get to tell it in the future,” Jay Shetty said.
Disarm – Don’t Defend or Display
So how does a 23-year-old, 5-foot-nothing woman become one of the biggest influencers in the online streaming space? Jay Shetty asked Liza Koshy if she feels she has to prove or defend herself to get people to take her seriously.
Does she walk around displaying her accomplishments and impressive resume?
Does she spend a lot of time defending her place in the industry?
No. Instead of displaying her achievements or defending her talent, Liza chooses to disarm people with humor and kindness. Shetty could even see it in the way she approached the podcast with him.
“My favorite thing to do is disarm,” said Koshy, stating that she uses humor or compliments to set the tone for meetings. “Yo, we're all just here. We have really cool jobs and what we're doing is a blessing to do every day.”
“I feel completely comfortable, like we’ve been friends for ages,” said Jay Shetty. “I love that. The world needs that. We’re all here doing what we do, and it’s a blessing to connect with people like you, Liza.”
Art Imitates Life on Liza On Demand
Liza shows no signs of slowing down. She’s a creator at heart, and she truly loves what she does. Season 2 of her popular YouTube Show, Liza On Demand, airs soon, and Liza can’t wait to share it with us.
“You get to see more of a journey and more of like my growth as like a human being but also as a character,” said Koshy. “And it kind of like parallels my real life of me stepping into my power and so does my character.”
Not only does Season 2 cover new ground for the series, it’s given her a chance to let art imitate life by continuing to speak her truth into the world.
“Recently I've discovered that your mind can either live in the past or the future, but your mouth lives in the present and it speaks truth,” said Koshy.
Jay Shetty hails Koshy as one of the creative geniuses of our time. He’s amazed by the amount of work that goes into video production and the fact that she did it for years on her own. It hasn’t changed who she is on the inside though.
Listen Now at On Purpose with Jay Shetty
Liza has a way of celebrating and elevating everyone she is around. Learning to live out of her power has brought her to a place of influence that she approaches with humility and grace. You can listen to the entire podcast episode with Liza now at On Purpose with Jay Shetty in the iTunes store or on Spotify.