“It’s so amazing how we quickly believe negative thoughts about ourselves, but we doubt the positive thoughts,” Jay Shetty remarked.
These days, we are exposed to a lot of opinions, especially online, which makes it even harder to fight criticism and think positively about ourselves.
In this episode of ON Purpose, Jay Shetty is joined by Grammy Award-nominated singer Noah Cyrus.
Until recently, Cyrus struggled with depression and anxiety due to low self-esteem and negative body image.. Here, she shares her struggles with Jay Shetty and the moment of clarity that helped her change her perspective.
The Early Struggles
Noah grew up constantly moving back and forth between Nashville and Los Angeles. She wished she could spend more time with her family, especially her father. Those were difficult times for the singer because she realized how limited her precious time around loved ones is.
Cyrus transformed her sorrow into music. She recently launched her new album, The Hardest Part, which covers much of what has been unsaid between her and her family.
An Outlet For Emotions
“My music is really an outlet for me and my emotions,” she told Jay Shetty.
Cyrus’ goal is to heal her inner child. Although challenging at the beginning, her therapist helped her identify her emotions and start the healing journey.
Initially, the singer would refuse to put in the effort it took to go through therapy and understand herself because it made her sad. But once she comprehended that the sadness came from her inner child, she learned to embrace it.
One of Cyrus’ significant issues that she needed to heal was self-love. She suffered from body dysmorphia and negative self image from an early age.
The singer admitted to Jay Shetty, “it’s been really hard for me to reframe my mind to be able to even look at my younger self and love that version of me.”
According to Cyrus, having a fantastic family around is not always enough. She had her inner struggles that she had to fight on her own.
“In my personal experience with body image. . . people just can’t see that, people just can’t feel because it’s your body, your mind, your eyes, and it’s hard. And it feels like you’re alone in those times. And in your brain. It’s just you in there with that inner voice, and it gets really dark, and it gets really lonely,” the singer admitted to Jay Shetty.
Cyrus found her peace in music. And she strongly recommends finding an outlet of your own where you can let your emotions run freely in a creative way.
Cyrus had been exposed to a lot of online bullying, to the point where she borrowed the bullies’ words and turned them into her personal belief. As a result, it wasn’t easy to accept compliments when they came.
This mindset affected the singer’s relationship with her loved ones because she felt betrayed. In her mind, they were lying to her when they told her good things about her and her body.
The healing journey became even more complicated for Cyrus because trust issues were added to her already low self-esteem. However, she is now on the path toward healing..
Healing Through Music And Structure
To Cyrus, music has always been healing. But there was a darker period in her life when she fell out of love with it, as she admitted to Jay Shetty.
It was during the recording of her new album that she re-learned to love what she was doing. As a result, the singer spent a couple of months focusing solely on her album, spending days recording particular parts of songs. To find balance, after her allotted work time was over, she would attend therapy sessions and go on walks with her dog.
She and her team would plan the next week on a whiteboard every Friday and keep to the schedule. To her, having daily structure helped her immensely to keep on track.
Falling Back in Love with Music
Though Cyrus never really fell out of love with music, there was a time when she didn’t trust her artistic instincts due to pressure from the outside and trying to live up to others’ expectations of her.
However, recording her new album enabled her to find her voice in the artistic world. As a result, she finally understood who she was sonically and what she could achieve.
It was healing for her to be able to play piano again, which was once her favorite instrument. It also felt good to record herself playing a multitude of other instruments too.
Her artistic personality is multi-faceted, and Cyrus learned more about herself in the journey. She also learned to trust her vision and not give up. “That really ignited a lot of excitement in me again,” she told Jay Shetty.
The Change Within
Cyrus admitted to Jay Shetty that she is skeptical that people can change who they are at the core. She understands that we all evolve to a certain extent but is unsure how much we ever truly change.
Jay Shetty shared with the singer that his life choices shaped who he is today. He grew and has learned a lot since he decided to become a monk up to where he is today.
However, Jay Shetty feels that his core has remained the same. He feels he is the same person as before. But, he says, “I do believe that transformation and change are possible. But it’s not very probable.”
Growth Takes Time
Though we often expect others to change immediately, we have to understand it takes time. This is a lesson that we sometimes don’t learn until we undergo the growth process ourselves. It is a process, not an overnight transformation.
The significant change for Cyrus was when she got off of Xanax. She had taken it every day and was comforted by it.. But she realized it was slowly ruining her life.
She admitted to Jay Shetty, “I was ruining my life. It was the scariest, most alone I had ever felt.”
Cyrus struggled for a long time with depression and anxiety, culminating in her not wanting to be alive anymore. But in a moment of clarity, she understood that she needed to change something.
She gained the strength to turn her life around. In doing so, reaching out to people who could help her was a big step in the singer’s recovery.
Being Open About Mental Health
Cyrus’ goal has never been to be an example for anybody. However, growing up in public made it possible for the rest of the world to see and follow her struggles.
So, the singer has incorporated her challenges into her music. She created songs that reflected her reality from the most difficult times of her life. Her goal is to be open and honest about what happened in an attempt to normalize mental health struggles.
Cyrus recalled older interviews in which she didn’t seem to be herself. Those videos and her older Instagram posts sparked concern amongst her friends and followers. “Just the look in my eyes was scary to a lot of people,” she admitted to Jay Shetty.
Today, when watching those videos, the singer feels ashamed and guilty. She was not in a good place, and the experience left her regretting those times. Though she eventually managed to get a handle on her life, her healing journey still sometimes feels like a rollercoaster of emotions.
Cyrus realizes that healing is a process. To her, it is crucial to learn to love and nurture herself. And even if it feels hard, she must be kind to herself.
Jay Shetty admires the singer’s courage to come forward and speak openly about her challenges. She put her struggles into lyrics, and one song that resonates with her experiences is I Burnt LA Down. As she says in the song:
“I waste my breath on a prayer; you don’t care
I was never a part of the plan
You can’t make a God of somebody
Who’s not even half of a half-decent man.”
During the pandemic, Cyrus lived with one other person, and her life began to revolve around them. She was always aware if they were feeling happy, sad, comfortable, or uncomfortable, if they loved her or not. Her self-love journey only began after she learned to find herself.
Recently, the singer has begun to think about the spiritual aspects of her life. Through this lens, she has found marvel in the world, making her fall in love with many other things.
Because this discovery opened up a new universe to her, Cyrus is eager to learn and grow more in this direction.
Similarly, Jay Shetty went through a self-discovery journey, starting when he set out to be a monk. It made him realize that he was looking for a different type of connection than the love portrayed in the movies and pop songs.
While on the journey to find herself, Cyrus had the words, “you will be” tattooed on her arm. They serve as a reminder of what she can achieve and become if she sets her mind to it. The singer is now stronger and more mature and is looking to understand the deeper meaning of things. She recognized that growing up, “we get so trained and wired to believe certain things,” but she wants to gain more knowledge.
Yes, I Can
Jay Shetty admires Noah Cyrus’ courage and believes it is empowering to hear her openly discuss her healing journey. We tend to quickly consider the negative things we hear about ourselves and forget our qualities and strengths along the way.
The healing journey made Cyrus realize what she is capable of and can achieve if she sets her mind to it. So she sought help and managed to exit her downward spiral. “I will be what I set my mind to or what I set my goals to or who I want to become or who I want to work on being, and I have that’s kind of enough” she determined.
This is a reminder for the listeners that change is possible.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “Noah Cyrus ON: How To Handle Negative Opinions of Others & Turning Anxiety Into Creativity” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.