Ever since Emmy-nominated actress Chrissy Metz stepped onto the scene three years ago as part of the hit drama This Is Us, millions of fans have fallen in love with her effervescent smile and joyful spirit. But in reality, Chrissy spent years fighting self-doubt, anxiety, and insecurity. Here, she shares how learning to love herself helped her wildest dreams come true!
One conversation with Chrissy Metz is all it takes to understand why, in just three seasons portraying Kate Pearson on the NBC hit This is Us, she’s become one of the most beloved stars in America. Her warm laugh evokes the feeling of visiting with an old friend — one who just happens to be a successful actress, author and singer. “I have this amazing life that I never imagined I’d have,” Chrissy shares with Woman’s World. “And it all started when I began listening to me.” For the Florida native, that “listening” first happened in an unlikely place: a movie theater.
Consumed by anxiety, weight issues, and Hollywood rejection, Chrissy had reached her limit just before her 30th birthday. “I had a panic attack right in the theater,” she recalls. “I couldn’t stop thinking, Why wasn’t I where I wanted to be? ” Heart palpitations setting in, Chrissy checked into the hospital, where she had an epiphany. “I realized I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do!” she says. “I was doing things for everyone else.”
Looking inward, Chrissy vowed to start putting her own needs first, from her personal life to her career, which, just a year later, blossomed with her breakout role on This Is Us, a memoir, and now a hit film.
Today the 38-year-old is endlessly grateful, not only for her gifts but also for the struggle that gave her new strength. “Whatever you’re facing, you will make it through,” she assures. “Just remember who you truly are, and you can do anything!” Here, Chrissy shares her tips for staying true to you — mind, body, and spirit.
You have a purpose.
“There’s one thing all of us need to remember, and it’s that we are all good enough just as we are,” Chrissy says with a smile. “We don’t have to accomplish a certain thing, make a certain amount of money or hit a number on the scale. If we’re here on this plane of existence, we all have a purpose and we all matter. On days where I find myself struggling with doubt, fear and insecurity, that simple reminder never fails to help me gain perspective and move forward with purpose.”
Listen to that small, still voice inside.
“Before I turned 30, I thought anxiety would rule my life,” Chrissy shares. “But then I realized that by listening to the small, still voice inside of myself, I could fight it. Instinctively, you know what’s best for you. For me, I love to sing. But it’s hard to discern what you need when you’re always on the go. When you take a daily time-out to listen, whether through prayer or journaling, it brings so much peace and joy.”
Allow your loved ones to lift you up.
“I’m everyone’s biggest cheerleader in life, but I am really hard on myself,” Chrissy admits. “So whenever I’m feeling low, my friends and family are the first people I turn to. My mom inspires me to keep going every day, and my best friend, Donnie Berry, is always there to encourage me and give me perspective whenever I’m struggling to believe in myself. They’re such a gift!”
Learn to let go.
“One of the hardest things to learn in life is how to let go,” Chrissy admits. “It’s easy to be hard on yourself when things don’t go the way you hoped, but you have to focus on the facts. Usually, the facts are that you worked hard, and if you don’t see results, you have to let it go. It takes practice, but once we learn to let go of our attachment to outcomes, we find so much freedom to just enjoy our lives!”
Love your body now.
“When it comes to loving my body, the first thing I have to remind myself is that I am not my body!” Chrissy says. “Our bodies are just vessels that our beautiful souls inhabit. In learning to love yourself, gratitude for what your body is right now is the first step. Don’t compare yourself, and be kind and gentle with yourself. Shift your focus to how your body is working for you, and you’ll shine no matter your size!”
Let pain guide you.
“Sometimes our tragedies are really our triumphs,” says Chrissy. “Whenever I go through something hard, I try to look at it as an opportunity to learn something. I tell myself, ‘It’s not going to be like this forever.’ Then I ask myself, ‘What can I learn from this?’ and ‘How can I change for the better?’ When you do that, it’s no longer about what’s happened to you, it’s about what happened for you.”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.