Daniel Kaluuya: How to Respond When No One Believes in You & Why Other People's Perception of You is Not Your Reality

    By embracing our true selves, believing in our potential, and making bold decisions, Londoners can foster personal growth and achieve world-class results for their city.

    enJanuary 22, 2024

    About this Episode

    Do you want to know how to respond when no one believes you?

    Do you know other people’s perception of you isn’t your reality?

    Today, Jay Shetty sits down with Daniel Kaluuya. Known for his role as Fred Hampton in Shaka King's American biographical crime drama film Judas and The Black Messiah, Daniel won the 2021 Academy Award, British Academy Film Award, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Supporting Role. His feature film writing debut with Netflix, The Kitchen has received positive reviews.

    While football is a well loved topic between Jay and Daniel, the conversation shifted on Daniel’s earliest childhood memories that left an indelible mark on his life. We uncover the roots of his resilience and determination and his unwavering interest in writing. 

    Daniel looks back into the challenges he faced for having dark skin and offers his insights on how to change our mindset around racism. We will learn about the cost of chasing our desires, the inspiration behind “The Kitchen”, and the transformative power of bringing ideas into existence. Together they unpack the importance of making peace with people's perceptions, and the courage it takes to share your work and passion with the world. 

    In this interview, you’ll learn:

    • How to pursue your passion
    • How overcome your limits
    • How to turn ideas into reality
    • How to develop resilience

    Join us on this soul-stirring exploration of life, growth, and the resilience that lies within each of us.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jay Shetty

    What We Discuss:

    • 00:00 Intro
    • 01:19 Earliest Childhood Memory That Changed Your Life
    • 06:07 What Would You Do When No One Believes In You?
    • 08:51 How the Interest in Writing Started
    • 11:52 Learning the Art of Improv
    • 14:25 Shared Love for Football
    • 19:27 Getting Shamed for Having Dark Skin
    • 23:37 How to Change Your Mindset Around Racism
    • 25:41 Standing Up For the Decisions that You Make
    • 27:46 The Cost of Wanting Something is High
    • 30:25 The Inspiration for The Kitchen
    • 33:54 Exposing Why People Live the Way They Do
    • 38:36 Overcoming the Fear of Making an Idea a Reality
    • 43:16 The Power of One Idea
    • 48:21 How Bringing Things into Existence can Change You
    • 52:29 Making Peace with People’s Perception of You
    • 58:51 Sharing Your Work and Passion to the World 
    • 01:01:36 Daniel on Final Five

    Episode Resources:

    Daniel Kaluuya | Instagram

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Despite facing doubt and negativity, Daniel Kaluuya's story teaches us to believe in ourselves, ignore others' criticisms, and persevere towards our goals.
    • Daniel Kaluuya's resilience, creativity, and unwavering belief in himself allowed him to overcome financial limitations, grow at his own pace, and ultimately succeed in the entertainment industry.
    • Believing in oneself and seizing opportunities are crucial in nurturing creative talents, as Daniel Kaluuya's journey in writing and acting demonstrates.
    • Improv teaches artists to let go of their inhibitions, listen to others, and build upon each other's ideas, resulting in the formation and honing of characters.
    • Supporting a football team can create a strong sense of community and connection, regardless of financial limitations, while also shaping personal identity and fostering community spirit.
    • Cultural norms and societal expectations can shape our choices and self-perception. Challenging systemic biases and seeking external validation can help address and overcome discrimination.
    • Racism devalues the experiences and worth of Black individuals, perpetuating a cycle of doubt and dismissal. It is crucial to recognize one's own value and not engage with harmful narratives, especially as one's public exposure grows.
    • Embrace the chaos and challenges that come with pursuing your dreams, stand up for what you believe in, appreciate the sacrifices made, and have perseverance to achieve your goals.
    • By learning from our experiences and understanding ourselves better, we can uncover underlying truths, gain a deeper understanding of the world, and grow as individuals.
    • The motivations behind criminal activities are often rooted in familiarity and comfort. Understanding the thought process and cultural identity of individuals involved in crime is crucial for addressing and preventing such actions.
    • By embracing our true selves, believing in our potential, and making bold decisions, Londoners can foster personal growth and achieve world-class results for their city.
    • Take action, believe in yourself, and share your talent globally. Embrace curiosity, critique ideas, and find clarity in the ones that deeply resonate.
    • It is important to let go of possessiveness and competition, and instead celebrate and support the work of others, fostering a genuine love for art and creativity.
    • Recognize the specialness in everyday occurrences and maintain a sense of fascination and gratitude, bringing calm and peace to our lives and allowing us to appreciate advancements.
    • True happiness comes from within, not from external validation. Prioritize your well-being, let go of the need for acceptance, and find contentment within yourself for a fulfilling and authentic life.
    • Being great at something is not enough; striving for honesty, authenticity, and purpose in your work brings more fulfillment and attracts like-minded individuals.
    • Daniel Kaluuya aims to create work that excites and connects people, evoking emotions and inspiring action, ultimately leaving a lasting impression.
    • Focus on the simple details that shape our perspective, believe in what we deserve, recognize the power of prayer within ourselves, and promote empathy and understanding through living with those we despise.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Overcoming Doubt: Daniel Kaluuya's Journey to Success

    Daniel Kaluuya's childhood experience of being laughed at and doubted taught him a valuable lesson about perseverance and self-belief. Despite the mockery and negativity, he was determined to prove himself and push through until the end. He realized that the opinions and criticisms of others do not define his worth or limit his abilities. This mindset continues to apply to his life today, where he constantly encounters people who tell him what he can't do. However, he remains confident in his own vision and refuses to let others' doubts hold him back. Daniel's story reminds us that we should focus on our own goals, disregard negativity, and stay committed to reaching our full potential.

    Overcoming Challenges and Believing in Yourself: The Journey of Daniel Kaluuya

    Daniel Kaluuya's success stemmed from his belief in himself and his ability to make things work, even when faced with challenges. He grew up with a mentality that he had to find creative solutions to overcome financial limitations, which taught him resilience and helped him develop his unique style and perspective. Keeping his dreams a secret allowed him to fail privately and grow at his own pace, ultimately discovering his own definition of success. His belief in himself was influenced by the media he consumed, such as watching shows like Fresh Prince and Wayne's Brothers. Moreover, his parents' supportive attitude of saying "yes" and finding alternative ways to achieve their goals also played a significant role in shaping his mindset. Ultimately, Daniel's unwavering faith and refusal to be limited by his environment or boundaries is what propelled him towards success.

    Daniel Kaluuya's Journey: From Skepticism to Success in Writing and Acting

    Daniel Kaluuya's journey in writing began at a young age when he realized his talent for storytelling. Despite facing initial skepticism and criticism from his teacher, he believed in his abilities and wrote a play that eventually won a competition. This early recognition and encouragement fueled his passion for writing. Moreover, his ability to observe and understand people's tone and energy, honed through experiences in his family where he didn't speak their language, greatly contributed to his storytelling skills. Although he temporarily left writing to pursue acting and improv, he found that these endeavors complemented each other and made it easier for him to return to playwriting. Ultimately, Kaluuya's journey highlights the importance of believing in oneself and seizing opportunities to express one's creative talents.

    The Power of Improv: Letting Go and Embracing the "Yes, And" Mentality

    Improv demands a lot from an artist, pushing them to think on their feet and adapt quickly. Daniel Kaluuya recalls a moment in a community class where he and his friends were messing around, but their teachers showed them the power of Improv on stage. Witnessing it firsthand, Daniel understood the essence of letting go and embracing the "yes, and" mentality of Improv. He realized that once you're in your head, you're dead, and the key is to listen and build off each other's ideas. Through these interactions, characters are formed and honed. Moreover, the passion and sense of community that comes with being a fan of a local team like Arsenal can create moments of shared celebration and joy.

    The Power of Football Fandom and Community

    Being a fan of a football team, like Arsenal, can create a strong sense of community and connection, regardless of whether or not you can afford to attend games. Daniel Kaluuya highlights how even non-Arsenal fans in the area were happy when the team succeeded. He emphasizes the close bond among supporters and the excitement of being part of the community. Jay Shetty also shares his experience of supporting Manchester United, despite living in between rival clubs. The conversation touches on the cultural aspect of parent's expectations for their children's careers and how it can limit opportunities in sports and the arts. Overall, this discussion illustrates the significant role that sports teams and fandom can play in shaping personal identity and fostering community spirit.

    The influence of cultural values on career choices and personal identity.

    Cultural values and societal expectations can greatly influence the paths we choose in life. Jay Shetty and Daniel Kaluuya discuss how their parents' desire for safety and security led them to prioritize getting a good job instead of pursuing their passions. They also highlight the impact of cultural norms on individuals' identities and self-perception. Kaluuya shares his experience of feeling different and facing colorism within the black community, as well as racism in the workforce. He reveals how it took an outsider, his Irish agent, to validate his experiences of discrimination. This teaches us the importance of acknowledging and challenging systemic biases, and how having external validation can help address and overcome them.

    Gaslighting and Invalidation: The Frustration of Sharing Discrimination Stories as a Black Individual

    Racism can gaslight and invalidate the experiences of Black individuals. Daniel Kaluuya highlights the frustration of not being believed or understood when sharing personal encounters of discrimination. He compares it to someone asking why people don't like football when they have no personal connection to the sport. This gaslighting perpetuates a cycle where Black individuals are questioned, doubted, and dismissed, while the perspectives of those in power hold more weight. It is a form of racism that devalues the word and worth of Black individuals. Despite this, Kaluuya emphasizes the importance of recognizing one's own value and not engaging with these harmful narratives. Building internal peace and autonomy is crucial, especially as one's career and public exposure grows.

    Embracing Chaos and Challenges: A Path to Fulfilling Dreams

    Embracing both the chaos and the challenges that come with pursuing our dreams is essential. Daniel Kaluuya emphasizes the importance of accepting our own chaotic nature and the occasional madness that arises from our choices. By acknowledging and looking closely at these moments, we can find a deeper understanding of ourselves and what drives us. Kaluuya also highlights the significance of standing up for what we believe in, even if it means going against the norm. It's crucial to remain true to ourselves and our passions, regardless of others' opinions. Additionally, he reminds us that achieving our dreams comes at a cost, and it's important to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices we've made along the way. Ultimately, reaching our goals requires both perseverance and the ability to see the full picture, including both the good and the challenging aspects of our journey.

    The importance of learning from life's lessons and embracing self-discovery.

    In short, one big takeaway from Daniel Kaluuya's conversation is the importance of taking lessons from life experiences. He shares that if we don't learn from the lessons we encounter, we will continue to face similar challenges until we finally understand and grow from them. Kaluuya also highlights the significance of self-discovery, explaining that sometimes we realize that we never truly wanted certain things, and this realization helps us understand ourselves better. Furthermore, he emphasizes the value of exploring our surroundings and digging deeper to uncover the underlying truths and motivations behind certain behaviors. It is through these explorations that we can gain a deeper understanding of our world and the people in it. Ultimately, Kaluuya's story reminds us of the importance of learning, self-reflection, and embracing thrilling experiences while recognizing the potential costs they may entail.

    Exploring the Criminal Mindset and Cultural Identity in London

    Daniel Kaluuya gained valuable insights and understanding about the mentality of individuals involved in criminal activities. He met people who had actually carried out heists and spent time with them, trying to comprehend their motivations. Ultimately, he discovered that these individuals engage in such activities because it is what they know and feel comfortable with. What fascinated him the most was their way of thinking and their principles that guide their actions. Kaluuya wanted to explore and expose the thought process, values, and cultural identity behind their actions. He also highlighted the powerful mentality of individuals who engage with the system as if it were an enemy, much like how they would engage with rival neighborhoods. London, in particular, holds a special energy and potential, but perceived limitations and glass ceilings often hinder people from pursuing their desires.

    Embracing Belief and Breaking Free from Limitations in London

    There is a need for Londoners to believe in themselves and their potential. Daniel Kaluuya discusses how the mentality of making things work and not settling for limitations is essential for personal growth and success. He highlights the resilience built in London during the blitz and how it is still present but often suppressed by social constructs and the "keep calm, carry on" mentality. Kaluuya emphasizes the importance of embracing who we truly are as individuals and as a culture, rather than hiding behind a false image of modesty. By believing in ourselves and making bold decisions, just like New Yorkers do, we can foster growth and achieve world-class results for our city.

    Embracing Curiosity and Pursuing Dreams

    Both Daniel Kaluuya and Jay Shetty believe in the power of pursuing your dreams and pushing boundaries. They have a strong conviction in the value of their ideas and are not afraid to go for it, even if they may mess up along the way. They emphasize the importance of taking action and believing in oneself. They also highlight the need to share and amplify London's incredible talent on a global scale. They encourage others to follow their lead and pass on the baton to inspire and learn from those who come after. Ultimately, it's about embracing curiosity, critiquing ideas, and finding clarity in the ones that resonate deeply.

    Embracing Collaboration and Fostering Creativity

    Daniel Kaluuya believes in the importance of letting ideas and creativity flow freely without being possessive or limiting. He recognizes that not every idea or song is meant for him to create, and he finds peace in accepting that. Instead of feeling competitive or comparing himself to others, he genuinely celebrates their success and supports their work. He wants to see great things exist in the world, whether he's the one creating them or not. This mentality has allowed him to focus on the quality of his own work and strive for higher standards. Daniel's perspective reminds us to embrace collaboration, appreciate others' creations, and foster a genuine love for art and creativity.

    Cultivating Awe and Appreciation for Existence

    We should cultivate a mindset of awe and appreciation for the wonder of existence. Both Jay Shetty and Daniel Kaluuya highlight the incredible nature of creation, whether it's bringing a new life into the world or the ability of planes to fly. They emphasize the importance of not taking these things for granted, even if they seem common because of their abundance. Instead, we should recognize the specialness in everyday occurrences and maintain a sense of fascination and gratitude. This mindset of awe and wonder can bring a sense of calm and peace to our lives, allowing us to approach challenges with a monk-like perspective and appreciate the accessibility of technology and other advancements.

    Cultivating Inner Peace and Authenticity

    Finding inner peace and not worrying about how others perceive you is essential for living a fulfilling and authentic life. Jay Shetty and Daniel Kaluuya discuss the importance of cultivating a sense of calm and zen within oneself, rather than focusing on external appearances or fame. They emphasize the idea that true happiness comes from letting go of the need for validation and acceptance from others. Instead, they encourage listeners to prioritize their own well-being and find contentment within themselves. By understanding that fame and perception can be unpredictable and fleeting, one can navigate through life with a sense of freedom and authenticity.

    Finding Fulfillment in Authenticity and Purpose

    Being really great at something doesn't hold much meaning if it lacks purpose and emotion. Daniel Kaluuya shares his journey of initially idolizing legendary actors and obsessing over their performances, only to realize that their greatness didn't resonate with him on a deeper level. He discovered that striving for honesty and authenticity in his work was more fulfilling than simply being good at his job. This shift allowed him to let go of self-criticism and enjoy the process, knowing that his work would always reflect his true feelings at the time. Rather than micromanaging his perception, he now focuses on being real and attracting people who truly understand his approach.

    Creating Shareable and Impactful Work

    In short, one big takeaway from this conversation is that Daniel Kaluuya wants his work to be shareable and evoke a sense of excitement and connection. He aims for his projects to be something that people can't help but talk about with others, like a great song that you want to share and introduce to your friends. Daniel wants his work to be powerful and impactful, making people feel something and inspiring them to take action or share it with others. He values the ability to move and connect with people on a deeper level, beyond just superficial adjectives or fleeting feelings. Ultimately, his goal is to create work that matters and leaves a lasting impression.

    The Power of Simple Details and Believing in More

    The details in life are not just about the specifics, but rather about what they say about us and how they shape our perspective. It's important to focus on the simple details and not get caught up in everything else. Additionally, it's crucial not to accept less than what we deserve and to believe that everyone deserves more. Prayer is a powerful practice that can bring gratitude, humility, and a connection to oneself. Rather than seeing God as something external, it's about recognizing that God is within us. And if there was one law in the world, it would be to make those who harbor hate or prejudice live with the people they despise, allowing them to gain empathy and understanding.

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    Do you want to shift your perspective on fear? 

    Today, let’s welcome the one and only Orlando Bloom. Orlando gained widespread fame for his roles in some of the most popular films including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean series. He will be seen starring in Peacock's limited adventure docuseries, To The Edge, which he also produced. Off-screen, Orlando is known for his humanitarian efforts, including his work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

    Orlando shares insights from his life as an actor, adventurer, and someone deeply involved in spirituality. He talks about how meditation and mindfulness help him stay balanced despite the hectic nature of being a celebrity, his views on masculinity, the importance of embracing both masculine and feminine qualities, and striving for balance and introspection in life. We also get to hear stories about facing and overcoming fears, embracing vulnerability, and the lessons he's learned from these challenges. This episode isn't just about getting to know a renowned actor but diving into the personal journey of a man who is constantly looking for deeper meaning and connections in life.

    In this interview, you’ll learn:
    How to overcome fear
    How to maintain balance in a hectic life
    How to incorporate mindfulness into everyday activities
    How to explore and embrace different aspects of your personality
    How to use life's challenges as growth opportunities

    Tune in now for a discussion full of insights on overcoming fears, embracing spirituality, and pursuing personal growth.  

    With Love and Gratitude,
    Jay Shetty

    What We Discuss:
    02:28 Working in an Unscripted Space
    06:09 What’s Your Earliest Childhood Fear?
    08:35 Practicing Buddhism
    13:49 The Lotus Sutra
    20:16 The 8 Wins
    26:28 Trusting Your Life and Becoming Capable
    36:33 Being Present While on the Edge
    44:48 Any Moment Could Be Your Last
    45:43 The Deepest Mirror You’ll Ever Have
    48:58 What Did You Learn from Your Past Relationships?
    51:22 Introducing Buddhism Practice to My Kids
    55:33 Whatever You’re Saying, You Become
    01:02:22 Loving the Parenting Journey
    01:07:16 The Impacts of Your Decisions
    01:09:13 Opportunities Through Obstacles
    01:17:40 Buddhism Is My Anchor
    01:18:59 The Fear You’re Currently Overcoming
    01:26:04 Orlando Bloom on Final Five

    Episode Resources:

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    4 Ways to Know if It Is Time To End Your Relationship (When the Signs Are Not Clear and Things are Not Bad)

    4 Ways to Know if It Is Time To End Your Relationship (When the Signs Are Not Clear and Things are Not Bad)

    Do you find yourself often thinking about breaking up?

    Do you and your partner have unresolved conflicts that keep resurfacing?

    In this episode, Jay tackles the tough emotions and uncertainty many face when considering a breakup. He talks about why people stay in or leave relationships, touching on key factors like emotional closeness, personal investment, and the impact of family responsibilities. Jay also discusses how to ensure emotional security and the risks of staying for financial reasons or out of obligation. 

    In this episode you’ll learn:

    How to recognize emotional investment

    How to assess emotional security

    How to consider financial implications

    How to navigate emotional intimacy

    This honest conversation provides you with the insights to evaluate your relationship more clearly, helping you decide whether to work on it or move on, based on a deeper understanding of your feelings and the relationship's dynamics.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jay Shetty

    What We Discuss:

    00:00 Intro

    01:10 When to End Your Relationship

    04:48 10 Reason Why People Stay in a Relationship

    12:44 Top 10 Reasons to Leave Your Relationship

    18:14 The Three Cancers of the Mind

    24:44 Difference in Scorecard Perspective

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Benny Blanco: 3 Ways to Stop Caring About Failure & Get Out of Your Own Way

    Benny Blanco: 3 Ways to Stop Caring About Failure & Get Out of Your Own Way

    How can you overcome the fear of failure?

    What can you do daily to care less about failing?

    Today, Jay sits down with Benny Blanco for an inspiring conversation about pursuing passions, mentorship, failure, and continuous motivation. Benny has made a huge mark on the music industry contributing to hundreds of millions of album sales worldwide. Benny has worked with A-List artists like Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry. As a solo artist, his albums "Friends Keep Secrets" and its sequel have amassed over 11 billion streams, featuring multiple platinum hits. Beyond music, Benny has ventured into television and even released a cookbook, "Open Wide," showcasing his diverse talents and interests

    Benny shares insight on how to not let failure stop you and getting over imposter syndrome. We also go dive into Benny’s life outside of music, exploring his passion for cooking through his cookbook "Open Wide." Plus, Benny talks about his relationships, how he keeps his creativity flowing, and the small joys that make his life special.

    In this interview, you’ll learn:

    How to pursue your passion with limited resources

    How to not let failure get in your way of achieving your goals

    How to embrace the unexpected in creative work

    How to transition your passion into different fields

    How to find joy and creativity in everyday moments

    Don't miss this intimate look at Benny Blanco's life and maybe learn a thing or two about making your own multi-track masterpiece or the perfect dish to serve at dinner!

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jay Shetty

    What We Discuss:

    00:00 Intro

    03:43 What’s the First Creative Thing You Put Together?

    06:15 I Never Cared About Failure

    10:33 Developing Amnesia to Failure

    14:22 How Did You Meet Your Mentor?

    18:10 “The Boy I Mentored” 

    23:42 How Do You Show Up After a Rejection?

    26:51 Love Can Be Felt Through Music

    29:56 What Do You Do When You Wake Up?   

    32:02 Why Do You Struggle with Meditation?

    33:28 Why I Went to Therapy

    38:25 The Pressure of Perfectionism

    44:49 Do You Love to Cook?

    47:20 Do You Eat Healthy?

    48:47 Finding Comfort in Food

    54:42 What’s Your Sleep Pattern?

    56:40 Friendships Built Over the Years

    59:19 Multigenerational Friendships

    01:03:44 Better Relationship After Divorce

    01:05:52 Benny on Final Five   

    01:15:57 What’s Your Vice?

    01:17:53 Do You Take Supplements?

    Episode Resources:

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Why Your Self Worth is Keeping You Stuck & How to Stop Sabotaging Your Personal Growth With Jamie Kern Lima

    Why Your Self Worth is Keeping You Stuck & How to Stop Sabotaging Your Personal Growth With Jamie Kern Lima

    How does low self-worth stop you from moving forward?

    How can you stop self-sabotage and grow personally?

    Today, let’s welcome Jamie Kern Lima. Jamie is a New York Times bestselling author, founder of IT Cosmetics, a company she started in her living room and sold to L'Oreal in a billion-dollar deal, becoming the first female CEO of a brand in its 100+ year history. She's also an active philanthropist who has funded leadership training in more than 100 prisons and shelters across the US, and has donated over $40 million in product and funds to help women face the effects of cancer with confidence. 

    Jamie and Jay ponder on the meaning of self-worth, distinguishing it from mere confidence and challenging the misguided belief that our value is tied to our physical appearance. We get to hear the detrimental effects of self-doubt and present empowering strategies to transform your relationship with rejection, offering a new perspective that fosters resilience and self-compassion. 

    And then the conversation dives deep into personal beliefs, urging us to identify and discard unhelpful misconceptions, while giving emphasis on why authenticity is crucial and its role in conjunction with other factors in achieving success. 

    In this interview, you'll learn:

    How to build self-worth

    How to distinguish confidence from self-worth

    How to handle rejection

    How to overcome self-doubt

    How to remain authentic

    Together, let's learn how to distinguish your worth from external validation, turn rejection into a stepping stone, and live authentically.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jay Shetty

    What We Discuss:

    00:00 Intro

    03:17 Do You Feel Worthy Today?

    10:04 Confusing Confidence with Self Worth

    17:37 Your Weight Impacts Your Worth is a Lie 

    24:03 What Has Self Doubt Cost You?

    31:25 How to Change Your Relationship with Rejection

    37:02 The 4-Part R to Reframe Rejection

    44:00 You Need This Today

    48:13 Which Lie Are You Trying to Unlearn? 

    56:32 Authenticity Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Success

    Episode Resources:

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.