Real Rich Community Founder Vasavi Kumar shares words of affirmation all women can use to step into their greatness.
By Cy White, Photos by Breezy Ritter Photography
Vasavi Kumar is a formidable woman. Tough love and zero BS, she’s got a big mouth and an even bigger heart. However, she’ll tell you that she didn’t come by this self-confidence easily. It was a hard journey, oftentimes mean. “The second time I got sober, I was in my mom’s basement, and I remember saying to myself, ‘You’re such a loser,’” she recalls. “I remember thinking, ‘Why would you say that to yourself? Shut up! ’” The Vasavi Kumar of today refuses to allow that discouraging voice to be loudest in the room.
She’s found an even stronger voice, one she now uses on her new journey: comedian (with the mentorship of Heisman Trophy winner and licensed astrologist Ricky Williams, no less). She’ll soon add author to her resume, with her book Say It Out Loud publishing in 2023. “This is like an alternative to journaling,” she says. “You don’t need to find your voice. You just need to use it.” Kumar wants her journey to ignite yours. In the words of her comedy manifesto: “I am here to make people laugh at themselves. I am here to make fun of myself and share my insecurities so people see they’re not alone. I want my comedy to be healing. I want you to laugh at my pain so that you can be gentle with yourself.”
It’s okay if you don’t like me, because I like me.
So many of us are living lives that do not belong to us. We are living the lives of people who have told us how to live: our parents, society, media, religion. We’re so wrapped up in doing what we need to in order to have people like us, and approve of us, and love us, we become these inauthentic versions of ourselves to get the praise, the accolades.
But what if we stopped caring so much about other people liking us because we liked us? Then we could start living more authentically. Like, “I don’t need you to like how direct I am. I like that part about myself.” It’s about knowing yourself. If you know yourself and you like yourself and you accept yourself, even the parts that you’ve been hiding…it’s like you can’t say something to me to hurt my feelings. Number one, I already know this about myself, and number two, I accept this about myself.
It’s not my job to manage other people’s emotions.
This is the burden of all women, right? It’s our job to make sure that everything is taken care of and everything’s perfect, including whether we’re sad or angry. No. Our job is not to be the mother of the world. We place this burden upon ourselves to make sure everyone’s taken care of at the cost of our inner peace. I think we need to start caring about ourselves more than we care about other people, and as a result of doing that we end up being more caring. When you put yourself first and you do what’s best for you first, you actually are more helpful to others. But if you’re constantly doing for other people, you’re going to end up becoming resentful and burnt out and just becoming a martyr.
The more fun I have, the more confident I will be.
In life, especially in business, we get so sucked into our business that we forget to have fun. When we’re having fun, there’s an expansive light energy. When you’re having fun, you feel good; when you feel good you’re having fun. You’re not confident when you feel like shit. You’re confident when you feel good. So do more things that make you feel good. Have more fun, socialize more, spend more time with yourself, take that creative class that you wanted to take. Do the thing you always said you’d do. Having fun is your biggest return on investment.
I do not have to change who I inherently am in order to make you feel comfortable.
This one’s huge. We don’t have to match the energy of other people. For example, you’re in a room and a woman says something about how much weight she’s gained or how crappy she feels. You don’t have to join her in her shit to make her feel better about herself. That’s what makes us dislike ourselves. We’ve trained ourselves: we know we’re only saying that to make the other person feel better. I want to make it clear, while this can seem very “other” focused, it’s really all about you and your inability to be with discomfort. Be with your own discomfort. If that person’s uncomfortable, you don’t need to swoop in and save them. You’re robbing them of a growth opportunity. Let them deal with it.
My worth isn’t tied to my productivity.
If you’re currently tying how valuable you are to how much you’re doing, you’re robbing yourself of the experience of being still and being with yourself and hearing yourself. Sometimes it feels like you’re 10 steps ahead of you, right? You’re just flying by the seat of your pants. But understand, your worth isn’t tied to your productivity. Your worth is because you exist. Listen, it’s okay to work hard. I’m the daughter of immigrants; I’ll never tell anyone not to work hard. But it’s when you tie your worth to how much you’re doing, that’s when you have a problem.
There’s always gonna be something to do. The question you have to ask yourself is, “What is all this busyness keeping me from?” “What am I trying to avoid by not sitting still?” Or ask yourself, “When I’m not busy, I…” If the first words out of your mouth are, “I feel lazy; I feel useless,” that’s what we need to work on.