Many times people see public figures and think about the success and privileges. It's sometimes hard to remember that they are humans with feelings, weaknesses and flaws just like you. But Tana Monguea created a brand around her being authentically human as well as being the confident party girl who everyone from Paris Hilton to Kylie Jenner wants to hang with. She is unique in which though she's charismatic and bravely outgoing, she also doesn't shy away from being humble and down to earth. She's known for her self-depreciating jokes that will make you crack up or feel sorry for her. She also keeps it real, revealing lots about her past trauma and childhood demons.
Tana Mongeau arrives at the 9th Annual Streamy Awards on Dec. 13 in Beverly Hills, Calif. FilmMagic
"I've spent 15 years of my life being so incredibly emotionally abused and physically abused and mentally abused and just like tormented," Tana opens up in a March 2020 post about addictions and her dark past. "I was raising myself all of those years. And I've built up so much hatred for my parents and so much anger for the entire life that they've given me. And it was like instantly I got thrown into this way out."
Mongeau continued with suggesting that though the success of her YouTube career motivated her and made her happy she felt like she was forcing down her conflicting emotions towards her childhood and her parents. She felt as though she had to pretend to be happy all the time and keep a lid on her darker feelings. She was being watched by millions of people after all who saw her as the happy go lucky girl next door who was always having a good time. That was basically the brand and image that she had created.
Tana admitted to being a "distraction oriented person." Meaning she'd use drugs, alcohol, and relationships to forget about the past. "If something broke my heart, if something upset me, if anything I was just instantly doing what I could to distract myself." As her success grew it's this coping method that came natural to her as more and more fans wanted to live vicariously through her wild partying antics and care-free spirit. But, like we learn in DBT, distraction techniques are good as long as they are healthy, but you can't keep the lid on troubling emotions forever. Nor should you. This is what Tana realized as one particular relationship with a notorious fellow YouTuber eventually made the past unbearable to forget.
Even though Tana hated her childhood and found her parents triggering she said,"I was trying so hard to forgive my parents and I ended up bringing them back into my life."But she ended up having an argument with her mom that only furthered her anger. She was frustrated that they weren't giving her the apology she needed. Around Christmas season, Tana became depressed, something we can all relate to. She eventually opened up to her fans in a video her main channel on Mar 31, 2020. While we all might not have access to such outlet surely there is at least one person who is there to hear us out, even if it's over a crisis line or with a therapist. Some people find writing a blog or expressing themselves through art helpful. Millions of people don't have to see it for you to reap the benefits of self-expression.
Tana is so well-received because she has shown time and time again that she is able to express herself authentically to her fans. Even if she takes a step back initially, going MIA for some time, if it's not addressing behavior that her audience finds worrying or addressing outrage about something she said or did, she is shedding light into very vulnerable areas of her life. Notice we mentioned she takes a step back to take care of her needs first before confronting issues. This in the end not only makes her a good inflencer but she is able to balance work and life by using her platform as a great emotional outlet.
What makes Youtube child stars so different from say mainstream actresses that have similar stories, and what makes them more resilient is that they are able to keep it real from day one. There is no veil or illusion to their character or publicist controlling everything. They are themselves and it makes longevity in career and mental health more sustainable.
So, here is what we can learn about Tana Mongueau!
Your demons and flaws are often also what makes you beautiful. You can use them to either make you lay down and give up on life or to fuel you forward to make a better life for yourself.
Being vulnerable can build connections with the right people.
Being vulnerable doesn't mean you don't respect your privacy and needs to recuperate with alone time. In fact it is best to be vulnerable only when you have taken care of yourself. It's great to be honest but having a clear head and being able to care for yourself on your own is mandatory even before reaching out for help. Unless you are in a state of emergency of course!
While distractions are sometimes necessary, balance them with the hard work of self-reflection and keeping it real. Your mental health will greatly appreciate it and people will respect you more!
Being confident and humble goes hand in hand. In fact you can't truly be confident without humility. Humility is what allows you to let yourself flourish, as you aren't inhibited by the fear of making mistakes or being judged.
Own up to your mistakes and apologize for them when necessary, and if something is triggering to you, don't be afraid to express it and remove yourself from the situation even if it means you might hurt someone else. Remember, even when family is involved, you come first.
Sometimes when you cannot move forward in a relationship, it's best to practice radical acceptance and let it go. Create new boundaries with family members and if you really find them triggering and old anger keeps flaring up, perhaps it's best to part ways even if you forgive them.
Some people are never going to apologize and it's up to you to move on and let go of the anger.
Tana has also implied in numerous of her videos that she love surrounding herself with happy and uplifting people. This is important to keep in mind. Sometimes when we are struggling we might find that people with their own issues relate more to us or that it is comforting to sit together in misery. But this might only prolong negative thought patterns. Instead try to get yourself out of your comfort zone and expose yourself to new emotions with bringing positive people into your life even if it feels strange at first.
Building Your Humility Muscles
According to the dictionary humility means being unpretentious or having a low opinion of oneself. While you don't have to walk with your head hung low, humility is important for keeping you grounded in reality and making meaningful relationships. It can also actually boost your self esteem in the long run. For instance a lot of people avoid situations that can further their lives or help them meet like minded people because they are too anxious or ashamed of how they will look. Some people may have a fear of being seen as weak or stupid so they keep to themselves. But these avoidance tactics only prolongs your feelings of shame and furthermore they leave you feeling helpless and even hopeless. Shame is one of the most painful emotions. In fact according to experts in reiki and things like law of attraction, shame has the lowest rating on the emotional frequency chart. So here is what you can do to boost your humility and feel less of this awful emotion.
Understand you are not more or less than others. By any means, either through spiritual or religious practices, seek out and accept this believe daily. Write down the reasons and evidence for this and remember to say it out loud. Meditate on them with an audio you produce or useful ones on the internet.
Practice humility such as doing things for others, helping a stranger or even spending time with a friend in need or a family member who could use someone. Putting the needs of others before yourself will build empathy. Make sure in these times you are present and that you actively listen to the person during conversations. Which brings us to the next step.
Actively listen and observe the people around you. If you are having a conversation first be mindful of what they are saying. Many times we are just caught up in everything we are needing to say or our own opinions. Give someone center stage this time round.
Practice being vulnerable every day. For some people this might mean going outside without make up or even saying your not okay when you are not. It could mean asking for help when you need it. For some, just being themselves is vulnerable and painful. They put on a show or become different people to meet other's expectations. If this is you practice being. If your nervous be nervous. If you're cranky be cranky without being rude. Say what's on your mind while still being appropriate. If you feel like you need to leave a situation leave. If you don't feel like talking stay silent. Don't aim to please others. In fact don't aim to be or do anything. If your perfectly natural resting bitch face makes others uncomfortable well that's too bad for them!
Acknowledge your limitations with an open-heart like a loving parent accepting it's child even when it's flawed. Be very mindful of the thoughts and behaviors you take part in that are shame-based. Many times our inner voice is a reflection of any bad feedback we might have gotten in our own upbringing. If your parents or people around you during your formative years were critical, we often become this negative overbearing critique to ourselves as well. Instead remind yourself that everyone has flaws and there is no need to be perfect.
Other useful tips:
Surround yourself with people who accept you and remove any toxic influences. Definitely remove people who are judgey.
Live in the present, rarely thinking about the future desires or past regrets. Practice mindfulness breathing to help you, bringing your attention to your breath every time you wander off into the past or future or anything at all that takes you out of the present.
Practice gratitude. Look at the things you do have. For instance technology, the clothes on your back, the food and running water that's available to you especially if you are in a third world country.
Limit your social media consumption. This is self-explanatory I hope!
Improve your mental diet with things like Buddhism, self discipline practices, and positive quotes
Forgive yourself for any mistakes no matter how big they were and even if others might still hold grunges.
Remind yourself of how great humans are every day. This one is last but definitely not least. A lot of time pride, which is the opposite of humility is a defense mechanism when you feel like the whole world is against you. People with mental health issues feel like this a lot, especially after being judged and misunderstood and even mistreated by people in society. The successful YouTuber Liza Koshy, known for being joyful and over the top, says she keeps positive by reminding herself she can see the God in people and hoping that others can see God in her. Now, you might not believe in God, but do whatever it takes for you to think positively about your fellow human beings. You have to share this world with them after all and interactions are necessary and even crucial to maintaining a healthy mindset.
As this might be one of the hardest parts in recovery, today and for many of the lessons, you are going to practice empathy for yourself and others. For today's task, make a list of activities you can do to help you see the positive side of humans. You might want to start small with speaking to a therapist or spending more time with people you trust, but eventually you want to involve yourself with activities that make your positive feelings towards others more pronounce.
Maybe you want to practice smiling at strangers or volunteering somewhere where interacting with people is a must. Maybe you want to join some sort of club or sports team. If you are concerned with anxiety revert back to the fear ladder. If any psychological problems are an issue see a doctor and maybe consider joining a group with like minded people such as an anxiety or PTSD group. In person DBT can be expensive but sometimes they have free services or budget friendly ones.
Definitely be on the look out for any group-oriented activity that you can engage in. It's important however, to be mindful if you have struggled in the past with conducting yourself in a meaningful manner. For those with Asperger's syndrome or any disorders where they have problems in interactions, joining a social skills group might be incredibly useful. Even taking the time to read about your specific disorder and self help books on socializing meets the criteria to building empathy. If you have any concerns about socializing start there. If you are particularly self-conscious you can revert back to the thinking traps and bring any supportive notes needed with you to social engagements.
Finally, remember to start small. Build your list but do things you are comfortable with at first. Push yourself after a while but not too hard. You don't want to throw yourself to the wolves only to isolate yourself again after a bad experience. The goal here is to make positive new experiences. But remember sometimes things won't always work out the way you want it to and that's okay too!