Robert Downey Jr. was right to walk out on his interview with Britain's Channel 4 after being asked inappropriately about his past. Instead of promoting Downey's latest movie, host Krishnan Guru-Murphy wanted to know about his drug use and jail time...about the man Downey used to be. But that's not who the award-winning actor is today; Robert Downey Jr.'s comeback is one of the most successful in Hollywood. He's rebuilt his career, redeemed his character and re-emerged as the man he was supposed to be years ago. If anyone knows how to make a comeback, it's him.
"Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again..."
Making a comeback is about reclaiming your authenticity. It's your chance to shine brighter than you did before, because you are embodying a better version of yourself -- the YOU you were meant to be. Sometimes those qualities get lost, sometimes they get buried and sometimes they just need to mature.
Justin Bieber is in the progress of redefining himself, getting back the qualities that made him famous in the first place. He was just a kid when he broke into the spotlight, and a lot of what he's been going through is normal kid behaviour -- well, normal for a kid that has access to everything and whose actions are splashed across the news. But he's still a young man growing up. At his recent Comedy Central roast, he talked about wanting to change back into his true self:
"There's been moments I'm really proud of, and a lot of moments that, when I look back, I'm pretty disappointed in myself for. But the things that I've done really don't define who I am. I'm a kind-hearted person who loves people, and through it all I've lost some of my best qualities. For that, I'm sorry. Someone close to me once said, 'It's how you rise from the fall that truly defines you as a man.' I'm excited for that challenge."
Some other notable stars who have had a comeback include Rob Lowe, Mickey Rourke, Drew Barrymore and, of course, Madonna -- the queen of comebacks!
You don't have to be a celebrity to have a comeback; sometimes we all need to reinvent ourselves. Maybe we are going through a big change, like ending a marriage or leaving a job we built our lives around. How do we break out of that role or situation that once defined us, and present a shiny new self to the world?
Here are five quick steps anyone can follow to make a comeback:
1. Be honest with yourself. When Robert Downey Jr. starred in Elton John's video for "I Want Love," it felt so raw and real to me. It was like Downey was speaking Elton's words from his own heart. I think the first step to any reinvention of self is honesty. You need the self-awareness to acknowledge that change must come. It's an opportunity to reinvent yourself into a more authentic version of YOU...and that can be an amazing thing. Sometimes the "old you" failed because it wasn't in synch with the "true you." We all have phases we need to go through, and layers we need to shed. It's totally normal and healthy. Nobody is perfect! We are all on a journey of self-discovery. The key is to keep learning and growing along the way.
2. Be grateful for the opportunity. Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, a comeback is your chance to blossom into something new and amazing. This isn't a bad thing -- it's a gift! All mistakes are lessons we can choose to learn. It's up to us to decide what we do with them, but being grateful for the opportunity to reinvent yourself is a great way to start. Besides, gratitude can even help you become more successful.
3. Repair what you can. If you've let yourself go physically, get back in shape. If you stopped doing the things you love, take yourself on an artist's date. Ask yourself what areas need work and work on them. And if the old you burned bridges -- rebuild them. Very few people refuse to forgive others who ask for it genuinely, and usually this is because they are working through issues of their own. It's never too late to be the best version of yourself possible. Lakeisha Shurn, a woman from San Francisco who felt she was at rock bottom and wanted to reinvent herself, went to the gym for 100 days. Her real-life journey now has over two million views on YouTube! It goes to show you, there's always a way to repair what is broken; you just need to find it.
4. Seek the help you need. Often a comeback arises after you hit that rock bottom and you need support from a friend or loved one to get you back up. Like the Beatles song goes, "I get by with a little help from my friends." For Downey, it was his wife Susan who helped him get better. He has said that he owes his newfound success to her; it's no coincidence he's been sober since 2003, the same year they met.
5. Try something new. They always say you'll never get new results by doing the same thing; if you want something you've never had, you need to do something you've never done. So branch out. Let go of your restraints. Embrace new ideas. Learn something. Step out of your comfort zone. If you've found yourself typecast into a certain role that you want to escape, the best way to do that is by trying something new -- and let other people see you in a new light.
Reinventions can take many forms: they can be physical, mental or emotional. They can move you to new cities, find you a new love or open your life up to new opportunities. We each have the power within us to start fresh, and like Robert Downey Jr., Justin Bieber or even Lakeisha Shurn, you never know who you might inspire along the way.
We all have someone in our lives who is looking up to us. We are all mentors, whether we realize it or not; we should strive to be the best version of ourselves we can be. And if we haven't become that person yet -- it's never too late for a comeback!
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