Believing It: How One Woman Overcame Self-Doubt

Author Jamie Kern Lima knows how one's thoughts can impact outcomes.

Posted Feb 23, 2021

When it comes to rejection, author and award-winning television news journalist Jamie Kern Lima understands how one's thoughts can impact outcomes. Since Jamie experienced multiple rejections in both her personal and professional life, she knows the intense pain associated with it.

In my conversation with Jamie last month, she explained, "One of our greatest journeys is to know how to listen to our inner knowing and let it be louder than our fears of rejection."

With very little money, Jamie founded IT Cosmetics in her living room. Many doubted Jamie could succeed in creating her unique brand in the ultra-competitive cosmetics industry. "There was no proof it would work, she recalled.

Gallery Books, used with permission
Jamie Kern Lima
Source: Gallery Books, used with permission

Despite intense bullying from others, Jamie figured out how to help herself. "When I went against my own inner knowing, I let my own fear get bigger," she explained. 

Fortunately, Jamie followed her inner knowing and continued to move onward. "These rejections can shape us into our greatest joys," she said. 

Eventually, Jamie sold her business to L'Oreal, making her the first female CEO of a L'Oreal brand in its 108-year history. With Jamie's entrepreneurial success, her narrative sparks inspiring business conversations centering around leadership, resilience, and innovation.

However, one of the lesser-known stories about Jamie is that of her own adoption, which she writes about in her new book, "Believe IT." At age 27, Jamie accidentally found out she was adopted. In her conversation with me, she described the adoption as "a deep family secret." Jamie went through an arduous search process to find her birth mother, and described the healing as a "season of learning to forgive [a] parent who didn't know me."

"Many people never go on a journey of inner knowing," explained Jamie, and hers is one that is filled with tenderness, compassion, forgiveness, and grace. "There is a saying: 'You don't have peace until you have all the pieces.' I still don't know who my dad is ... God is my father." 

During her adoption journey, Jamie sought professional therapeutic help to manage her panic attacks and depression and is a strong advocate for destigmatizing the need for seeking professional mental health services.  

Jamie says therapy helped with multiple things, including processing the feelings of betrayal, self-doubt, and rejection. And her therapist even helped her with understanding her own personality and how to help herself.

Knowing how to help herself, Jamie was able to guide herself through today's virtual business challenges. "I felt I needed to be an extrovert to be successful," she said. "What I've grown to know for sure whether you're an introvert or extrovert, you can be successful ... So many people who are introverts find it exhausting to be on Zoom, and every time an introvert has an interaction they give away [their energy] and feel depleted. My husband is an extrovert and I’m not. And I no longer try to change myself."