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From Survivor to The Self Esteem Regime

[00:00:00] Miriam: I am so excited today to have Clarissa Burt with us.

[00:00:03] You have been involved in, well, your own company, Limelight Media, which deals with TV, video podcast, digital magazines, you’ve been involved in that entertainment industry for quite a while. And if I understand, right, you were part of the survivor series who survived. Somebody survived. Yes.

[00:00:26] I mean, so many interesting things.

Advocate for Women

[00:00:28] Miriam: Start telling me a little bit about. Who you see yourself now and even where those roots were traced from before?

[00:00:37] Clarissa: I’m very passionate about the position and condition of women, that it’s their birthright to be and feel safe.

[00:00:42] It is their birthright to be loved and respected. It is their birthright to to be able to do whatever it is that they feel that they wanna do in life.

[00:00:50] So my mother was a beautiful woman, toxic relationship, got pregnant with me, you know, in high school. My grandmother was, you know, lovely, one of the most kindhearted women you’d [00:01:00] ever meet and grandma was unhappy with her weight. She didn’t need to lose an ounce, but she took two diet pills, one day, she choked on them, perforated her esophagus and wound up in the hospital for the next six weeks.

[00:01:11] My modeling years gave me the possibility to be working with some of the most beautiful, you know, physically beautiful creatures on the planet. They were drinking and drugging and, or cutting or doing things that I just didn’t understand.

[00:01:23] There was this undercurrent, this underlying theme, if you will, that became really apparent.

Pageant Days

[00:01:28] I also ran and produced the Miss universe pageant. You know, there was always something amiss, you know, frequently, not always, but frequently something amiss.

[00:01:37] I realized that there was that common denominator and it was lack of self-esteem or very low self-esteem. And so my mission has been, To see women all over the globe, living in happy, healthy self-esteem. That’s the reason why I wrote this book.

[00:01:52] Miriam: You’ve brought up something that I think is very interesting when you are clearly a woman who is beautiful yourself, but [00:02:00] also talented intelligent. You’re the CEO of your own company. You ran a pageant, you know, the pageantry space. You won survivor. There’s a lot of moving pieces in that.

[00:02:12] I want to know how you maintain your presence, where you appeal to both men and women equally.

[00:02:20] Like this is what you tried to do with your book.

[00:02:22] I’m not speaking just to women— self-esteem is important for men. And you didn’t say this, but as a therapist, I know that a lot of the toxic relationships that happen are because both parties have really low self-esteem and both are trying to prove something with each other and with themselves.

[00:02:39] And self-esteem really makes a huge difference as to how someone treats someone.

[00:02:45] When you have self respect, you treat the other person with self respect.

[00:02:50] So speak to me a little bit about how you learned to command both audiences,

Self-Esteem for All Genders

[00:02:54] Clarissa: In order to be able to to be able to attract both audiences, both female and male, you have to be [00:03:00] speaking truth

[00:03:00] Because there’s one thing they know how to get through the BS pretty quickly when they, when they see it or smell it or hear it.

[00:03:06] You don’t ever wanna betray, you know, that gut instinct that pit of your stomach feeling because it’s telling you, you always know what’s right or wrong.

[00:03:16] And by the way, if you have to ask the question, you probably, you got your answer already. But don’t betray what is really truth.

[00:03:23] Another thing that’s really important is that we all wanna be loved. We all wanna be, respected, to feel safe, to live in a safe household. And if that is being betrayed, that is definitely a space you don’t wanna be continuing to stay in.

If It Hurts, It’s Probably Not Love

[00:03:34] Clarissa: Look, I always say if it hurts, it’s not love. If it’s hurting your feelings, if it’s hurting your body, if it’s hurting your mind, if it’s hurting any part of you hurts, it’s probably not love it’s addiction, it’s attraction. It’s many other things we could be here all day, you know, to describing. But it’s probably not love.

[00:03:56] So be careful with throwing that word around too much, make sure that [00:04:00] you know exactly what love is and what it means. And normally that means being supported. It means being respected. It means being given your space, it means wanting to learn about the other as the other wants to continue to learn about you. And to really listening to one another in relationship, really wanting to be there for one another. No eye rolling. No. You’ll never change. Oh, you’re always the same. None of that. That’s not nice. It’s not kind. And it doesn’t work.

Emotional Intelligence

[00:04:28] Be a class act. And, and the golden rule always works. Miriam. The golden rule always works, you know, treat others as you wish to be treated.

[00:04:36] And with that goes never, ever be afraid to say,” I’m sorry.” If you have made a mistake or said something you truly didn’t mean, or don’t say something because you want to hurt someone. What’s that like, where’s that coming from?

[00:04:51] You know, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone that wants to hurt me. Right? Yeah. Whether it be mentally, physically, emotionally, no matter how so.[00:05:00]

[00:05:01] You know, emotional intelligence is something that we probably need to be spending more time on- all of us.

[00:05:06] Miriam: Well spoken.

[00:05:08] Can I ask you to get into some specific examples of things you saw?

[00:05:13] There are certain industries that attract kind of the toxicity that you were talking about. What I have heard is that the media and TV, and there’s kind of a lot of personalities there that are either primadonnas or narcissistic.

Recognizing Toxicity in Real Time

[00:05:28] Miriam: I’m talking about like concrete examples where someone does something toxic and someone else responds as a class act, not rolling over, not saying nothing, not retorting back, but has that class act.

[00:05:44] and in a sense makes it very clear. That was not okay, but I’m not gonna be aggressive about it.

[00:05:51] Clarissa: Right? Loyalty is having my back behind my back. Mm-hmm loyalty is having at me having your back behind your back. So [00:06:00] think about the last time you walked up to a water cooler situation, you walked up to a group.

[00:06:06] People and they were talking smack about, there was, you know, unkindly about someone else that you may know.

[00:06:13] Did you stand there and defend that other friend of yours that wasn’t there to defend herself? Or did you join?

[00:06:19] Or did you, or did you just walk away and do nothing about.

Do The Right Thing

[00:06:25] Clarissa: I come back to saying, doing the right thing, the wrong thing. Would’ve been to engage, to start gossiping, to wanna throw more fuel on the fire

[00:06:35] I know what betrayal feels like.

[00:06:37] I think we all do. And it’s one of the worst feelings on the planet. So why would I want to set myself up to hurt anyone in that way?

[00:06:49] Miriam: Well spoken well spoken.

[00:06:52] I’m gonna ask you for another example.

[00:06:54] For people who are involved in a situation where someone above them has power and [00:07:00] is being toxic. What’s your advice or input?

Toxic Environments

[00:07:04] Clarissa: Well, in the workspace, it really is a conundrum because people don’t wanna lose their jobs.

[00:07:09] They’re kind of feeling really yucky about the space and the place they’re in I don’t wanna be in that kind of environment.

[00:07:13] So I would either do one of two things. I’d just leave the environment and go somewhere where I know that the, the corporate culture does not tolerate that sort of thing. And you know, if you’re good enough at your job, then you’re living in this kind of integrity. You should be able to find another job. I would hope relatively easily,

[00:07:28] one of my favorite words of all time is integrity. Take it to higher ups and see what they can, they, you know, they plan on doing about it.

[00:07:37] Miriam: Okay. I’m gonna take it one step further

[00:07:39] I mean, toxicity is a word that’s just sort of banter about. Right. But. Sometimes it’s difficult to define, but you know, it, when you experience it, it goes back to that lack of safety or you feel like you’re being cut down or you’re invisible

[00:07:54] Clarissa: yeah. I think, I think one of the things that I’d like to offer up right now is that and, and again, I say this to all, but you certainly [00:08:00] those in leaderships and that our CEOs of, you know, their own companies, we are leaders and that means we need to lead and we need to do that high.

A Blueprint for Self-Esteem

[00:08:08] Clarissa: And I don’t mean get high. I mean, we want to live with a high mindset.

[00:08:14] And that means living in honesty, radical honesty with yourself and with others, it means living in integrity. It means living in greatness and gratitude, and it means living in honor. So that’s high. H I G H. And I gave you two GS, just because it’s you Miriam. I gave you a double whammy there.

[00:08:35] Miriam: I love it.

[00:08:35] Clarissa: But you know, we’re losing, we’re losing. And if we don’t learn how to bring them all together, find them again and put, put them into our daily B blueprint. We might as well just shut it all down

[00:08:50] Miriam: agreed. Thank you for that. Repeat it one more time.


[00:08:54] H stands for

[00:08:55] Clarissa: Honesty,

[00:08:56] integrity. Gratitude and [00:09:00] honor.

[00:09:01] I mean, when someone says, you know, Clarrisa you, you are such a woman of honor.

[00:09:06] I mean, you just made my whole lifetime , you know, and, and it, and it has been said to me, and it means the world to me, because honor means that you’re honest. People feel safe with you. They know that they can trust you. They know that you are loyal,

[00:09:20] As the, as the water rises, it raises all ships or something.

[00:09:23] We could all live in that higher vibrational place and space. And I don’t mean to sound woo, woo. But all of these higher vibrational words bring higher vibrational thinking. And if we can do that in all with all of our relationships, we are then not perpetuating the toxic.

[00:09:42] But again, if you stay and live by that value system list, make a list. It’s a blueprint, right. I wanna be for example, better person today than I am tomorrow than I am. I don’t know how I may do that. It might be with a kind word, a compliment to drink an extra glass of water,

The Four Pillars

[00:09:59] Clarissa: These are really [00:10:00] my four pillars.

[00:10:00] If you will. Yeah. Of happy, healthy self-esteem, which is look good. Feel good. Be good and greater. Good.

Feel Good

[00:10:07] Clarissa: So, you know, feel good is I’m taking care of my body. I’m eating properly. I’m eating clean, I’m drinking more water. I’m mindful of the kind of water I’m drinking. What’s in that water.

Look Good

[00:10:18] Clarissa: Looking good is something is subjective to everyone.

[00:10:20] If you, when you look good, you’ve got another kind of lilt in your step, you know, you do. And there you go. Look and feel good,

Be Good

[00:10:26] Clarissa: be good – what are you listening to where you getting your education from change it up a little bit. Only take what serves you? What do you need right now?

Greater Good

[00:10:34] Clarissa: And then of course, you know, your greater good is, you know, paying it forward, paying it back, tithing, volunteering, doing the right thing.

[00:10:41] Miriam: Yeah. All right. Can I ask you to take H.I.G.H. And put it in your Survivor situation while , you were in this contest and you see a lot of people do a lot of dirty stuff on there.


[00:10:54] Clarissa: So honesty I was on survivor. It was Italian survivor. It was celebrity version of that. We were in Nicarag [00:11:00] 2011.

[00:11:01] And we got on the island around beginning of February. It was very tropical, rainy. I mean, the conditions were horrible. It was just the kind of stuff that wanted to put you in the worst mood of all.

[00:11:09] H.I.G.H., I think honesty was one of the things that transpired immediately because there was a lot of conniving and, you know, we’re gonna make you know, all these different associations between us and like, guys, I don’t know. I just, I’m not feeling that, you know, and so right away I was Marginated. Right. They didn’t really wanna have me in their team. They wouldn’t want me around. And I was just, I was alone. I was on my own and I was okay doing that.

[00:11:34] Second thing was integrity. We were very hungry. We lost a lot of weight on that. And there were a couple of girls that were coercing the younger girls, the pretier girls, I was already 53 on the island. So some of the younger pretier girls were running around the bikinis and they were coercing behind the scenes.

[00:11:56] Cameramen to bring them food. [00:12:00] The three of the girls, there were two of the younger girls and myself got into a helicopter one day and went from point A to point B. I forget where they were taking us. And what they did was started a hand out food and I refused it.


[00:12:16] Now, remember I was starving.

[00:12:18] And these girls made a pact with these guys to bring food into the elevator so they could eat because we were really that hungry. I refused the food. And that’s what I believe is what you call integrity. Now they were afraid of me that I was going to tell on them.

[00:12:37] Living in gratitude was really feeling that good about myself. I think at that point I was so in gratitude that I was living on this beautiful island, on Nicaragua, I wasn’t so happy about the no-see-ums that consumed me, but out then it was like the mosquito thing. Yeah. But but outside of that, I was really living in gratitude that I was having this most amazing experience away from the world away from friends, family. [00:13:00] Cell phones, computers.

[00:13:01] And I was able to live the heartbeat, if you will, of the island, right? Yeah. Up when the sun comes up, sleep, when the sun goes down, you know, and all the movement that happens when you have nothing to do, but pay attention to the crashing of the waves.

[00:13:16] Right.


[00:13:17] And then living in honor and living in honor, I would have to say again was just the way I played the game the entire way around, which was, you know, Wanting to do the right thing. I immediately became the, the go-to person for anyone that was in difficulty on the island, psychologically, emotionally, I was the one that people would come to, to talk to the girls would come and get some hugs and some love.

[00:13:42] I was the, one of the elders, you know, so it was, they were calling me Aunt Clarissa.

[00:13:46] And, and so I think that that was really being able, it was an honorable thing to do even funnily enough, once a week, they would bring on the psychologist, and then she’d go, Clarissa, how are you doing?

[00:13:58] I’m like, I’m having that time of my life. How are you [00:14:00] doing? And she’d start pitching one and complaining about how, you know, difficult it. And I, so I wound up being the psychologist. For the team psychologist, which was really interesting.

[00:14:10] So that’s awesome. Yeah. That that’s, you know, a good foundation for your book.

[00:14:15] I love that.

A Message From LeaveBetter

[00:14:17] Clarissa: Hey, this is Miriam jumping back in. Are you looking to go to the next level in your life or business right now? That’s what lead better is about my friend. We give you the coaching to level up, have those breakthrough. So you can stop the self sabotage that keeps you where you are currently.

[00:14:33] Let’s make self-improvement a way of life. Go to leavebetter.com and download the free resource that’s there today. We change them regularly. So go and see what’s new at leavebetter.com. Now back to our interview.

Self-Sabotage and Procrastination

[00:14:52] Clarissa: My business has to do with helping people overcome the self sabotage that keeps them from their best life and their [00:15:00] best in business.

[00:15:01] As you’re telling all of these stories that are so interesting and uplifting as you’ve looked at people throughout your lifespan, what are some ways that you have seen them self sabotage themselves?

Ways People Self-Sabotage

[00:15:14] Clarissa: I, I think I still do it sometimes as well.

[00:15:16] You know, sometimes I just I procrastinate, I get so overwhelmed with work that I shut down. I don’t know where to start. I’ll take it. I’ll take a day off. And, and that’s a procrastination kind of thing. It’s also a little bit of self sabotage.

[00:15:29] I probably take way too much on my plate, but I wanna do it all. You know, so I have to, I have to learn how to how to pace myself a little bit better there.

[00:15:38] As far as self sabotage is concerned when people, people get very uncomfortable, the closer they get to success, the closer they get to their goal, the closer they get to their dream, because they start, you know, they start asking themselves if they really deserve it.

[00:15:50] And so there, and again, lies a self-esteem issue, which it I’m gonna tell you right now, you do, you deserve it.


[00:15:56] You’re gonna work and play your way through this, but life will [00:16:00] trigger you. There’s never a, a test you take on, self-esteem get a hundred percent. It’s not gonna, it doesn’t work that way.

[00:16:04] As we know some, some days are up, some days are down, but you know you know, let’s start thinking about other people and how we might be able to ease ease their their pain, their difficulties, their, you know, unsure moments.

[00:16:17] Miriam: Yes. What I hear you saying is that some of the ways that people self sabotage themselves is that they have distorted views of who they are as a human being. And then they focus and fixate on those distorted views.

[00:16:33] And if they get their eyes off of themselves and onto someone else and helping someone else that dissipates some of that energy and then do the work yeah. And change these maladaptive views of yourself.

[00:16:47] Clarissa: I’m here to tell you that you are so much more than enough that you know. You have the same potential possibilities that everyone else does? Nothing comes for free. You will work for whatever it is that you that you achieve. And that’s part of the beauty of it.

Balance & Focus

[00:16:59] [00:17:00] It’s the work that you put into it, right? Whether it be your business, your product, your service, or yourself.

[00:17:06] Is self-esteem 1 0 1 doing something really good for someone else and taking the, the focus off of you. Yeah. But you definitely wanna continue to constantly be working on the betterment of yourself.

[00:17:17] Miriam: There is this balance between the focus on the other person to get my eyes off myself, to be humble, but also the focus on myself to grow me because the bigger I am, the more I can give.

[00:17:31] And that’s really what my company is talking about is

[00:17:35] let’s, let’s do some coaching. Let’s get you creating more revenue, and now don’t be a selfish jerk with it. Do something good with that revenue? We need good people doing good things for those who are less fortunate.

[00:17:48] If you could turn back the clock and speak to your, the earlier version of yourself, what would you say to her?

Don’t Be Afraid

[00:17:55] Clarissa: Just, just do it and don’t be afraid. I think fear has held me back on [00:18:00] so many occasions in life.

[00:18:01] We’re all born for greatness, everybody, you know, we all have that, that possibility and the capability, we just have to tap into it.

[00:18:08] And, and the support system that we create around us is of the utmost importance. Some of us did not come from supportive backgrounds.

[00:18:18] A lot of us came from toxic and it is our job to stop the toxic in its tracks and to turn it around and to make our lives, the life that we wanna live.

[00:18:31] Miriam: Yeah, well spoken.

[00:18:33] You seem like a person who’s not down very often. You’ve got a lot of energy and you’re extremely positive and forward thinking.

Take Time for Self Care

[00:18:41] Clarissa: I take a little bit of time off. I’ll do a mask. I’ll do a bath. I’ll do my essential oils. I’ll turn on the lounge music. I create a Zen like atmosphere and then I’ll scroll, scroll through TikTok for two hours and really just. Take a couple of steps back, relax, give myself the time that I [00:19:00] need, maybe make a phone call or two to a girlfriend that I know will pick up and, I know that will be there for me.

[00:19:04] I talk about the daily demons in the book and, you know, the daily demons that come in and, you know, you can’t, you won’t, you’re not good enough, all that stuff.

[00:19:12] And how I used to really have a conversation with all of this and it, and it was kind of not fun. N ow I just go, wait a minute. Are you back? And just, you know, like really we not, we’re done. We’re done. We’re done. We’re done.

[00:19:26] Miriam: What I appreciate about what you’re saying is that you have honed your emotional intelligence about yourself to the point where you can say.

Take Control

[00:19:37] Okay. I’m starting to feel down. What does this mean? What boundaries have I not placed in my life? What am I looking at or listening to? Yeah. Or partaking of that is putting me in this place. Mm-hmm let me take a step back and do some self care. Let me reach out to some of my friends. Yeah. Let me accept some of their love. Then you can shift that place. You [00:20:00] catch it before it goes down the slippery slope. We are in control of our moods a thousand percent more than we give ourselves credit for

[00:20:07] So many people blame it on them. They did this, they did that, but.

[00:20:12] We allow it, we allow exposure to the toxicity or we allow the worry. Yes. Or we allow the overworking we, you know, we allow things that sabotage our lives

[00:20:25] We’re about to the end. Where can people find you?

[00:20:28] I do have a website. The best way to get to me is through social. Okay. Uh, We’re reworking the website right now. But you can definitely get with me on social or clarissa@clarisaburke.com.


[00:20:37] In the show notes, we will put all of those links. It’s been such a joy to have this opportunity to hear from you. I mentioned before we started, I gave you the opportunity to choose from four charities and you chose best friends, animal sanctuary. We’re gonna make a donation in the honor of your mom, cuz she’s excited about that.

[00:20:56] Yeah. And we just wanted to say thank you for leaving [00:21:00] our world better. And I hope that this interview has left you better as well

[00:21:04] . Absolutely.

[00:21:05] Clarissa: Thank you so much for your time, Miriam.


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Music by Tom Sherlock.



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