Careers

The no-nonsense advice Samantha Bee would give her 18-year-old self

Samantha Bee has plenty of 18-year-old fans who'd like to emulate the Daily Show alum's success.

But if the "Full Frontal" star were to go back in time and give her 18-year-old self one piece of advice it would be this: Focus on yourself.

"I would tell the 18-year-old me to not pay any attention to what other people think of you," she told CNBC Make It at OZY Fest. "Not only does it not matter what they think of you, but they're also very busy thinking about themselves and they're not actually thinking about you."

Bee explains that focusing on your own goals and aspirations doesn't mean you need to ignore your critics completely, but doing so can serve an important purpose. "I wouldn't tell people that they shouldn't listen to their haters, I just personally don't because I want to be a happy person," she says.

Samantha Bee
Gabriel Olsen | Getty Images
Samantha Bee

Learning this lesson has taken time, says Bee. "When I started at Comedy Central and when I started at The Daily Show, I cared a lot about what people thought of my pieces," she says. "You get into a rhythm of constantly looking yourself up online just to see what people are saying about you."

Bee continues, "I cared too much in the past, and that can actually like really cramp your style and make you internalize a lot of self-doubt in a way that I'm just not really willing or interested in doing anymore."

Indeed, her unapologetic nature and her ability to focus on what she cares about seems to be part of what has made "Full Frontal," which recently earned seven Emmy nominations, such a huge success.

Samantha Bee speaks onstage during Full Frontal With Samantha Bee's Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Dimitrios Kambouris | Getty Images
Samantha Bee speaks onstage during Full Frontal With Samantha Bee's Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Even though she's no longer worried whether people approve of her every move, Bee is still thankful for the challenges that have made her the performer she is today. "I'm really glad, because it helped kind of forge the long-term performer that I am in the fires of hell," she says.

She advises her young fans to stay focused on their goals and zero-in on what they're really interested in pursuing. "The only thing that you really need to care about is what your own vision is," she says. "People will distract you from that, and that's not prudent. It's not healthy."

If you're working hard and still caught up in what other people think of you, Bee's advice is simple: "Let it go."

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