Kristen Holmes sits down with media superstar Nigel Barker on this weekâs episode of the WHOOP Podcast.
Nigel is one of the top photographers on the planet and has worked with some of the biggest stars in the world, including Taylor Swift. He is known by many for his television work, in particular spending years as a judge on Americaâs Next Top Model.
He discusses turning nervousness into a powerful tool to help you excel in the moment, learning to deal with criticism and how the most successful people in the world have used criticism to improve themselves, and finding self-confidence and the most authentic version of yourself.
Nigel is a bright and thoughtful person. He goes in depth on the creative process and shares a lot of his philosophies on art, beauty, and life in general. I think youâll enjoy this episode.
3:30 – Finding Confidence and Overcoming Nerves. âSo much of oneâs confidence comes from practice and comes from feeling secure in what you do and knowing what you do. Nerves sometimes are a good thing too. âŠ Channeling [stage fright] is very powerful. In fact, I often tell people who perhaps get a bit of stage fright now and then that thereâs an incredibly charming aspect to that humility and modesty that comes with stage fright.â
8:01 – Nigelâs WHOOP Team. Nigel talks about how heâs gotten into rowing and is on a WHOOP team competing with several friends who were Olympic rowers. âIâm not up to that caliber, but Iâm being pushed. Itâs this very hardcore situation so you do get nervous, but then all of a sudden you pop out the other side and you say, âI did that, and now I can do the same thing again but now I can go a little bit further and try a little bit harder.ââ
11:58 – Drinking. âI try to be careful no matter what. That doesnât mean that I donât have a drink, heck I have a podcast called the Shaken and Stirred Show, so Iâm making cocktails on a regular basis. Thatâs the whole point: Itâs not about stopping, itâs about living. Moderation is a big part of it but that doesnât mean you donât partake. âŠ Itâs funny, the WHOOP knows. It does. The day before last I didnât have a drink and I didnât actually have a drink last night either, I just didnât need one, didnât want one. My recovery was off the charts!â
13:39 – WHOOP Insights. âI didnât realize just how much sleep I needed or didnât need, or how much hydration I needed, or the effects of alcohol or the effects of stress, all the different things that one does in oneâs life that adds up.â
15:47 – Overcoming Hangovers. âIf I do have a hangover of any sort whatsoever or felt like perhaps I went a bit too far the night before or the day before, Iâll actually punish myself by doing incredibly well in the gym. Iâll say, âOkay, youâre going to pay for that, Barker. Youâre going to the gym and sweat it out.â Actually, Iâve often times returned some of my best results ever with a hangover, which is really the worst thing you can tell people, but Iâm just going to say it as a truth! Thereâs an element of that in my DNA at least.â
20:36 – Learning on the Job. âI had never really been on television before. I was completely green to the whole situation. It was something I had to learn from the ground up. I watched myself as I was doing it and thought, âOh god, Iâm not very good there. That didnât look very good.â I didnât know what I was doing, but I learned. I tried to continuously improve, and Iâm still doing all of those things with everything, whether itâs podcasting or book writing or anything else.â
24:08 – Following Your Dreams. âIf you donât try, if you donât think outside the box, if you donât go for it, if you donât push that boundary, youâre never going to actually do anything.â
25:59 – Compartmentalizing. âI have already tried to practice compartmentalization. Whenever Iâm doing something, at that moment, you have my full consciousness, you have my full attention. Everything is about what Iâm doing at that moment. Itâs about being present in the moment. Itâs about quality, not quantity.â
31:50 – Joining Americaâs Next Top Model. âIt was 100% a risk. In fact, several people, including my agent and various other people, told me not to do it. They said, âYou canât do that. Itâs commercial and cheesy. âŠ People wonât work with you. Theyâll think youâve sold out. Youâll be a laughing stock.ââ
36:07 – Dealing with Criticism. âThereâs also a negative connotation toward the word âcriticismâ to the point where one needs to have the words âconstructive criticism.â Criticism doesnât necessarily mean anything bad. âŠ Perhaps if someone gives you advice or critique or criticism, that one may learn from it. But also, realize too, that itâs just that personâs opinion. It doesnât always mean that they are wrong or right. You have to take it and absorb it and learn from it.â
39:35 – Turning Disappointment Into Success. âYou watch on shows like Top Model that it isnât always the winner who wins. Often times people who got knocked out earlier are the ones who are the ultimate winners because they have whatever it is inside of them to not necessarily take it to heart, but to learn, to grow, and to not give up. Youâll see them rise to the top, theyâre just going to reach the top at another point in time.â
40:09 – The Beauty Equation. Nigelâs book, , dives deep on the meaning of beauty and how to best reveal your âinner beauty.â
41:59 – What Makes Someone Beautiful. âWhen you find someone attractive, if you think someone is sexy, itâs not because of what theyâre wearing. Okay, whatever, they may have great skin or beautiful hair or whatever it may be, but thatâs not sexy, thatâs just the way they look. Sex appeal is the way they move, itâs the way they sound, itâs the way they shimmy across the room, itâs the way they look at you, itâs the glint in their eyes, itâs their intelligence, itâs their wisdom. Itâs what they say to you, itâs how they say it. Itâs their charm. Itâs their grace. Itâs their humility. Itâs all of those things that, actually, if you think about, is what you fall in love with.â
45:49 – Believing in Yourself. âYou canât always rely on the world at large to embrace everything that youâre doing. âŠ Van Gogh didnât paint the sunflowers and turn around and say to someone, âDo you think thatâs finished now or should I put another petal on that?ââ
48:16 – Know Yourself. âYou have to believe and know who you are. That is this constant quest of being one with oneself. That, of course, is probably the meaning of life at the end of the day.â
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