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Kerry Washington on negative self-talk, dedication to culture-shifting projects and more

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(NOTE LANGUAGE) Kerry Washington is learning to focus more on embracing who she is. In her cover story for Marie Claire’s The Identity Issue, she spoke of the revelation she experienced as she moved into the fourth decade of her life.

“There’s something about getting into my 40s where I am starting to see you only get this one life,” she says. “To spend this one life wanting to be anybody other than me, and not be where I am, doesn’t benefit me. To focus on what’s over there means I’m ignoring my gifts, and this garden of my life doesn’t get to flourish. What’s mine is mine, and it’s beautiful.”

To combat any negative self-talk along the way, Kerry turns to “prayer, meditation, therapy, journaling, or spending time with other people,” adding she’s also “doing the work.”

“As an executive, entrepreneur, parent, wife, for me to show up in those places requires that I’m willing to constantly be doing self-inventory and face my stuff. If I’m in a place of faith, self-love and radical acceptance, sh** doesn’t bother me,” she says. “I can take a risk, and whether it goes well or doesn’t, I’m good. It’s about the journey, letting go of the result, and trusting your lane is yours. But if I’m not doing the work to be in a faithful place, then it’s much harder.”

Kerry’s taken on many roles, including Olivia Pope on Scandal. While she recognizes her role was “part of something transformative and culturally significant,” she says she’s always been dedicated to choosing culture-shifting projects.

“Even in the beginning of my career, I would say I’d rather work another shift at the restaurant than do a movie that is going to be bad for women or Black people,” Kerry says.

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