Creativity Coaching

Drew Barrymore's Secret to Success

By Valery Satterwhite | Posted 10/22/09 | Updated 4/7/24

"There is a joy that's earned by failure or triumph. All those things add up to teach us, if we are open to it." —Drew Barrymore

Everywhere you read about people who face challenges are examples of people who have moved beyond their challenges to create extraordinary lives. There are also plenty of inspiring life stories about those who have literally and figuratively destroyed everything they have achieved.

In every inspiring success story lies the common denominator of an examined life and a recapture of personal power, authenticity. In every disappointing story of self-sabotage lies the common denominator of the victim mentality, a giving up personal power and life experience responsibility over to others. And there are stories of people who have turned a life of self-destruction into a fulfilling life of creative endeavors that enriches their own life and the lives of those they touch through their presence and their work.

When I read Parade magazine's article "In Search of the True Drew" by Kevin Sessums, I learned the story of a stunning turnaround in what could have easily been a sad story about what could have been. It is commonly known that this ET child star led an early life of drug and alcohol addiction, rehab and a series of short failed marriages.

Today Drew is an accomplished actress and film producer. With her film, Whip It, Drew added Director to her credits. Her production company, Flower Films, has produced popular movies including He's Just Not That Into You, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Donnie Darko, and Never Been Kissed.

How did Drew make the transition from a has-been washed out child-star following a path of self ruination to an award winning highly recognized power in Hollywood? Drew discovered that life experiences are not events that happen 'to you', they are the direct result of choices made.

This new way of thinking about her past experience and what she wanted to create for her future is the result of a shift from "I am a victim of my circumstance" to "I have the power to create the life I want to experience." Drew moved from being a victim of circumstance, a child born into a dysfunctional yet famous Hollywood Family recreating the same destructive life for herself that her Mother experienced to taking deliberate charge of her personal and professional choices.

"I used to look in the mirror and feel shame, I look in the mirror now and I absolutely love myself." —Drew Barrymore

Drew realized that there is purpose in every experience she had in those difficult early years. Each experience came with a gift in the lesson that could be learned by it. Drew looked for the lesson, learned and applied it. Today she makes different choices, choices that will take her in the direction of her dreams instead of further away from what she desires most.

"I aspire to be that, to be a voice of reason one day." —Drew Barrymore

Instead of continuing to act as a mirrored reflection of her Mother's misguided influence, Drew acts as the Mother who guides her child, herself, in a positive and supportive method of parenting. Acting as her own Mother, Drew parents herself by mindfully speaking and behaving in a way that empowers her to create a lot more of the good experiences and fewer of the, shall we say, less than optimal experiences. And with each experience that could have resulted in a better outcome, Drew looks for the gift, learns the lesson and applies it the next time around thus creating a newer and better outcome!

With this trust in her own internal guidance system Drew's life is now the shining example of a story well told. With her willful intention to live a life well lived, we look forward to seeing what Drew creates next in her work and her life.

Next: Drew Barrymore's Secret to Success: Parent Your Self

Copyright ©2009 Valery Satterwhite. All rights reserved.