7 life lessons on positivity by our digital cover star Naomie Harris

Our new digital cover star Naomie Harris is the personification of positivity - something that the world needs now more than ever.

At 45, the OBE award-winning actress is a force to be reckoned with. She finds strength in the face of adversity, turns criticism into motivation and refuses to let her age define her. Crucially, she uses her platform to empower others and is determined to make the world a more hopeful place - something that deserves to be celebrated.

It is for this reason and more that Naomie Harris is our December digital cover star - providing non-stop empowerment from her uplifting cover interview to the powerful Valentino Beauty photoshoot.

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Naomie Harris is back, returning to our screens this year as Eve Moneypenny in the latest James Bond instalment, No Time to Die - and she's bursting with positivity.

To celebrate Marie Claire's new digital cover, Naomie Harris sat down with Yomi Adegoke and shared her life lessons.

Here’s how you can get Naomie Harris’ perfect party makeup look

Nick Thompson

Here are 7 life lessons on positivity from Naomie Harris

1. Criticism can become a motivator for success

‘I realised [being bullied] was a motivator for my drive [for] success, and I had to confront the fact that nobody really gives a shit anymore. I thought, “I’m a grown-ass woman now. What am I trying to prove to these people?” I had to let that go and find a different motivation for what I [was] doing. Instead of centring [on] resentment; anger; wanting to prove myself, actually centring on joy and appreciation and gratitude – and a desire to grow.’

2. It's important to have the right balance for you

‘I don’t know why anybody would want to be so famous that they can’t walk down the street. I just think [that’s] hideous! I feel very blessed that I have the perfect balance, because I am known within the industry but I still get to live my life and be free. I’m not so well known that I walk into a bakery and everyone turns around and looks; I’m still able just to live my normal life and I love that. That’s what I’ve always wanted.’

3. Painful moments can become formative experiences

‘[Scoliosis surgery] was a really traumatic experience, but I also think it is one of the experiences that made me who I am because not only did I have to show tremendous determination to be like, “this thing is not going to stop any of my dreams; I am still going to live the life that I always envisioned for myself”.'

4. We can't take our health for granted

'I think a lot of people who don’t have those kinds of early life experiences or life challenges take health for granted. And I never did; I never could. I learned very early on that my health is incredibly fragile. And I also learned I never want to be in this situation again. So, my focus became all about health and living as healthy a lifestyle as possible.'

5. Age doesn't define our job prospects

‘It sounds really braggadocious, but I could work all the time if I wanted to now. It’s really incredible and I am so grateful. I do interviews and they always say because you’re in your forties, it’s so great that you’re still working. [But] there are so many actresses who are in their forties and older who are still considered at the top of their game and still doing exceptionally well.’

6. Practice gratitude for diverse influences

‘It shaped me in the sense that there was such a level of acceptance. It’s such a melting pot. In my primary school I was not a minority at all. It was so mixed that I never felt like colour was an issue. There were so many other Caribbean families around, so there was no feeling of “other”, which I think is a beautiful way to grow up. I think it gives you a much greater awareness and confidence and pride in your ethnic background, which is important.’

7. The future looks optimistic, especially regarding racial diversity.

‘Lots and lots of Black actors have that power to be able to [make change] and are using that power. That’s where I think the difference is; that’s why I think it will be sustained.’

Read Naomie's full cover interview on @MarieClaireUK

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.