How Jess Eva Went From ‘Wallowing in Self Hatred’ to Being a Reality TV and Radio Star
On the surface, it might seem as though Jess Eva is confidence personified. The vibrant radio host became popular after appearing on The Block in 2018 before joining the team at Triple M’s Moonman in the Morning and, most recently, appearing on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
However, like most of us, Jess has struggled with feelings of inadequacy and insecurity which prompted her to write her new book Why Wouldn’t Ya? The tome, which blurs the line between memoir and self-help manifesto, doesn’t promise to help you get rich, but it does offer helpful insights as to how to enrich your life.
In fact, Jess provides the most convincing testimonial for her efforts, as she revealed to POPSUGAR that her book, and the process of writing it, saved her life emotionally.
“I didn’t think that I was worth anything, and then as I started to research for this book, I realised that it was a bad habit,” Jess said. “I started researching this probably four years ago. And I went from drinking too much and wallowing in self hatred, being in a job that I loved, but not progressing anywhere to making myself available and not being scared of failure.”
The results of Jess’s mental transformation speak for themselves.
“We applied to The Block, I got a radio show in Sydney,” Jess said. “It sounds silly, but we paid off Norm’s ute, which we didn’t think that we would ever do. We paid off our credit cards. We got I’m a Celebrity. I feel like I just changed my habits, and it happened. And I don’t think that I’m more special or talented than anybody else. So if I can do it, anyone can because my life was a bloody mess.”
Jess also revealed to POPSUGAR that part of her motivation to write the book came from seeing a gap in the market for people who hadn’t necessarily overcome obvious adversity, and yet still found themselves struggling with self worth.
“Normally we read these books and they’re so inspirational. You’ve got people that overcame all these adversities, and you read these books, and get so inspired by their struggle and what they’ve been through,” Jess said.
“But it always makes you feel guilty, because you’re suffering on a day to day basis and you can’t really put it down to one specific moment where you got so screwed up. And you also feel guilty because you think ‘how could these people overcome their problems, while I’m still wallowing in self hatred and negativity?’”
That realisation, coupled with the notion that, “The last person in life that realises they’re a ripper are the people themselves,” inspired Jess to start researching why we feel the way we do and how we can rise above the noise.
One of the key elements to Why Wouldn’t Ya?, is about learning to identify negative cycles such as feeling stuck in a rut or feeling unworthy of the good things in life.
“A cycle is also a really bad habit. And when I looked into it a little bit further, I realised that a habit is a physical neurological pathway in the brain. So we learn to tell ourselves these things. We learn that we ‘aren’t’ worthwhile and we adapt other people’s opinions as our own,” Jess said.
“But when a person, say a friend or ex-lover, makes you feel a certain way, that’s just someone’s opinion who is grossly unqualified to narrate on your life.”
According to Jess, once you become accustomed to recognising these thoughts as bad habits as opposed to factual information, you can then teach yourself to get out of the cycle and begin to form more positive neurological pathways.
Of course, this is Jess Eva we are talking about and so she also brings a healthy dose of relatability and humour to the pages of Why Wouldn’t Ya?. One such example is a chapter all about what she calls “The Asshole Train” which explores the ripple effect of how one person’s bad mood can affect ten, 100 or even 500 other people as they, in turn, board the metaphorical train in question.
“By understanding the process leading up to the execution of hatred, you then have a decision to make as to whether or not you want to board that ‘asshole train’, or if you want to evict yourself from it. So you need to emotionally quit the cycle of ‘the asshole train,’” Jess explained.
Although the book was written before Jess entered the jungle on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, she confessed a great lesson from her time on the reality competition that could easily fit within the pages about negative narcissism and the spiritual penis (read it!), and that is kindness.
“The biggest lesson I learned on that show was to accept kindness,” said Jess. “I had all these preconceived judgments about what everyone was going to be like, because they were entertainers. Yet when I got in there, it was the kindest, most loving, generous, everybody- clap-for-everybody experience that I’ve ever had.”
Musing further on her jungle experience and her big takeaway from it, Jess concluded, “After about the third day, I just wiped any expectation clean. And the vulnerability opened me up and made me more susceptible to so much more acceptance of love and kindness. It was a really big lesson for me.”
Why Wouldn’t Ya? by Jess Eva is out now.