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The founder of The Honest Company and Honest Beauty recently spoke with Women @ Meredith about overcoming self-doubt

By Julie Farin
January 18, 2021 02:17 PM
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Jessica Alba
Credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty

Actor. Advocate. Mother. Mogul. All words to describe multi-hyphenate star Jessica Alba. But despite her impressive roster of accomplishments, the Mexican-American entrepreneur, 39, recently told PEOPLE's Senior Style and Beauty Editor Jacqueline Fields that she has battled feelings of unworthiness.

"I've always had this imposter syndrome thing – and I always felt like I didn't deserve to be here," Alba revealed of building her business during the third installment of #StraightTalk, an interview series organized by the employee resource group Women @ Meredith. [Meredith is PEOPLE's parent corporation.]

"I always felt like it was God, and luck and magic that had got me here," Alba continued during the discussion. "But I think being with my husband [producer Cash Warren] over these years, he let me know, 'Hey, it's all the hard work you've always put in. You deserve to be here as much as anyone else.' And over time I guess I've sort of let that sink in and marinate."

Alba, a globally recognized businesswoman and New York Times bestselling author of The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You, founded The Honest Company in 2012. The lifestyle empire has become a leader in the natural baby category and a trailblazer in clean products. She continued to build the brand's outreach with the launch of Honest Beauty in 2015, a successful wellness, skincare and beauty line. That same year Forbes valued the company at $1 billion.

Jessica credits Warren, her husband of 12 years, with helping her gain self-confidence.  "My husband has the mentality of, 'I deserve to be here' — even though he is also a person of color," she shared during the Women @ Meredith webinar.

"He grew up in, as a minority, in a predominantly white Hollywood kind of environment; his dad being one of the few Black actors of his time," Alba added, referring to her father-in-law, Michael Warren, 74, best known for playing Officer Bobby Hill on the long-running NBC television series Hill Street Blues.

Alba explained that her husband, 42, "always felt like, 'if I don't treat myself with that respect, how do I expect anyone else to treat me with that respect?' And so that's just the way he carries himself — not entitled in a way that you normally sort of hear it — but like, 'I deserve to be here.'"

The couple met in 2004 during the filming of the superhero blockbuster Fantastic Four, where she portrayed the Marvel Comics character Invisible Woman. They have three children: daughters, Honor Marie, 12 and Haven Garner, 9, and a son, Hayes, 3.