How Dolly Parton Stays Grounded

Dolly Parton has enjoyed incredible success throughout her career. The “9 to 5” singer has sold millions of records and won many awards. Here’s what the country star said about how she stays grounded.

Dolly Parton doesn’t want her fans to put her on a pedestal

Dolly Parton wears a shiny dress and holds a microphone at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards at Allegiant Stadium.
Dolly Parton | Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM

Parton has countless adoring fans, but she doesn’t want them to “worship” her. She says she’s just like everyone else (she once ditched her wig and makeup), and she wants people to remember that. In her book Songteller, Parton says he gets “scared” when people treat her like an idol and put her on a pedestal.

Parton says she wants to be treated like any other person. She also says she doesn’t believe in any type of idol worship. Instead of “worshipping” her, Parton says she would prefer if people looked to God and tried to see God in her. She wants to be a “light” for Him.

How Dolly Parton stays grounded

During an interview with TED speaker Adam Grant on Clubhouse, Parton says she manages to stay grounded because of her upbringing. She says growing up “dirt poor” humbled her. Parton was born in a one-room cabin but when she was a little older, her family moved to their Tennessee home. She says her grandfather was a preacher and her mother was very religious, so she learned “all the good lessons” about loving her neighbor as herself, not judging others, and being a good person. (Parton once spoke about ‘God clues.’)

Parton says she is grateful for everything she has. She feels honored to be able to do the work that she does for a living. (Here’s how Parton’s approach to work changed over the years.)

“I take nothing for granted,” says Parton. “I think everything that’s happened to me is a great blessing. I count my blessings far more than I count my money because I know that this could not have happened to me. I see so many people more talented than me that never make it. And the fact that I have done so well, I’m amazed myself. It’s almost scary sometimes and I hope that I can always live up to the expectations of me. It would break my heart not to.”

Parton says she is humble because of her “love for God” and her trust in Him. Since her mother and grandfather were religious people, she holds onto the lessons she learned as a child and tries to apply them to her daily life.

How Dolly Parton handles making mistakes

During her interview with Grant, Parton was asked about her approach to life and what she does when she makes a mistake. Parton says she tries to avoid making mistakes. However, she doesn’t punish herself when she does something wrong. Rather, she transforms the error into a positive moment.

“I don’t like to make mistakes, but if you’ve made a mistake, it’s best to pick it up,” Parton tells Grant. “Turn it into something positive. Sometimes the best part of my show is when I mess up.”

RELATED: How Dolly Parton Avoids Burnout

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