Robin Roberts has learned a lot in her 20 years hosting Good Morning America

The longtime host of ABC’s flagship morning show spoke with Harper’s Bazaar about the experiences she’s had and the lessons she’s learned. One thing she said was that she doesn’t take for granted how the show is the starting point for so many viewers’ day. 

“I still get goosebumps saying ‘Good morning, America,’ knowing that I’m setting the tone for the day for so many people, and the responsibility that goes with that, and the privilege that goes with that,” she said. 

Roberts said being the show’s co-anchor wasn’t on her list of goals as a kid, but she is thrilled to be where she is now.

“It wasn’t on my whiteboard as a kid, being a coanchor on a morning show like this! And then to be here for 20 years, it’s unreal,” she said. “I can remember my knees knocking that first day, working with the Diane Sawyer and the Charlie Gibson.”

Roberts talked about how she realizes she is a beacon to a lot of different people, from those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, which Roberts has survived, to being a queer Black woman. She now also represents hope for people who have been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disease. Roberts was diagnosed with the disease five years after her battle with cancer.

“I check off a lot of boxes,” she said. “I remember especially when I was in sports and people did not want, at that time, women to give them their sports news. I felt more that people saw me as a woman than as a Black woman. And then, I remember when someone asked me, ‘Is it more difficult being Black, being a woman, or being gay?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know! I’ve always been a Black, gay woman. I don’t know how it feels like to not be that.'”

She said that people might not agree with everything she says or does, “they know they can trust me and that my intentions are pure.” 

“I’m not a preacher. I’m not a teacher. I’m a messenger. That’s how I look at it. I’m a walking, breathing symbol of ‘This, too, shall pass,’ and I think that’s what motivates people,” she said. “I’m glad that for whatever reason, people draw inspiration from that.”

One of the biggest lessons Roberts learned was how to combat imposter syndrome and see the good. She said she trained herself to focus on the positive in any situation. 

“Sometimes you tell yourself you’re not good enough. You’re not pretty enough. You say these things about yourself that you would never say to a friend or even a stranger,” she said. “I became very intentional in my thoughts, knowing that I have a choice to make about how I’m going to feel about myself and my worth. Self-respect and self-worth—that is my key.”

“I’m a realist, but positivity has been my fallback,” she continued. “I have conditioned myself to see the good. Optimism is a muscle that gets stronger with use. When cancer comes your way or divorce or something else crosses your path, you have that as a fallback. You gotta change the way you think in order to change the way you feel.”

Read the full interview at Harper’s Bazaar.