Imposter Syndrome, Public Speaking, and Advocacy with Dr. Melissa Bird

Today you’ll have the pleasure to sit in on an inspiring and honest conversation with my friend Dr. Melissa Bird - or Missy, as I know her. A self-proclaimed “natural born rebel”, Missy earned her masters and PhD in social work and spent many years working in public policy as an advocate for women, families, and children before transitioning to being a full-time life coach and public speaker. In this interview, you'll hear tangible ways to defeat imposter syndrome, overcome any fears of public speaking so you can shine on stage, as well as how to be a graceful advocate for change on the issues that matter most to you. 

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Favorite Takeaways From This Episode 

We have a calling to engage in the work that we are passionate about.


We often try to self sabotage our own success. Imposter syndrome convinces us that we are unqualified to do things. We have to connect to the idea that we CAN do anything we set our minds to. 


Recognize what’s talking: your head or your heart. Your head is usually negative, and your heart is usually positive. It’s ok to do the ridiculous if it makes you feel excited and like you’ll impact the world.


Your probability of getting better at something you don’t do is 0%. Instead of thinking of the worst possible outcome, try to think about the BEST possible outcome instead.


People can sense when you’re operating out of fear. It’s important to continue to be real and share your truth. 


Don’t overdress because you’re nervous - be yourself! People actually DO want to hear what you have to say. We’re all suited to talk about things from our unique perspectives. When you make a speech, dress in a way that makes you feel confident.


Practice in small groups of people and ask for feedback. People will tell you if they’re not interested in hearing what you have to say. But more often than not, people DO want to hear your perspective. 


The more you put yourself out there, and practice speaking, the easier it becomes to connect with them. It actually doesn’t make a difference whether you’re speaking with 10 people or 10,000 people, you have to be grounded in your message and connect to who you’re speaking to. 


Action, leads to clarity, leads to confidence.


No one cares HOW your message gets delivered, as long as you deliver it. Don’t be afraid to carry notecards or something like that to remember what you want to say.


Talk about what you’re passionate about. This means knowing what to say no to when you’re asked to speak. Speak about topics that are within your expertise.


 The real social and political revolution isn’t marching and fighting. Those things are valuable-but every person should be given the opportunity to engage in whatever way they feel comfortable.


Advocacy is strategic storytelling. It’s telling people in positions of power our stories to show them how their decisions are affecting us for better or worse.


People crave connection. Find one thing you have in common with someone else and use it as a launching pad to engage in difficult and complicated conversation.


We SHOULD be connecting with people who are seemingly opposite from ourselves. 


Listen to the song of your heart without worrying about what other people think about it, or how they'll react to it. Do one thing every day that scares you. If it doesn't scare you, it's not the right thing to do.


Connect with Melissa:

What Did You Think?

What is your favorite nugget of wisdom that Melissa said on this episode? Leave a comment below. 

If you enjoyed today's episode, please:

  1. Post a screenshot & key takeaway on your IG story and tag me @missellenyin & @cubicletoceo so I can repost you
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