402: Build Confidence Through Inspired Work With Michelle Myers
Michelle Myers is an award-winning spoken word poet, community activist, and educator. As a founding member of Yellow Rage, an Asian American female spoken word poetry group, Michelle has appeared on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, in the first live Def Poetry Jam show presented at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and in the Def Poetry Jam College Tour. She is also the co-creator and host of the two- time Emmy nominated TV show Drop the Mic, a spoken word poetry competition show that airs on Community College of Philadelphia’s CCPTV channel.
Michelle shares about the work she has done in her career and how she keeps herself confident when in times of self doubt. She also shares how her work through poetry has inspired so many people which has helped Michelle in her own confidence to create a positive impact in the world.
Michelle Myers is an award-winning spoken word poet, community activist, and educator.
Michelle is of Korean American descent.
Favorite Self Confidence Quote
Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem.
Definition of Self Confidence
Self-confidence is claiming the right to have agency over one’s identity and actions in spite of all the people and processes at work to dismantle it. It is the steadfast conviction to one’s sense of personal truth, justice, and purpose.
Her Life Before the Discovery of Self Confidence
Michelle has always been working on her self-confidence. She doesn’t know if anyone truly ever eliminates the insecurities and doubts that pop-up in their minds in their day-to- day lives. The difference is how we handle and push through such insecurities and doubts.
For Michelle, before she developed her way of pushing through, she would become paralyzed by a
fear of other people’s judgments or of failing. It would cause her to isolate herself, to completely withdraw into herself or into books. Now she uses writing and books, particularly as a spoken word poet but also as a college professor, to connect people and build community.
The “AHA” Moment
Michelle’s “Aha moment,” is actually ongoing—it happens after every performance when a woman approaches her and tells her that she has inspired them in some way through her poetry. These experiences, admittedly, have placed a tremendous feeling of responsibility on Michelle, but they also have taught her that encouraging and supporting women to be strong and to demand respect is an integral part of building community among women and of dismantling a persistent culture of sexism against women. This is the kind of world she wants her daughters to inherit.
Her Life After the Discovery of Self Confidence
After Michelle realized that many women, particularly young women, were being influenced by her poetry, she started to write more with them in mind. She also tries to be as present as possible for them in various moments of interaction, whether it’s on stage while she is performing, after a show when they are speaking to her, or through email as they share a personal experience with her.
The One Self Confidence Tip For the Listener
Really learn how to approach their lives more intentionally. Practicing mindfulness, especially through positive self-talk, is extremely important. They have to believe in themselves first—no one else
can truly know their dreams, desires, and commitment. They have to motivate and believe and be committed to the person that they know themselves to be. They have to believe and tell themselves that they are unstoppable and live their life that way.