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Megan Hamilton | Ontario | Trust Your intuition

Speaker | Musician | Podcaster

I started out training to be an actor. Even though I was shy and had pretty limited confidence, I enjoyed taking on characters and being able to express myself through theatre. However, because my true confidence wasn't established, and because acting delivers a lot of rejection, I soon found myself getting more and more anxious. The potential jobs were no longer outweighing the stress on my system, so I quit. Several years later, I began to share songs that I wrote at open mic events. And music became my passion (and still is!) I've released 5 CDs and toured across Canada and into the US. And then a few years ago, I had the opportunity to coach students in their presentation skills. I realized that I LOVED doing this. So much so that I created a coaching business around it, including my signature training, left my job and journey out on my own. And here I am!

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

I think most of my hurdles relate back to my sense of self. I was bullied as a kid and developed some pretty severe anxiety because of that. So I spent years feeling like I was an outcast/oddball. But as I began to create my own work (especially music), I developed a strong sense of myself and what I was capable of doing. And that's what true confidence is - it's built over time, after being brave and after pushing yourself into areas that are uncomfortable, in order to grow.

What books are you currently reading?

Do you know that I'm having a really hard time reading right now? I just finished More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran, and I have several other books on the go: 21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act by Bob Joseph; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack. And about 15 others on my nightstand.

What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

If you're interested in becoming a strong speaker or an engaged leader, the biggest most important lesson is to believe in yourself. Keep your heart true, trust your intuition and your instinct, believe yourself when you feel like somebody's trying to manipulate you, and use your voice. The more you practise, the more you try, the more you test your bravery, the bigger your confidence will grow.

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