Perhaps you have heard the terms:

  • ”Inner Critics”
  • “negative self-talk”
  • “Impostor Syndrome”

For many years, our guest today, Michelle Kuei, allowed negative beliefs to rule her life and keep her down. Her story is one of courage, determination, and vulnerability. But more importantly, it is about having the confidence to face fear in everyday life. Facing our own worst enemy, facing our own judgments and harsh criticism.

Today, she works with negative self-talkers as a life coach to discover inner strength and beauty by overcoming the fear of judgments.

Michelle and I discuss how she overcame negative self-talk and her own inner critic and how you can do the same.

Michelle begins by telling listeners her story, which began at age 11 when she was hit by a car. She had complications during the long years of recovery and, in the midst of it all, her family immigrated to New York. In addition to overcoming the physical challenges that her body presented her, she also confronted the challenge of adjusting to a new culture, learning a new language, and making new friends. Her inner critic told her she didn’t meet society’s standards. In her 40s, she decided she no longer wanted to live as her own critic and began a journey of overcoming physical as well as internal challenges, leading her to hike Machu Picchu.

In the second half of the episode, Michelle explains her “three D” rules — determination, discipline, and dedication — and how you can use them to overcome your own challenges and change your life. She also talks about her passion for changing society through education. At the end, you’ll hear about Michelle’s book and podcast and how to connect with her.

Key Quotes:

  • “The emotional challenge is the most challenging portion to overcome.”
  • “I lived 30 years of my life looking down to myself, being ashamed of my body.”
  • “One day when I was waking up, I realized that this is not the life that I want to live. I don’t want to live my life feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want to be constantly beating up myself over how I look. I’m going to change that.”
  • “I came home and I realized what worked really well in that moment of time was that single moment of idea that ‘I don’t want to live this life anymore… I want to be different. What do I have to do to make it different?’ And that single idea got me here.”
  • “That just shows that when you’re determined, you can overcome.”
  • “With that you had to overcome both the internal and the physical aspects that you were describing.”
  • “The 3 D rules are determination, discipline, and dedication.”
  • “Determination: you have to be determined in what you want for your life.”
  • “Discipline: you have to be able to discipline yourself and keep showing up no matter if it’s the worst hour of your life.”
  • “Dedication: you have to dedicate your entire life for this to be your passion.”
  • “One of the things that I believe is that children deserve education regardless of where they are, who they are, and what race or gender they are.”
  • “My purpose of this life is to use my difference, my appearance, my uniqueness to inspire others.”
  • “You are not in this alone.”


Michelle’s podcast: Perfectly Normal Podcast

Michelle’s Book: “Perfectly Normal: An Immigrant’s Story Of Making It In America

Michelle’s Website:

Instagram: @elevatelifecoach

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