Why I Was Comfortable Having a Conversation with GaryVee and Other Big Names on the Podcast, Episode 84

Telling the world that you want to chase your wildest dreams such as podcasting, leading a movement, or selling any form of artistry is vulnerable and anxiety-provoking especially if you’ve spent a bulk of your life trying to hide and not be heard. That is why you definitely need courage to do those things and continue to be bold during every step of the journey. However, mustering up some courage is not as easy as it looks. Now, we all have different baseline moments of when we have to be our bravest – whether that’s speaking on stage, networking, or managing an illness – whatever that looks like. 

One of my clients asked me how I was able to calmly have a conversation with GaryVee podcast guest #10. The reality is, I personally have been building up my courage muscles throughout my life in private settings. I had built my courage early on, but those moments were never on display for the outside world to see.

In this episode, I’m sharing with you some personal stories that would explain my comfort and confidence in interviewing big named guests, doing Instagram Lives (sometimes without makeup), and why I’m not letting imposter syndrome get in my way of writing a book that’s going to help you rebuild your courage. 

I’m also going to define what I call a Courage Recipe and how you can figure out your own courage recipe when the need arises for you to be seen and heard as a creative business owner or an innovator who is in the midst of scaling beyond her comfort zone. My Courage Makerspace Playbook includes this Courage Recipe exercise and more courage design tools that will help you get started on your own journey of rebuilding your courage. You’ll want to email me for your free copy today melissa [at] melissallarena.com!

I will also walk you through an exercise that’s going to help you uncover exactly what makes you tick when it comes to mustering the courage necessary to make some life-changing decisions. We can all use some extra courage, especially during those moments when we must be braver such as when sharing an important message depends on it.

If you’re a thought leader or a self-employed innovator who has an important message to share with the world but you’re struggling with anxiety, imposter syndrome, or concerned you’re going to be judged for what you wish to say or create, then this episode is for you. Also, share this with someone who can use a drop more of courage because so much is possible for someone willing to flex their courage muscles.


About Melissa Llarena (Yes, me the host of An Interview With Melissa Llarena!)

Melissa Llarena is the CEO and Founder of Courage Makerspace™.  Her global courage coaching practice is focused on emboldening creative entrepreneurs, independent consultants, self-employed professionals, start-up founders, and small business owners who want to overcome imposter syndrome and the anxiety associated with changing beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. Melissa’s mission is to help good humans behave despite fears every single day so that they can show up for themselves and their creative ideas. If you are hesitant to put yourself out there yet you know you must because you have a message with the potential to make a deeply meaningful impact then reach out to Melissa. 

Melissa has a signature 9-week online group coaching program called Courage Makerspace™ which brings an interdisciplinary and creative approach to high-performance coaching. Her program is based on psychological principles, the art of storytelling as well as proprietary experiential tools that harness the power of our imagination. She infuses actionable insights garnered from around the world based on 10-years of client work and also by way of having lived in NY, Paris, and London, and Sydney. Her background includes a Psychology degree from NYU, an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and Transformational Coaching Academy certificate based on Tony Robbins principles and Landmark Education insights.

Catch her Tuesdays for a new episode of An Interview With Melissa Llarena where she brings the world’s most creative, curious, and courageous entrepreneurs to your earbuds. Interested in being coached by her to make space for courage? Email melissa [at] melissallarena.com


  • Thought leader: A thought leader could be anyone who has a message that must be released to the world so they can have a desired impact.
  • Networking: There’s so much anxiety and hesitation when it comes to networking with anyone, especially strangers.
  • Safe answer: A lot of us have a safe answer. It’s that answer for which you don’t feel you’re going to be judged. It’s that answer that has no stigma attached or something you’ve probably rehearsed before.
  • Foundation: As a little girl, I was raised by a mom with manic depression and I had to be brave when my mom was unable to be brave herself. Learning how to navigate complex situations that early was foundational. 
  • Baseline: We all have different baseline moments of when we had to be our bravest. Once you understand your own personal courage baseline, you can then remind yourself of that baseline when you’re in the face of a brand new anxiety producing moment.
  • Knowledge is power: You can only go up from your baseline. And if you really want to improve or manage anything, you always need to measure it. If you don’t know your courage recipe, then you’re going to struggle with imposter syndrome, and not have a clue how to win that war.
  • Mustering courage: You can be brave precisely during the moments when you would have the option to escape or feel trapped by fear. 
  • Ask yourself: What are 2-5 moments in your life when you had the courage to make a decision that changed the direction of your life? 
  • Pattern recognition: Think about what you believed to be true about that specific decision that you made. Did you make them quickly? Were you avoiding pain? Were you running towards some exciting and juicy goal or new experience? Look for patterns among those decisions. 
  • Courage muscles: We’re all courageous in our own ways. It’s not a competition as to who’s more courageous than another. It’s about making sure you have access to your courage muscles when you need them.


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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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