Check out our interview with author, motivational speaker and podcast host Sharon Angel.
Sharon is a dynamic, young leader and a voice for this generation. Sharon’s passion lies in bridging societal divides between people of different status, faith, caste, race, age and gender. Her goal is to voice the concerns of the destitute and help facilitate their journey toward rehabilitation, employment, freedom, and peace through her work in media and justice.
While she’s now a “California Girl,” in India where she grew up, Sharon was a child TV show host, much like America’s Hannah Montana. In her recent book, “The Courage to Identify Who You Are,” Sharon speaks from the heart about discovering your authentic self. She knows that all too well from going against what her family and culture had envisioned for her and listening to the voice within. It’s a masterful read to guide young adults through the process of self-discovery and breaking through the tension of labels and societal expectations.
Follow Sharon @sharonangelig
Hi Sharon, please tell us a little about you.
After losing a loved one, I was in a period of grief which triggered many emotions I had swept under the rug like any teenager. Moving out of India at 17 forced me to work on my triggers and find my identity outside of my family name, religion and culture. Taking almost seven years of my life to ground myself is the best thing I have done as it has made my yeses and nos stronger, made me confident and have clear goals to be the person I truly am. I have worked on my doubts, beauty insecurities, faith curiosities, walked away from needing to be someone for society’s sake, unfollowed blind traditions and rituals, and stand up for my views in my career. I am now able to be the TCK (Third culture kid) that I am in honesty, transparency, kindness and freedom while establishing stronger connections with my support system and faith that kept me alive through this journey.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Resilient, thoughtful, dreamer
In your life, do you have a role model?
Hasan Minhaj is someone I’ve been following. Really inspiring to see his journey.
How did you get started in the entertainment business?
I started at 10 hosting kids tv shows. After reading many scripts and working on different variety programs, I got a formal education in broadcast communication and film and cinema-television. Making documentaries during my bachelors and masters helped me find my focus in storytelling while enhancing my technical skills. Since then, I’ve been producing my own shows and documentaries on human interest stories that speak on freedom and identity.
How has being in this business changed your life?
It has saved me. Giving me a platform to share my stories and find perspective using social media like YouTube, Instagram and streaming platforms have been a great outlet to finding others that relate with my story. I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing experts on matters that are important to this generation while being a student and presenter at the same time. My career in media has been a great tool to strengthen my identity at work.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
Listen – Listening requires patience and willingness to understand the other person’s perspective. This perspective on learning the other side of the matter promotes peace and mutual respect.
Space – Healing requires mental, emotional and spiritual spaces. Our world can use some healing from hurt of different kinds. Boundaries and creation of safe spaces are important to find that healing.
Tell us about your recent book “The Courage to Identify Who You Are?”
In The Courage to Identify Who You Are (#1 New Release on Amazon), I share a blueprint for breaking the mold of cultural assimilation to discover one’s true identity and walk in it confidently. I believe my story confronts and overcomes Indian traditions for marriage, beauty and career while transparently walking us through the process of finding myself as a third-culture kid turned internationally respected journalist.
After growing up in a well-known Indian, missionary family with everything pre-planned from faith, marriage, money, and legacy, I experienced an identity crisis that forced me to discover my true self apart from my last name and culture which defined my formative years.
The Courage to Identify Who You Are is a masterful read to guide young adults through the process of self-discovery and breaking through the tension of labels and societal expectations.
Where can we buy it?
Everywhere books are sold. Click here!
Now tell us about your very successful podcast?
We all have decisions to make on a daily basis. Whether our age –16, 30 or 45 — we make decisions with food, money, job, relationships, faith, friendship, and so much more. But as we grow older, it seems like these decisions get more difficult with time. This podcast was inspired by the success of my book to take listeners through the process of breaking down concepts like peer pressure, women empowerment, freedom of belief, grief, and more. Every episode focuses on life’s intense situations that are often taboo to talk about in public. It inspires, motivates and gives perspective. You can listen to “The Courage to Identify” podcast series and take a stand with me on those tough life decisions. Click here!
What is different from your podcast to other podcasts?
It breaks down large concepts into bite-sized pieces giving stats, real stories, expert interviews and facts. The topics might seem taboo that certain groups refrain to talk about, but they address discrimination, bias and differences that we as a society refuse to see to find our identity. Identity is individual to the person and is found outside of religion, politics, culture, and media. This podcast helps the listener embrace differences, think and make daily decisions that build their core identity while finding courage through that decision making process.
How often do you release new content?
6-8 episodes every season
What do you think is the secret to having a successful podcast?
Listeners are looking for a new, fresh, honest perspective on current issues, so keep your podcast 100% real. Even if you release a few episodes per season, focus on the quality of the content.
What is your advice to other entrepreneurs?
The first few years of running a business is usually a hustle. Keep the hustle going and don’t let anyone look down on you for that. You will be the first, and in most cases, the only one to reap the reward. The hustle will be worth it so stay the course.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Being able to go to bed every night knowing I have freedom and have allowed that freedom for myself.
Do you have a favorite song? Why?
Strength, courage and wisdom by India.Arie – this is my life and journey written as a song.
Where can we follow you on social media?