• Annie Bocock

In Digital Discussion With: Hulda Adao

Hulda Adao has been sitting in her seat at the table for years now, wondering how she got there, realising it’s because she’s worthy of it…

Hulda joined the TEDxBrayfordPool stage in December 2019, at our Women event, talking about her experiences with imposter syndrome and how she’s learning to overcome it. And so she should overcome it. She’s: the CEO/founder of EyeSpeak, a Trustee for the Speakers Trust, Development Administration Officer for Right Resolution CIC and an alumni of the University of Northampton. An extremely admirable CEO, speaker and change maker.

If I were sitting at her table, I’d be opposite her, iPhone ready to take notes. However, of course this is, as always, a digital interview.

It is a nice imaginary table I’m sat at regardless. “Hello Hulda, who are you?”

“My name is Hulda, I’m currently a Student Success Mentor at the University of Northampton amongst over things. I was born in Portugal, then lived in Newcastle for a number of years, and I finished my school years in London before moving to Northampton for University. I knew quite early on that I wanted to help people, so whilst in college, I started a YouTube channel that quickly developed into an organisation called EyeSpeak, which is all about advocating for an unprejudiced, open-minded and more understanding future generation."

“And what does your imposter look like?”

My imposter kind of takes the form in the rejection of comments and the disbelief that I was doing anything special. Since doing the TEDx talk, my imposter has massively calmed down. It's still there, creeps up on me every so often but the other day I said thank you to someone for a compliment and I was so proud of myself! It seems like something super small but it was more a celebration of me allowing kindness in. My imposter is also becoming more realistic in the sense that I am accepting who I am, and that I will never be perfect or fit into a particular box. And I'm learning, very slowly, that's okay."

"I'm glad to hear your imposter isn't impost-ing much anymore! What inspired you to give a TEDx talk?"

"When the opportunity to apply to do a TEDx talk came around, it was at a time that I was dealing with some really personal issues and I thought that a TEDx platform would be a great way of sharing what I was going through and perhaps sharing a non-conventional method of dealing with situation issues. Being a quite spiritual person, it was important to me to convey a message in a creative but honest way. I wanted to help someone out there who needed to hear that it would be okay."

"I understand. Now moving onto a slightly different topic: I know you're the founder of EyeSpeak, how has being an entrepreneur changed your perspective about yourself?"

"Running an enterprise showed me how motivated I actually am. How much grit and determination I bare and I can look at myself and think: "you can do it". It hasn't been easy but it is that fact that has shown me how much I'm willing to persevere. Starting up my company was absolutely life changing. Challenging, but worth it."

”Okay quick fire! Three words to sum up the TEDx experience?

“Naked. Drained. Liberated.”

“Favourite TEDx Talk?”

“I watch a lot of TEDxTalks so it’s hard to pick one but if I had to choose it’d be:

Heroes, Assemble! | Swapnil Tewari | TEDxJaipuriaInstituteofManagementNoida.”

“Favourite book?”

“Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan, Take Control of Your Life audiobook by Mel Robbins, and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.”

“Finally, on a more topical note, what's your favourite app at the moment whilst you’re social distancing?”

I have two:

- Gratitude: which is an app that reminds me to be humble and write down one thing I'm grateful for everyday (which I'd recommend to everyone).

- Fabulous: another "self-help" app which reminds to be stick to my daily routine and 'be kind to myself.'

"Thank you Hulda Adao!" I exclaim as I scoot back my imaginary chair to leave. She doesn't respond as this isn't a physical interview.

You can watch Hulda Adao's talk here.



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