You may know Melanie as one of the experts on Channel Nine’s hit (and sometimes controversial) TV show, Married at First Sight, but there is
a whole lot more to Melanie than her experience in the psychology of love.
With 15 years experience in both the corporate and therapeutic arenas, Melanie prides herself on applying the art and science of psychology to uncover womens’ strength and potential and firmly believes in the power of collaboration to achieve this.
Running her business across two continents (she did what so many others dream of and moved to Bali last year!), Melanie balances a schedule filled with diverse roles including being an advisor to eHarmony Australia, sitting on the advisory board for The Mindshift Foundation and offering female-focused positive psychology programs to companies including NAB.
She has taken time out of a hectic schedule filming the new series of Married at First Sight to be a part of our Inspirational Women Series.
Biz Gals: What is your greatest achievement?
Melanie: Creating my own path into a television career, my way, on my terms.
I grew up on stage, as a dancer, actor and later, a choreographer. When I became a psychologist I vowed that I would find a way to blend my two passions – performing and psychology. Over my 15-year career I knocked on doors, applied for opportunities, networked, auditioned, and faced constant REJECTION. I couldn’t even get an agent as I was considered a ‘nobody’. I was waiting for the right opportunity to come along and became so frustrated that it just didn’t seem to exist.
So I just kept plugging away, gradually building up a small portfolio of TV appearances and expert commentary in the media. Over time, I developed a (tiny) reputation as one of the go-to psychologists for media comment in Australia. But this wasn’t enough for me.
It wasn’t until I shifted my mindset, in fact, tipped it on its head, that my ‘luck’ began to change. I’m a great believer that we create our own luck and when I chose to take control of my own destiny, to get proactive rather than reactive, I noticed that people started responding differently to me.
Rather than waiting for the next opportunity to fall into my lap, I took the reigns. After watching the first season of Married At First Sight, I thought to myself “I could do this”. With the support of my sister and partner (cheer squad) I leveraged the relationships I had developed in the TV industry and managed to connect with the people who were casting the show. I pitched myself into an existing, fully cast, production. There was NO JOB VACENCY. Rather than seeing this as a barrier, I looked past it and focused on all the value I could add to the program, I saw benefits and opportunities rather than blocks.
We’ve now just started filming season 5 on one of the highest rating shows on Australian television. I am contacted weekly by journalists in every realm for comment and am considered THE go-to expert on psychology and dating in Australia.
So, I would say my greatest achievement has been having the courage to back myself and the belief that I am no better or worse than anyone else, but just as capable (and probably twice as determined). This sense of achievement feels extra sweet now that I’m a mama of a 2 year old girl and I’m paving the way for her to believe she can do and be anything she wants.
Biz Gals: What is the greatest lesson you have learned?
Melanie: To trust my gut.
If I’m really honest with myself, I would say that the majority of the ‘oh shit’ moments in my life and career have occurred when I haven’t listened to my intuition.
We are constantly bombarded with other people’s opinions and expectations, and social media has only compounded this. It’s so easy to get caught up in ‘comparisonitis’ and before long, we lose sight of what WE actually think, feel and want.
Biz Gals: What is the best bit of advice you have been given?
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Biz Gals: What inspires you?
Melanie: Women who do their work-out early in the morning! I really admire those busy, passionate women who commit to their fitness goals and get active early morning, then get on with their day.
Biz Gals: What is your biggest hope for women in the future?
Melanie: That we can stand on the shoulders of the women who have gone before us. I really want us to learn from the experience of trailblazers and take responsibility for our own success. This means stepping up, standing out and being brave enough to take risks.
Find out more about Melanie Schilling by logging onto www.melanieschilling.com