Ruth Clare

About Ruth Clare

Ruth Clare is a multi-passionate human who doesn't fit neatly into a box. A TEDx and motivational keynote speaker, MC and panel facilitator, award-winning author, connected communication and embodied speaking coach, mental health and child voice activist and former professional actor, Ruth is driven by a desire to help people find ways to face challenges and change with hope, courage and optimism.

As both a qualified scientist and UX copywriter, she loves unpacking and simplifying the complex psychology and biology that drives human behaviour, sharing practical self-development tools and mental health strategies, and wrapping concepts around personal stories to make them more engaging, accessible and entertaining.

Ruth's rare willingness to be vulnerable, open and honest, combined with the wisdom she has gained both from her first-hand experience overcoming adversity, and her decades of research, have connected with audiences all over the globe. Her online talks have attracted hundreds of thousands of views, and her writing has been published worldwide. Ruth has appeared on literary panels such as the Brisbane Writer's Festival and Emerging Writer's Festival and has been a guest on Conversations with Richard Fidler, as well as many other radio shows and podcasts.

Ruth also writes and contributes to organisations, committees, panels, institutes and media, sharing the value of her lived experience and researched perspectives in the areas of: the impact of family violence on children, the impact of military service on veterans and veteran families, overcoming the impact of childhood trauma and neglect, generational trauma, c-PTSD and ADHD. Her work has been cited in Jess Hill's See What You Made Me Do, Peter Yule's The Long Shadow of the Vietnam War and Diane Dempsey's When He Came Home. 

Understanding what makes people tick is my lifelong obsession
When I was young, a lot of my life didn’t make sense. I didn’t understand why my dad kept lashing out at me or why my mum kept drinking.

I didn’t know whether others were doing as well as they said they were or if they were all just pretending they were fine, the way I was.

The superpower I longed for was to be able to sit inside the skin of another person so I could fully understand what it felt like to be them. In many ways my life and career has been a lifelong quest to get as close as possible to making this superpower a reality.

Whether studying genetics at university, inhabiting a character for a performance, capturing the essence of a person on a page, or researching the way our minds and bodies influence the way we feel, I have an insatiable curiosity for understanding why people are the way they are, the things that stop us from moving forward and what we can do to change our lives for the better.

I think we need both the darkness and the light
In my experience, pretending things are great and always trying to find the positive spin doesn’t work.

Sometimes life sucks and the truth of where we are at is not a happy place. We always need to start by being honest. But that doesn’t mean we have to stay stuck.
No matter where we are starting from, we need to remember there is always hope. We are bigger than our problems and more than just our pain.

One of my main survival techniques has been to never lose sight of the fact that no matter how crap things are, there is always room for fun and humour and play. We need to grow large enough to traverse the terrain between the darkness and the light.

I think doing this work is made easier if it feels more like a game and less like a boring chore.

I think everyone deserves support
I believe mental health and personal development is the cornerstone of a happy and healthy life. I learned this the hard way after my life imploded under the strain of dealing with the psychological impacts of my traumatic childhood.

The process of getting support for my mental health completely transformed my life, but it involved a huge amount of time and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, which meant I often lived on soup, was late paying my rent and had an out-of-control credit card debt. I hate the idea of people like me struggling alone or giving up on themselves because finding mental health support feels too hard, expensive or out of reach.

All the free resources I provide are my way of helping address this problem.

I have a broad perspective and an experimental approach
I have seen a lot of great therapists over the years, but one of the things I found frustrating was the way they sometimes tried to make every single problem fit into the one system they had been trained in.

I think we human beings are a bit more complex than that and that some things work in some circumstances and not others, and what works for one person doesn’t always work on someone else.

Over the years I have visited experts in, and read books on, pretty much every mode of mindfulness, body, mindset, energetic, cognitive, psychological, behavioural, and creative healing I could get my hands on.

I am completely open-minded and willing to give pretty much anything a crack.

If I have found something helpful I will share it so you can try it out for yourself and see whether it is a good fit for you.

I am always learning and always growing
Like me, this site is a work in progress.

It is not a replacement for one-on-one counselling, and I am not a therapist.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, still find life pretty bloody challenging at times and frequently stuff up (just ask my kids).

Everything I teach I have tried out in my life and found personally useful. I often go gung-ho with an idea for a while, slip back into old habits, then repeat the process when I realise my life has gone off-track.

I think this is okay. I think each time we stretch ourselves and try something new we never quite return to our original form. That is how we grow.

I think sometimes we are in the zone and sometimes we struggle and sometimes we just need to eat some chocolate and watch Netflix and have a nap. I think it’s all part of the process.

I believe our stories connect us
I believe that every single person is fighting a battle we know nothing about.

But I also think our lives would be a whole lot richer, more meaningful and more connected if we grew brave enough to stop pretending we were doing fine when we aren’t.

I know the idea of being vulnerable or sharing your struggles can seem confronting, especially if you have felt silenced and shamed in the past, which is why I make it a policy to always go first.

I share my personal stories as a matter of course because I never want you to feel like what you are going through is something you need to keep quiet or bear alone.

Where to start

  1. The best place to start is by signing up to my weekly newsletter, The Life Changing Experiment. It’s a short email that includes a personal development experiment for you to try in your own life each week. 

  2. You can also download a free forty minute audio training where you can learn the three things you need to know to stop self-sabotage.

  3. There is also a free download from my memoir, ENEMY for you to read. Here I share my experience growing up in a home with family violence and addiction and reflect on the way trauma shapes and scars us, and what we can do to heal from it. >>Learn more about Ruth's books
  4. Read free articles on mental health and personal development

See my TedX talk

If you’re trying to break the habit of people pleasing and be more authentic in your life and relationships, you might like my TEDx talk about my painful and hilarious journey of taking my real self out of hiding.

>> Learn more about hiring me as a speaker

Want Ruth as a guest on your television or radio show or podcast?

Ruth is a regular media and podcast guest who loves sharing the tools and strategies she has used to overcome the adversity of her childhood to help people embrace uncertainty, stay hopeful when times are tough and harness their potential for growth and change.

Ruth shares on sensitive topics with openess, vulnerability and humour, framing her experiences through a well-researched, emotionally nuanced and deeply considered lens. Her eloquence and warmth combined with her capacity to laugh at herself make her a guest par excellence. 


>> Listen to Ruth's interview about her book on Conversations by Richard Fidler

Ruth Clare is an award-winning author, TEDx and motivational keynote speaker, professional actor, qualified scientist and authenticity, resilience and change expert who learned by necessity, first to survive, then to thrive. Ruth weaves research and hard-won lessons with powerful, relatable stories from her lived experience overcoming adversity, to help others find the courage to own the stories that are holding them back so they can rewrite their lives. With a rare knack for distilling the neuroscience and psychology of human behaviour into simple ideas and practical strategies, Ruth shows people how to embrace uncertainty, stay hopeful when times are tough and harness their potential for growth and change. Ruth’s TEDx talk, The Pain of Hiding Your True Self, has had over half a million views.