By Gabrielle Olya
Updated October 18, 2016 02:58 PM

Chrissy Metz has received an outpouring of support from fans who have identified with her character Kate on This Is Us.

“One woman reached out and she said, ‘I hadn’t had confidence until I saw you on television, and I woke up this morning and I felt good about myself,'” Metz, 36, tells PEOPLE. “‘I could relate to someone on television and know that it’s not the end for me, there’s hope.'”

The actress says it’s been an amazing experience to be able to be an inspiration to others who have struggled with their weight.

“To inspire someone is incredible,” says Metz. “That’s why we do art – to inspire, to relate. It’s not just about me following my dreams, but just about relating to everyone. That’s what we’re here to do – relate and commune and love one another, so it’s awesome.”

Metz previously told PEOPLE she feels a personal connection to her character.

“Kate and I are both on the precipice of incredible times in our lives,” she said last month. “Coming into our own and achieving personal success and happiness simultaneously is pretty amazing.”