by Ngoni Chikwenengere
You can’t tear yourself down when there are already people ready to do it for you.
I grew up in a house that was full of love, sometimes I think that’s half the battle, but was so badly bullied in primary school that I moved to a single sex high school. But this only led to experiencing different levels of bullying; let’s just say my kids won’t be going to a single sex school. But through it all I always turned to my parents who fed me with how they saw me and who I was. I believe this foundation is what has made me the person I am today when it comes to self-confidence. If you were to ask any of my friends they’ll tell you I’m pretty confident, but comes from having to be my own best friend. You can’t tear yourself down when there are already people ready to do it for you.
I speak and mentor a lot of young girls and I always tell them that you have to be your own number one fan and best friend. If you speak and treat yourself like you would a much younger version of yourself with positivity and greatness, the better your atmosphere becomes.
That is not to say you don’t have bad days, especially in this current situation, I’ve had a couple of days during this period of uncertainty where I’m like “I’m staying in bed today and that’s fine or I’m going to cry” but I always put a time limit on it, be it an hour, a day or a few days- then I pick myself back up.
As a creative I often make something, love it, then start to doubt myself. At that point, I’ll ask a team member or a friend for their opinion and that will often change my perspective. This works on a personal level too if you are doubting yourself; look for validation from someone you trust who truly sees you then make a plan of action.
In a world where we are judged by what we look like, what we do and who we know, it can be hard to find your footing. However, these parameters are arbitrary and I honestly believe the key to confidence is deciding your own worth. I always think of 5-year-old me (it was my peak cuteness okay) and when someone treats me badly or I start to feel negatively towards myself, I try and treat myself with the compassion I would treat her.
I honestly believe the key to confidence is deciding your own worth.
As a womenswear designer, I have to speak up to suppliers who are triple my age and make myself heard. I pride myself on kindness but I carry myself with an air of ‘unf**kwithableness’ I use my passion as my strength to gain my confidence there. Women in business are still paid less than men and are often at a disadvantage. In my opinion, some of this comes from a common lack of confidence; many men overvalue their worth whereas women undervalue themselves.
You are strong, you are beautiful and you are resilient. That is my mantra. I am my own best friend, my hype man and my advocate. I try to always treat myself with love and compassion even when I fail because this will be my longest relationship, I should make it a good one.
I am my own best friend, my hype man and my advocate. I try to always treat myself with love and compassion even when I fail because this will be my longest relationship, I should make it a good one.
I’d like to see more women live in a place of self-confidence because like I said above, you are your longest relationship and it should be a safe place for your mind, body and spirit. We all have insecurities but the best way to overcome them for me, has been either working on what can be worked on and embracing what can’t.
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