I believe that when we shine our own light, we encourage others to do the same. I get to meet some amazing women in my role as a women’s portrait photographer and as a Confidence Crusader. But I know that there are so many more women out there with advice to share and insights to impart that can help other women in their journey of confidence. I don’t get to meet them all personally, but that’s why I’ve opened up my Confidence According To… series to any women, anywhere in the world who believe that they have something to share for the benefit of other women.
You never know who’s reading or what they may take away from your experience. It could be just the thing they needed to make their day just a little brighter. It may be the young girl who can’t stand to look at herself in the mirror because of what someone at school said to her. It may be the high-powered executive, who’s lost touch with work-life balance and needs a reminder that life is indeed beautiful and she is more than her work title. It may be the stay-at-home mom, who’s overwhelmed with her responsibilities as a mother and who just needs a nudge to reconnect to herself and remind herself that she’s an amazing and dynamic woman with a deep appreciation for mid-century art. Or she may be a successful business woman who’s chosen an entrepreneurial path over the traditional expectations of society, and has become so accustomed to her masculine roles and responsibilities that she finds herself wanting to re-acquaint with the softer, more feminine side that’s long been neglected.
And in the meantime, read on to learn what Keri has to say about confidence…

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Meet Keri

Business Name
The Power Woman Project
Social Media Links
Sharon from Chandramala photographed by Abigail K Photography A Cape Town based Portrait Photographer

The Full Interview…

Did you have a female role model when you were growing up who taught you that women could be strong, independent and confident. If so, who was it?

I struggled with this growing up and for that reason, I looked to singers (I have always loved singing and for a long time, this is what I wanted to do for a living) – My first memory of being truly inspired to be confident and independent was by artists like Destiny’s Child and Christina Aguilera. Now that I’m older, these woman came into my life quite recently – a tribe of amazing friends I met through Mrs South Africa and networking while getting the Power Woman Project up and running.

What’s the best advice you received to boost your confidence when you were younger?

Not that I listened, but it was the common “Don’t care what anyone else thinks” Sometimes I didn’t, sometimes I did.

How did that impact you physically and emotionally?

Emotionally it was up and down. Teenagers do get affected by words said to and about them. One I remember well, was hearing a group of girls saying I was a terrible singer, just before I was due to perform in the school musical. I was upset, but the audience loved it and that reminded me that what they said, doesn’t really matter. I never forgot it though, because it hurt a lot.

What does confidence mean to you?

To me, confidence is about loving myself, regardless of what comes from external factors. I know myself, I love who I am and I’m always working to be better. I’m human, sometimes I don’t like the way I look, sometimes I love the way I look. Most I’m happy to say that mostly, I’m happy with the way I’m wired.

When was a time you felt your most confident?

Sharing my story of postpartum depression is actually what started it all. People kept telling me how inspiring it was, I was asked to talk more on the topic, I started an project to inspire other young woman and build them up. Knowing that I am making a difference to people, is what makes me feel really good about myself. Having young women and their parents get excited about the initiative always boosts my confidence because I know I’m doing something valuable.

How do you celebrate yourself on a regular basis?

I actually don’t do this very often, it’s something I’ve been wanting to work on more for a long time. The small things I do for myself are usually just having some alone time, eating a box of Astros by myself, in my room, where it’s quiet and watching a series I enjoy, or going to be early, or sleeping in a bit in the morning.

What do you do when you need an immediate confidence boost?

I talk to a friend. Whether it’s a WhatsApp or a cup of coffee, if I’m feeling down, I know a chat with a good friend will always improve my mood and remind me why I’m doing what I’m doing. Feeling loved, always makes me feel better about my self-worth.

Do you have any confidence boosting or self love mantras or sayings?

1. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

2. What people think about you, is none of your business.

These two things always pop into my head and remind me of how to deal with negativity.

What online resources (websites, blogs, forums) boost your confidence?

I’m part of a few Facebook groups that are always filled with, not just positive women, but advice and support when someone is not feeling positive. Even if I’m just following someone else’s comment thread, I always read something that is helpful. My own group, Power Woman Project is always great, and Hello Boss Creative is a favorite of mine!

What advice would you give to a girl or woman who clearly has low confidence or low self love?

Get to know yourself first. Once you know who you are, what you want and don’t want – it’s easier to start appreciating and liking those things. I find that people who don’t really know themselves, are easily affected by external negativity and also spend too much time trying to fit in with everyone else.

What advice would your 85 year old self give you about your confidence & self love, today?

Time goes by quickly, don’t spend it worrying about what everyone else is doing, work on yourself because you’re the one that is going to live your life. And get rid of people that make you feel bad about yourself. Anyone that makes you feel worthless has no place in your life, because there are people in this world that will treat you as well as you deserve.

If you were 5% kinder to yourself, starting tomorrow, what would you start doing differently?

I would definitely start eating better and getting more pedicures!

Images supplied by Keri Stroebel

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