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 Jaclyn has to say about confidence…

Meet Jaclyn

Business Name
Schnooky Pie
Website address
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?

Yes, I had quite a few role models. Firstly I had my mom. She was a jack of all trades. She had a hugely successful corporate career as a Finance Manager for a big corporate plus she also managed to be the perfect mom, always making sure we were happy, had everything we needed: such as food on the table, a beautiful home, clothes etc. My dad traveled a lot so my mom had a lot of responsibility and a big career so she really was a true inspiration to me… and key was that she also put us kids at the front of everything that she did and she never complained. My second role model was my aunt. She had two children and was a single mom with an ex husband who was not involved in the children’s lives until they were teenagers. She had a very big corporate career as a marketing VP and traveled the world with her kids but she too also managed to juggle a big career with family life. Both of these woman showed me that you can be success in your career but also have a good work life balance and a “successful family”.

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

The biggest thing that both my parents instilled in me was that I can do ANYTHING, I can be ANYTHING, I can achieve ANYTHING – as long as I set my mind to it… I was taught that I can achieve but that I had to work to achieve. Things are not just simply handed out to those that sit and wait for a hand out. You have to go out there, push, learn, try and try again and that even if you fail, you will learn from that failure and continue to push harder. I have always felt a sense of “I can do it” from my parents support and it really has helped me to go out there and chance my goals.

How did that impact you physically and emotionally?

Basically it gave me the courage to try. Emotionally I had the support of my parents and knowing that they believed in me, is probably the biggest opportunity anyone could be given.

What does confidence mean to you?

To me confidence is about self belief.

When was a time you felt your most confident?

I would say that at the moment I am feeling very confident from a cognitive point of view. I started a small business and it is growing well but most important people are starting to commend me on the business and that makes me feel confident in what I am doing. That being said, I have put my health/weight on a back burner and that makes me feel less confident as I do not feel comfortable in my own skin at the moment. Intellectually I feel like I am soaring like an eagle but physically I feel like I am sinking like a rock.

How do you celebrate yourself on a regular basis?

One thing that I have done for about 10 years is that I have a facial each and every month without fail. No matter how busy I am, what my financial situation is etc. I used to suffer from bad acne and when I get stressed out, that is the first place it still shows, so I religiously have my facial… plus the fact that I have been to the exact same skin therapist for 10 years and she is not only a skin therapist but my emotional therapist as well.

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

I talk to my husband. He is my biggest fan and my rock. When business is slow and I have my doubts, he always know what to say to make me remember what I have achieved. When I am down about my weight, he reminds me that it is not permanent and that I can change it. He is my biggest support and believes in my, often more than I believe in myself.

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

What are they? I can and I will. This is something short and simple but it helps me to get through the times when I feel like I cant cope or when I feel like I cant do it… I can do it and I will get through. I can cope and I will get through. I can get that job and I will. I can have a child and I will. I can find a boyfriend and I will… etc. You simply add in the item that you are trying to achieve. I can loose weight and I will.

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

Please share links. To be honest, I don’t really follow any. I do browse through a lot of healthy food places at the moment in the attempt to get ideas for healthy on the go meals.

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

Wow this is a difficult one. I have a friend who I believe has low self love and I have been trying to help her believe in herself for a while… but no matter how much I try and how much I tell her She can and She will… it is still up to her to try and to believe in herself. I think the biggest thing is to simply support the person. If they need someone to talk to, let them talk and only offer advice when they want it. I think that if someone is simply wanting someone to talk to but the person is just saying “Do this, do that” that the person will push away. I know that a few years ago, I actually was having a hard time with my own self love… I actually had to step away from life a little… I need to look deep inside myself and figure out what I wanted out of life, what I wanted to achieve, what I was willing to do and not do to achieve etc… and only after I was able to take a good hard look at my self, on the inside, and re-access, was I then able to start doing and by doing I was then able to start seeing achievements and my self love started to grow.

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

I think that my 85 year old self would say to not be so hard on myself. I often do not take the time to simply congratulate myself or if I have made it through something testing, I don’t pat myself on the back.

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

I would love and respect myself a little more and by doing that, I would try each day to make one better choice with regards to food.

Images supplied by Jaclyn Holmes

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