A while back I did a Personal Branding shoot for Jacqui Burnett, an amazing Author, Speaker, Integral Coach, Student of Life, Conscious Living Teacher, Financial Strategist and Business Leader. When we met for the first time to discuss her shoot, I landed up in tears. Not sad tears, but tears of exhilaration and awakening. Jacqui has a way of connected with people in a way that feels almost other-worldly. Her perspective and insight into some deep topics makes you question your perspective and challenge your own thoughts. Even in the space of a short meeting like we had that first time.

After her magical shoot in the forest, I knew I wanted to have a deeper conversation with Jacqui to gain her perspective on women’s confidence, where it comes from, what impact it has and how we can embody it.

You’re definitely going to want to watch this video and read the written interview below …

Meet Jacqui

Author | Speaker | Integral Coach | Student of Life | Conscious Living Teacher | Financial Strategist | Business Leader
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Sharon from Chandramala photographed by Abigail K Photography A Cape Town based Portrait Photographer
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The written 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, my paternal grandmother

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

At 13 my junior school principal told me that my strong will for justice and deep capacity to care for others were leadership qualities, and that he hoped I would live up to this gifts in a leadership role one day.

How did that impact you physically and emotionally?

This was a felt experience in the heart (Spirit) of my being. A sense of inner knowing, inner wisdom, truth, a place we all have access to. Sadly, our western education does not teach us how to how to connect with the Spirit of who we are in every little moment of our lives.

What was the biggest influence on your confidence (good or bad) up to the age of 25?

Being subjected to verbal abuse from my father, supported by a family narrative that verbal abuse isn’t real. Verbal abuse attacks and kills the Spirit of who we are. Sadly, this kind of damage is felt by too many of us in the world today due to the unkind, judgemental narrative that has become a world norm, never mind that we have built an education system to crush the individual Spirit and encourage mediocrity. For example, I don’t understand why a kid who is a brilliant artist, possibly struggling with math is sent to extra math lessons. I am convinced Mozart’s parent would have found this equally nonsensical. Like Mozart our inner genius comes from within when we honour the Spirit of who we are and not crush it with extra math when we don’t enjoy math. Yet we have built a world system where we fail to trust our children, as we encourage and support mediocrity. The anger and range in the world is a result of too many frustrated and suppressed Spirits.

What does confidence mean to you?

For me confidence comes from an integrated Spirit and not from over identifying with a single element of who we are, be that our soul, mind or body. For me confidence is not an ego bound narrative attached to anything external, I refer here to mind and soul as well. Confidence is an energy that comes from the Universal Spirit of who we all are and it lives within us when we are integrated as Spirit in soul, body and mind. As humans, this energy shifts within us from moment to moment, second by second, but for our awareness that we are Spirit in each of these little moments.

When was a time you felt your most confident?

I say once again, this energy shifts within us from moment to moment, second by second, but for our awareness that we are Spirit in each of these little moments. So this shifts many times during a single day as my meditation and prayer practices have given me access to a deep awareness and understanding of consciousness.

How do you celebrate yourself on a regular basis?

I have practices that nurture my Spirit, soul, mind and body and I try my best to reach and touch each of these part of Self on a daily basis. When I do, I am integrated, and these simple acts are moment to moment celebrations. Some of which include, silent solo hiking or being silly with my cat for my Spirit, playfulness and or meditation and prayer for my Spirit and my soul, quality reading for my mind and my soul, yoga for my mind and my body and a variety of treats for my body from weight training, cardio train and massage to mention a few.

When was a time you did NOT feel confident?

When I over identify with either my soul, mind or body then I am not integrated and in these moments, I lose a felt sense of confidence. The moment I integrate from the Spirit of who I am, then it goes away. When our heart is in pain, no matter the story pressing through, we suffer and therefore doubt a part of ourselves. But I guess I feel the saddest when lied to or when I know that I have lied to another, and this take away the feeling of confidence / integration from me.

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

I go back to the Spirit of who I am, of who we all are. Love! When I can Be Love for myself and others, no matter the challenge in the moment – I am whole, the moment is whole, we are whole.

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

Yes, Dare to Be Love. When I reconnect with Being Love I can integrate in a millisecond and the present moment transforms into nothing short of a miracle. It is as Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” We are the miracle when we can Be Love, we live the miracle when we can Be Love, we experience the miracle as Einstein says when we can Be Love.

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

I confess that I lean towards a good book, with real paper pages in an inviting setting. While I do escape to quality fiction every so often, I confess that I am drawn towards the world’s greatest spiritual teachers and sages from Buddha, to Socrates, to Jesus to Jung to mention a few, with Mark Nepo being one of my modern-day favourites. This kind of material nourishes my Spirit, soul, mind and body of Love and infuses an internal life feeding force and will to Be Love.

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

BE LOVE for yourself and all others, and embrace beliefs that support all-inclusiveness, unity, peace, an ever-questioning mind and LOVE!

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

Be Love!

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

To not judge myself so harshly when I am not integrated and not capable of Being Love! I am after a Spirit of Love, like the rest of you / us, taking a journey as a human being with all of it challenges.

For Access to the full 30 minute interview with Jacqui Burnett