This year I’m starting a new blog series about confidence and what it means to everyday women. The focus is on you, a real, modern woman and your experience of self confidence.
I believe that when we shine our own light, we encourage others to do the same.

So be proud, stand tall, and choose to be confident.

You never know who could benefit from your confidence. 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.

 

So today I’m sharing Gwen’s thoughts on self confidence . Gwen is CEO and founder of Xtraordinary Women Business Network.

I met Gwen the week I moved to Cape Town from the UK. I had contacted her before we arrived and booked myself at her networking breakfast the day after we arrived. I’ve been attending the Xtraordinary Women networking events fairly consistently since then, nearly 6 years later. I’ve watched how Gwen has grown her business and how she’s impacting more and more women in a positive way.

 

Meet Gwen

Business Name
 Xtraordinary Women Business Network
Website address
Social Media Links

 

Sharon from Chandramala photographed by Abigail K Photography A Cape Town based Portrait Photographer
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?

My Grandmother. She never complained about anything and in spite of illness or adversity, she never complained. She was always there for her family – no matter what!

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

You are perfect – JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!

Did you ever feel pressure to conform to trends as well as expectations of family and friends?

No. I was always encouraged to be my own person and to follow my dreams, no matter how big they were. This had a huge impact on me, as I was driven to be the best in my field, as I knew that I could do it.

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

I always looked for external validation and I got it via my career. I always took pride in being at the top of my career. I attended every course that came my way and it paid off in my career advancement. My confidence therefore came from my career.

Rate your current level of Self Confidence

Above Average Level of Self Confidence

What does confidence mean to you?

Being yourself, no matter what. Embracing your “weaknesses” and accepting that we are all unique. We all have our unique talents that contribute to society.

When was a time you felt your most confident?

After a photo shoot I had done with my family some time back. It felt amazing to see how beautiful we all were and how happy we felt afterwards.

How do you celebrate yourself on a regular basis?

Unfortunately, this is something I don’t do – but plan to do this year! It is important to take care of ourselves and to take time out to celebrate ourselves.

When was a time you did NOT feel confident?

When I am overweight, I do not feel confident.

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

I reflect on all my blessing and realise that I have so much to be grateful for.

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

I LOVE your blog on #CTConfidence!

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

Every woman has her own unique gift to bring to this world. Embrace it as there is no-one else like you!

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

Get over it and just do it!

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

Daily mediation rituals. Go for regular beauty sessions and spend more time with family and friends.

 

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