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My Personal Love Affaire With Confidence: The Story Of An African Pageant Princess.

This might be the most uncomfortable blog post of my social life (LOL) but I'm not fitting in the comfort box anymore!
Memories of my childhood in Africa have been flooding my mind for the past week revealing to me why I do what I do. That's what happens when you mess up with hypnotherapy ha!

The little girl is not me but since I have no pictures to illustrate my story, I used this gorgeous princess.
Up to the age of 9, I was a little pageant princess in Africa. The women in my neighbourhood used to organise competitions where they would have us dressed in traditional outfits, do our hair, teach us how to walk down a catwalk, strike a pause...

It all happened in the streets because there was no catwalk as such, we had to walk down a path drawn on the ground with a stick.
The winner would be the one who walked down the catwalk the best and really worked it on that catwalk. 

People would clap hands as we walked down as if to give a beat to our steps.
I loved it so much, the best memories of my life!
There was no prize for the winner except for a delicious meal cooked by the mamas and I can see myself eating a lot of times, so I'm not making this up when I say I used to win those little competitions. Hahaha still love my food!
We were taught to walk with our heads high, be proud, be the centre of attention for that short period of time and celebrated by our community. So I grew up with a lot of confidence and self-esteem.

At 9 years old, my dad moved us to France where I grew up until I moved to London 10 years ago!
The shock of my life!!!
Bye bye sunny Africa, hello freezing Europe!LOL
Very quickly, I had to adapt to a new school, new culture, French was not new so there was no language barrier...but it all happened very fast.
Still, the little princess was still there, moving differently, dressing differently, confident as Heaven!

Until they started telling her that it was not ok.
My teenage years were tough, I did not have many girl friends.
I started hearing things like: "who does she think she is", "she is so full of herself", "she is so proud", "she doesn't mix with anybody"
(They were right, I've always been very cautious with who I let in my entourage and those I let in are still my friends today <3)

Little by little I started walking with my head down, I didn't want to have any eyes on me or be the centre of attention or be talked about behind my back, I became shy and very quiet and just blended in.
But somehow, even in my silence, I always stood out. God knows why.
I believe I have a strong presence and no matter how much I try to hide it, I can never burry it.

I don't care if I come across as boasting, I'm really not!
You've got to know your strengths and I'm very aware of mine but just kept them to myself because of that fear of being seen as being too much.
I heard those same criticism in my adult years, some people would call me narcissistic, others say I was too proud, others yet that I was too posh, others too intelligent??!! 

And I believed them, I took in the criticism and boxed myself in a safe cocoon...but the cocoon has expired!!!!

I want to apologize for not showing you the real me, you've just seen glimpses of me so far but I'm about to go unapologetic on ya'! With love as MJ would sa
The fact that I'm a Style Coach today and have been teaching Personal Branding (bet you didn't know that?) is not a chance, I was born for this shizzle and excel at it! I've just been playing safe.

I'm used to being in the spotlight and I must say, I love it! Not ashamed! And I need to feel comfortable being in the spotlight because I have a Divine purpose to fulfil. It's not about me, it's about you! About all that I can gift you with my presence and my love!

Why Saying NO Can BE A LIFE SAVER!

Saying No is such a biggie for so many people and I certainly know all too well about that. It requires courage, trust in self and willingness to change and stand your ground.

Yes! Saying No can literally change our lives. Here's why.

  • It's The Opposite of How we've been functioning

Saying no for most of us, is contrary to what we would normally do. Generally speaking, we've been conditioned and raised to be people pleasers and do what was was or is required of us so we could get validation, approval or receive love from either one of our parents or the people who matter to us the most when we were growing up.

Once this behaviour is set, it becomes part of our Karma or Karmic wheel. As a people pleaser or someone who needs approval in order to feel they matter, saying no can be quite a challenge and can cause feelings of guilt and shame.

However, if we're aware of our people pleasing tendencies, need for approval and have difficulties saying no, we can totally overcome that, create new habits and release the approval seeking energy that's blocking us from moving forward

  • Practicing The Feeling of Saying No

So stop for a minute and imagine how it would feel to actually say no when you would normally say yes. Play this scenario especially with friends and loved ones. Don't worry about how they would react or feel, right now focus on just experiencing the feeling of saying no.

In most cases, at first the feelings of guilt and shame will manifest themselves and we'll feel like we're a bad person for having said no. We've been so used to seeing ourself as good only when we did what was expected of us to keep others happy and this is very new and foreign to us.

Now what we need to do is allowing yourself to feel guilt and shame of saying no and be ok with it. We must get used to the feeling. Yes, it will be challenging  but if we're determined to stop letting others take advantage and manipulate us, if we really want to step into our personal power and be the best version of ourselves, we've got to ride this wave!

It's not just about saying no to others, it's more about saying yes to ourselves and loving ourselves a little bit more.

Although self love can seem like a natural thing to do for oneself, few of us indulge in this practice and it can feel quite awkward  at first and sometimes we'll feel selfish for doing so. But be committed and keep practicing saying no until the feeling of self love becomes natural and overpowers the feelings of shame and guilt.

When we're ready, we'll let go of the need of approval which in the end will never bring us the feeling of love we're so longing for.

  • Get Ready To Face Criticism

On  of the quickest ways to break habits, change our beliefs and create a breakthrough is to do the opposite of what we're used to do. We have to be willing to accept the challenge and honour our feelings in the process. Friends and family are going to be the first ones to notice the new you and question it.

They are so used to the old version and our new found power  will scare the hell out of them so be ready to face criticism.

We'll know we're on the right track when suddenly people start asking us if we're ok and telling us that we've changed. When this happens, just smile inside and know that you're on the right track.

Whenever we claim back our personal power, we'll expose others fears and it will look like everyone is against us but we must keep loving ourselves and stand our ground. We're growing into who we're called to be and some thing just can't go with us as we rise to higher planes of awareness.

Saying No is healthy and necessary to our growth!

The One Thing No Woman should ever sacrifice is her Voice

I saw a video recently and it reminded me how a few year ago I gave away my voice as a woman and thus lost my Personal Power. This is short window into my personal life but hey sometimes you have to give away a bit of your story to inspire others.

I am an african born and raised woman and in my culture, when a woman is going through a hard time, she is expected to be strong and just deal with it.

A few years ago, I was in a very difficult and painful relationship. I had just become a young mother and was just trying to get back on my feet and deal with this brand new situation. That relationship did not turn out the way my heart desired and I stayed silent through it all. I let other people decide for me.

I let other people decide my fate. I was told things like " you are a woman", "be strong" "our mothers have been through this and they stood strong" "this is how it is supposed to be" "be patient" "don't worry he will change" blah blah blah...

Somehow in the mist of all this drama, I totally lost my self-esteem, self-worth and self-confident. I could barely recognise myself. I gave away my voice and trusted other people's voice to be more powerful than mine and it led me to misery!

Why I am telling you this?

The reason being is that if you are blessed with a voice, YOU OUGHT TO USE IT! You don't need permission, you don't need to deserve it, you don't need to wait for someone to create a platform for you to raise your voice, you CREATE the platform.

As women entrepreneurs, specifically when starting out, you look around and shrink because of lack of experience, lack of visibility among other reasons.

You look at what other people are doing and just stay small in your corner, sacrificing your voice. But if you do not speak up who will hear you? If you do not show up who no will see you?

Most of it is tied to low self-worth or low self-esteem and fear of course!

I guarantee you that when you decide to speak up, show up and get your Personal Power back, things will shift in a way that will blow your mind!

Alright that's it for now. Check below the video I mentioned earlier.