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Having a confidence crisis? Here’s how to find your mojo


Having a confidence crisis? Five women who’ve been there reveal how they got their groove back.

Visualise success
“I’ve always wanted to have my own company and yet, when I decided to start Angel Dust Management, I was terrified. This was a time for confidence, but I kept questioning myself. Did I have what it took? What if I poured my savings into something that failed? After much angst, it was thanks to my mom’s support and encouragement that I started using visualisation to get over my fears. I pictured myself as a success and kept reminding myself of what I’d already achieved. Creating positive scenarios calmed my nerves and I felt more capable. In retrospect, being fearful was good as it forced me to consider many factors before jumping in.” – Sihle Bolani, director at Angel Dust Management

Listen to loved ones
“After being fired from three jobs consecutively and my marriage falling apart, my confidence was shattered. I gained over 30kg, going from a size 32 to 42, in six months. I’m a brand manager, so image counts, and although I gave it my all at job interviews, the voice in my head kept telling me I was fat and would never succeed. Then one day, my mother told me to stop beating myself up, especially over my appearance. Her words made all the difference and I began to rebuild my confidence. Having someone who constantly tells you you’re beautiful and incredible is powerful! I now have a new job and am focusing on losing weight, but I won’t ever let the old thoughts and doubts get me down again.” – Nolu Mazibuko, brand manager

Be patient
“After graduating, I landed my dream job as a news reporter at Power FM. I immediately started benchmarking myself against the talented, experienced professionals around me in the belief this would help me do better. But the more I compared my work to other people’s, the more insecure I became. It was only when I acknowledged I was a beginner and started asking for help that I found my confidence again. It’s really OK to grow into your career instead of expecting to be brilliant from the start.” Mallory Perrett, Power FM producer

Be kind to yourself
“Actresses constantly compete for roles and I became consumed by trying to be perfect – an obsession that destroyed my confidence. I became hugely self-critical, to the extent that I felt useless if other people won compliments. Eventually, when I couldn’t stand my own company, I realised I had to change my attitude or change my career. It took a long time to stop criticising myself, but I’d wake up every day, look in the mirror and tell myself I was a phenomenal actress. Whenever I was on set and the old insecurities struck, I’d go somewhere private and remind myself of my talent. I haven’t doubted myself since.” Zakeeya Patel, actress

Focus on having fun
“I was always a top hockey player, but after moving towns, I went from the A league to the second-lowest team. I spent all my free time improving my skills, yet I still didn’t move up the ranks. I lost confidence in my ability and then stopped playing. But I realised that in focusing on becoming a sports star, I’d forgotten to enjoy playing the game. When the next season started, I headed for trials and this time my goal was to have a good time, rather than outshine the rest. It worked: I got into the B league and felt my old determination return.” – Alungile Peter, student

Glamour International