I met her nearly three years ago. This woman in question had her shoulders were slumped and hunched. She was wearing oversized clothes because she wanted to hide all her girth, a woman who had zero self-confidence. Outwardly she tried to look very confident, but from within, she was feeling completely defeated. Her business was at an all-time low. Many of the mentors she spoke to, rather than encouraging her to persevere, were telling her to shut her business down. All these issues were adding to her inadequacies and she felt that she was the wrong person for the job.
I still remember that day, when I sat her down and had a chat with her. I told her, the following points:
- The most important thing to do is accept yourself. Yes, you are big built, but over-sized clothes add to the inches, so don’t wear ill fitted clothes! Why look at yourself through others eyes? What is it to them that you are big? And pray, who is perfect?
- Rather than harping on the qualities you don’t have, why not strengthen the ones that you have? Work on them and sharpen them.
- Motivate yourself, avoid giving yourself self-deprecating words. You are causing harm to yourself by talking negatively.
- You are, what you are, why not take a step towards a better future and turn things around? These are capabilities which lie within you, no one from outside can give it to you!
While I was conversing with her, I could see she was in fact further curling up inwards and was looking even more defeated. Then I saw her expression change, she straightened up and said that she remembered reading somewhere that each person is the right person in the place that they are in and that they are the right person for the job! That was her moment of truth!
That woman was me. I decided that day to work on myself, to accept myself for who I am. The very first thing I did was to take a decision to stop dyeing my hair. I am the age I am, I do not need to dye my hair to make myself look or feel younger. Greying of hair is a natural process, young is who I am from within.
I soon stopped wearing oversized clothes and instead of hunching and walking, I started walking in a straight manner. Funny thing about it is, that the tummy protrudes lesser and that by itself gives you a slightly trimmer look! I started giving myself positive reinforcements, when one has low self-esteem for almost all their life, this is something quite difficult to achieve. But one must persevere. The positive reinforcements started having their effect slowly but surely.
Many of my near and dear ones, friends, customers, and acquaintances told me to continue coloring my hair. I was happy with my look and was adamant about it. Enough is enough!!! I had followed how people told me I should be. From now on, I was only going to do what I was happy and comfortable with.
The effect of this change showed up 6 months later. I got a call one day asking if I would like to act in an ad. I jumped and said yes and that too it was for my favorite brand of cars, Honda! This was a childhood desire, lying unfulfilled. I had been selected for my size and silver hair!
A little after that, I was called to give a motivational talk, this was another thing that I was very passionate about. I had met too many detractors and demotivators in my difficult phase and if by sharing my pain and journey and how I worked into getting out, could motivate even 1 person than the effort is worth it.
Today, it is not that I am perfect and that I have it all – I am still fighting to bring my business back on track, but I believe in it and have faith that I am on the right track. To persevere is my job. I have spoken at various forums and acted in several ads, short films and a mini web-series now and will continue. I don’t know what life has in store for me but the one thing I know for sure, is that the capability is within me and I’m here to tell you that it is there within you too!