I have the most beautiful blue-eyed, blond little girl. An airy-fairy one, who gets lost in her world. When I look at her, I see a world of potential. I am a proud mama.
I am sure my mother looked at me the same way when I was born. I am convinced she only saw the best and the most beautiful. Even though mama only believed the best I had to offer; I choose to listen to the lies of the world, as well as the lies of the mirror.
My story isn’t unique, but I am most certainly one of the lucky ones.
When I was 15, I woke up one morning a decided that I am fat, not overweight or unhealthy. FAT! UGLY! GROSS! On that morning I made the conscious decision to starve myself to lose the fatness. I began with an exercise routine and ate as little as possible. In a mere five weeks, I lost 15 kilos. And boy was I proud! I went back to school and felt fabulous. I was thin, and I thought I was prettier.
One morning my father came to me just to make sure that I ate my breakfast. At that moment I realized I had a problem. Unfortunately, my problem didn’t go away, and for more than ten years I had a daily struggle with the woman in the mirror. I didn’t like her; she was fat, gross, and ugly.
At the end of 2015, my confidence was at an all-time low. I had difficulties at work. I struggled with the adjustments of a second baby. I was exhausted, and I lost my voice. In all of this craziness, I decided to enter my first pageant, Mrs. South Africa. Crazy right?
I was selected as a Top 100 Semi-Finalist, and my life changed forever. Mrs. South Africa isn’t just a pageant; it is a women's empowerment program. Amazing things happen when you surround yourself with people who are on the same path as you. These amazing ladies became a community of support and encouragement. 
On this journey, I found my lost voice and my hidden truth. 
When you don’t know who you are, how can you speak your truth? How can you fully live your purpose and passion when you don't know who you are.

This was my first lesson. I had to learn more about myself. I had some very honest and real discussions with myself. I had to face some hard truths, one which was my lacking in confidence. To address this, I had to drown out the lies of the world and make peace with the lady in the mirror. I am not skinny; I have curves and stretch marks. But I am a woman. I am unique and have a story to share. This is my body, my mind and I love it.
The second lesson I learned, I needed to define my values and principles. This needed to be my anchor. This needed to be my compass when I felt lost and hopeless. I defined five values, bold {brave}, empowered, feminine, living my truth, family.

I also crossed paths with Stephen R. Covey and the importance of a Personal Mission Statement. Together with my values and principles, decision making became easier. Every decision I make is in alignment with my purpose and calling. I don't doubt my decisions, which has helped me boost my confidence because I don't have regrets.
The third lesson that is I learned is that health is wealth. Not what the scale says, but how healthy and well functioning my body is. Health is a lifestyle, and this became significant in my life. It is not about calorie counting; it is about nutrition. It is not about how many hours you spend in the gym; it is about balance. Earlier this year I had a terrible bout of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. I had to take extra care with my diet and lifestyle. Being ill is not a confidence booster.

Your body is a temple, and when you look after it with love and care, it will reward you with health.
The fourth lesson I learned wasn’t because of Mrs. South Africa but from my mother and the example she set. From a young age, my mother taught me the value of a good skincare regime. Just as your body needs nutrition, so does your skin. You can’t expect to have glowing, beautiful skin if you don't look after it. 

I am a make-up lover. For me, it is an important element to boost confidence. Makeup is art.
The last lesson I learned on this incredible journey, dress for success. There is no such thing as being overdressed. To should be fun. Don't get stuck on someone else idea. To make dressing easier, you must identify your unique style and body type and then create a capsule wardrobe. When the essentials are sorted, you can add on during each season with a few important trends.
Now, when I look in the mirror, I see a strong, bold, successful woman.

I am no longer afraid of who I am. I have taken the time to learn the skillful art of confidence.
Yes, you read that right. Confidence is an art. It is a skill. You too can learn the art.
Google’s definition of confidence is to be certain about the truth or appreciation for one’s abilities.
Each one of us has a unique set of abilities. Each one of us has an incredible truth to share. Don't be fooled by the lies of the world or the woman in the mirror. Explore your uniqueness is, the embrace is and shares it with the world.
For more than ten years I had a struggle with the lies. Once I accepted my truth, my body, and my abilities, the universe has shifted to make space for what I have to offer.

Share in the comments below: What lies are you telling yourself when you look in the mirror?


Author Bio

Sonika Kruger is a part-time reverend, the founder of Chic Bella, a teacher, a Mom, and wife.

As the founder of Chic Bella, her focus is on woman development. This includes health and wellness, as well as image consulting and styling.

She's passionate about woman empowerment. Being a woman in a male-dominated world, she realized that women don't believe in what they have to say or they feel voiceless. She helps them discover their truth and to live boldly.

In her free time, you can catch her spending time with her family. They live close to the bushveld. So just to spend a weekend in the silence and solitude of nature is pure bliss!

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