This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

How These Canadian Women Unleashed Their Inner Power

There’s no right or wrong way to gain self-confidence. And it can take time, so don’t worry if you’re not there yet. Something as profound as changing your way of thinking or something as simple as having a good skin day can have a positive impact on your confidence.

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True inner strength will always be a little bit elusive, but we can share stories and encouragement to combat moments when we feel at our lowest. In partnership with Nivea, we spoke with a few Canadian women about their journey to unleash their inner power and find the confidence to be themselves.

Christine Cho (Beauty Expert and Television Personality)

“Being in the public eye can really challenge my self-confidence. Sometimes people are very kind and supportive; other times, they can be judgmental and critical. The only thing I can really control is how I see myself. Sometimes, it’s as simple as looking in the mirror and liking what I see with the right outfit, makeup, and mood.

I think it’s important to be good at something; to foster talents and build skills and knowledge; to take care of the physical body; to nurture healthy thoughts and emotions and to respect and protect ourselves. I really do think this is the basis for learning confidence. For me, acknowledging bad feelings but then replacing them with positive actions and beliefs really helps me feed the better part of myself. I hope that I make a positive impact on the younger generation of women. I want them to recognize that though self-confidence is often a lifelong challenging journey, it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself.”

Anne T. Donahue (Writer and Social Media Personality, Author of Nobody Cares)

“Feeling capable 85 per cent of the time is relatively new to me. I find that I need to remind myself that I’m capable and that I’m trying my best because it’s easy for me to spiral…So, if it’s a professional setback, I drink from the fountain of ‘I’ll show you what Elle Woods can do!’ and throw myself into something else to ensure I escape the ‘I’m the worst’ quicksand.

My lack of self-confidence growing up led me to some real dark places, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. So, I think instilling it in younger generations is key. I almost wonder if it’s even up to older generations to do the instilling because we’ve really made a mess of things in a lot of ways. Ultimately, I think it’s less about us instilling confidence and more about checking ourselves to make sure we’re not taking it away. Our language matters so it’s more about us learning to be helpful allies, not necessarily teachers.”

Mary Young (Fashion Designer and Founder of Mary Young)

“I definitely feel pressure to maintain a certain persona being in the public eye and to be honest, I don’t think that pressure comes solely from others but also pressure I put on myself.

I always feel my self-confidence drop when I compare myself to others or have people compare me to others. When I find myself in this negative space I give myself a strong pep-talk and remind myself that we are all different and valuable - no one is less than another and no one is better. This conversation and effort to refocus on myself and not to look at others always helps me to get back on track.

I believe we all have a responsibility in inspiring and empowering the younger generation to find confidence within their uniqueness and differences. “

Michelle August (Founder and Owner of SPINCO)

“Like most people, finding self-confidence has been a journey for me. Exercise and finding a community of like-minded people through SPINCO has helped me feel good about myself and spin is something I can always return to when I’m second-guessing myself.

I think group fitness is a great way for anyone to feel more powerful about their inner strength and create connections with others as a support system. I’ve tried to build my business around helping people feel empowered – when you push past a challenge or obstacle in class you feel good about yourself and you can take that out of the studio and into real life.”

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