The story of a self-conscious thick black dancer from Toronto, Canada, rarely ends up as a confidence success story. As Brittany Packnett put it, “to be confident, you need first to be given permission.” Society often encourages the patriarchal narrative where males are permitted to be confident. All while these same characteristics are discouraged in women, I refused to let this be my narrative. In less than 5 years, I have been able to more than triple my income, navigate a career in IT, and continue to grow creatively through confidence building. This is my story on confidence and why this and so much more is possible for you.
As a confidence coach, I help creative women embody confidence, find their purpose, and achieve their own version of success without constantly comparing themselves to others.
In a time where entrepreneurship is on the rise, many women lack the confidence to start a business or earn what they are worth. Take a look at the gender wage gap - in Canada, women make 87 cents for every dollar that men make. According to a study conducted by Andreas Leibbrandt and John A List, men are significantly more likely to engage in salary negotiations than women are if the ability to negotiate is not explicitly stated. Through confidence building, you develop skills such as negotiating and taking calculated risks, which can help reduce this gap. This is why I am passionate about helping creative women channel their creativity into confidence and create a version of success in line with what they truly desire.
Through confidence building, you develop skills such as negotiating and taking calculated risks, which can help reduce this gap.
Way before I started my entrepreneurship journey, I was a young dancer who was self-conscious about her weight and her black skin as a ballerina. I dealt with disordered eating through my pre-teen years as I tried everything from water fasts, dry fasting, and keto to try and reduce my weight. The feelings of low self-confidence made me extremely vulnerable in my early friendships. I was constantly trying to be the most reliable, available, and ultimate problem solver to be considered worthy. This people-pleasing mentality stayed with me until university.
I gained body acceptance in university. I joined the dance team my first year of university, and this was the first time where I was surrounded by many other dancers who looked like me. I realized that the dancers didn’t need to be slim.
Being more comfortable in my body led me to perform much better, causing people to see me as a leader, asking me to teach them how to dance and do acrobatic tricks. It was at this point that I rediscovered my love for dance and reinvented my identity as a confident creative. For the first time, my creative expression became about my personal therapy and not about being accepted by others.
For the first time, my creative expression became about my personal therapy and not about being accepted by others.
Fast forward, I graduated from university with a Sociology and Psychology degree. With limited job options, I gained employment at a call center, making 30k per year. I was miserable. My unhappiness at work continued until I met my mentor. She was a fashion-forward black woman who wore pinned suits and an afro—she reminded me of myself. She introduced me to a career in IT.
Soon after working with my mentor, I took a risk and left my job to study project management. As I continued to climb the corporate ladder in Project Management, I realized I was not confident at work. I was not comfortable speaking up in meetings, and I was always scared of making a mistake. In conversations at work, I was sometimes overlooked and talked over. The difference was by then, I had overcome confidence challenges before, so I decided I would increase my competence and become the expert to overcome my fears. I became PMP certified and even began teaching in Project Management, but even then, my imposter syndrome lingered.
Then it clicked; I needed to embrace all of myself to be truly confident. This meant accepting my diversity and creativity even in the workplace. I started to ask hard questions in meetings and think outside of the box. At the same time, I began to share my dance journey online and present myself as a multidimensional woman. Seeing how many women could relate to that solidified my 'why.'
Then it clicked; I needed to embrace all of myself to be truly confident. This meant accepting my diversity and creativity even in the workplace.
Fast forward, today I earn 6 – figures while creating my own version of success. I have learned that representation truly matters and that creativity is power. Currently, I am on a mission to help 1000 female creatives build their own version of success through confidence.