‘You get in life what you have the courage to ask for’ - Oprah Winfrey
This particular quote by Oprah Winfrey is not just my favourite quote but also the one that really stirred something in me. You definitely cannot get anything in life if you do not have the courage to ask for it, not just from the world but also from the universe.
I remember back in school; I was the gawkiest girl with zero self-confidence. I was not confident in my skin, wasn’t an academic student either and I was a victim of racism which as a kid definitely affected my self-esteem. I was in grade 3 when I got my first opportunity to represent my school house, Kingfisher, on stage for an inter-house debate competition. I prepared for it with all my heart because this was the first time that I got to do something which involved me being on a platform in front of people. On the day of the competition, I was extremely nervous. I kept revising my lines over and over, had butterflies in my stomach. Finally, the moment came when I had to go on stage, stand in front of the mic and podium and start speaking on my topic. It started off well, I had my lines all right. Then came a moment where while speaking I suddenly stopped, I got completely blank and forgot my lines. For 5 minutes I froze, standing still on stage. I couldn’t think about anything. After those 5 minutes, I finally gathered the courage to resume my debate, took a deep breath and started speaking again, this time much more confident than before. After completing my debate, the sound of the applause that my ears got to hear was the best sound of my life that I had heard at the time. I got off the stage with a smile on my face and taking my confidence with me. To my surprise, I won the third price for the competition. First time being on stage, having a blank moment in the middle of the debate, getting myself out of that moment stronger and grabbing the third price for it…. this was my ‘Believe in Yourself’ moment. In that particular moment, I believed in myself, in my love for being in on stage in front of the audience, I believed that I am my most confident self when I am on stage. At the age of 9, I found confidence and believed in myself.
Ever since that day, I haven’t looked back. I started doing Marshall Arts at the age of 7, eventually becoming a Black Belt at 17, started my fitness journey of Strength & Conditioning and Powerlifting under my father’s coaching at 15. I got into theatre, drama school Kathak and Indian Classical Singing, which have been my biggest rejuvenators for life. Books have played a major role in my life for believing in myself. They have been my best friend, my escape door to all the miseries and problems in the world, my window to the horizons of my imagination, best teachers of life and my purest source of happiness. I started working for Cult Fitness at the age of 19 as their Strength & Conditioning and HRX Coach where I met people from different walks of life, got great exposure about being an employee at 19 and developed strong work ethics and discipline for myself. In 2018 I went to Mumbai where I took a break from work and went to Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares Academy, where I channelized my artistic side. I stayed alone in Mumbai for 3 months, and that experience made me independent, even more confident about myself and I once again believed in myself that I can manage my life on my own. These moments are your wake-up calls which you should always pay attention to.
Today I work with my Father’s organisation. With Covid-19 hitting he whole world, I started with virtual fitness and wellness sessions for women and children. I also started a series of Live Sessions on Instagram with women who are love and life coaches, photographers, social activists, communication specialists, public speakers, digital creators from all around the world, Canada, South Africa, etc. where we discuss about life, love, women empowerment, their rights, caste, racism, black lives matter, self-love and growth, careers.
My journey so far has been very special to me with so many amazing lessons that I have learnt along the way, and with every experience I have believed in myself even more than before.
This is my story of Believe In Yourself.
- Contributed by Rachel David