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To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March – and 100 years since women in Britain won the vote – we asked some amazing fellow females to share their secrets for self-assurance
Nadiya Hussain: Baker, presenter and author.
‘I didn’t know my life would change so dramatically after winning The Great British Bake Off in 2015. Going from baking to TV presenting and writing books was scary. But if I don’t let myself feel fear, I’m likely to hide away in my husband’s hoodie! So have the confidence to scare yourself – on the other side of fear are amazing things.’
Nadiya’s novel, The Fall And Rise Of The Amir Sisters (HQ), is published on 19 April.
Zanna van Dijk: Health and fitness blogger, personal trainer and author.
‘Set goals for your performance rather than your appearance. When you focus on what your body can do rather than how it looks, your motivation can go through the roof. Embrace who you are, and challenge yourself to become the best version of you.’
Zann’s book, Strong (Headline), is on shelves now.
June Sarpong MBE: Presenter, activist and author.
‘As a child of African descent, born and raised in the West, I can feel I’m not good enough. So I’ve nicknamed my insecure self Agnes. It helps me distance myself from that critical voice.’
June’s book Diversify: Six Degrees Of Integration (HQ), is on sale.
Anne Murphy: Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance.
‘Throughout my career, I’ve recognised the power of being authentic. It promotes trust and has allowed me to build strong relationships – a huge support to being my confident best.’
Katie Piper: TV presenter.
‘Confidence is like a muscle – the more you work on it, the stronger it will be. We can choose the attitude we take. While we can’t change the past or other people’s actions, we can change how we react. It is possible to turn a difficult situation into an easier one. It’s an incredible power we all possess.’
Katie’s live show, What’s In My Head, broadcasts in spring 2018.
Marian Keyes: Author.
‘Whenever I feel intimidated, I remind myself that I’m comparing my “insides” with everyone else’s “outsides” – they seem to have things far more together than me. But the truth is that everyone has fears and insecurity. Remembering that recalibrates my sense of self-worth.’
Marian’s latest novel, The Break (Penguin), is out now.
Words Fiona Ward Photography Getty Images, Shutterstock