Confident Women: Kylie Travers
Kylie Travers has gone from homeless domestic violence victim to multi-international award winning CEO. Kylie has a passion for travel, finance and her family. She has turned her obstacles into opportunities, been an advocate for various charities and now focuses on writing, public speaking and mentoring about goals, motivation, travel, finance and the steps to take to create a life you love. Her methods have enabled many to make more money, travel more, spend more time with their family and in general live happier, more fulfilled lives. Through what she has achieved Kylie has won numerous awards. She is currently based in Melbourne, Australia and you can find her at www.kylietravers.com.au.
What does confidence mean to you?
Confidence is knowing your purpose and having passion behind it. Knowing that you will succeed no matter what and not letting the thoughts or opinions of others tear you down.
Where did you learn to be confident?
I left an abusive marriage in 2012 which was followed by robbery of everything including my underwear, stalking, assault, homelessness and essentially hitting rock bottom as a mum of two daughters with special needs.
I was depressed and had low self esteem when I got married in 2005. By late 2009 I started blogging, in 2010 I was offered a book contract and in 2011 I was a finalist for an international blogging award, a published author, international speaker and freelance writer. It was at this point I started to get more confidence and by 2012 I had enough confidence to leave the abusive marriage, taking my daughters with me.
Some of the things that helped me included a fantastic psychologist. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 2010 so needed more help than most to overcome mental health issues and gain confidence. I wrote a list of 100 things I liked about myself, which actually took me weeks back then. I started setting small goals and achieving them, followed by bigger goals. I forced myself to change my thinking by doing things like making myself list 5 things I liked about myself or 5 accomplishments any time I had negative thoughts about myself. I was also a voracious reader, on psychology, self improvement, business, finance, marketing, health, human behaviour, everything. I absorbed as much information as I could on a variety of topics of interest to me and applied what I learnt.
Learning confidence is about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Ask yourself, what is on the other side of fear? Nothing. Fear is debilitating and we can either let it consume us or simply acknowledge it then let it go. Sometimes, it’s a matter of faking it until you make it. As in, act brave, act confident, use confident body language such as the Wonder Woman pose to display confidence. No one is confident all the time, but there are so many techniques you can use to help you increase your confidence.
What do you think makes it difficult for women to love themselves and own who they are?
Expectations we place on ourselves based on the false images of the perfect woman and perfect life in media both traditional and social.
Today, women are expected to be super hot sex goddesses who also have amazing high flying careers, are domestically talented by cooking magazine worthy meals, making things from scratch, sewing elaborate Book Week Costumes, doing paleo lunches for their kids and amazing cupcakes for when their kid has a birthday at school. You have to get your body back after your baby, in fact you need to be more defined and healthier after you have your baby. Your house needs to be spotless, always and you do EVERYTHING. This means you end up burnt out, with no time for yourself, no sense of purpose or self worth because you are on a constant treadmill of impressing and keeping up with others.
Step back and take a look at your life. Take some time to think about the life you really want, what do you really enjoy, what is your purpose and what sort of woman do you want to be. What’s stopping you?
Here’s a sneak peek into my life. I outsource as much as possible. I have a virtual assistant and team members for my business. I have taught my kids to do all the chores around the home. I don’t make them do them all but I am confident that I can ask them to do anything and they will. They are 7 and 8 years old. This means my house sometimes looks like an 8 year old cleaned it. I’m ok with that. It’s clean!
We eat the same 3 – 4 meals in rotation. It’s basic and easy. I have set work hours and take time out for myself. My 7 year old has requested the same birthday cake three years in a row and the first time I made it, it was a slapped together creation of a chocolate mud cake from Woolworths, covered in Nutella with Ferreo Rocher and Malteasers stuck on it. It’s about as lazy as I could have been to create the “rock cake” she requested. She loves it.
Let go of whatever expectations you have because of society and instead live the way you want to and be happy with yourself. I can do all the things society expects like cook, clean, sew, have a career, be a mum, keep fit. I choose not to. Instead, I have created a life I am happy with, my kids are happy with and I will not live a life where my daughters generation place extra pressure on themselves to do everything because it’s what we do. I discuss how to get the ultimate life balance, through my personal experience on my site.
What challenges do you face that dampen your confident levels?
Triggers from my past are the worst for my confidence. I can be doing really well, feeling on top of the world then something from my abuse will knock me flat. I am much better now than I used to be. It’s a slow process overcoming abuse and unfortunately I have no control over when or if I will be triggered by something. I have put a lot of things in place to get over most of it, learned techniques to help me snap out of it when I am triggered and I have improved my communication so close family and friends can be aware when I am struggling and help if needed.
Who is the most confident person in your life and what qualities do they have?
My dad is a quietly confident person. I think growing up with that impacted how I view things. He isn’t one that has to be over the top, loud or forceful. He is thoughtful, knows his purpose and doesn’t waiver on his decisions. He is well respected, worked hard and growing up I remember he was a bishop for a while until mum passed away. He spoke at church and often made us (his kids) speak. I know we didn’t have a financially wealthy upbringing but I never worried growing up. Dad always exuded confidence. As an adult I have asked many questions about my childhood and now know how tight things were financially at times and other struggles my parents had. Yet, you never would have known.
In fact, the only times I can recall him showing any fear was when mum was dying of cancer, when I went through a rebellious stage and a few other times when the fear was more about his kids struggling than anything else and that stemmed from him wanting the best for us.
My mum oozed confidence to everyone publicly. I know she battled with depression, but she was so happy, vibrant and outgoing I don’t think it’s something most people knew. Her example in my early years helped shape me.
Integrity, faith, self motivation, goals, striving for excellence, trying new things, problem solving, viewing no problem as too big, compassion, understanding and being open, honest people I think are the main qualities my parents demonstrated to me.
When do you feel your most confident, powerful or beautiful?
Either in the middle of a speech I am nailing or when I have finished and come off stage. Public speaking terrifies most people and I won’t deny I get nervous at times, however I channel that nervous energy and I finish on a total high. When I am speaking publicly, connecting with those in the audience and I can see they get what I am saying, it boosts my confidence and is one of the best feelings in the world.
This doesn’t always include when I am speaking about my personal experience with domestic violence. That topic is difficult and doesn’t give me the same euphoria as speaking on motivation, 10 steps to success with goals, turning obstacles into opportunities, social media and other topics I love.
Second to that is spending time with my kids. The love between us, there is nothing that compares. There was many times during the roughest times in my life that a hug from them or having them sit on my lap as I read to them helped me feel I could do anything and I could rebuild our lives and our future would be better. And it is.
Do you have any quick confidence tips for when you want to boost self esteem?
I have an article with 20 tips for confidence on my site. A few of the mains ones I use are:
- Use your body. I mentioned the WonderWoman pose further up. Dominant poses where we our bodies expand into the space by standing straight, shoulders back, arms on hips, legs apart and not crossed displays confidence and has been proven to cause a reaction in the body making you more confident. Hunching your shoulders, crossing your legs or making your body smaller has the opposite effect.
- List 10 things you like about yourself or 10 achievements. The more you do this, the easier it becomes.
- Get confidence boosting music. I have a selection of playlists and there are a few songs that always increase my confidence. Find the songs that work for you and make a confidence playlist.
- An affirmation. I have affirmations on my mirrors, in my wallet, on my home screen, everywhere as a constant reminder of who I am, what I am capable of and where I am going. My main one is “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” by Carl Jung. I repeated this to myself constantly when overcoming abuse and dealing with homelessness. Another of my favourite quote I use is “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
Is there anything else you would like to share or advice for other women who may be struggling with their own confidence and self worth?
If you really struggle with your sense of worth, don’t be afraid to get professional help through counselling or a psychologist or similar. It is not a sign of weakness. I saw a psychologist from 2010 to 2013, when I was finally cleared of Borderline Personality Disorder. Since then I have had counselling when I have felt the need. It’s ok to get help and it’s ok to take time to find someone you feel is the right fit for you and will offer the help you need. It took me a long time to find the right one for me.
Visit Kylie at: