Be the master of your destiny – Sonia Pardesi
I was a very protected, pampered and happy go lucky child in my formative years. I never liked to study and hated being confined in a place, hence, I could never enjoy school. My older sibling was a diligent student. I used to be an average one, but a dreamer. I used to believe that I wasn’t good enough. Self-image and self-esteem issues occupied a large part of my teenage years.
As I grew older, things didn’t seem to get any better. Instead, I found myself in a career path that neither gave me satisfaction nor peace of mind. In fact I wasn’t even sure of what I wanted to do. I was interested in training people on fashion and etiquette, but I didn’t have the necessary certification or content to train confidently.
While undergoing a very difficult personal crisis about 10 years ago, through a close friend of mine, I was introduced to the field of Image Consulting and an Institute that offered the certification. Image Management was in its nascent stages in India back then. When I saw an article of Image Consultants being featured in a leading newspaper, I realized that every aspect of this career is what I always wanted to do.
I attended the orientation program of the Institute, and although the course fees was very high for me to manage, I took up a personal loan from the bank and joined the course. My parents supported me. I also took up small projects (of Emceeing for press conferences) to pay my monthly EMI while taking the course.
I attended the 9 month program and I was the first one in my batch to submit my assignments and get certified. Ever since then, there has been no looking back. I got offered by my Institute to be a trainer and I started training different batches of budding Image Consultants at the Institute. I even travelled to other cities in the South, to train the students. I would train between two cities for three days continuously for 8 hours per day, every week. Besides that I also had my own company through which I undertook corporate training sessions and individual consultations. I would even take up sessions during holidays. I loved my work. There were times when I had to be on voice rest due to excessive strain on the vocal cords, but I never cancelled training commitments, even when I had a bad bronchial cough, due to which I had hairline fractures in my ribs. I would wear a supporting belt, have medicines on the table and conduct my training sessions.
Over the course of these years, I have trained over 2000 people from different walks of life, have appeared on a reality tv show, radio talks as well as have been a styling and grooming partner for a beauty pageant (Mrs. India I Am Beautiful 2019). Recently I won the ‘Corporate Stylist of the Year 2020’ award.
I believe that if you have the passion and drive for a field, you should go for it and empower yourself. Never let distortions that exist in your mind, prevent you from exhibiting your fullest potential. Have faith in yourself!