Mata comes across as a confident, tall, glamorous, well-spoken Pacific Island woman.  That’s the impression that other attendees of Kingdom Resources’ Confidence Building for Life and Career for Women thought too, when they met her on the course in February this year.

On the first day at lunch, a few of them questioned her, “Why are you on the course? You’re confident, you dress well and you’re beautiful. Someone else could have taken your place on the course.”

“I was shocked,” said Mata. “In a way it was a compliment.  It was how they saw me. I said that ‘I want to see me as you see me.’ ”

Mata’s lack of self-worth and confidence stems from her childhood, where she learnt to put on her brave face to hide the trauma she was facing.  She refers to herself as a ‘good actress’, often hiding her own feelings.  After suffering from a back injury in March last year and on ACC, a work rehabilitation adviser, recommended the confidence building course to her when Mata admitted that she lacked confidence and self-worth.

 “The course was totally amazing,” Mata said,  “It changed my life.”   

As the course progressed, Mata began to believe what other people saw in her and her confidence grew.

“The course helped me in many areas of my life, not just work. I learned that no-one can put you down but yourself – I was expert at that!  The personality session was of huge interest and helped me to understand myself now.  I learned to be assertive.  It’s given me the confidence to act in the way people see me.”

She describes her home life as being “happier and more harmonious than ever”. She now rarely suffers from an anxiety attack, she’s lost weight thanks to the ‘goal setting’ part of the course and learned about barriers that prevent you from doing something and how to overcome them.

“I’ve accepted my injury, I write SMART lists that are achievable and manageable – I don’t have to be superwoman! My entire life until the course, I was acting, putting on a big show.  I don’t have to be an actress any more. The course gave me an insight into what I really want to do … to help build confidence in other Pacific Island women.”