Showing my authentic self - Olivia




I immigrated to New Zealand 19 years ago, leaving my job, friends, and family back in the Philippines. I was excited but also nervous to face a new life in a foreign country. It wasn’t easy adapting to the mixed culture, the colder weather, and the laidback lifestyle. I tried so hard to fit in, but still felt out of place at times. Even though I know how to speak English, it was quite hard to understand people with the different accent, and there were so many kiwi words that I hadn’t heard before. There were lots of challenges and learning for me, and there was a time when I thought of moving somewhere else. But, I persevered and stayed in this beautiful country that I now call home, together with my husband and two daughters who were both born and raised here.


When I saw the ad for the #IAMFEARLESS campaign, I thought to myself: "Why not apply to be part of it?" I still don't have the courage to jump off the plane to sky dive, or ride the scariest roller coaster, but I had overcome difficult situations in life that had taught me to be fearless.


I learned:

  • To keep trying even after so many failed attempts.

  • Not to be afraid to disappoint because it’s impossible to please everyone.

  • To show my authentic self and not to pretend or try too hard to be liked.

  • To free myself from hate and grudges.

  • To demand for what I deserve rather than waiting for it to be given.

  • To admit my mistakes even how embarrassing it is.

  • Not to worry about what people say and think about me.

  • To ask for help when I needed it rather than trying to do it all on my own.

  • To recognise if someone is taking advantage, and finally say “No.”

  • Not to take responsibility for other people’s obligations.

  • To look after my health and mental well-being.

  • To stop complaining about things beyond my control; either accept it or let it go.


It was a long journey finding myself and the courage to speak out. I struggled silently, and I'm glad I didn't give up because now I'm a lot happier and more contented. I don't know what the future holds but my new mantra in life is to: be kind... be honest.. be FEARLESS!