Be the ultimate you: Increase your self-confidence with these life hacks from a top UN Women manager

The general manager of the Singapore Committee for UN Women fills us in on her work, her self-belief, and how she keeps her skin looking good despite her crazy schedule.

The ultimate cause by women, for women

Taking life by the horns

Mellisa Chong has a huge heart. Apart from caring deeply for youths – she is committed to the fight for quality education for all children – and the marginalised, she also volunteers regularly at the Society for the Physically Disabled. In her job as the general manager of the UN Women’s local chapter, she manages a large portfolio that includes organising two of its largest annual fundraisers, like the SNOW Gala, which raises money in support of stopping oppression and violence towards women. She also takes on finance, secretarial, communications and other duties there. Mellisa suffered from low self-esteem as a child, but overcame it to become the self-assured woman she is now. She shares her story with Her World.

When do you feel at your best?

When I stretch my personal limits. I am learning to feel my best without needing external validation or accomplishments. I’m grateful for my time on this planet, and I want to have as much fun as I can, take as many scenic routes as I want, and most of all, express my unique self fully and unapologetically. The best part: When I live this way, I am able to bring out the same in others.

How did you learn to cope with your self-esteem issues?

Mental-health issues have always been close to my heart as they have affected me personally. Growing up, I had low self-esteem and a poor self-image. I used to define myself by what I didn’t have. Now, as the general manager of the Singapore Committee for UN Women, I have the opportunity to explore and observe different management methods that work with different individuals. I’ve found that the one underlying constant that everyone needs is a foundation of psychological safety, where team members feel accepted and respected both in times of crisis and learning. Ironically, my work experience taught me how to manage my own state of mind and emotions.

The ultimate cause by women, for women

What advice do you have for other women who want to achieve their ultimate selves?

Look in. Separate the opinions (either externally or internally derived) from the truth. Observe the conversations you have in your mind and take note of the tone in which you speak to yourself – is it respectful or harsh? Do you feel like a boat without oars? These seemingly inconsequential questions can have the power to steer major life decisions. Individuals will have different definitions of what it means to be their ultimate selves, and these definitions may evolve over time. Regardless, I have learnt that the key to unlocking the immense potential in us is to be aware of what goes on within us and allow ourselves to explore and investigate what feels the best for ourselves.

What does beauty mean to you?

Living in the present, and appreciating the little things in life and the people who are important to me.

What’s your beauty routine?

I use a creamy cleansing foam daily, a softener to soften, and a facial moisturiser to plump my skin. I also use a deep-cleansing scrub once a week, as well as have a facial treatment once a month. I’m constantly on the go, so some of my beauty essentials include facial moisturiser, eyeliner and lip balm.

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