Motivational Speaker, Author, 4x TEDx Speaker

I wrote this book for every person who has ever felt alone, different and wished someone understood them. I hope this book feels like a trusting friend for you. Come with me on this journey, where you will likely laugh, shed a few tears, and ultimately love and believe in yourself. . .  Exactly the way you are!

About the Book

Growing up, Dina Pestonji was afforded all the comfort, love and affection anyone could ask for. She should have been a happy, carefree girl. But from the age of 10, she felt uncomfortably “different,” like an ugly brown duckling in a sea of perfect girls with white skin and blue eyes.

In this powerful, brutally honest memoir, Dina vividly describes the losing battle that engulfed her mind and body—one with a hateful, self-loathing and cruel inner critic.

Consumed by a misguided obsession with fitting in, being exceptional and “perfect,” she unknowingly allowed a deep self-hatred to set in over the years—a hatred that not even her acceptance at the swankiest schools nor a dream job in California could change. Only after surviving a horrific car crash and a paralyzing stroke while still in her 20s, did she begin to see herself for who she really was: strong, independent, a fighter…blessed.

Surviving Myself is the captivating, emotionally charged story of the author’s journey to self-acceptance and inner peace, narrated with the refreshing candour of a close friend. Alternately humourous, shocking and heartbreaking, it is also the story of a family’s overflowing love.

About the Author

Dina Pestonji is a Canadian-born, second-generation East Indian author and motivational speaker. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc in psychology and later earned her master’s degree at ESCP Europe Business School.

A two time TEDx speaker, Dina writes regularly for the Huffington Post and has delivered her inspirational keynote addresses in Canada and abroad for numerous educational institutions and businesses, including Google Inc. and BNP Paribas. She currently sits on the board of the Women’s Brain Health Initiative and represents Sheena’s Place, a centre for eating disorders, as an Ambassador.

What Readers are Saying...

I loved going on this journey with Dina from awkward child to successful young lady and the major battles strewn in between. The honesty of her thoughts through each period of her life will make you laugh, cry and be completely inspired to push on through your own life journey.  – Lauren du Rand, New Zealand


Before the age of 30, Pestonji survives not one, but three brushes with death. Her memoir shows how the same relentless drive that can lead to self destruction can also provide the motivation to survive in times of crisis, and ultimately lead to self acceptance. – Caroline Senne, USA


Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dina’s story which is told with tremendous vulnerability. I felt like I was part of her journey, experiencing heartache during her struggles and joy in her triumphant moments. Dina candidly articulates what many individuals feel but fear saying out loud. Her story will undoubtedly resonate with many and will be a source of strength and inspiration for all those who read it.  – Sonely Bulchandani, Canada