Believe in Yourself

I never knew there is power deep within ourselves. I often saw people doing great things and I believed they were just great naturally.

I read many amazing stories of great people like Muhammad Ali, Tony Robbins, Nick Vujicic…. But it all ended up there. It somehow always felt so fictional albeit very motivating. I just couldn’t understand what is inside these great humans that I didn’t have.

What did they have that they shook the world with their unrivaled footsteps?

The turning point of my life

After I joined high school, I never had a clear vision to be successful. I was just another teenage girl who joined school and that’s it. I pretty much understood that I can just study a little and “pass”, which was quite enough. So in my first term I just played around with my friends, having lots of fun in boarding school and being a “mono” – a form one student.

At the closing ceremony of the end of the term, they called out the top 10 students awarding them with stationery and other good stuff. I was just seated somewhere in the crowd clapping not understanding how they were the best students “were they studying like seriously or just some naturally bright students?”. It somehow stuck in my heart but I kind of neglected it excited I am finally going home. 100+ students had A’s, I was nowhere there.

We always had exams on the first week of a new term, just to make as read during the holidays and report to school on time. On the opening I reported to school late because I waited for my friend, we just somehow didn’t care much about the repercussions of missing exams and we braved ourselves “they are just gonna make us re-sit for those exams”. Unfortunately, that never happened, so we had just sat for few papers. Results? With those 0 in some subjects, you don’t want to know!

To avoid being retained in school for bad grades during holidays, I resolved to study harder. I doubted that I could make it. But I had to do something, “I can’t stay for extra tuition when everyone else go home!”, I told myself. After lots of hard work and persistence, I passed just enough to not be retained for tuition. It was unbelievable for me, did I just do that? Does it mean I have the capability to do better? It then dawned on me, “we choose what we want to be in life”. That was the U-turn of my academic life and I can vow, that every other aspect of my life changed.

I now understood what the likes of Muhammad Ali had. Without a doubt, they had immense belief in themselves!

It wasn’t that I could not have better grades, it was that I never believed I could have them.

I chose to shut down all the voices within me that always said; “they are naturally brilliant, you ain’t that just chill”.

Vincent van Gogh said;

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

I silenced that voice. I nurtured my mind with thoughts of greatness. I started believing in myself and in the power within me.

I never listened to what other people said. It didn’t matter. I knew what I am and what I am capable of doing on my own.

It ain’t just about academics…

You might be thinking, is professional academics all that there is in life? No its not. We are all gifted in our own ways. For me, it was books that made me understand the power within myself. That I have the capability to be who I want. I can study hard and be that doctor, that architect, business-lady…it’s all up to me. The key to what I want to be is in my hands.

Whatever your line of profession is, the bottom line is, do you believe you are in control of who you become in the next 10 years?

The biggest difference I’ve noticed between successful people and unsuccessful people isn’t intelligence or opportunity or resources. It’s the belief that they can make their goals happen.

You get to choose which road you will take.

Choose the road that will unleash your potential.

Believe in You

Self-doubts won’t disappear into thin air just like that. You just have to get better at dealing with it. James wrote this beautiful article; What I do when I feel like my work isn’t good enough.

Every time you want to try new things, doubts will creep in. But do not follow your doubtful thoughts.

There is no one who can pump you better than yourself. You know you better.

When it gets tough, recall your successes. Find your way back to your inner you and know you have the power to achieve what you want in life.

Until next time, Chao!

Little Ways To Keep Your Self-Esteem On Top of The Game

Nothing is as important as how you feel and think about yourself. Self-esteem is what really shapes who you are and how you behave in different circumstances. Self-esteem is about being confident in who you are, appreciating yourself and in your belief of what you are capable of doing. It directly determines your effectiveness and success in all areas of your life.

Sometimes you go through hard times and your belief in what you are capable of doing slips away. Or you have been in environments where you feel less worthy than others. Or you just feel like some humans don’t like you for some reason you don’t know. Even among your friends, you’ve found yourself struggling being around them, it always feels like they have more to offer than you do.

If this is you, here are 5 tips to keep your self-esteem on top of the game:

1. QUIT Comparing Yourself

You have one time or another looked at a friend, a co-worker or even an anonymous person and envied them. At that moment you wished you had their fame, body, wealth or even simpler things like cars and clothes. When you compare the worst of what you think about yourself to the best assumptions you have about others, you just lose your self-esteem. Remember, no one has a perfect life! Understand that you are the best, and no one no one can be like you. Love yourself.

Challenge for you: What are 3 things you appreciate about yourself? Write them down. Trust me you will double your self-esteem, self-love and self-appreciation once you are done writing.

2. Feed Yourself With Positivity

You are what you think you are. It first begins with your thoughts and your little inner voice. Your thoughts become your beliefs and eventually your actions. For you to be self-confident and have high self-esteem, you have to work on your thinking. Napoleon Hill says “Think and Grow Rich”. Do not talk down to yourself, instead pat yourself for the little strengths you have.

After great thoughts, feed your mind with positivity and love for yourself. Engage yourself in activities that make you feel great and distance yourself from anything that makes you feel down.

3. Surround Yourself with Supportive People

The fastest way to kill your self-esteem is by surrounding yourself with people who make you feel less important. You see that gang you hang out with and go back home feeling more frustrated than you left? Get rid of it! Surround yourself with positive people who have positive vibes. Keep company of people who accept you as you are and respect you. People who respect your opinion, listen to you genuinely and hold your hands when you fall.

“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” – Karl Marx

4. Be Your Own Best Friend

Oh yeah! I love this point. It is the best dose for high self-esteem. Be your own best friend. Be the first one to respect you, be the first to love you, be the first to appreciate you, be the first to wipe your own tears and say “Don’t worry (insert your name), you’ve tried your best”. In short, whatever you would do to your best friend, do it to yourself.

Learn to Listen to the Person who knows you best…You.

5. Initiate Growth

Growth is the mother of happiness. When you challenge yourself to grow everyday, you build your self-confidence. By the time you finish that swimming or ballet class you challenged yourself to, you will feel more positive about yourself. You will believe in your ability to do anything = high self-esteem. Remember you don’t have to be perfect, just focus on small wins and not big achievements. Take Baby Steps.

With these 5 simple tips you will keep your self-esteem healthy, feel better and live a life of contentment. So keep your self-esteem on top of the game and take control of your life, loving yourself every other day.

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Until next time, Chao!

5 Key Areas Where Self-Knowledge Matters

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” Daniel Goleman

Self-knowledge is indeed a deep concept where scientists and psychologists have analysed deeply. There are many heavy books written on this subject. But just like many of us, it is tiring to read an entire book just on one concept; it is not like we are doing a degree for it 🙂 .

In brief, self-knowledge is pretty much how we define and understand ourselves. There are many areas where this self-knowledge matters but here are five areas where I thought could be of much benefit for anyone who wants to read at a glance.

  • Relationships

Your partner, your sister, your brother, your friend, your workmates…all need a healthy relationship with you.

We need to have self-knowledge in relationships so as to better understand others and adapt our behaviors accordingly. People with self-knowledge understand how they are similar to, and different from other people. You need to search yourself deep within in order to build and nurture strong and healthy relationships.

  • Career

Biggest challenge? Not knowing what you want to do. Many would say “I want to do something that matters”. This is an admirable statement, but the problem is, it is too vague. When it comes to career, you have to sail your ship in a certain direction lest you end up at a beach with whales. Vagueness is a sign of lack of self-knowledge.

P.s: If you are stuck in your career choice, I found this How To Decide on a Career brief, precise and helpful. Also try Explore Careers.

  • Work

A self-aware mindset is relaxed and ready to take on responsibilities. They know what is important for them and what is not. They know they are much more than their feelings and thoughts, so if a co-worker pisses them off, they don’t tear apart and cause a tantrum.

  • What Others Can Know of Us

That Instagram picture you shared looking really happy, were you really happy? Or did you just want people to see you as happy? We are always worried about what others thinketh of us. We look in the mirror and wonder; do we look good, descent, smart and religious enough in the eyes of people?

Consequently, we improve the image in the mirror to be better for others. Mostly, this shift is based on the opinion of others and therefore, it is a desire to prove that the image in the mirror is true and is really us. It is however, a mistake to see ourselves through this mirror. If we want to really know who we are, we have to turn away from people’s opinions.

  • Emotions & Life-Values

Do you like to just sit by the river alone? To enjoy that calmness and tranquility? That’s a personal taste that may mean you are being overwhelmed with something. The things you are inclined to at certain times explain your inner feelings. Take care of that.

On the other hand, knowing what is most important to yourself is the ultimate path to happiness. Your life-values is an important guide to making important decisions. Is health important for you? Go for that workout and eat those veggies. Is spirituality important for you? Make it a habit to read that Holy Book and make time to pray.

With self-knowledge, your relationships, career, work, people’s opinion of who you are and your emotions & life values are all at your hands. Take control of your life by understanding who you really are.

Know Thyself

Who are thou? Is that a scary question? Just pause for a moment and think about it. Do you have a notebook? Yes? Awesome, write those random answers down. No? Okay, you are right, it is boring and seems as a waste of time; but trust me, writing has some magic power, so let the first topic you note down be; “WHO AM I?”.

There are probably many things you know about yourself. Your favorite food, your talents, your strengths and weaknesses, whether you are a morning or night person, the kind of people you click with…and…that one you are thinking about right now! Some of these self-knowledge are important, some are not. Actually, they all are important, but what we want to know, are those niches that are attached to our core-self, the ones that deeply define us. But before that, why should we even scratch our heads to define ourselves?

Self-knowledge is our path to happiness and fulfillment. Self-knowledge is our path to discover our full potential. Self-knowledge is our key to successful relationships with other people, because when we know better who we are, we know which doors to open and which to close, without hurting others or hurting ourselves. You do not want to be a liability to others, neither do you want others to be a liability to you.

You definitely can’t foresee your feelings. But if you have identified, for instance, that when you get angry there is going to be an eruption, you should know it is time to take your cat for a walk, literally. That way, you avoid being liable to people around you. Once you are clear enough with who you are, you will be able to explain your feelings to others instead of acting them out destructively.

We are complex beings! Our needs, passions and environments evolve, and so do we. Sometimes, we get caught in this fast-paced world that we can’t identify ourselves no more. We even give up on trying to find out because we have become comfortable with not knowing. I can’t promise you you will know yourself within an hour or after a month. It will definitely take time to identify yourself but I can promise you that you will get the answers eventually. Be patient!

As I too scribble “who am I” in my notebook, I will come up with a list of important areas where self-knowledge matters and share with you in my next post. Chao!