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I woke up this morning to a message from a friend of mine ‘You have to watch Survivor’s Remorse SO3E08, it’s the one!’.

Thankfully for me I’d taken a much needed day off, so was easy enough to watch it immediately.

The last few episodes of Survivors Remorse have been so enlightening, dealing with important issues such as colorism, circumcision etc, in such a way that reminds me why I want to create content. So I was eager to watch this episode.

I watched the entire episode wondering where the amazing message or insightful commentary was going to come in. I didn’t get it, they were just negotiating a contract. Being an entrepreneur – and so is the said friend – I thought the message was on how to negotiate a contract, how your kind deeds are remembered for positive negotiations etc. (It is kind of true). I got to the end and then had the ‘aha’ moment.

There were great nuggets of insight in the negotiation process, but the biggest were self worth and trust.

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The last few months have really tested my belief in myself and what we (my siblings and I) set out to do. I found myself angrier than usual at everything. We met people that we thought would be great to join our team and they turned the jobs down. I took it personally. Did they not know how much they would learn? Did they not know the fantastic work we get to do, even if it’s not always publicly visible? I was crushed.

In the meantime the online views on my talkshow were getting lower each week. I couldn’t understand it, but I was also focussed on how to push my main business forward. I just couldn’t focus on the talkshow at that point, but it was equally crushing that it didn’t seem to be resonating the way I would have liked it too. Didn’t help that a few days later I met someone who purposely sought me out to tell me everything that was wrong with my show. Don’t get me wrong, I can take constructive criticism, but there was just too many other things going on – you know that quote about being nice to people because you don’t know what they’re going through, at that point, I truly understood what it meant. I thought I was at my breaking point.

That experience taught me something. As much as I’m critical of celebrating mediocrity, and boy is there a lot of mediocrity in Zambia, you have to respect the effort, and remember most people are doing things with small budgets and doing things with no experience, in industries that are in infancy stages. While I hope they know it can be better, I know and understand how tough it can be to chase your dreams, especially in this environment.

But back to Survivors Remorse. The episode reminded me to remember how much I have achieved and that while I still have a ways to go to where I’m trying to get, I can’t lose focus on my path. People, circumstances and more, will come into your life to test you, but when you reconnect with who you truly are, embrace your greatness, all of that is water off a duck’s back.

You have to believe in yourself. Not because no one else does, but because so many people, people you may not even know, believe in you, are watching you, are rooting for you. Your actions do enable others to walk through the doors you open, to follow their own dreams. But it all starts with you believing in yourself first. Use that inner strength to weather the bad storms, because it is true, the darkest hour really is before the dawn (or after the rain, the sun comes out), learn to dance in the rain and ride out the storm (OK, I’ve thrown in pretty much every cliche I can think of, but it’s true, and I can’t emphasis this point anymore!). You don’t need anyone to validate you, you are enough. If your regular cheerleaders aren’t around, be your own cheerleader!

So no matter what you might be going through, don’t break, but do take time to regroup, recalibrate and remember your goals. Namaste (I bow to the divine in you)

I spent the weekend in the country (I call it the country because it’s in the ‘burbs) with my friend. The idea was that since I only have a couple of weeks before my driving test and a few more weeks until I leave the country, I need to get as much driving pactice in.

After spending three hours cleaning my two bedroom flat – it’s amazing how much dirt you can find when you’re really looking for it – I didn’t particularly feel like doing the 1.5 hour journey to hers. But as I’m known for my last minute cancellations (which is bad, I know), and the fact that she promised to cook me dried fish, kale with groundnuts and nshima (some of my favourite Zambian dishes), I made the effort.

Saturday night was spent eating and drinking – my glasses are broken, and without being able to see (that well) at night, I figured I wouldn’t take the risk of driving in the dark. Sunday morning began with an hour walk in the country – ok it was a large park, but when you live in London, that walk was like being in the country – my white porous trainers were not impressed. Followed by an hour driving in my new car. It was all pretty well, despite me going over the curb (twice). Thank God for 4x4s!

During the three hour break for lunch – more nshima – we watched a show on plastic surgery, which led to the, ‘would you ever do it?’ question. Having already had cosmetic dentistry and booked in for a few peels, I couldn’t even lie and say no.

Working in an industry that values appearances – though it feels the whole world is becoming like this – it’s easy to see how you could turn to a ‘quick’ fix.

The problem is that if the problem is in you, no amount of cosmetic surgery will sort it out. Having very few people realise what I did with my own cosmetic process, I realised that maybe I was the one who thought my problem was worse than it really was. And even though I still don’t think it’s perfect, I’m not tempted to go back to get it perfected.

My key issue was that I felt my appearance affected my self-esteem. Now that it’s ‘fixed’ I do feel better about myself and my confidence is even higher (who knew that was possible). Sometimes I do look in the mirror and think, ‘oh yes, a cup size bigger would be nice, or bum implants wouldn’t go amiss, and boy would i save time if I could just get some lypo.’ But, I know none of these things – bar some lypo (Tae-bo is a killer) – would make me happier, therefore they’re not necessary.

But you see some of these extreme plastic surgeries and realise that people are chasing a ‘perfection’ that really doesn’t exist, because it’s in their mind. You look at some of the before pictures and couldn’t see what they wanted to change, and now they just look like a freak show.

Self-esteem is such a powerful thing that it’s important to build it from a young age. People can achieve amazing things if they believe in themselves – help from God goes a long way too. But I’ve also seen lives damaged by low self-esteem.

I know if I believe in myself, I’ll find that inner confidence to pass my driving lessons, and these minor procedures I do, I do them for myself, to build my confidence and not to chase this pursuit of perfection. If I’m happy, regardless of what I do and how I spend my money, then that’s all that matters. But I’m all about working from the inside out – window dressing is fine, but if there’s nothing beyond the storefront, then it won’t do you much good in the long run.