In November last year, I sat down at home one evening and began to reflect on my year. All the things I set out to accomplish, which was quite overambitious, where never achieved. Not even one my friends, not even one.
This gave me pause, I began to look at what I may have learnt from those experiences and began to jot them down; one after the other and I slowly realized I had learned a whole lot. I realized then that 2017 wasn’t ending in vain. Failure is a learning opportunity. There were powerful lessons I learnt which are now guiding me today.
After this eureka moment, I decided to approach a couple of friends to share their lessons. Unfortunately, out of about 12 people, everyone did say yes, but only four were able to share their lessons as you have read so far the last month.
I thought it would be essential to share some of the lessons I learnt in 2017 which serve as daily reminders, that I am powerful beyond measure and worthy of the best.
- YOU SHOW PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU
This, I need to thank my clients for showing me. Last year, I felt painfully undervalued. I realized how I handled myself with clients, allowed them to devalue my work. Some clients were candid enough to point out to me that this was the reason why they paid as much as they did and this gave me pause. It made me realise I need to repackage how I handle myself and my consultancy.
- YOU NEED TO DEMAND YOUR WORTH
You can only demand your worth when you demonstrate you are valuable. And when it comes to writing this means consistency. I slacked off on this for so long; I started to fight back with regular blog updates. The reality is, where I was a few years ago when I wrote consistently, work would come my way; I never sought it as much. The work spoke for itself and with that, I could charge a premium. It is humbling to start all over again in 2018, but I know what I need to do.
- DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO DO WHAT YOU DON’T CARE FOR
Last year, I had mentioned, two books blew me away, ROADMAP and OUTLIERS. ROADMAP is a powerful life workbook which opened my eyes to see my real struggle with work and consistency. It was a lack of honesty with myself. I did what I felt was required of me. I did some of the work I did because I felt it was the normal trajectory I should take, but I realized what I really cared about was three things; people, travel and storytelling and I needed to re-strategise and make this work for me in 2018.
- I GENUINELY NEED TO LOVE MYSELF
For most of my life, I didn’t like myself, most of it was mostly about my physical appearance. I made fun of myself and I would deprive myself of new clothes sometimes because in my mind, “fat people don’t deserve new clothes or things.”
I needed to deal with that, it is a daily effort and I am getting there. I know I need to take care of myself and love myself first which I now do a day at a time, starting with a daily reminder of how brilliant I am.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE
One core reason my plans last year tanked; they were too many things to accomplish. Now, my approach is simple, two key goals for the year, the rest are details. I am happier and clearer now. And I am able to break down those annual goals into daily tasks, and more so, I now have an accountability partner. Whoot! Whoot!
- MY PATH IS UNIQUE TO ME
I grew up in a competitive extended family, the competition in most cases wasn’t healthy, it was juvenile. This compounded with the competitiveness of school, I spent most of my life looking to outdo someone else. But the reality is life isn’t that way. Where I am now is for a season and a reason, and I realized that until I learn the lessons of this season, I will be stuck here for a long time. I feel more relaxed and aware and the only pace I am working with now is Rose’s pace. And I love this!
- DON’T APOLOGISE FOR WHO YOU ARE
It is just plain exhausting. What I love about real friends, not glorified acquaintances is they keep you in check, they hold your hand and walk with you. And this helps you work on your weaknesses. But most of all, friends and my immediate family especially, celebrate my strengths, and with this, I no longer apologise for being loud, for voicing my opinion or just bursting out in laughter and roaring for 30 minutes on a street with people looking at me. It makes me love myself so much more.
- FAMILY FIRST
Every phone call with my mum reminds me of the beauty of a family with love. There is no fault, flaw or misstep which is irredeemable. And no matter how successful or how confusing things are, I need to remind myself constantly that family is where it all began and I need to take the time to check in on everyone and also spend time with them to ensure we are present in each other’s lives. Because I honestly don’t know where I would be without them cheering me on, every time I want to give up.
- VULNERABILITY IS NOT ABOUT ME, IT’S WHAT IT DOES FOR OTHERS
One of the reasons I stopped blogging altogether a few years ago is the discomfort I started to feel sharing my life. You know the internet never forgets and all. But at the same time, I would be bursting inside, writing is my catharsis but I fought to not write. I was robbing myself of this and my life got darker. When I resumed blogging and I shared more of myself, I realized my experiences weren’t unique to me, and I had offered people some solace in their situation.
- TAKE RISKS
I have played it safe for too long and now it’s time to switch things up. Risktakers shape the world. I want to shape the world, I am young and I have nothing to lose.
- HAVE FUN & GO OUT MORE
There are a lot of things I wanted to do but failed to; I intend to try them this year. It’s time for me to enjoy life and not survive it anymore.