"Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going." - Chantal Sutherland
As I planned my final blog post of the year, I reflected on the theme of many of the previous posts this year. A resounding message I discovered was "the power to do great things lies within you." It is important to make self-belief a priority in our lives.
In this blog post, we will explore the definition of believing in yourself, signs you don't believe in yourself and five reasons why you need to believe in yourself.
What does it mean to believe in yourself?
What are signs you don't believe in yourself?
Some of the signs to look out for are:
Why should you believe in yourself?
There are many strong reasons why you need to believe in yourself. Let’s explore some of them:
Reason 1: You are the only you
We are all unique. Regardless of who you were born or grew up around, the fact is, there is no one else like you. When you start living in this truth, you'll stop comparing yourself to others and diminishing your uniqueness.
Question to consider:
Reason 2: You have a huge contribution
You have a significant contribution to make to the lives of the people around you, even though you don't always feel this way. The feeling that there's not much you can contribute is very common. When you focus on all the great things, you have to offer, your perspective on life changes.
Questions to consider:
Reason 3: If you don’t believe in yourself who will?
It is interesting that we expect people to believe in us when we don't believe in ourselves. Observe your thoughts and words about yourself. Become your biggest fan!
Questions to consider:
Reason 4: You have what it takes to be successful
Believe that you have the required skills and abilities to thrive in life. Especially when you start doubting yourself, remember that you are enough and you have the opportunity to build anything you may be missing.
Questions to consider:
Reason 5: You will go places you never expected to go
People are more attracted to you when you exude confidence. Believing in yourself is a trait that will open doors to many new opportunities and set you up for greatness.
Questions to consider:
Let's wrap up with some positive affirmations to say to yourself:
Wrapping up 2018
Thank you for being part of my journey this year. I'm looking forward to many more learning experiences in 2019.
Every year brings different experiences and learnings that enrich our lives. As you approach the final weeks of the year, it's a great time to reflect on your personal and professional experiences.
In this blog post, we'll explore ten questions to help you reflect as well as share a high-level view of my year. Get comfortable, get a cup of tea, grab your notebook and go on a reflective journey of the year 2018 - your experiences, achievements, and challenges.
How to get the most benefits during your reflection?
Let's start with a few guiding principles:
What tools can you use during your reflection?
Ten questions to help you reflect on the whole year.
#1: What was the theme of 2018?
If you were asked to summarize your year in one sentence what would it be? Write down a few sentences or phrases that come to mind and then select one after you answer the other questions.
#2: What happened this year?
You might have to spend some time on this question. Try to remember the things that happened from January to December. The primary objective is to ensure that you reflect on the year as a whole, not only snapshots in time or most recent memories. Write down every month and summarize your experiences in those months.
#3: What were your highlights of the year?
Starting from a place of gratitude provides fuel for you. Reflect on the achievements and positive experiences you had this year. Naturally, we tend to forget the positive experiences. If you need some support remembering, ask people around you or review feedback people shared with you.
#4: What did you learn this year?
Especially when we have negative experiences, it is easy to feel regret and other negative feelings. Let's reframe those experiences a little and identify what we learned about ourselves, our career and our relationships.
#5: Who were the most important contributors?
The main objective of this question is to help you identify your support community. It is essential to acknowledge and appreciate the people in our lives that contributed in one way or the other. Think about how your family, partner, friends, teammates, mentors or sponsors supported you throughout the year.
#6: Where did you let self-doubt stop you from doing something?
As you prepare for the new year, it is important to be aware of the opportunities you missed because you doubted yourself. Reflecting on these opportunities gives you a clear view of the areas where you can decide to make a change.
#7: What did you do although you were afraid?
This is one of my favorite questions. Following the previous question, reflect on the bold moves you made this year. Write down the small and big things. The objective is to remind yourself of the great things you did even though you were not confident. Congratulations you did it!
#8: What inspired or motivated you this year?
Being aware of what drove us to be our best in a year is crucial. It could be the same things that motivated you in the past or new motivators. As you plan for next year, you want to ensure that you build on these inspirations.
#9: How did you invest in yourself in 2018?
Your personal growth should always be a priority. Write down some ways you invested in yourself and promoted your growth. It could be books you read, events you attended, courses you took, new roles you accepted or self-care.
#10: How did you give back this year?
It is essential to make giving back a part of our lives. With this question, we want to summarize the times we were self-less and did something for someone else that had a positive impact.
Marie-Christin's year in summary
2018 was a year of many unexpected twists and turns.
This year has been exciting on many levels. Thinking back, I can't believe everything I did this year. My year in numbers:
I asked myself what I was most proud, the four things that came to mind were the following:
There were a lot of valuable lessons I learned from the disappointments.
Thank you for being a part of my journey in 2018!
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel back home to Nigeria. When I left Nigeria in 2001, I never expected that I would only be back twice in seventeen years. As I write this post, I still can't believe it took me so long to go back to my original home country. I spent three beautiful weeks in the country that gave me a great childhood where I lived for fifteen years.
On this trip, I spent time in Abuja and Calabar, two cities that were new to me. The primary purpose of my trip was to celebrate my friend's marriage. I experienced many firsts on this visit.
In this blog post, I'll take you on a reflective journey of my trip to Nigeria after twelve long years.
How did I prepare?
In the months coming up to the trip, we spent time thinking of small things we could do to make the trip special. We created a list of food and snacks that we wanted to enjoy. It was essential for us to reserve something fun for ourselves. I can report that we were successful with the food goals we set.
What was my first impression?
Going back, it almost felt like I was in a new country. After a very long journey with the best travel companion ever, I was very excited to be in Abuja. The airport ordeals were very familiar. The additional luggage and immigration checks we had to endure, reminded me of past experiences. Also, hearing people speak Hausa made me feel at home immediately.
What were my highlights?
Spending time with my mum as an adult was very special. Until then, I had not spent longer than a few days with my mum over the last twelve years. We learned a lot about one another. Another highlight was experiencing my friend's wedding. This was the first Nigerian wedding I was very involved with. There were many valuable lessons learned to say the least.
What surprised me the most?
Nigeria is a very different place from the country I left seventeen years ago. Globalization is very evident. It feels like almost everything is available now. Staying connected was much easier than I remembered.
What was the same?
I still felt at home with family and friends. Being able to enjoy meals with family and close friends whom I hadn't seen in many years was special. Not that I had any doubts, but the food was as amazing as I remembered. I enjoyed sugar cane, furah, waina, and some fantastic suya.
What was very different?
The last time I visited Nigeria, I was twenty years old trying to find my place in the world. On this trip, I became more aware of how my perspective of what is important to me has changed. I was able to navigate uncomfortable situations better and enjoy the small good things even more.
What did I enjoy the most?
The simplicity of life in Nigeria was a welcome break from my life now. Partly because I was on vacation and not working, everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I was constantly reminded of the importance of enjoying life and being present in the moment.
What didn't go so well?
The story won’t be complete if I don’t mention the not so good things I witnessed during my visit. The main thing I didn't enjoy was the pressure to be married. Especially from extended family members, I met. There was detailed questioning about when I was going to get married. I attempted to redirect questions to share the fact that I was happy with where I was in life and very successful. I'm hopeful that we can change the view of what the vision of success is for a Nigerian woman.
What do I wish I did?
The two and a half weeks I spent went by too quickly. I would have loved to visit Kaduna, the city I grew up in. That's definitely on my list for my next visit with my sister. Hopefully, my next trip would be in less than twelve years :)
What was the most embarrassing experience?
There was a common theme of these moments. Meeting people who knew me but I could not recognize them or remember their names. Am I the only one who doesn’t recall everyone they met more than seventeen years ago?
What was my most significant learning?
On this trip, I was reminded of the importance of the people in our lives. I enjoyed reconnecting with people I haven't seen in many years and building new memories with my special companion.
In my recent blog post How growing up in Nigeria prepared me for life, I summarized the top 10 principles Nigeria taught me that prepared me for life. Let's wrap this post with the principles that were confirmed on my trip
Read more of my journey as part of the "Her Relocation" series.