"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" "What's worth doing even if you fail? - Brene Brown
A few years ago, a professor shared a valuable approach to facing my fears that I had never considered before. She advised me to think about strategies I can implement when I plan on doing things I am afraid of. Previously, I had never thought about actively addressing my fears through action.
To succeed and be fulfilled in life, you need to do many things you are afraid of. If your approach is to wait until you have no fear before you take a step, you will miss some great opportunities.
Are you starting a new job or role, chasing your dreams, working towards achieving your goals, moving to a new town or country, making lifestyle changes or doing something new? This post is dedicated to you.
In this blog post, we will explore seven strategies to overcome your fear through action.
Why should you do things you are afraid of?
Strategies to overcome your fear and do things you are afraid of
Acknowledge your fear
Often, we wonder what holds us back and stops us from embracing new opportunities. The fear of failing is one of the biggest reasons why we don't achieve new and bigger goals. Think about all the opportunities you have missed because of fear. It is natural to be afraid, but it should not stop you from taking a step.
Questions to consider
Prepare yourself for the journey ahead
To get more comfortable with making a move, make time to do some research and think through what you need to want to do. The good thing about most of the things we plan to do, we are hardly the first people to do it. Take advantage of the opportunity to research what other people in a similar situation have done and talk to people around you for input.
Questions to consider
Create a plan to achieve your goals
Often when we approach the big tasks that we fear, we can't imagine how we can take action. Break down those big tasks into smaller tasks and plan them. Set milestones to help you measure your progress.
Questions to consider
Equip yourself with the right tools
Tools, tips, and techniques help us solve the challenges we face as we achieve our goals. After you have identified what you are going to do, research available tools that can simplify the tasks. Some examples of useful tools may be a calendar for planning or courses and trainings to learn new skills.
Questions to consider
Take the first step
It may sound too easy, but now that you have done some research, prepared yourself, it is time to act. Be careful not to wait for too long to make a move. The best way to overcome your fear of doing something new is to do it.
Questions to consider
Continue learning and improving
As you take a step into the unknown, it is crucial to be prepared to learn and improve continuously. Having a growth mindset will help you cross the hurdle of getting started and also get better results as you are interested in growing and learning through the process.
Questions to consider
Celebrate your achievements
Now that you have decided to do something you are afraid of, keep track of your accomplishments. Your achievement log will show you the tangible results of the move you made and serve as motivation when you start feeling discouraged.
Questions to consider
Call for Action
What is that thing you will do if you were not afraid? Challenge yourself to take action and apply the strategies above. Share with your community.
"Let no one discourage your ambitious attitude. You don't need a fan club to achieve your goals. Be your own motivation." - Mama Zara
Many times, when we talk about being motivated, we are relying on external sources to motivate us. Imagine all you could do if you made it a priority to motivate yourself. It will not only get you started faster, but self-motivation will also keep you on the ball longer.
In this post, we will explore ways to get motivated and continue being motivated as you achieve your goals.
When you are self-motivated, you are:
ambitious, self-directed, full of initiative, proactive, self-dependent, driven by oneself, a self-starter and a go-getter.
What is self-motivation?
Benefits of being self-motivated
Let's evaluate your self- motivation with the help of some reflective questions.
What excites or drives you?
Being aware of the things that motivate you is crucial. With this knowledge, you unlock the ability to seek out those motivators and experiences. It will become like fuel for your motor to power through whatever situation you are in.
What are you good at?
Appreciating your unique strengths and identifying opportunities to apply your skills will motivate you. We focus so much on our weakness and what we are not good at, which demotivates us. Focus on your strengths and celebrate your achievements.
How do you continuously check your motivation level?
Being in touch with feelings and how motivated you are at all times is essential. You will feel more motivated at times more than other times, and that is perfectly normal. Have regular check-ins with yourself.
What do you do when you don't feel motivated?
Times will come when your motivation will drop. Think of ways to increase your motivation. Personally, I find that learning something new or sharing my knowledge helps motivate me. Fighting demotivation requires you taking action.
What are you looking forward to?
With all the seriousness and responsibilities we have, it is easy to forget to have a positive outlook on life and your future. There is a lot to be hopeful for. Positivity will increase your motivation throughout your journey.
Call to Action
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated? Write your response down so you can read later on.
Happy new year to you! 2019 is finally here. Are you ready for greatness?
The start of a new year brings excitement and anticipation of the great things to come. However, it also comes with a lot of pressures and fear of the future. In preparation for your journey this year, it is important to be empowered and confident that you can make things happen for yourself.
In this blog post, we will explore a few ideas to add to your list for the year that will cost you very little and create high value. The guiding principle for most of these tips is that they help you build a strong foundation for the year, no matter what comes your way.
#1: Believe in yourself
Valuing your unique skills and abilities comes at no cost. It's free and can only be applied by one person - you. Think and speak good things about yourself and your future.
#2: Be consistent and disciplined
You will experience great success in everything you do if you apply these two simple principles. Being consistent and disciplined costs you nothing but brings great rewards.
#3: Reflect on your experiences
Think back on the past experiences and uncover those valuable lessons that will help you this year. There is a wealth of knowledge that you can derive from things that went well or not so well last year.
#4: Share your story
This tip is a new one for most of us who prefer hearing other people's stories but fail to see that our stories are unique and relevant. Last year, I learned the power of sharing my experiences with people around me. It helped me appreciate my journey even more.
#5: Be positive
Especially as we start a new year, it is crucial to have a positive outlook on the future. It is very easy to look at the months ahead and think of only challenges and issues we may encounter. Imagine the excitement you build when you are hopeful and positive about what lies ahead.
#6: Motivate yourself
You can do even greater things when you are self-motivated. Depending on people to motivate you will affect the progress you make. The ability to identify your goals, take action and stay motivated through the process will make a difference for you this year.
#7: Build your growth mindset
Be prepared to invest time and work on your personal and professional development. As a result, you will continue to grow and get better at everything you do. Believing that in life you have many learning opportunities and possibilities to grow will change your perspective on challenges you may face.
#8: Surround yourself with good people
There are many positive and negative consequences of the company we keep. In this new year, make it a point to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow and be your best self. It may be time to reconnect with people who added positivity to your life.
#9: Find and gather knowledge
These days the vast amount of learning resources that are available to us are impressive. Read books, listen to podcasts, attend classes, subscribe to newsletters and take every opportunity to learn something new. Knowledge is a tool you always want to have in your toolkit.
#10: Be kind to yourself
It's the start of a new year, and you most likely have a long list of goals for 2019. While you work on achieving your goals, remember that some things may not happen as planned. Regardless of the outcomes, give yourself permission to make mistakes, learn and grow. Also, remember to make self-care a priority this year.
Call to Action
Think about things you can do for yourself and share two things you will do for yourself in 2019.
Welcome to 2019!
After taking a two-week break over the holidays, I am looking forward to sharing more blog posts with you and expanding our community. Join me on this adventurous journey!
"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!
“There are still days I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.” - Sheryl Sandberg
Over the last weeks, I have been pondering on my struggle to accept that my success is earned and that I deserve to be where I am today. I had heard of the "imposter syndrome," but I didn't think that was what I was experiencing. I started digging deeper into this exciting topic and learned great insights that I would like to share. Especially as we prepare for the greatness that lies ahead of us, it is essential to be equipped to overcome imposter syndrome.
This blog post is written from the perspective of someone who suffers from Imposter syndrome wanting to help others like me. We will explore the definition, signs as well as tips to overcome imposter syndrome. For some useful resources to equip yourself, refer to the "Great Resources" section. We can only take our place in this world and enjoy where we are when we accept that we deserve the good things.
What does Imposter syndrome mean?
How to tell if you have imposter syndrome?
How to overcome Imposter syndrome
Tip 1: Own your accomplishments
You did it! We need to get into the habit of celebrating our accomplishments. Growing up in Nigeria, people were often labeled as proud or pompous if they spoke about their achievements. This is something I have been working very hard at unlearning. Feeling a sense of accomplishments is needed for healthy self-esteem. Focus on what you have accomplished and not what you expect to have achieved. I have come to value my accomplishment log as it helps remind me of all that I have accomplished when I start doubting myself.
Tip 2: Stop comparing yourself to others
When we start doubting ourselves and our accomplishments, the first place we go is to start comparing ourselves to others. We tend to view other's success as more significant, or think they are more deserving than we are. Your accomplishments are significant and deserve to be acknowledged. Stop trying to lessen the impact of the work you put in.
Tip 3: Find mentors and a support group
It is important to get comfortable talking to people you trust about your feelings. Sharing your insecurities can be an essential step to overcoming your imposter syndrome. There are many women out there like you doubting themselves. Imagine the strength we can find in confiding in trusted people and accepting their commitment to support us on our journey. Also, surrounding yourself with other people who are comfortable with celebrating their accomplishments will begin to rub off on you.
Tip 4: Accept positive feedback
Are you that person that can't take a compliment or positive feedback? Do you find yourself thinking people feel obliged to compliment you and don't mean it? Hearing people confirm your accomplishments and embodying it helps overcome imposter syndrome. It is often much easier for us to accept negative feedback than positive because we don't feel like we deserve the kind words people say to us. If you are tempted to shoot down a compliment, remember you earned it.
Tip 5: Think about set-backs differently
When we experience some setbacks, it might be easy to beat ourselves up and doubt our previous successes. Will you be where you are today if you didn't face some failures along the way? Seeing setbacks that you face as learning experiences and not the end of your story will help you bounce back and feel confident again.
Tip 6: Keep working on it
It takes continuous work and effort to overcome imposter syndrome. As you experience more success in life, you may have even more self-doubt. Remember the techniques that work for you and get to work. Keep aspiring for more and exploring new ways to celebrate your accomplishments.
As we prepare for the new year, it's a great time to analyze the things holding us back and make plans for change. If you procrastinate, you are not alone. We all put off doing something from time to time.
Most of the time, the conversation is about ways to stop procrastinating. Have you ever considered managing your procrastination instead? The main difference in that, you can continuously address procrastination every time it happens instead of trying to eliminate a natural trait.
In this post, we will learn about the reasons we procrastinate and explore some techniques to manage procrastination. These techniques help me every day, and I know they'll help you too.
What does procrastinate mean?
Why do we procrastinate?
There are many reasons why we procrastinate
The benefits of managing procrastination
Five techniques to manage procrastinating and achieve your goals
Are you a procrastinator?
Tip: Observe yourself and discover the reasons your procrastinate
Reflect on the times when you procrastinate. Make a note of what you think the reasons may be. Procrastinating is a natural reaction to a task we are uncertain of. However, there are ways to ensure that you are not missing out on the greatness that awaits you. Being aware of why you procrastinate is the first step.
Are you unable to start working towards your goals?
Tip: Create a plan and get started
The best way to set yourself up for success is to have a written action plan. It will help you prioritize and see what you should be working on. Now that you have a plan and clarity of the one task you should be working on today, start working on that one task. Beginning a task today will get you closer to your goal.
Are you struggling to finish a task?
Tip: Set achievable goals and focus
Often we take on huge tasks that overwhelm us and lead to us putting things off. It has been proven that when we set goals that are too big, our natural reaction is to panic. When I set goals, I'm very particular about making sure I am not taking on too much at once. Focusing on finishing one task before you move to other tasks will give you better results.
Do you feel overwhelmed and alone with your goals?
Tip: Find an accountability partner or group
Find people you trust and ask them to be your accountability partner or join a group. Over the past months, I have started valuing my accountability partners more. I found that the fact that you have to share updates with someone forces you to do what you planned.
Are you discouraged because you don't see progress?
Tip: Measure your progress and celebrate key milestones
Tracking your achievements and progress towards your goals is an excellent source of motivation for your journey ahead. Many times we procrastinate because we don't feel successful. Celebrate all milestones like starting a task not only completing a task. Be more aware of the progress you are making towards achieving your goals.
One of my birthday traditions is reflecting on my past year and preparing for the future. This year, I'm doing something different, I'm reflecting on my whole journey so far.
In today's blog post, I am sharing my story so far with the help of some key reflection points that make me who I am today.
If I were asked to characterize my journey so far, I would say that there have been many unexpected twists and turns that have led to where I am today. When I hear people's almost perfect life stories, I'm amazed because my story is very different. Looking back to my simple beginnings and my earliest memories, I never thought I would be where I am today. I'm incredibly grateful for my experiences, learnings, and achievements.
Being a Twin
I always say I am blessed to have been born with my best friend. The great lesson being a twin has taught me is that although you were born with someone, your journeys will be extremely different. Think about that before you compare your experiences to someone else.
Over the years, I have also learned the importance of staying connected to my twin no matter how far we are geographically and being in different phases of our journey.
Raised by a single Mom
While I was writing this post, I realized that my mum was the same age as I am now when she gave birth to us. My mother taught us many valuable life lessons, some of which I shared in a previous blog post titled 10 lessons I learned from my mum. Learning how to work hard towards my dreams and keep learning, have been the two lessons, that have propelled me on my journey.
Living on 3 Continents
Some of the core influences to who I am today come from living in Nigeria, Germany, and the US. Spending my childhood in Nigeria grounded me in the beauty of the culture, the food and family values. Growing up in Germany, I learned a lot of valuable lessons that guide me in my adult life and career. Now living in the US has broadened my view on possibilities of whom I can become. I feel very fortunate to have experienced living in different countries and diverse cultures.
Building my Tribe
The great people I have met and become close to have enriched my journey. I moved away from my family at age fifteen, and it was essential for me to find my new tribe, people that will be my support system as I progressed through my journey. Reflecting on my tribe, I can honestly trace all of them to a different phase in my life over the past 17 years. I have learned to guard my inner circle, and I'm very intentional about whom I let in as they play a significant role in my life.
Discovering my Identity
To me, your identity is something you define for yourself. It is not only determined by your family, race, culture but also by all the influences on your journey. To get to this definition, I went through a few years of an identity crisis. If you ask me who I am today, I'll say I am a German - Nigerian woman who is proud of all her roots. It took me years to feel comfortable with my identity.
Overcoming the bad Experiences
A few years ago someone special told me something I never realized about myself. He said he valued the fact that I wasn't bitter after the hardships I experienced. My journey was far from easy, and sometimes I felt like quitting. However, one thing that remained was my smile. I became an expert at dusting myself after a fall and being positive about the future.
Appreciating the Detours
The first time I realized that life can be difficult was having to move from a home I believed will provide me security in my first year in Germany. Looking back, I lost count of the unexpected changes because there were many. One thing is for sure, I am no longer afraid of change, and I keep accepting that there are many paths to my destination.
Expanding my Portfolio
Over the past year, I added blogger and coach to my skillset. These were dreams that I had for years but was afraid to take the first step. For someone who encourages people to take action, it took me several years to leap. I'm very grateful for all my experiences and lessons I have learned since I took the first step.
Discovering my Mission
We are all on this earth to serve a purpose and bring change. Recently, I've been on a discovery journey to find my mission. My mission is to:
My Top 10 life Lessons (so far)
Thank You, Vielen Dank, Na Gode
I want to wrap up this post with a quick thank you to all the people that have contributed to my life. I can't name everyone individually, so I created some groups:
There is something magical about this time of the year. As we approach the final months of this year, I have started an activity I enjoy - preparing for 2019. Planning for the year ahead has been a significant part of my adult life. I am excited to share my process with you.
In this blog post, we will explore some guiding principles and ten essential questions to help you prepare for 2019. For additional tips on planning for a year and achieving your goals, refer to my older blog posts What's your plan for 2018? March Edition and Mid-year Goals Review.
While you go through this preparation process, keep the following in mind:
How to start preparing for a great 2019
With the help of the questions below, you can start planning your next year.
Question 1: What went well in 2018?
The best way to kick-start your planning process is by celebrating your past achievements. Start with writing down the things that went well this year. In my opinion, we need to spend more time thinking about our success and accomplishments.
Question 2: What didn't go well in 2018?
Answer this question with a growth mindset and willingness to learn. The primary objective is to be aware of the things you want to do differently in 2019. We can all learn from the experiences that didn't go as we expected.
Question 3: What are you looking forward to in 2019?
Starting from a positive place when you think about the future is crucial. Think about some great things you want to experience in 2019. Start building your excitement for the amazing things to come.
Question 4: What are your goals for 2019?
Having goals will motivate and guide you. Start thinking about the top five things you want to work towards in 2019. Goal setting is a necessity for your personal and professional development.
Find great resources to help with goal setting under the Great resources section below.
Question 5: How will you track your progress?
After you set your goals, it is essential to be clear on what success looks like and how you plan to track your progress. Some of the useful techniques include setting the frequency of reviews and metrics to measure your progress towards achieving your goals.
Question 6: What resources will you use?
Being equipped with the right tools and resources is crucial to achieving your planned goals. While you evaluate the goals you want to achieve, think about the tools you will need as well. Some helpful resources are courses, podcasts, learning blogs, conferences and much more.
Question 7: Who will you surround yourself with?
The concept of amplifying your success with the help of a support system is one that I value a lot. There are so many benefits of having a strong group of people who support you and hold you accountable to your goals. Write down the current members of your support community and the new ones you need.
Question 8: How will you stay motivated?
There will be times throughout 2019 when you will need some motivation and inspiration. Thinking about ways to stay motivated will help you bridge those difficult times.
Question 9: How will you empower others?
Helping others achieve their goals is a great way to make an impact. In 2019, do something meaningful for people around you. There's something magical about giving back and enriching someone else's life.
Question 10: How will you make 2019 count?
Chasing your passion and dreams should also be your focus. As you start envisioning the new year, think of ways to ensure you live out your passion and dreams.
Congratulations you have started setting yourself up for a great 2019. Now, what do you do next?
Sharing some great resources to help you plan for 2019
Recently I heard someone say "It takes a village to raise an Adult." We have all heard that saying about raising a child. It got me thinking, who are the people we need in our lives to magnify our success. I intentionally use the word "magnify" because I believe that you can be successful by going on your journey alone. However, your success will be greater when you have companions on your journey to support you.
Some of you also refer to your support community as your tribe, squad, friends or colleagues. We are talking about the same people. I have always liked the concept of having friends for different situations. That way, you can go to different people to get support on diverse matters. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of having great people in your court, the types of support groups we need and ways to get the most value from them. For reference, support community and system are used interchangeably in this post.
What is a Support System?
How does your support system help you?
A reliable support system can do the following things for you:
The 5 types of support groups you need
To be successful in your personal and professional life, consider building these types of groups:
#1 - Your emotional support group
Having people you can be entirely vulnerable with is crucial. From time to time you need to bare it all and not feel like you have to hide. Make it a priority to stay connected with your friends. This group will help you stay emotionally balanced through life's ups and downs. Take a moment to be grateful for the great friends you have who have been supporting you emotionally.
#2 - Your personal "board of directors."
Identify a small group of people that you can reach out to when you need to make a major decision. The most significant value that they bring is a different perspective and provide additional data points for your decision that you may not be considering. Take advantage of this great opportunity and discuss those big decisions before you make them. Additionally, you can also benefit from getting honest feedback on your ideas.
#3 - Your mentors & professional sponsors
We all need people who provide guidance, share their knowledge and skills with us. Especially in a professional setting, mentors and sponsors are necessary. You will achieve more and progress further with the help of this group of people. Surround yourself with people who have traits you admire and aspire to develop. To get the most value from this group of people, be prepared, ask good questions and gather their insights.
#4 - Your accountability partners
To achieve the great things you are destined to do, you need people who will hold you accountable to the commitments you make towards your goals. From the Mastermind groups, I started a while ago; this point has been confirmed. When you share your goals with someone, you feel more committed to work towards your goals and show progress.
#5 - Your cheerleaders
Knowing that there is someone who believes in you and cheers you on is priceless. Especially when you feel stuck, hearing that reassuring voice that tells you "you can do this" is the best. Also, sometimes we forget to appreciate and celebrate our achievements. Our cheerleaders are also there to help us celebrate our accomplishments. In recent months, I have come to appreciate the importance of having cheerleaders.
How can you get the most value from your support groups?
Let's wrap up this post with some clever sayings and quotes: