“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:
A few months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend; she mentioned how a previous blog post I had written made her think about the importance of having a growth mindset. It reminded me of a class I had taken that introduced me to the concept of a growth mindset. Again, last week in a conversation at work, growth mindset was mentioned. All these conversations highlighted the need for this essential topic to be discussed and explored.
In this blog post, I will share some of the interesting resources I found during my research as well as five keys to developing your growth mindset. There are many great resources on this topic, some of which I have cited and included in the great resources section at the end of this post.
What does it mean to have a growth mindset?
What does it mean NOT to have a growth mindset?
The opposite of having a growth mindset is known as having a fixed mindset
Why do you need to have a growth mindset?
When you have a growth mindset, you take on new opportunities, work harder and more effectively, persevere in the face of challenges and are a more successful learner.
5 keys to developing your growth mindset
Believe you can improve
Good news - you can always improve and grow no matter where you are in life. Knowing that you will never be at a stage where you know or do everything perfectly is crucial. This realization will help take some unnecessary pressure off you. Your mindset should be to continuously learn and develop in all aspects of your life - relationships, career, parenthood, finances and much more.
Questions to consider:
To keep growing, you need not only to believe you can improve; you need to take concrete steps. Personally, I have a development plan that I update monthly. It helps me ensure that I prioritize my growth and not leave it to chance. Make time to develop your interests, skills, and abilities.
Questions to consider:
Keep learning something new
Qualities like intelligence and talent are a starting point. However, greater success comes from the invested effort, learning, and persistence. Develop strategies that help you prioritize continuous learning. Explore new interest areas and make new connections. Learning new skills will open the door to exciting opportunities and growth.
Questions to consider:
Gather input from others
Other people see things that you don't and have a different perspective. There's immense value in gathering feedback from trusted people around you. Often, when you hear “receiving feedback,” you think of negative things. Requesting and getting feedback should not be scary - it helps you grow. See it this way; it provides you with data points that you otherwise would not have. Caution: be careful whom you ask for feedback and how you process it. The objective is for it to be applicable.
Questions to consider:
Surround yourself with learners
This point is a reoccurring theme for me. To be successful, you need to surround yourself with people who are interested in improving and growing. The interactions you have with fellow learners will inspire you and broaden your perspective. In my opinion, you can benefit from the knowledge and experiences of others around you.
Questions to consider:
“Any transition is easier if you believe in yourself and your talent.” - Priyanka Chopra
We all go through different transitions in our lives. If I asked you how you handle transitions, what would you say? Can you confidently say that you thrive during transitions? If your answer is no, you are not alone.
Recently, I shared my journey with a mentor. She highlighted how many transitions I have been through in my life and how I have thrived through them. Hearing someone say it had a substantial effect on me. It was important for me to share my tips with you.
Ladies in my inner circle have been going through different transitions over the last months. Some of which included:
Are you going through any of these types of transitions listed above? Please keep reading.
In this post, we will learn more about transitions, explore its characteristics and discuss ten ways to thrive as you go through life’s changes. Please note that we will use change and transitions interchangeably in this post.
What is a Transition?
5 characteristics of Transitions
Although every transition is unique, there are some common characteristics.
Transitions are difficult
Let's start by acknowledging that changes require a lot of work and emotional strength. Be patient with yourself while you go through transitions. Sometimes we neglect the effect that changes have on us and forget to take care of ourselves.
Transitions are good and required
Growing and evolving are necessary for our lives. Transitions are one of the only ways we can grow. You will experience more success when you change your perspective to see how good and essential transitions are. Appreciate the changes you are going through.
Transitions require planning/managing
Preparing for an upcoming change will provide you the opportunity to anticipate some of the challenges and create solution strategies for them. Be it a career or life transition, make time to evaluate the impact it will have on you and your loved ones. When you start feeling overwhelmed, pick up your plan and take action.
Transitions are constant
Change comes in different sizes and complexities. Also, we will go through transitions repeatedly in our lives. Once we start to feel too comfortable, change knocks on our doors. Accept that it's part of your life.
Transitions mark the beginning of something new
Especially with unplanned transitions, it is hard to imagine that there is something great waiting for you on the other side. It may not look like it, but things will get better after you have gone through the process and change. This marks the start of something new.
10 keys to thriving through your transitions
Now that we know that transitions are a constant part of our lives, how can we be successful through them:
"Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come." - Dwayne Johnson
You know how you may have applied a principle in your life but never thought it was a big deal. Recently, I started reflecting on how consistent I am and how successful I have been in areas of my life where I am consistent. Before I launched my blog six months ago, I researched what the most significant character trait of a successful blogger was. From all my readings, being consistent was repeated over and over again. I took this advice to heart and planned to apply it as I went through my blogging journey.
In this post, I will share some definitions of consistency, the benefits when applied, and tips I have gathered in my personal and professional life about being consistent.
What does it mean to be consistent?
What are the advantages of being consistent?
When you are consistent the following is true:
5 Areas you should be consistent
It pays to be consistent in the following areas:
Your Personal brand
Your reputation is your biggest asset. Being consistent in how you present yourself in person or online is very important. People may not always get the opportunity to meet you in person first, so it is crucial that you present yourself the same way across all platforms.
Questions to consider
The proven way to achieve your financial goals is to be consistent. All good financial practices such as budgeting, saving and investing require consistency. You need to commit to doing things over and over again to reap the long-term benefits.
Questions to consider
To be well-balanced and happy individuals, we need to have healthy relationships. As with all good things, we need to invest in our relationships to gain the benefits they bring. Value your relationships and be consistent in maintaining relationships.
Questions to consider
Your Professional life
Be consistent in building a track record of success in your professional life. Your work outputs should have consistent quality. As the outcomes of our work are what people in our professional lives care about the most, it is essential for them to be right. When you work for yourself or own your own business, the need to be consistent is amplified even more.
Questions to consider
Your Personal development
Consistently evaluating your progress and areas of improvement is required to be your best self. Prioritizing your self-development and taking the necessary steps to be where you want to be is a significant commitment to yourself.
Questions to consider
“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don't have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” - Chris Pine
Through life's ups and downs, one of the lessons I have learned is that it's all about your perspective. The way you look at your past, present and future experiences will determine the direction your life will go. I have always been intrigued by how people see different things in the same picture or remember details differently following the same event.
Your perspective is something you can learn to manage. The good news is that once you become aware you can continually change and broaden your perspective. In this blog post, I'll share definitions of perspective as well as tips for broadening your perspective.
What is perspective?
What perspective means to me?
Transitions have been one constant part of my journey so far. I've had a fair mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. And yes, I still feel stuck sometimes. If you asked me what has helped me on my journey, I'd say adjusting my perspective. It is a practice that I have adopted successfully in my personal and professional life.
I have learned that you need to regularly sit down and have a conversation with yourself about your perspective. Periodically evaluate where you are and where you are going. Especially at times when I feel disappointed with my progress, I remind myself that it's all temporary and will get better.
How to broaden your perspective
Here are six great tips for you to expand and adjust your view.
Tip 1: Look at things differently - Why am I currently going through this situation?
In life, you will be more successful if you perceive challenges as opportunities. Are you looking at a challenge as a barrier or as a stepping stone to your next phase? I'm motivated daily by looking at my experiences as a stepping stone on my journey. Even when I don't understand why things happen and how they fit in the plan, I am confident that if I make the best out of my situation, the result will be positive.
Tip 2: Learn from your experiences - What can I learn from different situations?
There's a lot to learn from every experience in life. On our journey, the most valuable trait we all need is "willingness to improve." If we don't learn from our experiences, we are bound to repeat mistakes and not make progress. Having a mindset of wanting to learn on your journey will help you see things differently.
Tip 3: Seek an outside view - What are my trusted people thinking and saying?
Especially in stressful situations, your view might be limited. An excellent tool you should apply here will be to "borrow" someone's eyes. Situations that look hopeless through your eyes might seem very different through a trusted friend's eyes. Share your struggles and listen to their viewpoint. You will discover some great insights that you would not have had on your own. Caution: choose people whom you trust, who are honest and have a positive outlook on life.
Tip 4: Stay open - How would I think about this situation or decision in a few months?
Over time you gain different views. Keep an open mind and don't shut the door to any opportunity permanently. An opportunity today will look very different in a few months. A job position you don't feel ready for might seem doable if you look at it again after some months. Surrounding factors may change and make you feel more empowered to take on a new opportunity. Take advantage of the possibility to reevaluate and take on new opportunities.
Tip 5: Refocus on the higher goal - What am I working towards?
We get caught up in our day to day and forget about our bigger goals, dreams, and ambitions. When you start feeling lost, look at your vision board and review your goals. Remember the big picture and what you are working towards. Whatever you are going through today is only a snapshot in time. There is more to come.
Tip 6: Get external Inspiration - How can I expand my view?
Especially when I start feeling stuck, I know it's time for me to get out of my head and get external inspiration. If you feel stuck, I encourage you to expand your perspective by reading something new, listening to a podcast, attending events, learning a new skill and socializing with positive people. There is power in seeing things differently by observing other people. It's crucial to benefit from the vast external resources to help you refocus regularly.
What is your perspective on life? Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” - Amelia Earhart
In our daily lives, we make many decisions. Some of these decisions are significant and change the course of our personal and professional lives. It's perfectly normal to feel nervous about the big life decisions. The good news is that there are effective ways to approach decision making.
In the past year, I have had to make some difficult decisions in my career, finances, relationships, and business. Recently, I started reflecting on how I make the big decisions in my life and ways to improve my decision making. In this post, we'll discover some decision making techniques as well as great questions to ask yourself during the process.
Have an approach or process
Having a proven method of making decisions that works for you is very important. The fact that I make decisions in similar ways gives me a sense of security and trust in my ability to make decisions. You can discover the process that works best for you by learning from your experiences.
Questions to consider:
Breakdown your complex decision
Sometimes the size of the decision we need to make scares us. Start by breaking down the big decision into smaller sub decisions. Our brains can focus better on small packages. Once the sub-decisions are made, the big one is almost solved. Take out a piece of paper and write things down. The power of visualizing helps make it real.
Questions to consider:
Know the impact of your decision
Often, we don't think about the effects of the choices we make on our lives. There is power in asking - What if? Knowing the impact should not always be a blocker, it serves the purpose of informing you of what may lie ahead. The more information you have, the better you can prepare.
Questions to consider:
Compare the possible outcomes
The old pros and cons have been a useful tool to evaluate how favorable the consequences of your decision might be. Make smart choices based on the results and outcomes. The truth is that you can't predict the exact results before you make the decision and take a step. However, it is essential to think about the possible outcomes.
Questions to consider:
Have a plan and an alternative plan
A plan is a tool that helps guide you. You might not have all the answers, but with a plan, you have a torch in a dark room. Gather as much information as possible to make your plan successful. An alternative plan is also necessary in case you need to make changes to your plans.
Questions to consider:
Take the first step
You have broken down the decision, evaluated the impact and have a plan in place, now it's time to take the first step. Don't sit on any decision for too long. You will only know when you do it. Treat your decision making as a learning experience. Take notes, gather your learnings, adapt your strategy and keep moving forward.
Questions to consider: