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Category Archives: SELF AWARENESS

Everybody feels like [a misfit] at different points in their life.

If just like me am sure at some point in your life, you are told you are weird, somewhat unusual, not good enough and this would eventually lead you to questioning who you are, usually i find asking myself why i aren’t enough? Or wondering what’s wrong with who i am? And i did at some point in times go even further and wonder what else should i do to fit in?”  

This is the internal monologue that I am sure each and everyone of us has gone through when we realise we are different from everyone and the world still tries to force us to fit into society.  

And even if we know or even been told that what others think shouldn’t always matter and it shouldn’t be a valid reason to change who we are but have you ever had that one moment where you find yourself wondering if they are right, if you should actually try being like the acceptable version the world wants you to be, almost the whole of our lives is spent on thinking about the ways we can adopt that can make us “more acceptable to the world“by the people around us. 

Is the constant struggle to fit in or to become more appreciated, liked and acceptable, the only option we are left with? Do we have any other choice? Let’s dive deeper into it!

It’s an unfortunate fact that the world we are living in is not a “world of diversity even if in today everyone claims to be all about diversity and inclusion ” for me sometimes it seems more like a “world of uniformity. The beauty of individuality, or diversity is lost in the struggle of trying to be the same as everyone else.

It’s a part of human nature to get gravitated by authenticity. But it seems like we are losing it day by day.

In life, everyone gets different opportunities depending upon the circumstances, experiences they face in their everyday life. And sometimes many of those opportunities or chances are wasted because we are afraid and even not ready to take stand for ourselves or what we believe in.

The fear of getting rejected by people who claims to know us even better than we know ourselves becomes an obstacle on the way to being our authentic selves and although this might seem unbelievable, but it’s a harsh reality that many of us are facing in our day to day lives. The constant peer pressure makes us do things or take steps that are totally against who we are. We suffer every day, with every passing second to achieve one thing: The validation or acceptance of society.  

Deep down inside, everybody knows who they are or what they want to do with their life. But the voices coming from outside diminish the inner voice of their soul.

Changing yourself for others or trimming your edges to fit in the image that someone else has pictured about you in their head is probably the worst thing one can do. Why would someone do it? Will people be happy with the changed you? 

The answer is a big “No.” Molding yourself or losing authenticity cant take you that far, I truly believe that you can never truly hide who you are at some point it will show . 

So given the two choices of fitting in or standing out, most of the people choose to fit in or get blended.  

As we all know growth can be scary and criticism can hurt, and opinions of the people around us matter to a point where we are too afraid of being called “ Misfits.” 

Fitting in for the sake of blending in costs us our uniqueness, which I truly believe is the beauty of the human soul.  

So What about the other choice? We can standout! We can be different because we are different and the beauty of individuality makes us unique and special and at the end of the day people do exhibit judgemental attitudes whenever someone decides to stand out, but here is good news for all of us there will come a point in our lives we will learn that not everyone’s opinions matter!

So Know yourself first, then stand out!

Some people decide to blend in only because they think they haven’t identified their values or what sets their soul on fire or who they truly are. They hardly have any clue about what they should exactly stand out for! The solution is straightforward! You don’t have to blend in. Brainstorm try different things, speak to people outside of your usual circle, think carefully about what inspires you, what is the meaning of life for you, Who are your role model? What sets your soul on fire? Then connect the dots, and slowly slowly build yourself, but remember this you have to be clear about what you should stand for!

Just be yourself!

Life is the sum of the conscious and unconscious choices we make every single day. Everyone has some flaws, and I do believe that there is always room for improvement. But improvement to satisfy someone else or trimming yourself or cutting your edges to fit in are two entirely different things. In cutting your edges, you will lose yourself in the process! 

I say always be open to work on a better version of you, but never lose your genuine self in the process! Because at the end of the day your own self is the only thing that you truly have. everything else is given to you and can be taken away in a flash. So That’s all we have! Standout and never fear to be yourself! There is nobody like you, and this is your real power!

So Final Verdict!

People can never be pleased with whatever you do or whoever you try to become. In striving for others’ approval and validation, your true self is lost in the process and personally the cost of getting accepted, validated, and liked by society is personally to high for me! 

It’s high because your genuine self is at risk. When a person blindly follows the path or directions set for by others, we inevitably not end up happy. So why not try being your authentic self, and if someone calls you “misfit, or weird” then welcome to the world of misfits! 

For me Misfits, are those who dare to show the world their real selves, the pain, the struggles and the wins! Misfits, are those who can take stand for what they believe in. So Have the strength to take stand for yourself.

The decision is all yours to make!

This months lesson for me is don’t ever be afraid of criticism masked in the form of feedback or advice by people who genuinely don’t know who you are, and don’t overthink whether you are accepted or not whether in your personal life or professional one.

Following your heart or not is the biggest challenge we all have to face at some point in time, so I say live your life to the full extent because we all know that life is too short to be living someones life! Seize the day!

Have the strength to live the life that you have always dreamt of and do it by being your authentic self and in return it will attract the right energy towards you.

This year is all about living authentically in all my perfect imperfections.

‘There are some days when I wake up feeling like I shouldn’t be where I am.

This month has been one of success from all the hard work from the previous 4 years since I started my social/tech entrepreneurship journey and I suddenly find myself asking why is all this happening NOW? And when I find myself not being able to answers the question that’s when I let the voice of doubt and feelings of impostor syndrome slowly seep in.

And It’s actually something so many of us deal with, especially entrepreneurs or working parents we find ourselves letting that voice of doubt sometimes speaks loudly, telling us we didn’t deserve the glory, we are frauds, or simply why us?

But before I go digging further what exactly does Impostor Syndrome exactly means here is the definition…

“Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.”

Source impostor syndrome – Wikipedia

To be honest there are days I often forget where I am and still feel like that homeless teenager at heart, lost, vulnerable and sometimes trying to play this grownup version of myself that the world sees as an ambitious young entrepreneur who actually knows what she’s doing.

Even though today I am a soon to be a 26-year-old, who has managed with the power of God accomplished so many things beyond my expectation and I won’t say that it was easy even more since I become a mom and had to work out that famous work/life balance, It’s so easy to sometimes feel like I’m neglecting my son on my pursuit of our happiness so when I do get praised for my work, somewhere deep inside I still find myself constantly feeling like an impostor

Welcome to the internal struggles of a working parent with impostor syndrome.

Dealing with impostor syndrome doesn’t make you weak

Between dealing with our work obligations and being there for our kids, partner, family or even friends, running our household, finding time for ourselves we find ourselves being more than ever stretched too thin and to add to that when you throw in the very unrealistic perfection set by social media today, i am actually not surprised that we find ourselves suffering from Impostor Syndrome .

I remember reading a  published a research paper which had Initially theorized that women were uniquely affected by this and it was letter discovered that actually both men and women experience this feeling and that it can affect anybody who isn’t able to come to terms their own achievements but that doesn’t make you weak or ungrateful.

Here are some tips I have found on how to combat my impostor syndrome

In life, we will always find ourselves having doubts about ourselves, choices, our abilities, and our qualities. But that doesn’t mean that we have to let our doubts hold us back and prevent us from reaching your destination. 

1. First I Realized Nobody Is Perfect But I am Enough

Nobody is perfect, and everyone is enough and unique. Are you trying to be someone you’re not is that really the way you want to waste your life? We feel pressured to be what society wants us to be to the point that we want to live a fantasy perfection

2. Mind Over Matter

Our mindset can do great wonders or cause the worst damages. This is the most tricky part because sometimes, life puts us in such situations is really hard not to think that life sucks, and I’m sure yours does sometimes, too. But it can easily become spiral that can lead to us even when we accomplish something good we can’t even recognize it.

3. It’s Okay To Open Up To Someone

For many us especially for me I have always struggled about speaking up about this types of subject, I usually feel more comfortable talking about a problem that I have already tackled and found a solution, and it took me a very long time break this vicious cycle, it took so many people coming up to me and asking about it, that I realized the importance of being honest about either our entrepreneurship, motherhood, fatherhood struggles so that others would you know that there are not alone.

4. Own and Appreciate yourself!

Have you ever found yourself receiving a compliment from someone and being unable to accept it, sometimes it’s hard to accept or even see the good about yourself but the thing is someone else saw it and decided to give you that compliment and by accepting it are you permitting yourself to own your greatness and what’s that wrong with that?

5. Mistakes are okay if you learn from them!

Everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes are a part of life and from my experience are one of the greatest life lessons we can ever learn from. Nobody will live through their life without making any mistakes.

But the thing about mistakes, it doesn’t mean that you are not good enough. It merely means that you human and it’s proof of your efforts in becoming who you want to be. With the realization that mistakes are inevitable, you have to understand that it doesn’t make you a failure or an impostor.

6. You are not alone!

Maya Angelou once said, “I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”

Just remember whenever you have thoughts like you somehow got the job but don’t deserve, or you feel super uncomfortable when someone praises or encourages you, and when you think a fear of being “ found out or exposed” , you are not alone. Almost 70% of people report experiencing Impostor Syndrome at some point in their career and personal lives. It’s so widely spread but not openly spoken about.

Many of us struggle with impostor syndrome to some degree, and it can be difficult to overcome those feelings of self-doubt. But, the important thing to remember is that even though it might feel like it, you’re not the only one, many people around you are going through it too.

And something that helps me, is by remembering that I have accomplished a lot to this day, while I may not see myself as an expert in every aspect in my life, all I need to do is believe in my skills and vision that I have for myself and believe that I am worthy and worked hard to be where I am today!

In the Zulu tribe, the word for ‘hello’ is ‘Sawubona,’ which means “I see you” and the response, ‘Ngikhona’ means “I am here.”

With the ever-rising technology in this digital era, humans are becoming more distant from each other. We, find ourselves becoming numb to our surroundings and other peoples feelings, happiness, and sadness.

The ability to be able to put oneself in another person’s place and feel the way they are supposed to feel is diminishing day by day. Our society has lost the beauty of being there for others. Empathy has become an extinct trait in this hassle of winning. The superpower of empathy that is a part of human nature is declining!

While a large majority of people around the world are capable of empathy, on a fun note did you know that only 98% of people (the exceptions include those with psychopathic tendencies) have the ability to be empathic so sometimes the practice of it is limited, but what is empathy, and why is it important?

So What Exactly Is Empathy(In My View)?

Empathy for me has always been about having the capability to emotionally understand what another person is experiencing, and it’s more about looking at others through their eyes, and not yours.

Empathy in a more technical term, is being aware of the feelings and emotions of other people and It is a crucial element of emotional intelligence, the link between ourselves and other people because it is through empathy we, as individuals, understand what others are going through as if we were feeling it ourselves.

To empathize is to be able to get into another person’s world and build a connection with them both emotionally and compassionately. We don’t have to agree with them entirely or fully understand them or even like them to be able to be empathetic towards them.

What Empathy Is Not?

Empathy is often misunderstood, it’s not about feeling sympathy, pity, agreeing towards someone’s situation, it’s not about sharing your own experiences by the phrase that I guarantee you we have all found ourselves saying or hearing more than once “Yes, that happened to me too” many of us confuse this action by being empathetic towards someone situation, but half of the time how the other person feels is you are saying, to them is that “Your struggle is not unique. It happens to all of us. And that’s not what empathy is”

How is empathy the world’s best superpower?

When I was younger I remember wanting to have superman superpowers how cool would it be too able to fly. But now I am all grown up and still secretly still wish for his powers, but over the years I discovered that we as humans have our own superpowers already built within us and being able to be empathic is even a more powerful skill to have in today’s world.

We need more empathy in our world

In 2006, President Barack Obama spoke of an “empathy deficit” that the world is currently experiencing. He stated, “We should talk more about our empathy deficit—the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us—the child who’s hungry, the steelworker who’s been laid-off, the family who lost the entire life they built together when the storm came to town. When you think like this—when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers—it becomes harder not to act; harder not to help.” source

The delusion of being self-sufficient is killing empathy. Every one of us is different! We think; differently, we act differently, but one thing that is common in all of us is the inner superpower of empathy. Unfortunately, since his speech in 2006, the empathy deficit has grown over time, more and more people and business have become numb to the needs and sufferings of the world.

If we continue to build a society that lacks empathy in its foundation, a lot can go wrong

Can we really blame Technology For empathy deficit

According to the Global Risks Report 2019, technology is actually making the world more anxious, less connected, unhappy, and the rise of people feeling lonely is higher than ever especially within my generation, but can we really blame technology? Because after all technology is just a tool that is technically morally neutral and completely dependent on us the users, so we have a choice on how we use this tool,

From my view as a person working in technologies I believe that in our generation and future generations coming, is we need technology, and we don’t know or remember a life where we never had it; and let’s be honest technology makes our lives easier and more efficient in so many ways. It has provided us especially people like me opportunities to learn skills that we wouldn’t have access to without technology.

It also helps connects us to each other, being able to connect with people who live across the world is absolutely empowering and amazing, so we can’t really blame technology for the destructive ways it’s being used and it’s up to us to mind the way we use technology and teach our children and those around us on how to use technology for good.

Practicing Empathy As an Entrepreneur or Technologist

Empathy within the entrepreneurship and tech world is absolutely important and is the backbone of entrepreneurship and creating digital tools is to solve existing pain that we have identified and this can not work without understanding those people that are involved, from shareholders or investors to employees and customers, this why encourages any entrepreneur or technologist to work on their empathy skills so that they can be in tune with the perspectives and needs of the people who will be your users or clients.

My Tips On How to be more empathetic

  • Practice being more grateful for whatever you have. With more acceptance comes more compassion.
  • Practice mindfulness meditation. The power of visualization helps a lot in placing yourself in others’ places.
  • Interact with more people around you. Identify the specific situations and relationships where more empathy is needed, get in touch with those people, and let them know that you are there for them. Empathy may be required in the form of an apology, appreciation, or acknowledgment in a relationship, start working on it with the most important people in your life. Help people feel seen and heard.
  • Listen More Than You Speak One of the best ways to express empathy towards people is by asking them how they are feeling and actually listen to them. We need to develop the ability to let people speak their minds.
  • Never Make Assumptions because When you make an assumption towards someones situation, the understanding you get is never accurate to the problem the person is facing. As a result, you can’t empathize in the right way.

Get started now!

Empathy is a skill I value as an entrepreneur and technologist and has a human being. As time goes on, and we move into an ever more connected world, empathy is the tool that will let us lay a better foundation for the future.

So In this empathy and compassion deficient world, be brave enough to see what others are going through around you and the world. See, feel, listen, and understand what’s in front of you. Don’t be blind to others’ people pain & challenges.

Our future doesn’t need more successful professionals. It needs more empathic leaders who understand the value of empathy.

The road to success for anyone is not going to be easy, but i believe with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to reach the destination called success.

Everyone of us is in some kind of pursuit of success. You can’t deny it we all want to be successful and feel successful. And that pursuit might be different for all of us some chase money, or fame, power, getting good grades, having a successful relationships and so much more but along the road of this pursuit have you ever stopped to ask yourself: What, success actually means to you?

There is nobody on this planet who has not heard the word” success” or unfamiliar with it, so many of us pursue it with such passion or even pure obsession over it, and it’s not only limited to us adults but even our own children these days are often exposed to the word “success” often even from a very young age.

Having a vision, is the first step to reaching the door of success, but without a vision, plan and destination in mind how will you ever know when you’ve arrived? And the thing that often happens along the road is we end up blindly trying to pursue and achieve traditional view of success: which from what you can see is money, fame and power, but if that is truly what achieving success is why is it then that so many celebrities and public figures who have managed to achieve all these things seem so unhappy?

I keep using him as a reference but Jim Carrey once said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

By choosing to live our lives this way, we are actually living a life that is not our own Is this really success? Well, let’s dig a deeper into it to know what success means and how one can define we can achieve our own version of success based on our personality, nature, goals, and mindset.

What is success?

There is no one hard answer to define what success is; instead, it’s subjective!

The definition of success, has as many definitions as there are people on this planet in my opinion it vary from person to person.there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer because we are all different, experiencing different things and living different situations and beyond that we all have different values and goals you might find for one person, success might mean earning millions, or being able to travel whenever they like or simply being able to put a roof and feed their family every day is to be successful.

What Success Isn’t

Thanks to social media especially Instagram many of us get too see a flawed version of success in that is so far away from the actual meaning of what it really means to reach personal success! If like me you spend some time on social media, you came across people who have a very narrow version of success. Its all about having fame, money, and power! Having that #couplegoals perfect relationship, making and spending money on stuff, and sharing their so-called achievements on social media for the world too see is what success means!

And there is absolutely wrong for those that choose to do this until we have the younger generation going to this platforms and getting influenced on what success is and to me this is where it all goes wrong! Attaching our success materialistic “stuff” will undoubtedly end in hopelessness and disappointment, which at the end of the day is not success at all!

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

Maya Angelou

What success means to me?

But if you had asked me this question a couple of years I ago when I was younger, my answer would have been completely different, so depending on the moment of your life you are in the definition of success will keep changing over time. It took time to learn that it’s not about having material or having thousands of followers those things and go, but it was actually about having a clearly defined purpose in our life and I believe you are successful when you have found that purpose and commit your life to it.”

Today success for me is doing what brings me joy and sets my brain on fire while still being authentic and true to me and my values

I small trick that has worked for me over the years I usually have a check-in with myself at the beginning of the new year I usually take a moment before going back to work and ask the following questions:

  • Does this still make happy?
  • What was not success that I thought was and what did I learn from achieving ?
  • What truly matters to me?
  • Who am i really ?
  • What my values?
  • What are the things that set soul on fire?
  • What do i want to make of my life?
  • What type lifestyle do you want to achieve?
  • Who do you want to be?

I won’t say I had this definition from the very start! It took a lot of time and mistakes, following other peoples definition of success to finally realizing that I am the only one who is going to define what success means to me!

Success is unique to all of us so have own definition of success!

Starting from our early childhood, all the way to our adulthood, we come across different definitions, versions, and ideas about success from our parents, teachers, and friends. Everyone has their own idea of what success should be. It’s good to value others’ opinions and ideas but never allow anyone to impose their definition of success on you!

Don’t let what you see on your social media also impose their version of success on you. Be more self-aware!

That’s a wrap

At the end of the day everyone wants to reach their fullest potential and be happy and fulfilled in what ever they are doing and everyone of us want to be successful and feel successful and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but before chasing the money,power, fame, relationships, stop for a second and ask yourself what success means to you and the key to finding what success means to you, is to check-in in with the real you and start the process of elimination to finding who and who you are not.

So really take the time to ask yourself what success really means and looks like to you, and make your own list for your personal and professional life and see if it relates to your day-to-day life, and remember If you don’t create your definition of success, someone else will define it for you, someone else will have the power to set your goals, desires, ambitions, and your happiness and life is too short to be living someone else’s life!