What I Love about being an Introvert

Not too long ago, I was shamed for being an introvert. I was made to feel like I was not normal, because I didn’t like going out often, I don’t have many friends. They tried to make me feel bad that I’m not like them, that I’m abnormal. I refused to receive any negative judgements and opinions about myself. I love being me; I love being an introvert. So I decided to write a blog about the great things about being an introvert.

Introverts are not risk takers, they like to think thoroughly before making a major decision.

Introverts are deep thinkers and focused. They spend more time on completing a task because they want to get it right. Because of their deep understanding, in social situations/settings they come across as having a counsellor/therapist persona as they often like to listen to people talking rather than talking themselves which enables people to open up to them. They don’t talk a lot but when they do it makes a lot of sense because they have thought carefully about what to say. They mentally prepare and choose each word thoughtfully and carefully. They usually have an inner monologue, speculating about how they responded in many situations.

Introverts are very observant, sensitive and discerning, they seem to know things, or catch things that other people are not aware of. They are introspective and don’t just speak to be heard but speak only when necessary because they have patiently assessed the situation. What they say always makes a lot of sense because of this.

Introverts love studying, learning new things. They are like batteries; they store information, they eagerly go from one interesting fact to another. Their minds are regularly ruminating over fresh knowledge and love to share what they’ve discovered with other people.

Introverts are loyal, they will not talk about you behind your back or betray you. They value friendships, and every secret is safe with them.

Introverts are great listeners, they like listening to people and give great advice. They are empathetic, they can discern when you’re emotional, they intuitively know when to talk and when to keep silent and listen.

In spite of popular opinion, introverts make great leaders. They are prepared, careful, attentive, at ease working alone and with people.

Introverts are great workers, as they can work alone easily, they are able to accomplish great results.

They are very gifted/talented and find solitude helps their creative process, they would rather choose quiet secluded places than crowded loud ones.

Introverts know who they are, their weaknesses and their strengths. They are quiet but confident.

People mistake introverts as lonely people, they are not necessarily lonely, they just enjoy being alone. In other words, they’re just comfortable in their own skin, in their own company.

So if you are an Introvert – embrace your introvert badass self! There’s more to you than meets the eye. You are awesome and a wonderful person also!

What are you: A Carrot, an Egg or Coffee Beans?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

The following is a story by an unknown author describing how difficult situations and circumstances affect our attitude and behaviour towards life.

The boiling water represents adversity and hardship we face in life. The egg, carrot and coffee represents the different responses and reactions to these circumstances.

The egg before it was in the water, was hard outside and fluid inside which means that it’s resilient on the outside but fluid, soft and flexible, adaptable to any situation. But after being in the boiling water, the shell was still hard but the inside is hard also. Which means that it was fluid and responsive before but now has become hard and bitter. Difficult situations made one become inflexible, bitter, impenetrable, hard to handle, hard to forgive.

The carrot was resilient and strong but life circumstances caused it to lose its strength and and vigour and becomes feeble and weak.  Do problems make you cower and flinch or does it awaken that lion spirit within you to arise and conquer?

The coffee beans response is very different from the carrot and egg. It doesn’t allow difficult circumstances to change it. It changes its circumstances. It exudes aroma and gives flavour to the water. The hotter the water the greater the flavour and aroma something that people can drink and enjoy. Do you in difficult situations, turn everything around in your favour. In spite of your situation, do you become a blessing to others around you? Do you turn adversity to opportunity, disappointment to appointment?

So what are you?

How to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs

Self-limiting beliefs are thought processes that have developed in the mindset of an individual over the years, that have hindered them from achieving their full potential. They have developed from maybe statements or judgements made by other people (parents/care givers/authority figures/peers etc)which has stuck in the individual’s mind. They are normally belittling, disparaging judgements that affect the individual’s self-esteem and self-worth. These judgments are taken as the truth and facts which has then limited and prevented the person accomplishing their goals and dreams.

Comparing oneself with images portrayed by the media further helps to enforce the already fragile self-image issues. If you believe you will fail, the likelihood is that you possibly will. Because your mind will have programmed itself to believe that as being a true statement.

Examples of such negative beliefs are:

I’m too fat/ugly to be good at anything.

I’m not smart/clever enough to do this.

Girls/boys can’t do that.

I’ll never be successful/Happy.

I’m just not good enough.

Such people lack self confidence and refuse to embark on new projects, they would rather stay in their comfort zone. They don’t believe they can be more than they are right now. They’re afraid that they will fail and not succeed if they do attempt to do anything new. And so they are living advertisements for their own self-fulfilling prophecy; that is, as he thinks he is, so is he. Such people do not attain their full potential; their negative thoughts impede them from achieving true greatness, leaving them with a life stagnant through lack of growth.

Steps to overcome negative beliefs.

Realise that you have been accepting negative self-limiting beliefs about yourself. The first step to overcoming self limiting beliefs is to acknowledge and understand that you’ve allowed these negative thoughts to control your mind and stop your development.

Replace these negative beliefs with positive beliefs and affirmations. To progress and mature into become the person that you were created to be, substitute the negative thoughts with positive thoughts

Meditate and Confess these affirmations daily, pin them in strategic places about the house. Making positive confessions daily will change and reprogram your mindset.

List out your good qualities/talents. The things you are good at. Your job, caring for people, with animals, good listener, sociable etc. You could also ask a close friend or relative what your good qualities are, they’ll probably mention some things that you didn’t realise about yourself Everybody has something that they’re good at. Nobody was created a failure at everything. We are to hard on ourselves, we need to give ourselves a break. Learn to appreciate who you are. Learn to love yourself and who you are.

Remember your past successes. The things you’ve done at work, at home, at school. The fact that you have had some past accomplishments should let you know that what you were able to do before, you can do again.

Understand that failure is training ground.

You need to understand that failure is just an experience that you need to learn from and put behind you. Stop reliving your mistakes over and over again, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everybody fails at least once in their lifetime. It is not the end of the world. Mistakes happen, learn from it and move on.

Reward and encourage yourselves about the benefits of embarking on new challenges with your new self confidence. Be encouraged. You can create change, only you can.

9 Qualities of a Great Leader

Someone once said that leaders are born not made. Though I do agree that some people possess inherent qualities that make them natural leaders, I do believe that through training, hard work, commitment etc one can become a good leader. I was in my church’s leadership team for a period of time and I learnt a lot about what it takes to be a good leader. I do believe that it takes a lot more to become a great leader. No great leader is made in a day. It’s a process of going through trials, tribulations, troubles, difficulty, failures, success etc. As an individual, there are some experiences you would have gone through in life to make you into the great leader you are today.
Here are the qualities I believe a great leader will possess:

  • A great leader is a person of honourable and blameless character, and high moral values. They have a good reputation both in the workplace and among acquaintances, family and friends. They are reliable and dependable. Their word is their bond. They command the respect and trust from others and are a source of inspiration for those they lead.
  • A great leader is passionate. They are dedicated to their work and goals. And their passion and enthusiasm attracts/draws people to work with the same fervour and motivation.
  • A great leader is able to handle pressure and crisis. They do not fall apart under pressure, but are able to ride the storm with confidence and are able to rally the troops to victory. He remains constant and calm in the midst of storms and troubles and is able to provide solutions without castigating or blaming. He/she is able to take full responsibility for any failure in his team, even if he/she was not directly involved.
  • Great leaders are excellent communicators. They are able to communicate their vision to the people so that they can run with it. They take time to make sure the people fully understand the details and entertain questions from the doubtful without becoming antagonistic. He knows what his future is and inspires his people to get there.
  • A great leader is a person of excellence. The great leader produces outstanding results and to the highest level of quality. ‘Good’ is not good enough, his work always surpasses ordinary standards. They takes delight in ensuring that everything is done with excellence.
  • Great Leaders learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Everyone makes mistakes, including those in authority. But what makes a person different from others is the way they deal with it. Great leaders experience mistakes, learn from mistakes and move on from mistakes and try as much as possible not to repeat mistakes.
  • A great leader is a great listener. He knows that he needs people, and that people can help him to achieve his goals. He makes sure that he is attentive to those under his authority and listens to their concerns, as they are his eyes and ears in the organisation. He is not intimidated by the talents of others. They recognise that wisdom and knowledge are gained not by talking but by listening and that you can gain so much by listening to the others perspective. Great leaders understand that they may not know it all, and may not have all the answers and that solutions may come from someone else. Because they know that when you value people’s concerns there is greater participation and involvement.
  • Great leaders delegate. Great leaders know that they cannot do it all, so they know how to designate positions to people according to ability and talent.
  • Great leaders inspire greatness in others. Great leaders are not intimidated by the talents of others but are dedicated to empowering others to achieve greatness as well for the next generation. They understand that they are not immortal and that the work must continue even if they are not there.

Are there any other qualities you believe a leader should possess? Please leave your comments down below.

How to Overcome Failure and Disappointments

img_0456

There was an experiment conducted by scientists where 4 monkeys were put in a cage. In the middle of the cage was a pole going upwards with bananas at the top of the pole. The more ambitious of the monkeys climbed up the pole but were met with an electric shock when they reached the top. However, because they were hungry, they kept on trying to climb the pole, only to be met again and again with electric shocks. In the end those who had been shocked a few times stopped trying and retired to one corner of the cage.
One of the monkeys was taken away and was replaced with a new monkey who did not know about the shocks. After a while, each time, they brought a new monkey in, the others will pull him down and indicate to him what the perils were -“We’ve been there, done that, worn the t-shirt. Electric shocks at the top. Don’t even try it.” The original monkeys that had received the shock, eventually were removed from the cage. None of the new monkeys had ever experienced the electric shock themselves. Meanwhile, the electric shock had been removed. The original monkeys failed to achieve, the monkeys left failed to achieve.

Don’t be influenced by other people’s failures. I know that we need to learn from other people’s mistakes but just because they could not do it, doesn’t mean that you won’t either. If God has put a dream in your heart, that means there is a plan in place to pursue it. You just need to find the right timing and season for your dreams to become reality. Learn from the monkeys. The shock was removed but no one attempted to retrieve the bananas, because of the past, even the monkeys that had not experienced the past failure still did not go for the bananas. Even though it was the right season, right timing (the shock was removed), they were crippled by others experiences. I know what I’m talking about because it has happened to me. I had a dream of starting something new and I attempted to start the project but everything fell apart. I was discouraged by some people to continue to pursue it. I was so upset and discouraged, I just became depressed and I didn’t try anything again. Even to try anything new, I just thought, “been there, done that, worn the t-shirt”. I had to shake myself out off it. I said to myself, “ I will not be another casualty of depression, I’m not going to be part of another statistic, I’m checking myself out off that!” But that dream is still in my heart and I am determined to move forward.

The past, or past failures, if you allow it, will keep you from the best God has for you.  Do not let your past define who you are. Everybody fails in life, it’s what you do with failure that will determine who you are and who you will be. You need to learn from it, what you did wrong, what you can put right. Learn from your mistakes and failures. I made mistakes and I’ve learnt from them. Your past does not determine your future. The electric shock was removed and the new monkeys would not attempt to climb to get the bananas because the old monkeys discouraged them from doing so. They meant well, they didn’t want them to get hurt, but they stopped them from trying and attempting to achieve. Just because you may have failed at something, doesn’t mean you will continue to fail at everything.
Sometimes persistence is the key,  keep on hoping, keep on trying, keep on believing you can make it.

IMG_0505

Abraham Lincoln is rated as one of America’s greatest presidents. His image is on Mount Rushmore among the other great presidents of America. Did you know he had many failures in his career before he was elected as president in 1860?
Here is a list of his achievements and failures:

1831 – He lost his job
1832 -Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
1833 – Failed in Business
1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature
1835 – Sweetheart died
1836 – Had a nervous breakdown
1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for Us Congress
1846 – Elected to Congress
1848 – Lost re-nomination
1849 – Rejected for Land Officer position
1854 – Defeated in run for US Senate
1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
1858 – Defeated again in run for US Senate
1860 – Elected President

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/education/failures.htm

He never lost hope, he kept on believing and he was able to achieve his goals despite the obstacles that came his way.  They did not deter him and neither should they deter you. Everyone has their own journey and trials they have to through.  You can make it just as the old adage says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

IMG_0504

Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb, when interviewed about his failures said, “ I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work”. I believe that’s the attitude we need to have especially in this new year.

Orville and Wilbur Wright invented the aeroplane, they failed on numerous occasions, but kept on experimenting. It was their failures that made them successful. Today we are enjoying the result of their persistence and determination. Sometimes persistence is the key to success. For example, we continue to fill in applications for a new job, even though we may fail , at the application or interview stage, we continue in the hope that eventually we will get a new job. At times also, it’s good to ask for feedback from companies ( what did you did right, what did you did wrong) so that changes can be made to your interview techniques going forward.

Walt Disney was told by a movie executive earlier on in his career that he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. It is alleged he was turned down 302 times before he got financing for his dream of creating Walt Disney World. Today he holds the record for most Oscars won by an individual.

IMG_0503

Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of his time, has said, ““I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

A Chinese proverb says that, “failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up”. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of failure. So many do not try because they’re afraid they’ll fail. I was in that position I was afraid to try again. Failure is refusing to try again.

Don’t let the past determine your future. God has said this concerning you, “ For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope”. Jeremiah 29:11. When God puts a dream in your heart, he will give you all you need to pursue it. You may receive some resistance, you may receive some hate, but you keep pressing on and pressing in  until your dream becomes a reality .

Be wise and know your time and your season!