It’s the time of the year where I get more reflective. It’s also the time of the year that has marked transitions in the past.
The 2nd of December made it 20 years since I graduated from secondary school ( high school for my American readers ).
I was 17 at the time, and I had this self-confidence that my school Chengelo had helped nourished over the years. You see, during my preteens, and early teenage years, I had struggled with low self-esteem in my previous boarding school in Nigeria.
However, on moving to Zambia and starting at my school, I found myself being stretched in ways that produced growth.
At 16, I applied to be a primary school prefect. I went for my first interview and was appointed as the Assistant Primary Prefect. It was my first job and leadership position. I had 20 children, ages four to nine under my care, twice a week.
These kinds of experiences shaped me and prepared me for life after school.
Fast forward to exactly three years ago; when I graduated from Thunderbird School of Global Management with my Master’s Degree in Global Management.
A lot had happened in the intervening years since I had left high school. I had lost a lot of my spark and self-confidence since graduating with my Bachelor’s degree.
In 2016, I had reached my lowest point. I had almost given up on life. But, God wasn’t through with me. Thanks to my family and friends who kept praying and who stepped in when necessary.
Yet, I needed to reach my lowest point. Because it was only then I could see things with a renewed sense of urgency. I knew I wanted to be successful and that spirit of I can do what I set my mind to do, that I had at 17 came upon me afresh.
So when I got the opportunity of a lifetime to study at Thunderbird in 2017. I grabbed it with all my might and mind.
Of course, I was scared. I knew nothing about business. Yet here I was in business school with people who had so much experience.
But I quickly determined that I wasn’t going to let that stop me from gaining all I could. I seized opportunities to do so many things. I joined the Toast Masters club on campus, determined that I would learn to speak in public.
I tried out for a marketing case competition in my first semester. I applied to work for the marketing department and got the job in my second semester. The third semester I got to work for the school’s newspaper.
Do you know what was happening as I did all these things? I was growing in my capacity, and it was evident to all who saw me.
So when I walked across the stage, carrying the Nigerian flag and speaking about Nigerians. It was a confident woman who stood before that crowd. My parents who were there were proud to see me shine. They had witnessed the transformation, and we’re happy.
As I think back and reflect on these two moments of my life. I draw the inspiration I need as I look forward to 2021. It’s going to be a busy year that will require me to have the confidence I had in 2000 and 2017. I want to do things I have never done before and soar.
Yes, I am scared, but that never stopped me from shining before. So I am going to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and get busy.
Have you ever felt scared when new exciting opportunities present themselves? How did you manage your feelings?
Sometimes we have to take steps of Faith and just launch out. Yes, we will make mistakes, but we will eventually find that we are capable of doing things we never thought possible.
So dear friends, don’t let the past keep you from achieving your dreams. Yes, there will be challenges, but having the right mindset will keep you focused, and one day you will look back and see how far you have made it.