The “Yes” factor

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the journey to success and then we stumbled on the video below which I believe came at the most appropriate time. I’m feeling very inspired by it and I believe that there are there are so many lessons for you to take from it;

-Resilience:Keep trying in the face of repeated failures

-Self Improve: Go back to learn from the lessons of the past

-Do not fear failure but be afraid of regret

-Rejections, “No’s” are inevitable, in-fact, they are compulsory but also necessary. So don’t get distracted by them but learn quickly from them

Sometimes the person you are right now is not the person you need to be when you cross the finish line, so you must walk and pace yourself because you haven’t grown enough to fit the shoes you desire and may stumble terribly if you get into those positions ill-prepared. What should you do? Self-improve, Keep at it and keep the end in sight.

Are you ready to walk the walk? Do you pace yourself as you grow that way you get to the finish line at the exact time you are destined to cross it.

Failures might be painful at the time they happen but don’t be that person in life that looks back in time and is filled with the constant regret of “what if I didn’t give up?”

Enjoy.

 

The rape narrative: We are all responsible

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The past few days in the Nigerian social media space has been extremely telling. A popular photographer outed a popular pastor for sexually defiling her as a child. While several perspectives have been heard on the issue similar to the #metoo campaign, It’s about time we take these conversations and steer them to actual results. It is extremely repulsive that people are being abused by those who should know and do better. It is equally sad that the society through its silencing approach has institutionalised rape. There are no grey areas when it comes to sexual harassment, violence or defilement. Any type of sexual activity without consent is sexual assault. From those who thrive on the power imbalance such as lecturers to their students, employers to their employees, religious leaders to members of their sect, to those who are rape apologists or even silencers, these are unacceptable norms.

Consent should never be assumed or implied. It is not silence or the absence of “no”. It cannot be given if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, or unconscious It cannot ever be obtained through threats or coercion. It can be withdrawn for at any time. It cannot be given if the perpetrator abuses a position of trust, power or authority. It cannot be given by anyone other than the person participating in the sexual activity (e.g. your parent, brother or sister, girlfriend or boyfriend, spouse, friend etc., cannot consent for you or on your behalf).

Facts about sexual violence

  • Rape is about power and control, not sex
  • Clothes are not a risk factor. What someone is wearing is never an indication of anything other than their fashion choice.
  • That the perpetrator is your friend does not make his/her crime acceptable
  • Uninvited touching and/or comments are never acceptable

As parents, it is time to start having these conversations with our kids and stop protecting the perpetrators. We should also teach our children what it means to give consent and what it means when consent is withdrawn. Also, when a child reaches out to you with sensitive information, listen and ask questions, reassure the child- if possible include therapy and counselling and take decisive steps in bringing the perpetrator to book(regardless of your relationship with the perpetrator).It starts with a single individual, the responsibility to effect the change we want in the world cannot be outsourced. We are all responsible.

 

Fun Dining with Le Courtois

On the 4th of May 2019, Le Courtois had its inaugural fine dining event and it was a huge success. Le Courtois is an etiquette consulting group run by Bukola Egwenu, the Etiquette Coach. Bukola is one person I know walks the talk. She believes, reflects and is a personification of  grace.

The fine dining event was the icing on the cake, as Le Courtois had over a period of time visited the kids at school and had been deeply involved in helping them improve their soft skills. The process is aimed at teaching the kids to be more self aware, sharpen their soft skills and believe that they are not disadvantaged, it also helps change the general poor perception of public school students. This is an amazing start and a commendable journey.

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Le Courtois provides etiquette and soft skills services to corporates, parastatals and private individuals and is fully committed to improving the lives of people by tapping into their soft skills and creating self consciousness to do more and be more. Definitely one to look out for. For more information, Follow @le_courtois_  on Instagram.

Great job Bukola

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#IWD2019 Balance for Better

Happy International Women’s Day.

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What an exciting, refreshing time it is to be a woman. This year’s theme is Balance for better and it is in support for the growing global push for social and professional equality. The theme is aimed at encouraging gender balance in board rooms and across the spheres of life.

We now live in a time where the contribution of women are now being recognised and the sacrifices made are appreciated and not just seen as the norm. The work is not yet done as we are progressively moving to a time when every woman and girl is treated as an equal in the society and not as an after thought or as an individual to be merely tolerated. A time where a woman puts in the work in equal measure as her counterpart and is rewarded appropriately. Change has come and it is only inevitable.

From all of us at The Big Sister Initiative,

Happy International Women’s Day

Possibilities

Possibilities

For anyone who has diligently followed us via Instagram, twitter, or any of our write ups, you can tell that a recurring theme for us at The Big Sister Initiative is the self-improvement message, the audacity of hope and the reminder that dreams come true. As we wrap up the second month of the year, it is important to reiterate our message that your dreams are valid, your ambitions possible and  your optimism not far-fetched.

You are a product of your thoughts, attitude and your beliefs. The circumstances or the setbacks you face can never be a defining factor, only if you empower it to be so. Focus on improving yourself without losing your authenticity and the value you can bring to the world, watch the circle you interact with, celebrate your self and your wins, learn to prioritize. Life is about your personal responsibility. Seek to improve yourself and the world around you.

So what next, If you have not yet written down your goals for the year it is not too late to do so. You have 10 months to create a miracle. Set milestones for yourself and what you want to achieve at the end of each month, quarter and the year and don’t forget to celebrate every time you achieve it. Re-evaluate your value system, constantly evaluate where you place value and if your actions align with your belief system. Rid yourself of selfishness because you will never achieve your potentials until you turn the focus on others. Loose the dead weight, as hard as this sounds, be prepared to say goodbye to friendships or relationships that do not align with your values or run down your esteem and improve friendships that seek to empower who you are and who you can be. Your circle is a reflection of you.

Sometimes, it seems like life is designed to break you, but the true test of who you are on the inside is seen by your reaction to life’s events. Keep striving, keep pushing, see you at the top.

Love,

All of us at The Big Sister initiative

 

*Picture from Google images

Hello 2019…The year of the positives

Hello Guys,

2019 has started and is on a roll and it will be an amazingly beautiful year. What plans have you put in place? It could be passing your A levels, graduating from college, getting a summer job, reading 50books at the end of the year, or becoming the Elon Musk of 2019. Whatever the plan is, write it down and begin to work at it.Lots of Lovehello 2019

Lots of Love

Self Awareness: Toxic?

Self Awareness 2

Today,  the topic is on self-awareness. How well do you know yourself? What do you like, what do you dislike? What are your triggers?

When we meet new people, we take out time to understand them, this helps frame the kind of relationships we have with them. In the same vein, I believe that it is important that occasionally, we take out time to study ourselves too. This way we become more aware of who we are, having a grounded sense of self and then our identity plays a crucial role in our interactions and the value we add to people’s lives. I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a brainstorming session and a question was asked about toxic relationships and toxic friendships and someone asked, “Is it possible that I am toxic person”. My answer? Yes.

Self Awareness 3Yes, because sometimes we exhibit negative responses to certain situations that have a toxic effect on the recipient of our actions. The word toxic can be described as something harmful or poisonous. In human interaction, having constant exchanges with a toxic person can be bad for your relationship and your mental health. I have come to realize that one can be toxic even with the best of intentions. Our minds sometimes get the most of us and allow us deduce and infer into some situations and cause us to react in ways that can be extremely negative to the next person.

Self AwarenessMy advise, be kinder- as you grow older, a lot of emotional intelligence will be needed to navigate relationships. Try as much as possible to put yourself in the next person shoes, don’t be so reactionary during discourse. Always keep a positive spirit- Overtime, I have realized that life will throw curveballs at you, try not to internalize the negatives to the point that it begins to affect your outlook on life, rather ask yourself –what is the lesson to be learnt here. You can also take a break from social media- sometimes, information overload makes one cynical, so check yourself. Mind your business; most times when you feel inspired to give a feedback on a situation, ask yourself, is my opinion relevant at this point. Will my response bring healing or cause more pain? Shut down negative thoughts- This requires a lot of self-discipline and don’t forget to apologize to those you have hurt in the process. Do not try to rationalize the extent of the hurt you caused. When a person informs you that your actions have hurt them, apologize. It might not fix the problem, but it lets the other person know that you care a bit about their feelings.

In conclusion, your growth (mental and emotional) is your responsibility. It cannot be outsourced. Learn to fail quickly and constantly seek to self-improve.

Love and Light

Nkiru,

Dream Bigger

Hey guys,

While we are enjoying the summer break, just a friendly reminder to us to dream bigger. Stay persistent about your dreams  and keep them alive. DREAM BIGGER

Walt Disney once said “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”.

It is not sufficient to have a dream, you have to act on it and take steps to making it a reality. Pursuing one’s dreams definitely is not easy, if it were, everyone would be doing it. There will be days where the world will question the validity of your dreams, days where you will doubt yourself, days where everything will go bad and finally the days where everything will begin to look up. It is important that through it all, you allow yourself go through the process.

At the end of the day there us a lot of joy that comes with watching a concept become a reality and knowing that you sheer grit, willpower and determination made it happen.

Lots of Love

 

Attitude of Gratitude

gratitudeeHow often do you stay thankful for acts of goodness (and even the seemingly unfair things) that happen in your life? And do you stay grateful on a regular basis?

 

Over the past few days, I have heard several people complain about one wrong thing or another in their lives. It could be bad grades at school, a disagreement with a dear friend or not having someone to talk to. These are some examples of real life occurrences; however, it is important to emphasize that our attitude about any state or condition in our lives is always within our power to choose. Attitudes are rooted in our own beliefs and are unique across most individuals. They do not form overnight but rather, throughout the course of one’s life journey. Although one’s attitudes are initially nurtured from the environment, we nonetheless always have a choice on what to keep or discard eventually. It is important to develop a positive attitude of gratitude since it will be very difficult to retain a certain kind of integrity where we create a wrong impression of being ungrateful.

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So dear girl, how do you stay grateful, you ask?

Have a list: Developing a sense of gratitude might not happen overnight. It is a habit that should be practiced. I personally wanted to learn how to stay thankful, so I deliberately became more mindful of daily activities that happened in my life. The best way I could keep track was by keeping a journal. Every day, I would write down the things I was thankful for. Overtime, I found it easier to count my blessings and to generally have a positive outlook about life.

Express yourself: If you feel grateful, say it! Tell people around you. Don’t bottle up your emotions or how you feel. That way, you inspire yourself and those around you as well.

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Watch what you say: Your words are powerful. It is almost impossible to channel yourself to say two contradictory sentences and to believe them wholly. It’s either you believe one and are paying lip service to the other. If you find yourself constantly being critical or negative about events that happen in your life, there will almost be no time for you to reflect on being thankful. Be deliberate about the words you say and make sure you are appreciative of everything that happens around you, even the seeming bad things.

Get creative: Creativity will spur you to being grateful. For instance put little notes of positive messages around the house will help you stay grateful, set reminders on your mobile, tell your friends about the new plan and start an accountability thread. Make it as much fun as you possibly can. Start with people around you- You can stay grateful by celebrating those around you.

gratStay Mindful: To develop an attitude of gratitude, you have to be intentional. Don’t take things that happen to you for granted. Appreciate everything. Gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for the “big” things in life. The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.

And even when the odds seem against you: This becomes a test of character. Personally, 2018 started with me receiving three consecutive bad news that left me reeling in disbelief. I had entered the new year so certain about how the year would play out and next thing, all my plans came crashing. I remember sitting in my car and bawling my eyes out and then it hit me, why not choose to see the unseen benefit. Why not stay grateful to God for protecting you from unseen dangers. I did just that, trust me, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but it paid off, because the rest of the year has turned out way better than I imagined.

So, what will you do when it seems like the odds are against you or that no one understands? Stay grateful. Find the reasons to be happy. No matter how minute they may seem.

Help others: Finally, help others. Volunteer. Be a light in another’s life. One sure way to live a thankful life is when you can see your the value you bring in the life of others and you know you are responsible for the smiles on their faces.

Love,

Nkiru