Let’s talk self affirmations…
I was about 16 years old when I resumed for my remedial classes at university ( this was a pre degree course to go to year 1). I was very young, and it was my first time of being away from my parents or being in anything like a hostel setting. I was pretty excited about getting to live with other ladies that were my peers and I really thought it would be a walk in the park.
It wasn’t anything remotely close to that. I had roommates who weren’t bad people, but they were more mature than me in a way. A good number of them had attended boarding schools, so they were familiar with being away from their parents and living with other people. I was the odd one out in a way, because even the non boarders among them found it easier to navigate.
I found myself crying a lot and internalizing self doubt. There were misunderstandings that happened where words flew and the next thing you’d see me do is withdraw into a corner and cry my eyes out. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t pretty at all. On a particular day, I was called ‘ugly’ and the person who said it also mentioned that she overheard some boys saying it so it wasn’t only her who thought I was ugly. Maybe the confident way she said it was what made me truly believe it, all I know is it made me withdrawn more than ever after then. I began to actually check myself in the mirror repeatedly to ‘confirm’ if what they said was true. It was a horrible time.
It didn’t matter that I later got to confront one of the boys who supposedly said it and he denied vehemently, while saying that I was even his crush at that time so why would he say such? I didn’t believe him, I just accepted the ugly tag and allowed myself to wallow in self pity. Many other things happened and I want to think that this period really groomed me to be very defensive today ; which is sometimes overboard but I’d rather be defensive now, than be talked down on.
I remember how I used to take compliments from people. I’d be praised by someone then I’d quickly respond that I’m not the way they have said. Someone could tell me I look really good and I’d say no o, it is just powder or some talk like that. I could get a comment that I’m very intelligent and the next thing you’d hear from me is that I don’t think so or another way to downplay the compliment.
I can’t tell if it was my own way of being humble or if I just needed to do that for myself. But one day, a friend told me that I needed to step out of that space and begin to accept and appreciate compliments as they come. He said to me that I was indeed all of the good things people said I was and so I needed to embrace that and thank them, instead of hiding under banter to speak less of myself. I felt that.
These days, we see so many messages encouraging us to make affirmations on our lives and also tell ourselves how awesome we are. I vibe with that so much. You know that thing people say where they go “ I drip glory, I’m a spec” and all of that? It is one of my favorite things on the internet. You need to tell yourself that you are many wonderful things, so that when people tell you or compliment you about them. , it will only be a confirmation and not new knowledge.
We tend to be so hard on ourselves and would only think of where we aren’t doing fantastic. I say no to that today. You have to be bold about your assertions and self belief. It is imperative that you trust highly in yourself and you highlight your great traits, so that it is easy to amplify them and do better with them. I won’t stop saying this, there is only one you. No you but you. You get me?
Today, we are listing our ‘strengths’ and admiring our awesomeness. I know that you are mostly thinking of what you don’t get right and how you need to be better. Well, we aren’t doing that today. What we’d do is list out our good sides and what we are great at. We will be admiring ourselves heavily!
I’ll go first
Omotolani is such a beautiful woman. I am kind, selfless and I ride for mine. I don’t wish people bad and I’m always looking for ways to spread happiness. I’m good at what I do and I make things happen. I’m a worthy friend, reliable partner, caring mum, adorable daughter, loving sibling and many more. Anyone who has me in their corner is truly blessed and I’m grateful to be me.
I leave you with this gorgeous picture of me, because you deserve to see beauty.
I’ll be back. OBA