<![CDATA[EVERGREEN LIFESTYLE GEMS - Blog]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2018 03:41:05 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[I Put Myself Out There and She Rejected Me! How to Handle Rejection]]>Mon, 13 Aug 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/rejection
   Putting yourself out there is risky business but it's something we should do. I'm gonna start things off today with a personal story of 'rejection' and then give you some tips on how to handle rejection if you're having issues with it. I'll try to make the story as descriptive as possible and aid your imagination with pictures so you can see through my eyes as much as possible. Let's goo!

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 One of My Many Rejection Stories

     It was the last week of September 2015, I had just turned 18 the previous week. On 26th Sept I boarded a plane from Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, Abuja Nigeria  to Charles De Gaulle international airport, Paris but my main destination was London Heathrow airport, I was going back to uni for my 2nd year and I landed the morning of 27th. On my transit between terminals I met an American girl and we chatted for a while and it turned out we were going to the same uni but that was the only tell I met her.
     You can tell I was optimistic to meet the fresher girls and that night you can say I had a sensory overload of peng tings (beautiful girls), I probably thought to myself, 2nd year is my year! I'm 18 and legal so obviously life is good.
My local Tesco (UK Superstore chain)
  On the next day, when I was about to leave my local Tesco supermarket I was walking past two girls struggling with their groceries and other stuff. One of them who was a plainly dressed black girl ( fully unbuttoned cardigan, a top, blue jeans and some black Nike Cortezes) and she asked me for help and since we were going the same way I decided to help. I still remember what I was wearing here's a picture...
​    We talked for throughout the short bus journey and we passed my usual stop but I took a gamble and went to the next stop which was closer to my new room but I've never used it before. We got off the bus and I took the stuff to her place and she offered to buy me a drink but I said I didn't drink (lol I was still forming good boy) but in my head I was thanking God I was 18 so if I wanted to I could. Anyway, she took my number and we met up everyday that week because we lived fairly close to each other.  

​​   Her raspy French accented voice always drew me in every time but it didn't sound like the stereotypical 'merci merci' accent, and I had no problems understanding her, she's from Toulouse (Southern France) so I guess they sound different up there. Her name's O and she has Congolese (not DRC) and Cameroonian origins, she always laughed at my jokes and I was always smiling when I was with her.
     Obviously I'd already told my boys about her and I was planning to let her know how I felt, you know, 'the earlier the better' I thought. So, on Saturday of the same week which was Freshers Fair I was with her and after showing her around, saying hi to friends and signing up for American football which I thought was Rugby and she told me her friend died because of it (as if watching Will Smith's Confession wasn't scary enough), I grew some balls.

     I sat her down on Square 2 of Essex University and told her I liked her and this was only 5 days of meeting her, I like girls easily don't blame me...it worked in movies and real life. I thought, the feeling must be mutual, I've been getting green light. Surprisingly or not she turned me down and before it got too awkward I said if you change your mind I'm still here and I hope this won't make things weird between us.   
Square 2, University of Essex. Yo don't watch the picture, I was still in first year lol

​   For the coming weeks I was linking up with her every other day or at least once a week, sometimes I even went to her lectures because my best friend would ask me to accompany her and I was always willing because I knew I'd see O. We didn't have much in common except that we studied law, our names started with O, and we're African but not much else but for some reason it didn't deter me nor did it make our conversations boring in the least, it was effortless.

    The fire in me burnt brighter and brighter, the fact that she didn't invite me into her yard even though we were in front of it or that she was a party animal or she mentioned other guys didn't bother me. I even had a rather 'distasteful' moment with her one day. She invited me to her kitchen after I asked why she's never invited me in.

​    She 'cooked' spaghetti and shallow fried some chicken wings with little to no seasoning but I said maybe it's another good way of frying chicken that I was unaware of. After putting the first spoon-full or fork-full of spaghetti in my mouth I shed an internal tear, questioned her blackness and... let's just say...thank God for the mango juice which I wasn't supposed to finish but ended up drinking it all.

     The chicken didn't help matters at all but I ate it even though it was still mostly red inside, it was better than the torture of that spaghetti, once again thank God for the mango juice it was the real MVP of that night. She asked me how was the food and I tried to say it was okay and she said I should be honest so I said it was horrible.  

   ​After that night you can say I concluded that cooking wasn't her strong suit but at least I could whip up something nice in the kitchen for us if it came down to it. We texted each other regularly and I focused mainly on her, she was the sun of the term in my eyes even though there were other girls, they were like distant stars so they couldn't compare in brightness.
   Subsequently, we started having some issues, she said I was 'clingy' which I didn't understand how but I detested that word (still do!) being used to refer to me, it was like salt on an earthworm. Eventually, she said "I don't think we should be friends any more, I'm sorry." It came from nowhere and it hurt like a bitch! I felt it in my chest!...

    I felt rejected, I felt I wasn't good enough, and it hurt my confidence a little (see 12 Tips to Boost Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem) it's not like I was having much luck with the other girls, they only wanted to be friends and I had enough friends already wasn't looking for more. As a real one, I said okay that's cool but inside my face was like this... 

Okay, I wasn't really crying inside but it hurt regardless! (Credit: Imgur)

​     I told my guys and they had various things to say and one was even angrier for me than I was but I didn't have strength for it, I was used to it and it didn't stop with her either but it was the only time someone was straight with me like that so I respected her. It was more-or-less like a break up and it wasn't like she disappeared afterwards, I kept seeing her and my feelings didn't either... those feelings still arise as I'm typing this.  

 How to Handle Rejection

   Rejection is part of life, you can't always get a 'yes' every time you go for something, in fact anyone that says yes all the time is being fake but anyone that says no always is a hard ass. To digress a bit, when rejecting someone try not to be rude because it can agitate the other person, I know sometimes no matter how you reject the person they'll still be angry but being polite is only right.  
    According to Dr. Phil, rejection is the number one fear among human beings. One of our deepest needs as humans beings is the need to belong and to be accepted, that's why we sometimes do what we really don't wanna just to be accepted. When you are rejected in one way or another, it feels like you've not satisfied this important need and it can leave us feeling down.  It is important that we know how to deal with rejection so we can live better lives. 
  01. It's Not You, It's Me 
   Ahh the infamous words for a break up, it's such a cliche these days that many people don't even believe it. But is there any truth to it? As any cliche this statement is sometimes true. Sometimes the person isn't attracted to you anymore or the person wants to focus on personal development and may see you as a 'distraction' as was the case in my last break up.

    Another example is what happened between my friend and a girl he liked. The way my boy was talking about about her it was clear he liked her and vice versa so I encouraged him to make a move. When he did, she turned him down because she was still shook from the death of her last boy friend so we can say she was a 'widowed girlfriend' for lack of a better term. It had nothing to do with him and nothing he would've done short of resurrection would've changed her mind at that time. If she withheld the real reason for turning him down (as she had the right to), he would've just been feeling crappy for nothing. 

   Now, it is important to not blame yourself, 'I could have done more', 'I should've gone to the gym', I should've done this, I should've done that. This isn't productive and will only cause you to feel insecure (see Beefing Up Your Security: How to Overcome Insecurity).

    As in the case of la francaise, (the French girl) there probably was nothing I could've done short of changing myself to a large degree just to 'make her like me' even if I bent over backwards like a contortionist and that's just stressful abeg, (see 5 Tips for Dealing with Stress) I couldn't be bothered. It would've been like going to Burger King but expecting Mc Donald's. 
  02. Grieve a Little
    Rejection can sometimes sting like a scorpion and it'll make you feel pain. Whether it's having a request denied, a job application or your advances toward a potential partner. It's only right that you feel this pain or get upset, suppressing it too much can make it burst out unexpected like molten lava from a volcano and make things worse, proper grieving is healthy. 
   You need some time to process your rejection especially if it something you really wanted and worked a lot for. Try to take some time off work if you can or stay in if you wanted to go out, go for a walk to clear your head etc.. this is not great advice but you can indulge in some comfort food like ice cream or cake  for that moment. Avoid wallowing in self-pity or misery because this can cause a downward spiral and nobody wants that; don't make things worse so try not to go overboard.

​  03.  Evaluate Yourself
Evaluating good and bad
Credit: LibGuides- Birmingham City University

 Previously, I talked about how blaming yourself is counterproductive but now what I'll say may seem contradictory but it holds water nonetheless. Rejection can be some sort of feedback mechanism, it means you have to try again or try harder. In the job selection process not everyone will make it through the funnel, there will be a 'thinning process' where some will be rejected.

   I've been rejected for several opportunities but I'm glad for the feedback some of them gave me. I remember absentmindedly applying for a lab research thingy and obviously I didn't get it but they told me to put more effort into it, I didn't go back to it but if I wanted to additional effort would've been required to increase my chances of success. 
  Trying hard or again isn't a full-proof plan against rejection but your odds will always be better and if you're rejected you can either look for other options or obviously try again. 

  04. Question Your Negative Thoughts & Feelings
   Being denied something you want sucks! It can bring about negative thoughts and feelings (see How to Combat Your Negative Thoughts and Inner Critic). This is a tip I learnt from my coach, Blackman Aigbiremolen and you can check out his interview on my blog
   You need to ask yourself why are you feeling this way? Feelings are the voice of your body and they reflect your dominant thoughts at that moment. Then ask quite assertively, how true are these thoughts? This is 'priming' which is basically asking the truth from a lie which is quite impossible because lies aren't true but that's the trick *wink wink*.

​  The truth is absolute and lies are shaky mirages. When you discover the truth, it becomes a 'rethought' which is a reply and whenever you feel bad keep reminding yourself of the rethought which is the true reply to the question 'how true are these thoughts?'

  05. Positive Self-Talk
Credit: Reader's Digest

 Positive self-talk is so essential and it'll help you get through your down times. Like a caring parent, you need to tell yourself it will go because it really will. Keep reminding yourself that this is only temporary, it'll only last a moment and you may be even thankful for this experience in the future, it'll make you improve. Use affirmations and whatever tools you have at your disposal to talk to yourself nicely. 

  06. Keep Your Odds in Mind
Credit: eBetting 101

   This could've been the first point but since you're definitely gonna be rejected again it can work as the last point, kinda like a cycle when you go through the steps repeatedly. Life as we know it isn't even so that means we must have an idea of what our odds are for success in a situation.

   Sometimes, you might be so sure you'll get what you want only to be surprised. For example, there was a girl I asked to go on a date and because of what had happened between us and she was tired of being single I was almost 100% sure she'd say yes but to my utmost surprise she turned me down.

   When you know your odds things are easier and being rejected won't hurt as much. For example, if you apply for a job that has a requirement for 1st class grades, if you have a high 2:1 and decent work experience and you still get rejected at least you'll know that you were not likely gonna get it. 

  Using that 2:1 example, if you've read the job description and you've got great work experience you should apply even though your chance of success may be low, it'd be a shame if you're the most qualified candidate but didn't apply. Knowing your chances of success are low doesn’t mean don't try at all. Only 2% of job applications actually lead to jobs, and you never know when you’ll actually be in that 2%.

  QOTD: "A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success." - Bo Bennett

   Remember to TAKE ACTION because to know and not to do is really not to know. So what's your rejection story and how did you handle it? Comment below. Share this on social media alongside my infographic (download it!) because sharing is caring! SUBSCRIBE to my blog so you don't miss a thing and to get instant access to my free e-books.

    If you're in Nigeria and you're interested in making money online you can sign up here or join my WhatsApp group for more information. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest. See ya next Monday!  

How to Handle Rejection Infographic
Fine infographic like me, we no dey ask make them share us na dem dey rush us.
  Previous post: 18 Common Mistakes Young People Make

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<![CDATA[18 Common Mistakes Young People Make]]>Mon, 06 Aug 2018 06:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/common-mistakes-young-people-make
  One can say youth is the trial period of life where we're bound to make more mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet said something along the lines of the importance of learning from experience or mistakes but they don't have to be ours. As some sort of rite of passage as young people there are some common mistakes that we make and I'm here to give you a taste. 

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Some Common Mistakes...

  Oh well, this might as well be a Buzz Feed article haha. I'm focusing on young people because I'm young and  they say "a fool at 40 is a fool forever" lol. I'm not trying to be rude at all. I'm guilty of making some of these mistakes to these days and I'm not trying to come across as judgemental it's just my opinion and you can agree or disagree. I hope you enjoy this and let me know if you can relate. 
  01. Thinking They Have All The Time in The World
 Youth and having time are often put together you'll think they're synonymous, having time because you're young may be true but then again young people die at an alarming rate so maybe not so much. I'm not saying you shouldn't exercise patience when the need be (see 07 Ways to be More Patient) but I'm saying don't use it as an avenue to willingly waste time and procrastinate on taking action (see 8 Practical Solution to Procrastination) or make excuses (see Being Responsible is Quite Hard, But LET'S TRY). Now, some of us may procrastinate out of fear (see 5 Tips for Overcoming Fear) or we just lack proper time management skills (see The Clock is Always Ticking: 13 Time Management Tips). 
  If you waste too much time you'll miss opportunities and before you know it old age will catch up to you like a car on a highway and you'll be full of regret.
  02. Not Understanding Money
   The concept of money isn't the easiest thing to understand, it's like our bodies, we use it everyday but don't really understand it all that much. Those who really understand are in the minority. As a young people many of us are either on parental allowances or small salaries and have debt and bills to pay. When it's pay day you'll hear stuff like "treat yourself" and I can't lie I do indulge only for me to be reminiscing in the middle of the month on when I used to have money but for some reason it happens every month; you know, same old shit just a different day. In other words it has become a bad habit (see How to Break Your Bad Habits). As a rule of thumb, save 10% of any money you get so for example if you get N10,000 save N1000. It might seem small but all good habits start small (see 5 Ways to Maintain Good Habits). 
   A girl on Twitter said she no longer checks her bank account because God will provide. I remember a seminar I went for where they mentioned the laws of money or as I like it the 3 Ms of money which is to make, multiply and manage. Many of us only care about 1&2 and leave the management to God. Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad Poor Dad) emphasizes on the importance of financial knowledge and education and this ultimately will be the way to correct this mistake. I also remember seeing on Twitter where the question was asked if you were given the choice between $100m or the knowledge of how to make $100m which would you choose? Of course many people chose the former but if you know about people who won lotteries you'll know that as B.I.G said 'mo money mo problems'. If you don't learn money management asap it can ruin you and you could end up like Emmanuel Eboue (ex Arsenal & Sunderland player) who was supposedly rendered effectively homeless last year due to his divorce and because of his lack of financial know-how he left the finances to his now ex-wife who basically fucked him over. 
Emmanuel Eboue (Credit: Pleasures Magazine)
  03. Being Too Afraid of Failure
   Life is to be lived and enjoyed not to be afraid. Many of us are afraid of failure because of the consequences of 'failing'. For example, if you failed your exams or your grades went down you could get scolded by your teachers or parents or even worse get beaten. There's the emphasis on doing things once but in real life that can't always be the case. When I was initially learning how to drive I was scared 'what if I've an accident?' it's different from riding a bike it's potentially more dangerous 'I could die' but I still had to drive regardless of the fear. There were two instructors I initially had and when I was with the nicer one I got things done easily and I wasn't as scared. When I was with the mean one I used to mess up so bad even starting the car was an issue because I was trying to impress him so he won't shout but well, safe to say it didn't work out. 
    On another note, giving up when things get tougher isn't gonna get you anywhere. Success needs you to pick yourself every time you fall apart like an undead creature. We know the saying "when the going gets tough the tough gets going." What I understand from this is that things will get easier as long as you keep going. In short, failure isn't the end of the world it's just one of the roads on the journey to success (see 10 Key Habits of Successful People). 
  04.  Caring About Social Media Too Much
    Social media is an awesome place, you can connect with your long lost friends, or just friends and family, you can post about your life, build a career, etc. But things created with good intentions can be used for bad things, you have trolls who perpetrate cyber bullying and they can take it to the next level. Remember when Beyonce released Lemonade and people were focused on the infamous line "you better call Becky with the good hair" on the song "Sorry"? People were coming for people like Rita Ora and a chef, I forget her name thinking Jay-Z cheated on her with them. 
  Social media
 can also lead to insecurity (see Beefing Up Your Security: How to Overcome Insecurity). People constantly comparing themselves to these Instagram models with crazy bodies (see Stop Comparing Yourself! It's a Losing Game!) or just their friends going on trips on Snapchat or celebrities doing this and that on Twitter. I fall victim sometimes and it's hard not to especially for younger people but remember people show you what they want you to see. They barely ever post about their problems. 
   Clout chasing is now a full time job for some people can makes them do dumb shit for people they don't know or like all for likes, shares, comments and retweets. For example, the #ShiggyChallange or #KekeChallenge or #InMyFeelingsChallenge that has people hopping out of moving cars or dancing on the road to "Keke do you love me? Are you riding?" The song is great but not great enough to harm yourself. Recently there was a video of a guy who was hit by a car doing the challenge on the road, thankfully he only had minor cuts and bruises.
  05. They Invest Too Much Emotional Capital in Relationships 
   So, you're young and you're now getting butterflies in your tummy over a girl or guy, good for you. We've all been there but the issue comes up where you start to invest a little too much into it costing your own personal development. For example, look at the controversial movie, Acrimony (comment below who you think was really at fault lol) she invested so much time, energy and money in the guy and let's say it blew up in her face. Now, that's what you call a bad investment, but who can blame her though? Love blinded her. At a young age focusing more on yourself should be paramount and some people may play with your heart but it's not the end of the world; take your L and keep it moving. 
  Now, I know when you get broken up with the first time or with someone you really loved it'll feel like your whole life is a shambles but keep ya head up because it's not the end of the world. So it's important to not make someone the sun your world revolves around. It's even worse when it's a bad relationship because it is like a sinking ship if you don't jump off you're gonna go down with it. Don't cut off your friends or family when you get in a relationship, spend a good amount of time with them. With them at your side you're more likely to bounce back like a trampoline from heart break or other emotional scars. 

  06. ​Signing Contracts Without Reading & Understanding Them
  Reading contracts is so boring omg! Yes, I know but it if it's an important contract make sure you read and understand before signing it because contracts are binding and breaching it can have severe consequences. Honestly, these contracts can be used to exploit you especially if you become successful. For example, Nigerian pop artist, Kiss Daniel (now Kizz Daniel) who was having contract issues with his label, G-Worldwide, this may have just been a result of not reading the small print and signing because boys were hustling and hungry on the streets.
​   A more popular example will be Lil Wayne and Birdman who were having contract issues and he sued Birdman for $50m in 2014 or 15. Birdman discovered Wayne at the tender age of 11 (correct me if I'm wrong) and they see each other as father & son. I'm pretty sure Wayne didn't read nor did he understand his contracts, I think there was no written contract, not too sure. Thankfully this year, Universal, the parent label of Cash Money had an out of court settlement with Wayne for $10m or so. Read your contracts, kids!
 07. People Pleasing
   As a "nice" person you may wanna please others at your own expense, and you don't really don't want that. You know the saying "nice guys finish last", this can be because they're not being true to themselves. It's not selflessness, it's just a twisted form of selfishness that hurts you more than you may realise because you can get taken advantage of. For example, in a funny show, Impastor, a woman came to her ex best friend to keep a wedding dress for her and she really wanted to say no but didn't. Can you guess who her ex best friend she was getting married to?... Her ex boyfriend who left her for the best friend. 
  You can't always say yes to everything or everyone, sometimes you just have to put your foot down and say no. You have to live life by your principles and for yourself. Not everyone's gonna like you because of it but at least you'll be more fulfilled (check out Mark Manson's book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck). 
 08. Keeping Bad Company
   As young people full of energy we tend to tip the line between right and wrong. Something doesn't have to be illegal to be wrong.  Peer pressure is as real as Freddy Kruger from Nightmare on Elm Street and it may lead us down the wrong path, you know the saying "show me your friends and I'll show you who you are." Kendrick Lamar on a song,  The Art of Peer Pressure details how his behaviour drastically changed when he was "with the homies". The bridge starts like this
                       "Smokin' on the finest dope...
                        Drank until I can't no mo'...
                        Really I'm a sober soul
                       But I'm with the homies right now"
  If I remember correctly someone was fatally shot at one point in the album, Good Kid M.A.A.D City. Bad company corrupts good morals and so many young people have been led astray because of this. 

  09. They Lack Patience
  There's a time to be patient and a time to take immediate action but you need wisdom to know what to do. For example, imagine you hear there's a time bomb in the area do you run immediately or wait till the last second so you can dive like an action movie? I'll go with the former. Imagine you step on a mine in a mine field will you immediately raise your foot and risk blowing yourself up or patiently keep your foot on in and look for something to replace our foot with? Don't blow yourself up. 
  Patience is important and it costs way less but impatience is like giving money to an over spender. One of my guys told me about his experience with forex trading. He got into forex trading and he won big the first time, he put it back in to get more and he lost money, he put some more and more. Long story short, he lost a lot of money and fell sick. He now believes in the importance of exercising patience. 
 ​ 10. They Don't Check What They Eat
   What you use your body to do in your youth may come back to haunt you later on. Honestly, I'm guilty of this but I try not to eat sugar as much but I'm getting there small small. In our 20s the main thing on our mind is getting money, flexing, getting girls or guys and just generally having fun. This fun can involve drinking, smoking and junk food. I'm not against them when they're done in moderation but as the saying goes 'your body is a temple'. No matter how busy you are 'ogbeni' please at least eat a fruit once a while, take a walk etc.  No matter how busy your schedule gets, regular exercise and healthy food are a must. This will not only shape up your body but also your thoughts and give you positive vibes.
 11. They Barely Network 
   As a young person most times the seriousness of working hasn't really registered especially when you've never worked a day in your life. So, as Burna Boy said on his song Ye, we just wan chop life (enjoy life). At this point there's this feeling of the 'world is my oyster' so I'm gonna take my time with it; it isn't necessarily a bad idea but the sooner you start networking the better. Your network is net worth as people often say and when you get in close proximity with people can elevate you that's a great deal.
   There's the saying that success is mostly about showing up. If you show up where these people are and you're putting yourself near success everyday and soon you'll grab the success bull by the horns and ride it away! If you find yourself in need of a job, a girlfriend, business partner, etc. just think about networking i.e. where are these people? What do they do? How can you meet them?   So, how can you network? Social media (definitely the easiest way), seminars, workshops, parties,  etc.  Don't get it  twisted, networking isn't only for professionals, nor is it a suit and tie event,  it's everyone's game. Albeit it may seem boring to you simply  reaching out can improve your life. 
​ 12. Lack of  Focus
 The lack of focus is arguably one of the bigger sins of youthful exuberance. If you've played shooting games like Call of Duty or Halo then you'll know that you can't hit your intended target if your aim is off. Aliko Dangote (Africa's richest man) listed having focus as one of his tips for having success. Trying to do too much at once will make you a jack of all trades and a master of none. You can diversify later on like Dangote who now produces sugar, cement, pasta etc. and more recently refining petroleum but he started with one. Lack of focus can cause indecisiveness or  be a result of it (see Indecisive Much? How to Deal with Indecision in 10 Ways!).
 Some weeks ago, a well intended friend gave me some advice about the blog saying I should tell stories, talk about movies, etc because not everyday advice, it's getting boring. I told her I won't be able to keep up with that kinda content and if she wants movies she should go check out some YouTube channels. She wouldn't go to a movie channel asking for self-improvement tips. Focus is so important because a specialist gets paid way more than a general practitioner. 
 13. Money = Happiness
Credit: Joshua Hook
   As cliche as it may sound, money can't buy you happiness. There are many rich people that are empty shells instead of full vessels. For example Demi Lovato who recently overdosed on heroin and it was all over social media. By usual standards she's a rich person but she still has some demons regardless. 
   Following only money can lead to future full of regret especially when you have ZERO passion for your job. If you keep chasing only money you'll find yourself close to the end of your life when you finally grab it and you still won't be satisfied. When you chase only money you'll be more willing to do any and every thing for the money, some people throw their morals out the window because of money and they get into crime like robbery. Always remember the saying in the Bible 'for the love of money is the root of all evil'. Look at Naija politicians embezzling money every time sucking the nation dry and watering their pockets like a water pump. Are they happy? Do they have peace of mind? I doubt it. 

  14. Thinking They Can Eat Their Cake and Have It
   This saying didn't make any sense to me when I was growing up, I mean, I had cake and I ate it so how can you say I don't have it? How did I eat it in the first place? Lol. Now, I know better like the Headie One song.
  Actions have consequences and we all know karma is a bitch that can come and bite you in the butt like rabid dog. Nigerian music legend, 2Face said it best in his classic song, No Shakin' where he said 'nobody wan kpai but dey wan go heaven' (nobody wants to doe but they wanna go to heaven). 
​   Many young people want success but don't wanna work for it or sacrifice for it. Like they want it to come in a gift box from Santa, some of them are just plain lazy (see Symptoms and Solutions to Laziness). I won't lie I get lazy, the struggle is real but I shake it off sometimes, sometimes I fall and get up afterwards. Remember you can't eat your cake and have it and "faith without works is dead" James 2:17.
They Don't Get Mentors or Think They Can Do it Alone
  As a youngin there's the huge temptation or will I call it pride or fear that you can figure it out all your own but as some of you know, it takes too long especially when it doesn't have to. Now come in mentors who Tai Lopez (millionaire investor, entrepreneur) usually says shave years off your learning curve. Mentors are people who've gone through the experience and who can guide you properly and it ties in with the Warren Buffett statement at the beginning. This African proverb in my opinion sums up the importance of a mentor easily "what an elder sees sitting down, a child cannot see even when it climbs a tree." Mentors don't have to be alive or even people you know, it can just be people's books you've read, someone you see on TV, someone's online programme you bought and follow closely etc. So who are some of your mentors? Comment below. 
  Another mistake is thinking you can do it alone, there's no bigger lie than that. No 'self-made' person did it alone. You might have the knowledge but you learnt it from somewhere, when it's time to execute it, you didn't do it alone. Think about it like building a house, you can't build a house alone, you need architects, brick layers, plumbers, electricians, etc. So, remove the arrogant thought that you're a one-man army that can do it alone, life is not a Jet Li movie. 
  16. They Expect Others to be Like Them
   Expectations are a funny thing and it's hard not to have them. Many times when we do something for others or act a certain way it's like we've had an unwritten contract with them where they should act alike. For example, if you like someone they should like you back. In reality, this isn't the case and can never be so. Just look around your household, your siblings or parents don't act the same. Just because you do good to someone doesn't mean they'll do good to you too. Jesus didn't do anything bad to Judas yet he betrayed him. Not everyone will have similar intentions like you so it's best to do your part and then manage your expectations. If you don't you'll end up being disappointed repeatedly. For example, many people put their faith in Buhari (Nigerian president) and voted for him in 2015 when he was screaming change! Change! Change! Up and down and now many of them are regretting it. 
​ 17.  
Graduating from University = Guaranteed Success
  This is a false equation because graduating with good grades isn't a guarantee of success, at least not for many people. For example, Rihanna is a successful woman but she didn't even finish high school but everyone and their mama knows Ms Fenty. Nigerian parents emphasize the importance of going to university and graduating with 1st class or 2:1 so you can get a good job. We know say this formula no dey work again (this formula no longer works) unemployment is high, 1st class graduates are riding okadas (motorcycles for public transport). Even if you manage to get a job N50k salary is really not enough especially if you live in an expensive place like Abuja or Lagos; don't be stuck in the rat race (see Life After University). The way to survive is to be entrepreneurial, a problem solver, someone with marketable skills and building success habits (see 10 Key Habits of Successful People).
​ 18. 
Playing It Too Safe
   Risk taking is part of life and to develop yourself certain risks need to be taken. Denis Waitley said "life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing." For example, when I was learning how to skateboard at first I was scared but intrigued simultaneously because my friend was showing me how to do it. I was learning and for a while I didn't fall until one day when I was making a turn but got off with no scratches. The second time was on a cool April morning and I fell because of some mud and I got bruised on my knuckles, I told two of my close girl friends at the time but they got scared and told me to stop. The third time was the worst! It was Easter Eve and I was going too fast it was at LTB for my Essex peeps. I got a sprained ankle but still went to church the next day and for like 3 weeks my ankle was swollen and ya boy was limping. Guess what? After my ankle healed I got back on and let's say I can do alright for myself on a skateboard these days. 
  You should learn how to take calculated risks so that if it backfires it'll cushion the effect and that means planning (see 11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan). Risk taking doesn't mean you won't fail or get hurt. If you win you'll be happy and if you lose you'll be wise. I haven't fallen from my skateboard ever since unless you count that one time I was trying to show off to a girl lol.
  QOTD: "Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." - Oscar Wilde

  So, how many of these mistakes are you guilty of? Comment below, I'm guilty of at least 95% lol. Download my infographic below and Share it with this post link on social media. SUBSCRIBE to my blog so you don't miss a thing and to get instant access to my free e-books. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest. See ya next Monday.
 Previous post: 07 Ways to be More Patient

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<![CDATA[07 Ways to be More Patient]]>Mon, 30 Jul 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/patience
Credit: Adobe Stock, photo by ibreakstock
   "​Patience is a virtue", "the patient dog eats the fattest bone" these were sayings I used to hear growing up not so much these days. These were all ways to tell us that learning how to be more  patient was a good habit to possess especially for us young ones (see 5 Ways to Maintain Good Habits). I remember that my friend, Z once replied to the patient dog quote by saying “because the fastest dogs have already eaten the meat” and everyone burst into laughter. It's funny but it shows the mentality of impatience that floats around. Who can blame us though? When you see that the fast life is very attractive and flashy. Patience usually wins but ironically you
have to be patient to see it happen. 

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  What Is Patience?
  "Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty, or annoyance without getting angry or upset." Another definition is that it is the ability to wait on something or someone without getting annoyed or anxious and it is one of the pillars of success.  
   ​Are "Patience" and "Waiting" The Same? 
Credit: Know Your Meme
​ I believe that if patience and waiting were in the same company, waiting will be a lower level worker and patience will be the C.E.O. Patience isn't just about waiting plainly or aimlessly, it's about waiting with intent and in order to take certain actions at the right time. Patience in many regards doesn't mean be idle, because you know what they say "an idle man is the devil's workshop", you have to put in the work! For example, we've heard a billion and one songs about how an artist was broke and then their lives took a crazy turn for the better. Some of these artists were working low income jobs and also making music which culminates into a 'fateful day' or a hit song. If they were merely waiting then it may seem like a waste of time but if you're patient you'll feel you're investing your time.  Remember that...
Credit: Adobe Stock taken by Marek
 ​ Benefits of Patience
Patience is a skill that we should all possess but sadly many of us don't. Some are naturally more patient than others but that shouldn't discourage others who aren't to not acquire the skill  of patience. Patience is closely linked to success like this...
Credit: Nairaland
​​Here are the 3 main benefits you`ll get by becoming more patient:
 i. Less Stress
 Panic and impatience are closely linked together and of course they lead to stress. Patience on the hand is more attributed to being calm and collected in the midst of the crashing waves of life. Patience is also closely related with religious figures who were enlightened. For example, in the Bible, there was a story about Jesus and some of his disciples where there was a sea storm, he was calmly sleeping and his disciples were panicking so they had to wake him up and he told the sea to be quiet and it obeyed. Stress gone! For some practical tips on reducing stress see 7 Effective Stress-Busting Techniques for Salespeople by Tenfold.  By becoming more patient you'll greatly reduce stress in your life. There's the popular saying 'good things come to those who wait' and when you understand this concept you'll be more welcoming of patience into your heart leading to less stress. For example, farmers know that when they plant seeds that depending on the type of seed they will require various degrees of patience, corn takes about 6 months or little more and an orange tree take years to produce fruit. If farmers start getting annoyed with the orange tree after 6 months then they must be mad. 
 2. Your Decision-Making Game Gets Stronger! 
  Impulsive decisions are cool and all but they don't always work and definitely not for everyone. Good decision-making requires a cool head and rationality to arrive at the best option (see Indecisive Much? How to Deal with Indecision in 10 Ways!). This will require patience, you may have heard the saying "never reply when you're angry. Never make a promise when you're happy. Never make a decision when you're sad." All these things are emotions and they are subject to change quickly and they usually lack the patience of rationality. Assessing your decisions and then making them patiently will lessen the chances of making rash decisions or making preventable mistakes.  You don't want a situation of 'had I known'... those kinda sentences never end well.  
 3. You Can Develop Better Relationships 
  When you're more patient with others you get to build better relationships instead of burning bridges more often than you should. It doesn't mean you should let them take you for granted but you should be more understanding of the next person. For example, if you're working with people, micromanaging them is not beneficial  because they'll talk behind your back and it may yield sub par results. When you're more patient with people they tend to appreciate it. Who wouldn't appreciate someone who understands no one is perfect and accommodates their mistakes and shortcomings?
 Impatience according to the Cambridge dictionary means "the feeling of being annoyed by someone's mistakes or because you have to wait." And "the feeling of wanting something to happen as soon as possible."
  We all get impatient for several reasons, maybe your pizza delivery guy is taking too long or the old woman in front of you is taking too long to check out of the grocery store or the truck in front of you is keeping you stuck in traffic. You'll probably say things like "this is taking forever" or "this person is getting on my nerves" or if we're honest you'll use a curse word or two. In his book, The Assignment Mike Murdock said our body doesn't like waiting and it reacts to it, funny enough the few times our body is more willing to wait involves procrastination lol (see 8 Practical Solutions to Procrastination). Here are a few physical signs of impatience according to WikiHow
 - Tension in your muscles
- Restlessness, jiggling feet or legs
- Clenching of your fists
- Short breaths
- An elevated heart rate
- Irritability or anger
- Tapping of fingers
   How to be More Patient
​   For the purposes of these tips patience will cover things from the mundane like waiting on the queue, anger, stress, achieving your dreams or figuring your life out, habits, social media etc.   Without further ado here are some tips on how to be more patient:
 1. Understand And Counteract Your Triggers
   Impatience is a habit and just like any other habit it is triggered. For everyone their trigger(s) may differ but they're only there to kick start the habit (see How to Break Your Bad Habits). One of the first things you have to do to know what triggers your impatience. For example, what triggers you to send a series of texts when the person hasn't replied you after 5 minutes? What thoughts or feelings made you trigger happy with your fingers, texting away? 
  You should to proceed to ask yourself why are you feeling this particular way? Why is the fact that your text has gone unanswered after 5 minutes vex you? Perhaps you're insecure (see Beefing Up Your Security: How to Overcome Insecurity) or you're in urgent need of immediate assistance or it may be some thing else. Some other reasons for impatience may be underestimating the task you're carrying out, the weather (it rains too much or the summer heat refuses to come down), or your gadgets malfunctioning (my laptop is being a dickhead right now) etc.    
  Next thing to do is to create a personal plan on how  to deal with your triggers (see 11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan). Make a list of your most common triggers.  Ask yourself what you can do to keep the door closed wherever and whenever impatience comes knocking in these situations.

  Once you've answered these questions then you'll understand your triggers better and can work resolving them through a step-by-step process. Some common techniques are counting to 10 or breathing exercises. Don't be afraid to get creative with your solutions, they don't have to be conventional because results are what counts.  "Give yourself time to change; it won’t happen overnight, but you’ll be able to improve yourself in time."
​ 2. Build Self-Confidence
  Impatience can occur as a result of disappointment, frustration, lack of understanding or even insecurity. It's quite the complex feeling and it sucks when you look around you and see others progressing but you feel stuck (see 10 Ways to Get Unstuck in Life). You want things to go as you hope or even for something to happen, anything! All that happens seems to be nothing. You want to speed things but that ain't working either, mean how do you make a snail go faster? Maybe dip it in nitro like the Turbo movie? When you're self-confident you can accept that some things take more time so you'll need to exercise patience (see 12 Tips to Boost Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem). You can't fight against it just move along with it. To become more patient, you need to  realise that patience and confidence go hand in hand and try not to compare yourself to others too much (see Stop Comparing Yourself! It's a Losing Game!). 
 3. Make Yourself Wait
  Social media has made instant gratification more instant that it has ever been. Instagram likes, Facebook shares or Twitter retweets can show you instant result! This sort of gratification looks great and may seem like the best option but we've seen the repercussions it can have, i.e. the lengths people can go to keep up appearances. For example, summer '17 there was a story buzzing about a girl in the U.K., RLT who went on YouTube to say she was broke and had little time left to be able to stay in the UK, her visa was expiring and she didn't have money to sort it out. On Instagram she posted a lot of pics of her in expensive clothes, shoes and whatnot only for her to turn around saying she can't afford the visa fees. So people were wondering how she had all those expensive items but couldn't afford the fees, correct me if I'm wrong but she said that she didn't keep the items, she gave them back to the brands.
  Lack of patience is what makes so many young people go for the fast life or easy way out which for the most part involves crime such as yahoo yahoo (internet scamming), rape, ritual killings, drug dealing, theft, gang violence etc. The truth is that staying in that life doesn't end well, if you drive too fast you'll lose control and crash. Proverbs 21: 6 says "the riches you get by dishonesty soon disappear, but not before they lead you into the jaws of death". For example, if you've watched Narcos (based on true events) then you'll know about Pablo Escobar who was a notorious Colombian drug entrepreneur who had at least $30 billion but  ended up being killed on a roof top or Osama Bin Laden who ended up being killed and put on the news everywhere.
 It is better to wait because it'll make us happier in future especially when you're eating the fruits of your labour. T
he only way to learn how to be patient is continuous and meaningful practice. You can start with delaying favourite TV show, delay your reaction to annoying or stressful situations or people, etc.  It might seem inconsequential now but it is a build up of small things that make up big things, for example, the human body is made up of millions of very small cells.
 4. Leave Your Comfort Zone
 There's this mentality of being comfortable all the time and we tend to get impatient with discomfort like fire under our asses we jump up immediately! Nothing lasts forever especially something as fleeting as 'comfort', it only occurs in moments. Embrace being uncomfortable like it is your long lost twin and you'll build up more patience.  So, let go of the notion that you have to be comfortable all the time and watch how your life begins to transform subsequently.
 5. Perspective Change
  In this life, you can't control too much but you can certainty control and change your perspective. How you see something will determine how you behave. If you find yourself in an unwanted situation, try to look for something interesting or a silver-lining to it to shift you away from impatience.  Impatience might make you feel good in the moment and why not your hormones are having a field day but focusing on the interesting or positive has a greater and better effect in the long run. 
 You can also try to be productive if you find yourself  in a position where you have to wait especially more than you bargained for, this way you can practice time management (see The Clock is Always Ticking: 13 Time Management Tips) and patience at the same time. For example, if you find yourself in a waiting room you can read an interesting book.
  Most people struggling with patience can never answer this question.
 “Why are you in such a hurry?”
  Most of you that'll read this are between 18-30 and may be in a rush to want to 'make it', yes the fast life keeps calling and just like the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, it is very easy on the eye but the repercussions are grave and social media doesn't really help either, people are steadily flexing on the gram. I remember saying to my boss that I feel like I don't have enough time to figure things out, she asked how old I was, I told her and she said that I'm still quite young and some things require time and patience and figuring things out is one of them. So in short, "try to keep an open perspective and don’t give yourself useless stress."
 6. Exercise & Meditation
  Exercise is a way to release stress built up inside like a geyser shooting out hot steam, think about it as stress excretion as you sweat. Impatience has a lot to do with stress for example, if you're stressed from work or school you're more likely to be more impatient with an annoying sibling and you may lash out and call them names.  Try to exercise on a frequent if not everyday basis, something as simple as stretching a quick 5 minute evening stroll while listening to music will release your stress making you a more cool headed person. If you wanna go the extra mile do some intensive training like HIIT (high intensity interval training), weight training, some people even do boxing as a way to channel their anger or release pent up aggression into punching bags. 
 Exercise also works to counteract your impulsive impatience in the moment. For example, my laptop has been giving me some issues and when I'm getting impatient with it I wanna punch the screen but I remember I need it so I take a break by walking for a bit. It usually works. 
    Meditating is definitely a way to deal with impatience but you don't have to be like Beyonce is in the GIF above, simply sitting normally is fine. Before meditating, take each moment of potential impatience to do a quick self-analysis of what is causing the impatience. Practice your deep breathing either by sitting or standing, notice your breathing patterns with your eyes closed, noticing the thoughts that float around your head but don't chase after any one or be frantic that you just thought of such a disgusting thing just let it all flow like a river undisturbed.  Impatience can cause muscle tension so when you meditate you'll be more relaxed and your heart rate slows down which happens the opposite way in exercise but it works regardless. Think of meditating like drinking a warm cup of tea in a spa with good music playing in the background. 
  You should meditate even when you're not necessarily feeling impatient so that you'll get used to it and can easily do it when it's needed. For meditation purposes, check out the Headspace app available on the Play Store and App Store, it has a nice British man talking with a very soothing voice lol. 
 A combination of both meditation and exercise I think would be yoga so you can give it a try. 
​ 7. Control Your Emotions
 Impatience can occur as an emotional response to stress but we can control our emotions, the bicycle doesn't ride the person, the person rides the bicycle. Being patient is a personal choice and sometimes you just have to force yourself to calm down. You can speak to yourself to calm down or just behave in a calm manner even when you're furious and eventually you'll be calm. For example, as kids, our parents may be angry with us but sometimes they try to calm down so they don't do anything rash to us. This is a 'fake it till you make it' situation so when you act calm your brain will slowly believe you and calm down. 
​ Please be respectable to others as well so you don't deliberately make anyone impatient, don't be a prick. If you're running late for something please let the other person or people know because their time is precious to them. 
​ On a final note, patience pays but impatience is costly. Patience is key to living a better life, a patient fisherman will catch more fish and a patient lion will eat the best meat and will not go hungry for long like the lions in Port Harcourt zoo. 
Port Harcourt zoo lions
Sad! Lionesses in Port Harcourt zoo
i. "Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they.” - Leonardo da Vinci 
 ii. "Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is "timing" it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way." - Fulton J. Sheen
Credit: Living Waters Bible Church
  What makes you impatient and have you overcome some of them? Comment below. Download my Infographic below and Share it social media with this post link. SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss out on anything and to get my free e-books, 10 Key Habits of Successful People and 11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan. Follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter & Pinterest. See ya next Monday.
   Related: 5 Tips for Dealing with Stress
  Previous Guest Post: The Clock is Always Ticking: 13 Time Management Tips
  Previous Blog Post: Life After University
How to be more patient
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<![CDATA[Life After University]]>Fri, 20 Jul 2018 06:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/life-after-university
Credit: University of Essex Students' Union
  ​As many of you receive your certificate, dressed up in your best attire, adorned with a gown and a hat (make sure you throw it up) and celebrating with loved ones. The next thing that happens is that you get hit with a reality cheque and it’s time to cash out. Many of you have wondered and pondered what to do with your life, balancing it with making money and having fun, spending time with loved ones and generally just being young. This post was inspired by graduation week in my uni, University of Essex, UK, shout out to all those graduating, congratulations!

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Realities of Post Uni Life

  Life after graduation initially is very refreshing, you're celebrating the fact you've reached a milestone and can now breathe some fresh air out of the educational system. After graduation, I was enjoying myself, it was the best time of my life, my counterparts went back to Nigeria for law school but I stayed back to redo a coursework. I was living my best life, had a summer job, went to London for Wireless Festival (3 day outdoor music festival in London), went to see Wizkid and The Weeknd (my favourite artists). I went to Notting Hill Carnival, (biggest street party in Europe, 2nd biggest carnival in the world after Rio). It was when I came back to Nigeria that real life started to dawn on me like 6 am. 
​  Post uni life will be different for everyone. Since I'm kind of in the system due to Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC), which is like a one year paid orientation to the workforce, I've asked some people who have graduated to talk about their experiences and  challenges in life after graduation. I used the initials of the people I know and kept those I don't know personally anonymous. So, with no further ado, here are some of things that may happen after graduation. 
  1. Realisations
 After asking several people many of them said they realised they’re now adults who have responsibilities such as job hunting, paying bills and taxes, etc. and they've had to come out of their shell liked  hatched eggs. Your life isn’t just yours, you’ve people to live for, your plans must be people considerate. Especially when you’re a first-generation graduate i.e. no one in your family has ever graduated from uni before you. (See Being Responsible is Quite Hard, But LET’S TRY!) 
 Some said there are barely any deadlines and usually no timetable or structure compared to being in school so you have to organise things yourself. Some said they got more busier and it often side tracks them from other things especially after they found jobs. Others said their jobs have been more benign and it isn’t as stressful or busy.
  In uni you were with people your age, who looked like you and had similar mindsets but in the ‘real world’, as my best friend, A.A. said, there is diversity of experience and you’re no longer necessarily striving for the same thing which in uni was a degree. J.I. said "you learn more about yourself as you begin to meet and work with people from different walks of life", it teaches you patience and intercultural sensitivity. Patience is so important because everything takes time so no need to rush. It can take two days, weeks, and some of the application processes take 6-9 months as was pointed out by F.R. and finding a job that is ‘entry level’ but still requires years of experience is such a struggle of adulting lol. 
 There's an underlying issue for many and that is ‘uncertainty of the future’, some embrace this uncertainty and some are afraid of it (see 5 Tips for Overcoming Fear).
 2. You Won’t Have Things Figured Out
Credit: Quote Master
  When you’re at uni level especially when it’s coming to the end, you get the "what's next?" or "what do you wanna do with your life?" questions regularly. There was a time my answer changed frequently depending on who was asking me; but I usually tried to avoid those questions. Even at the point of the white man butchering my name and receiving my diploma and subsequently getting on a plane to Nigeria, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. W.Q. said, ‘I didn’t know what field I wanted to go in until I started working”. There are artists who know the outcome of their painting from the start and some make it up as they go. There will be times when you have negative thoughts swimming around your head like tadpoles in a pond and your self-doubt will rear its ugly head but know that you can fight it and your situation is merely temporary (see How to Combat Negative Thoughts and Quieten Your Inner Critic). You can try your hands at different possible ventures, read books, attend seminars and workshops and eventually you’ll find something you like. You should look at your strengths and passion to guide you and if you're wondering about your purpose see 7 Methods to Help Find Your Life Purpose.
 3. Job Hunting
  This differs depending on the unemployment rate in your country. If you’re someone in Nigeria then unemployment is a big deal and it may be much more difficult to find a decent paying job. When you graduate many people become “automatically unemployed”. You may soon discover if you don’t get a job soon that job hunting is a full-time job but instead you pay for the work not the other way round. I’ve divided the job hunt into 3 parts: 
 i. Degree
Credit: TWENTY20
  The job market isn’t what it used to be 5-10 years ago. Everyone has a degree these days and when you graduate so does a huge number of young people. A bachelor’s degree holds less weight than it did during the time of our parents. In some countries not even going to uni is fine and your grades don't define you but if you’re in Nigeria, oga and madam please take your certificate o. F.R. said, “there’s the challenge of standing out after realising you’re a small fish in a tank of other fishes with the same qualifications, degree, internships and experience. For jobs it’s no longer just choosing the ‘best candidate’ it’s choosing the best out of the sea of basically the same candidate. Personality sets you apart. The degree isn’t the cake itself, it’s not even the icing, it’s the decoration on the cake.”
 ii. Application & CV
  K.U. said you need to fix your CV, you need to make sure it’s well written and sells you well on paper. it isn’t enough to go to the employability and career office at uni anymore. You should have your CV vetted, let it go through some qualified eyes if possible. Be vigilant of vacancies in and out of your field because you’re likely not gonna get a job based on your course; you won’t be the first lawyer who ended up in a bank. You should not limit yourself to your city or country, apply for both local and international opportunities. Don’t use the exact same CV to apply for multiple jobs even though they might be operating in the same field. Rookie mistake! If you’ve done a placement, your job search might be shorter because you have experience so, you’re more in demand.
 iii. Job Considerations 
 You need to consider if you want a job or a career, the former is temporary while the other is more permanent; you can liken the difference to weather and climate. You should also consider how much the job gives you and how much it takes; it isn’t all about the money, if you’re working 16 hours daily, even though the pay is pretty, you don’t have time for yourself and you’re always exhausted then sooner or later it will become a problem and prevention is better than cure. Consider how much you have to pay in commuting time and transport costs. If it takes far more than it gives then it isn’t a mutual relationship, it might as well be parasitic. You should consider whether your values coincide and not collide with your potential employers’ and you should’ve standards but sometimes it is better to lower your expectations and be more open minded. Like Kendrick Lamar said, “be humble” don’t expect a manager’s salary when you’re starting out. 
​ iv. Networking
 The saying "your network is your net worth" isn’t a lie, it’s never been! Networking is very important especially in places like Nigeria where jobs are largely based on who you know. Go to the right places and talk to people, if you don’t wanna do the physical one then do it online, use LinkedIn for professional purposes, many people have found jobs through it; you never know, it could be you too. If you don’t network you may be caught in the net of unemployment. It’s not just about being the best candidate at interview stage sometimes you gotta be on their mind prior to that. 
4. Mental Health
 After graduation, while adjusting to life outside the educational system you need to practice self-care and check on your mental health regularly. Your mental health is very important and sometimes the stress of job seeking can get to you, you can exercise, do yoga, cycle, take walks, meditate, spend time doing things you like to keep your MH stable. I want to talk about travelling, depression and uncertainty. If you have the opportunity you should travel. Depression can slowly creep in when you least expect it especially if things are not going as you hoped.  Uncertainty may come with the territory but if you let it fester too long it can become and infection and keep you stunted. 
​ i. Travelling 
  My friend from uni, J.A. decided to take a break from schooling after graduation, feeling burnt out by the educational system. He’s working part-time as a sports coach for primary schools and he uses his money to travel around, he’s been to Paris, Naples, Cardiff etc. He spends his time travelling and blogging about it (check out his blog) because he saw people at uni do it effortlessly and wanted to do it anyway. Travelling is great for your MH and it broadens your horizon and as for J.A., it has done wonders for him. You can also use this opportunity to network and look for jobs abroad.
​ ii. Depression
  The truth is that after uni, life can be depressing especially when you see your friends get jobs and you feel left behind so you compare yourself to others even though it only makes you feel worse (see Stop Comparing Yourself! It’s a Losing Game!). C.E.O. said, "I was home for 6 months after NYSC, everyone was being retained but my workplace didn’t retain people, I was hung out to dry. I was comparing myself, all my friends had a job except me.  I was depressed, I applied for two jobs and didn’t hear back from the first one and I got the second job, the pay was cool but I turned them down and subsequently got a much better job, less stress and more pay."  J.E. said the job search was incredibly stressful and demotivating but he got a job after 3 months in his field. K.K. said she faced depression and there’s pressure to find a job and it’s problematic when you find the wrong job.
​  If you're in Nigeria you might have to wait longer to secure a job but you can be entrepreneurial and create one for yourself and others. In this trying period, if you’re a defeatist then life will be a whole lot harder. So, buckle up and brace yourself for impact! It's only for a moment; the darkest night is still followed by sunrise. 
  iiiUncertainty: This can affect your MH in several ways but when you plan it can ease up your fear or anxiety of the future. You may feel indecisive but you'll need to be courageous to make certain decisions; these decisions won't make themselves and letting someone else do it isn't the best (see Indecisive Much? How to Deal with Indecision in 10 Ways!). You may feel  insecure (see Beefing Up Your Security: How to Overcome Insecurity) and that’s alright; you’re gonna be alright.  This phase of uncertainty and waiting is necessary because it is through problems that you really understand yourself. A sailor isn’t a good sailor until he has sailed successfully on troubled or uncharted waters. This stage can also show you your real friends as John Churton Collins said, “in prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.” In the same vein, you will need an effective support system as F.R. pointed out “my friends were very supportive during this period, just to talk to about where my head was at, future plans and just to give me perspective. You need to be careful that your friends are builders not hindrances.”

 6. Employed
  Congratulations! You’re now employed and so you’ll learn new skills you didn’t at uni because the ‘real world’ has more to offer. You'll probably not work in your field of study. This could be a blessing in disguise because it’s an opportunity to learn much more about the new field and thus arming yourself with the knowledge and skills the university never teaches you. Mark Cuban in his book, How to Win at the Sport of Business mentioned how he didn’t further his education because he would be the one paying to be taught whereas in his job at the time he was paid to learn. Whether you're employed or not, the next point apply to you, pay attention!
 7. Planning
 Planning makes your transition from education to the real world smoother and it will answer some pressing questions such as what next? Further studies? Job? Travel? Unemployment? etc. If you don’t know how to make an effective plan see11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan. Planning may involve a few things for you such as: 
 i. Goals: Having goals is amazing and you need a plan to give them substance. K.U. said that you need to “think bigger and have longer term goals. Keep persisting even if you’re in a job you don’t like. Make a monetary goal, keep working toward that. When you hit the goal, save everything and use the remaining money to improve yourself” (see How to Set Your Goals and Smash Them). There’s a possibility that due to several reasons such as pressure from yourself and others you might not get your dream job but will have to settle for something you don’t like because you have responsibilities or are tired of being home all day. So, while you’re doing this ‘unpleasant job’ you should have a hobby to balance things out or better still don’t get comfortable, in your free time go into other ventures and eventually you might be able to flip them into side hustles or proper businesses; CONTINUOUS SELF-IMPROVEMENT IS NECESSARY!
In other words, as J.I. said “…always think about continuing professional development and how you can use all your opportunities to make yourself more employable and increase your expertise in anticipation of the next door that’ll open”.
 ii. Moving Back Home: Luckily for me I don’t have any student loans to pay shout out God and my parents. I already know I’m moving back home for a while, it cut costs significantly, at home I only worry about money for going out, mobile data or airtime. 
  I dislike staying in the family house because every two seconds I hear my name and it’s incredibly annoying but in this economy, I can’t be doing independent life. It helps you with your saving goals so when you eventually move out you’ll be okay. Good money management really is key toward hitting saving targets and generally not burning through your money, you’re not omo baba olowo (child of a rich man) like Davido so please sit down at home. When I first returned home I had a good amount of money Lord have mercy on me it was gone in about a month or so because I was going out every two secs and blowing money fast like Rick Ross on myself and those with me. 
 7. Furthering Your Education? My office partner, I.D. said that being a student has a lot of benefits, they get handed a lot such as student discounts (shout out Unidays haha), no taxes, student loans (subject to where your nationality & status). Suddenly, you leave the nest, it could be hard so you wanna go back. You must question your intentions for furthering your studies. Do you want to go back to school because of boredom, unemployment, scared to face the real world, employment opportunities, fulfilment or something else?  When you’re thinking of PG especially abroad, you might have to consider if the courses will be offered in your language. A Twitter user said she moved to Denmark and was finding it difficult to find Masters programmes offered in English by Danish or Swedish universities but she’s been accepted and is on a 50% scholarship.  
 8. Social Life
 Back in uni I used to be called ‘bait’ meaning popular. I used to know a lot of people especially black people. I met people in different places: church, lifts, kitchens, clubs, on the road, in a car, in the person’s room etc. I used to say, “if I didn’t know, I know your friend”. I was quite adamant about it but fast forward a year later, I moved to a new city for NYSC and I only know a handful of people and I barely talk to anyone on my street and no one comes to my place etc. This makes sense because uni was such a big place it contained thousands of people around your age so it was easy to link up with people but your office is probably made up of around 100 people more-or-less. In other words, there’s a lot less going on, where you’re going, who you’re seeing and your social feel like it’s gone through a funnel. There’s also a huge possibility that you won’t like your colleagues at least enough to not wanna be seen with them outside work, I’m quite lucky in that regard I can go out with my colleagues but I barely do that.
​ 9. Was Uni a Waste of Time?
 This is a contentious question and it will differ from person to person but honestly, you don’t pay for the degree alone, you pay for the experience it’s like buying drinks in the club vs outside. One Facebook user said that he realised that: “college doesn’t teach you enough and it was a giant waste of money to go to a big school”. This even stings more when you have student loans to pay off and don’t get work in your field of study. Another user said that her course was “spiritually nourishing but absolutely irrelevant helping me to find employment. This was something I didn’t even consider…” Another user said she went to uni in Australia but upon graduation she felt anxious about the real world but 3 years post-graduation she was grateful for the experience. She acknowledged that it might be a waste of money for some but she sees it as ‘lesson’ not a waste. Through uni she’s learnt how to balance life and work. Going to uni meant she could do anything because she was the first to go to uni in her family. Another user said ‘a bachelor’s isn’t worth a thing nowadays, most jobs are entry level paying $30,000 and are jobs you don’t need a degree for. My uni colleague P.S. said, “I realized that I’ve grown up a lot, thinking that I can rely on myself based on my knowledge from uni”.
 In Nigeria your degree is still important, many employers won’t look you twice if you don’t have a certificate like that Skepta meme they don’t wanna hear it. So, to be on the safe side it is worth it.
Skepta. British GQ magazine interview with Naomi Campbell.
  Personally, I think it depends on what you studied and what you really wanna do. I studied law and I never really cared much for it but I’m grateful for all the people I met, I’ve made some life-long friends! I've tried to like law from reading to going to court and presently working in the legal dept of a govt agency all to no avail. I found myself toward the end thinking I should’ve studied literature. What is your situation? Did you enjoy your course or not? Comment below. Was uni a waste of time, money and energy for you or was it a valuable experience? Comment below.
   In conclusion, you need to hustle hard and persevere this means developing thick skin like a crocodile because you will be rejected, you’re not irresistible like party jollof rice. You’ll be disappointed but there’s light at the end of the tunnel but you need to maintain a positive attitude (see How to Develop a Positive Attitude). You’re gonna be alright! Be innovative, creative and experiment. You’ll learn more about yourself in failure than in success and you’ll find what you want eventually but celebrate your small wins.  Develop and cultivate some good money habits and know that you'll have to make a life-changing decision but don't fret, keep calm and move forward. 
 Do you have any further contributions? Comment below! Share this with your friends and on social media. SUBSCRIBE to my blog so you never miss a thing. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest. See ya on next time!
 Previous Post: 5 Tips for Overcoming Fear
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 Friday: 10 Key Habits of Successful People
 Monday: 8 Important Questions to Ask Yourself If You Want to be SUCCESSFUL!

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<![CDATA[5 Tips for Overcoming Fear]]>Mon, 09 Jul 2018 20:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/overcoming-fear
Overcoming fear
Overcoming your fears will take a while and will need you to keep trying. I know it may be scary but don't let fear keep you in regret, coulda, woulda, shoulda isn't what you need.

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​  Before going any further I'll need you guys to comment below a personal development topic I should talk about next time. This is also a shorter post because some of you prefer shorter ones so this is an experimental post comment below if you want me to keep my posts shorter.  Thank you!
     Introduction to Overcoming Fear

 If you’ve read a good number of my posts then you’ll notice I mention fear frequently. Fear is the Pablo Escobar of life, creating, distributing, dealing and causing many problems. When you face your fears, you discover they’re like dwarves in a giant robot. Fear isn’t always easily spotted it can hide behind things like laziness, procrastination, insecurities etc. 
    Fight-or-Flight Response?
    According to an article on Very Well Mind, the fight-or-flight refers to a physiological reaction that occurs when we perceive danger or threat either mentally (approaching deadline, worrying about losing a job) or physically (wild animal, weapon, etc). It is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety. It’s called fight-or-flight' because of the two choices available to our ancestor in the face of danger. They could either fight or flee. In either case, the physiological and psychological response to stress prepares the body to react to the danger. This response was initially described by Walter Cannon (American physiologist) in the 1920s. He realized that a chain of rapidly occurring reactions inside the body helped to prepare us for dealing with perceived danger. Today, fight-or-flight is also attributed to the first stage of Hans Selye's general adaptation syndrome, a theory describing the stress response which is characterised by rapid heartbeat and breathing, pale or flushed skin, dilated pupils, trembling etc.  This implies that fear causes stress and vice versa (see 5 Simple Tips for Dealing with Stress). I wanna leave you with a quote I saw on Instagram, it said fear has two meanings – face everything and rise or forget everything and run…I believe this is a simple way to explain fight or flight.
   5 Tips to Overcome Fear
  Our body can overreact to things that stress us that aren’t necessarily dangerous or life-threatening such as public speaking, work or domestic pressure, being broke (felt this one in my chest! Lol), etc. Personally, I see fear as an advisor, so, you can choose to take its advice or not but the problem arises when fear starts overstepping its boundaries and begins to seize control of your life. On that note, here a few ways to overcome fear when it comes knocking.
 1. Awareness: You can’t fight and certainly overcome something that you’re not aware of. Can you treat a disease you were unaware of? It’s not enough to be aware though, you must acknowledge that your fears are problematic to you and/or others. According to an article by Henri from Wake Up Cloud, it’s easy to get so attached to your thoughts and feelings that you think they're your entire make up, which really and truly is a lie. You're not your fears' you're much more! You're the awareness that experiences it. Fear and anxiety can feel as if they 'just happen to us', but we have much more control than we realise. When you realise that you can control your fears and not just be a victim of them then the fight can really begin!
 2. Identify Bogus Beliefs: Some fears are a result of false beliefs or superstitions, for example, a common superstition in Nigeria is that fully black cats=bad luck.  So, when some people see a black cat especially at night rationality is thrown out the window and can do the most to avoid them. You should identify these thinking patterns and start questioning them. If you’re afraid of public speaking (America’s #1 fear) then, what kind of thoughts does your mind conjure up when you’ve been asked to give a talk? Do you think everyone may start laughing at you or worse throwing stuff at you like that man that threw a shoe at George W. Bush? Do some research into understanding your actual risk versus perceived risk. Recognize that the worse-case scenario is really unlikely. You must discard your negative self-defeating thoughts and tell your inner critic to stop lying to you (see How to Combat Your Negative Thoughts and Quieten Your Inner Critic); like Donald Trump says, you can just say it’s “fake news” lol. For example, if you’re afraid of dogs like me then you can say to your negative thoughts that “I recognize that some dogs are vicious, but the vast majority of dogs are gentle. It is unlikely I will get bitten.”
 3. Fight it with Positivity: When fear strikes it can change our perspective and cast a dark shadow over us in certain situations. So, whenever you’re afraid, try to change your perspective again and flip it over like pancakes. Instead of doing the usual and thinking of the negative side, look at the silver lining in your dark cloud. What’s a positive outcome to your fear? If you’re thinking about going to talk to your crush then instead of thinking you’ll be rejected, think that you’ll leave with the number and even secure yourself a date but please don’t start thinking of marriage o lol.
 4. Gradual Exposure: One way to overcome your fear is to gradually expose yourself to it after you’ve identified and dealt with your bogus beliefs. Humans have a high ability of getting used to things or being adaptable; so, it may just take being exposed to your fear to get over it. According to an article on WikiHow,  "Fear of the unknown" is usually used to describe the automatic aversion people feel to something that's different. Some things just need some warming up to.  So, if you're afraid of public speaking, start by watching videos of great speeches. Then, write your own speech and practice like you’re singing in the shower. Practice it until you don’t feel tense, nervous or afraid. Give a short speech in front of your friends or family. You can proceed to giving one at church or classroom. Try giving a speech at a small social event, then bigger ones and from there you’ll be good to go!
 5. Proper Planning: Planning is a very essential part of overcoming fear. It is likely that you’ve been having your fears for a while and possibly even tried to face it without a plan and ended up unsuccessful. When you don’t have a plan then worrying, over analysing and overthinking will become the order of the day (see9 Ways to Tackle Overthinking); it’s usually what happens when you’re called out of the blue to give a speech unexpectedly especially when you’re no good at speeches. The solution is to always be prepared mentally even if you don’t have any speeches planned; you must set very clear goals (see How to Set Your Goals and Smash Them) with a detailed and effective plan on how you’ll go about accomplishing said goals (see 11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan). The main ingredient to any effective plan must now be added which is taking action. Taking action towards meaningful goals will help you relieve stress (major contributor to fear) and you'll "taste the feeling" of enjoyment like Coca Cola. Fear creeps in and paralyzes us when we don’t plan our lives.
  Bonus: When you feel fear or anxiety when you wanna do something like public speaking use the AWARE acronym which means:
-A: Accept the anxiety. Don't try to fight it.
-W: Watch the anxiety.
-A: Act normally.
-R: Repeat the above steps in your mind if necessary.
-E: Expect the best.
   QOTD: “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
  That’s it from me guys now it’s your turn because we’re a team!
   Your turn
 Are there any things you’re afraid that you can tell us or do you have extra tips on overcoming fear? or do you have a topic request? Comment below. Share this post on social media if you found it useful. SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss out on anything and to get my free e-books, 10 Key Habits of Successful People and 11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest. See ya next Monday.
  Previous Post: Being Responsible is Quite Hard But, LET’S TRY!

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