Why wait for validation from others?

Whether we would like to admit it or not, a part of us strives to be liked by others. Strives to be accepted. Subconsciously, we want every move we make to be a strategic one, it has to be perfect otherwise what would people think, what would they say? But why do the opinions of others matter so much in a life that belongs solely to you?

Looking for validation in others is something that we start to do from a very young age. We start looking for it in our first set of friends making sure they like us in the fear of having to spend our break times playing alone. We ensure we over excel during class time, arguably for our parents approval, but also for the reassurance from our teachers. To prove to them (and to ourselves) that we are worthy of their praise, the well done stamps in our books and the gold stickers. As we grow older, this then moves onto us seeking validation from our potential long term friends and partners, by ensuring we are enough for them and worthy of their affection.

Now, I do believe to an extent validation can be beneficial for us in some ways including the obvious reason of it being a major confidence boost for some, however it can soon turn into a hindrance, a blockage even once our need for validation from others prevents us from effectively executing our purpose in life. Mentally and emotionally, our constant need to secure green lights from others before we make decisions is very damaging and could affect your own ability to make self assured decisions for yourself. The decisions you make, whether it be romantically or professionally will affect you first before the decision trickles on and affects others. So they should be made in your favour, not anybody else’s.

There is also this idea that the only way the gifts we are given or ideas we have will prosper is if they are first accepted by others. And that we should only put plans into motion if they’re going to lead us to unimaginable successes. But what happened to doing what you’re passionate about for the sheer love of it and acquiring everything else that may come with it as a bonus? Without going off on a tangent, doing things for the wrong reasons, will only end with you being disappointed once things don’t turn out how you anticipate. Pursue what it is you want to pursue, no matter how anybody feels towards it. If it makes you feel good, do it. Once you start living your life purely for you, you will begin to reap the benefits. So live your best life, unapologetically.

 

 

 

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Why wait for validation from others?

Put back on your wig 

Now from the title, you may be confused. But yes we will be having a talk about wigs today. The easy to make, versatile, convenient bundles of joy. So now we got that out of the way, let’s talk.

Growing up, hair has always been a topic of conversation. Whether it be at home, at school, or even in documentaries – it was and still is, everywhere. I can vividly remember the compliments, the snide remarks and even looks given to me regarding my hair. And as sad or happy as they had made me feel at the time, they had never made me feel angry. Until now.

Due to the convenience of wigs, they’re usually my go to when getting ready for work. However, there was one day I decided to just wear my hair out. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t at all concerned about what people may think, because I was but at no point did I think anyone would make comments, but I was definitely proven wrong. During my break, I was met by ignorance, from a “black brother” who proceeded to laugh and question the whereabouts of my wig once he saw me. Confused, I asked what do you mean, to which he replied “your wig, you need to put it back on.”

My naivety to the idea that someone of the same complexion of me, could not ridicule something that also grows out of their own scalp, had me stunned that day. Now don’t get me wrong, yes the comment was probably made in jest but that also highlights another fundamental point – to think before you speak, as words can affect people. Comments like that and those similar, cause people to hate the things that are unique to them, things they have no input into how they’re moulded and shaped, things which are natural.

At first the assumption to this situation could be that this was subconscious everyday texture discrimination as no other natural, apart from me, miss 4B/C was singled out, whilst the girls with the looser texture were not. However, having received similar comments with relaxed hair, to me it just confirms an already popular narrative.

Natural hair is only acceptable to some, when it is of a certain look. As uncomfortable as it is to admit, it’s the truth. And until people begin to believe that this is not okay, then that’s is when they will start to make the steps to change and rectify their thinking from the inside, out.

Another crucial point that needs to be mentioned is that, if a woman wears weave, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love herself any less nor does it make her more attractive than if she was to wear her own natural hair. If a woman relaxes her hair, it doesn’t mean she hates her hair texture. If a woman wears her hair in braids, it doesn’t make her any more “woke” or desirable than her frontal wearing neighbour. A woman’s hair is hers to do whatever it is she wants to do with it.

And finally, to my beautiful women, there are people out there who will love you and your hair, however you want to wear it. Please, with all your power make sure those are the people you keep in your life. The people that will continuously appreciate you and what you have to offer.  The people who embrace and encourage you to just to be you. Those are the ones who matter.

Put back on your wig 

Don’t forget to adjust your outlook

Looking back, I can definitely say I used to make slightly rash decisions. Career decisions, money decisions, friendship decisions you name it, were all made with little to no thought. Fortunately, as I have come to realise or better word accept who I am and what my purpose is, my decision making has progressed immensely. However I would like to point out that ultimately, the decisions you make are only as bad as you allow them to be. To make it simple, decisions are similar to regrets. The regrets you feel could easily turn into lessons, it all just depends on how you look at it. So a decision that is deemed as “bad” can also be seen as a “good” (or useful) decision. All just depends on how you view it and remembering that through everything, you can reflect and take something from it.

For those that don’t know, I am currently a first year Psychology student. However, prior to that I had don a year at university already, so the change in course placed me back to square one. And I knew that would be the case. When I applied again and switched courses, I was well aware of what would happen however I was just so happy for the change that I guess the reality of the situation hadn’t really sunken in yet. But as the academic year has gone by and the realisation that the majority of my peers will be graduating next year crept in, a sort of solemnness began to settle over me. For as long as I can remember, it was always a weird goal of mine to graduate at 21, like I said weird, but it stuck with me. However I had to accept that this will not be the case, adjust my views a full 180 and remember why I am doing what I am doing.

Now you may be thinking, “it is not the end of the world to graduate a year later” especially as it will only be beneficial to me in the long run however, I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. And ultimately what may bother me, may not bother you and vice versa. So I want you to think about what you may be going through. You could be working a job you hate to help save for your dream car or retaking an exam to help boost your grade or even undertaking a career path despite everyone around you advising you against it. No matter what it is, I just want to reinforce that do what you have to do and do it well. Discipline yourself to work hard so that you will be able to see your end goal.

When it all boils down to it, life is full of tribulations and sacrifice. Life as a first year student again for me just seemed like a constant, unnecessary stress ball. Working a job to be able to fend for yourself may seem like an endless annoying struggle. But like anything in life, it needs to be done. All the most annoying tasks, are stepping stones to where you need to be, so keep pushing. Through every setback keep persevering. You are born to fulfil a higher purpose, a purpose bigger than you but one God has equipped you to handle nonetheless. So please remember through it all, to not allow anyone the opportunity to try and convince you that you are not able to become anything less than the great person you are meant to be.

Anything you want me to cover on my blog? Feedback? Just want to talk? For any of the above and more, you can interact with me on twitter:

Twitter – @Nassamula 

Alternatively, email me at alenasthoughts@gmail.com

Don’t forget to adjust your outlook

Human errors

“strive for progress, not for perfection”

Lashing out unexpectedly, upsetting the people around me, knowing I shouldn’t do something but doing it anyway and the list of all the wrong things I do goes on and on. All of these things listed above fall under a category of “bad” however just because I may do them does not make me a bad person; all of these acts are mere reminders that I am not without faults.

In today’s society, it seems like almost everyone is trying to gain perfection however it is rarely mentioned that “perfection” is almost a completely unattainable goal and a goal that shouldn’t cause us unwarranted upset and anxiety. We shouldn’t reprimand ourselves for making mistakes as they are normal. Mistakes are just mistakes, they do not define us nor do they devalue us. They should be seen as the triggers which stimulate personal growth and provide you with lessons from you will only be enhanced as an individual. So instead of being discouraged, I believe mistakes should be welcomed.

Another topic I would like to discuss is forgiveness and it’s importance.

Wrongdoings from others is something that we experience from a young age and can only get worse as we get older. And once someone does us wrong it is easy to point the finger and harbour the rage and feelings of hurt towards the person who did us dirty but what does that do – nothing. As hard as it may be, try and learn to forgive, for without forgiveness what do we really have? Forgiveness is as much for you, (if not more) as it is for the person you are forgiving. Most of the time when we forgive, we let go of the hate, anger and sadness that has been subconsciously stopping us from moving forward. Forgiveness allows you to flourish and not be hindered by the negativity which will stop you from being the best you can be.

Alongside forgiving others, be sure to also learn to forgive yourself for your past, as it can consequently affect your future. Above all forgive yourself for things that are out of your control and focus more on things you can control like your happiness. Everyone wants to be happy and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be. Forgiving and gaining control of your life and your happiness are some of the greatest (free) gifts you can give yourself and one everybody is worthy of. So do not begrudge yourself of what is truly yours.

Anything you want me to cover on my blog? Feedback? Just want to talk? For any of the above and more, you can interact with me on the following platforms:

Twitter – @Nassamula 

Tumblr – http://alenasthoughts.tumblr.com

Alternatively, email me at alenasthoughts@gmail.com

Human errors

Three Ts

“It is not enough to be busy, so are ants. The question is what are we busy about?”

Henry David Thoreau

First of all happy new year! I pray that 2017 brings you blessings and happiness in abundance.

The beginning of the year is normally the starting point for many people to change what went wrong last year, in order to have a more successful one this time around. In saying that, I would like to share a few things for you to reflect on that I think will help you get the most out of your new year.

I am not proud to say that sometimes at church my mind wanders, leading me to day dream. So it was during one of those day dreaming sessions that the priest mentioned the three Ts – this of course caught my attention so intrigued, I sat up and listened. “We have three things to give to the world,” he went on to say, “ our time, our treasure and our talent.”

Our time is one of the free things we have to offer. It is also a commodity we can never get back, highlighting how special it really is. Same way we are not able to get time back, we are also not guaranteed that the hours we received today, we will receive them tomorrow. Think carefully about how you utilise your 24 hours and think about what you can do to make sure you are getting the most out of them.

In addition to that, I would like to touch on the idea that there is a time for everything and although it may not seem like it, what you want will come when the time is right. Now this may seem annoying but in short, you can’t receive everything you want especially when you aren’t ready for it. God will only give you things you can handle and he will give them to you when the time is right.

Our treasure, in other words our worldly possessions – money, cars, jewellery etc all the “nice” things. We all want to multiply our treasure but is it with good reason, or just to “stunt”? There is the argument that money doesn’t change a person but only enhances how they already were. My thoughts, is that money does and should change you but for the better. Money shouldn’t make you greedy, but it should give you humility, gratitude and empathy for those without.

With an increase in your treasure, there should also be an increase in how much you give. In order to be blessed with more, you have to give more, sounds weird but why should you receive more treasure, if you’re just going to be selfish with it? When you leave this earth, your legacy will come from your outstanding character not by the amount of things you left behind.

Now our talents, my personal favourite, purely because our talents are unique to every single one of us. Nobody will be able to do what it is you do, the same way you do it – now if you don’t think that’s amazing then I don’t know what else to say to you. Talents are meant to be shared with the world, not harboured inside like an invalid. However big or small you perceive your talent to be, the impact it can make on someone else is profound so if you aren’t sharing yours now, then that is something for you to consider. And if you are not sure what your talent is, pray on it and reflect. Truly reflect on who you are, look inside yourself and you will find it. Contrary to what you may think, we all have talents and God wants you to tap into yours.

With this in mind, I hope this can help you to have a prosperous new year and I hope it aids to the formation of a better you.

Anything you want me to cover on my blog? Feedback? Just want to talk? For any of the above and more, you can interact with me on the following platforms:

Twitter – @Nassamula 

Tumblr – http://alenasthoughts.tumblr.com

Alternatively, email me at alenasthoughts@gmail.com

Three Ts

Be yourself

For as long as I can remember the internet has always had a social aspect to it. From sites like Mulberry, Stardoll and Bebo, to the more prominent ones today like Twitter and Facebook. And like the impressionable youngster that I was, I created the accounts for the majority of them. Even though most of the time I wasn’t allowed to be on these sites, I made accounts anyway. I wanted to be like everyone else around me and back then, having these accounts made me “fit in”.

However years later, I am failing to understand how social media is still held to such high esteem when viewing others and determining how they are accepted into society. Follower counts, how many likes they receive in pictures, retweets and the list goes on with criteria used to prejudge a person. We should be able to go about in life, with or without social media and still be seen the same. Not as weird if we don’t use social media but as a normal person with our own preferences.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with social media. You just have to ensure you don’t allow it to engulf you in its destructiveness. One thing to always remember is whilst online we have an automatic responsibility to act right and kind to not only our cyber neighbour but to ourselves. Many young people find themselves in sticky situations over a careless post or comment, causing ripples of consequences such as being outcasted by friends and sometimes family, which can lead to exclusion, loneliness, anxiety and the list goes on. And this can all be avoided if we just took time to think before doing something reckless. There is no need to act out of character on social media, especially if that is not how you are on a daily basis. Authenticity is all that you need. Moreover it is a lot easier to be yourself then to attempt to be a replica of somebody else.

If you need to make a change in the way you act or portray yourself online (or if you know someone who does) rectify your ways whilst you still can. The truth is time waits for no one and the frivolous posts you were making today could cost you the vital opportunity you need tomorrow. And whilst the things you say online may only affect you momentarily, always remember they can be found for a very long time after that.

Anything you want me to cover on my blog? Feedback? Just want to talk? For any of the above and more, you can interact with me on the following platforms:

Twitter – @Nassamula 

Tumblr – http://alenasthoughts.tumblr.com

Alternatively, email me at alenasthoughts@gmail.com

Be yourself

Miss Face of East Africa UK

So around exam season this year I came across the Miss Face of East Africa UK twitter account (@OfficialMFEAUK ) and my curiosity piqued. After checking out their social media, I found out their purpose. @OfficialMFEAUK aim to empower East African women and also build a network between East Africans by showcasing the various East Africans doing big things in their community and field of interest, all of which can be seen by just visiting their social media page. The Miss Face of East Africa UK pageant was “designed to empower the leadership and entrepreneurship of our fellow East African females”. What they are setting to achieve is definitely appreciated and needed, especially for young East Africans living in the diaspora as I believe we are somewhat underrepresented at times.

Once I heard the Ted Talk by Shonda Rhimes titled Year of Yes, I made a promise to myself to say yes to every opportunity and to do things I wouldn’t normally do (I will go into more detail about this in a different post). With this in mind, I decided to apply for the pageant. At this point I had nothing to lose and even if I didn’t win, I would gain and nurture different qualities within myself, well at least that’s what I thought and I was definitely right. From the moment I became a finalist, Claudia Namukasa and Latiffah Kabenge, the managing directors and founders of Miss Face of East Africa UK, have definitely helped me to gain more confidence through the rehearsals and personal meetings that have been conducted in preparation for the finale.

Along with the Claudia and Latiffah, there are also several brand ambassadors. As part of this years competition, they are also looking to find a chief brand ambassador for 2016/17. If you have a spare moment, please vote for me, contestant 5, via this link http://missfaceofeastafricauk.com/contestants/ . Voting closes on the 19th September 2016.

With the date that I am writing this piece being the 13th September, there is just little over a month until the Miss Face of East Africa UK finale. This will take place on the 15th October at Epic Dalston. Tickets start from £25 and can be purchased through this link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/miss-face-of-east-africa-uk-2016-tickets-27077380173 . However there are numerous brand ambassador discount codes, so be sure to look for those on twitter before you make your purchase. It is definitely not an event to miss out.

Miss Face of East Africa UK contact information and social media

Website – http://missfaceofeastafricauk.com

Email – info@missfaceofeastafricauk.com

Youtube – Official MFEA UK

Twitter – @OfficialMFEAUK

Instagram – officialmfeauk

Anything you want me to cover on my blog? Feedback? Just want to talk? For any of the above and more, you can interact with me on the following platforms:

Twitter – @Nassamula 

Tumblr – http://alenasthoughts.tumblr.com

Alternatively, email me at alenasthoughts@gmail.com

Miss Face of East Africa UK