Dedication: I dedicate this story to my family - Mum, Dad, Siblings and lovely daughter & Mentors.
I believe I am one person who was born lucky, and this is because of all the support system I have had growing up. Having five siblings meant I had play buddies all through, I had study mates and cheerleaders. We created memories that live on, and have inside jokes that only we, understand. Being an above average student, I went to a great institution of higher learning and secured employment as soon as I was done with my final exams. I had many friends and acquittances and my days were busy with meetings, hosting and hanging out with friends and family. I invested in my friendships.
There is a saying that goes, “You will only know your true friends when you get in trouble, or need help”. This was a reality when I lost my job. Friends who hang around me and visited every week disappeared. They stopped picking my calls. Not only was this shocking, but also left me deeply heartbroken. I had never doubted intentions of people I called friends, and never had boundaries with them, a mistake I deeply regret. After wallowing in sorrow for months, I decided it was time to collect myself and move on with life. I decided to keep the few inner circle team who stood by me and supported me through the difficult time. At this point, my love and respect for my family grew to a whole new level. I learnt what true love is from them at my most difficult period. They cheered me up, encouraged me and supported me in all ways.
I signed up for a personal development program during the period I was reinventing myself. It was the first time I came across the word ‘Mentorship’ and what it meant. I was assigned a mentor for a year. This is where I got my Aha! Moment. “A mentor is someone who is more experienced than you in a given aspect of your life, and chooses to journey with you and guide you to be the best you can be in that aspect”. My mentor saw and pointed out the strengths in me that will propel me in life. Some of these strengths were as simple as:- You are an amazing storyteller, a great listener, commitment to a course etc., Having someone remind me of what is great about me, opened a door for self-love, self-affirmation and self-care. I started believing in the beauty of my dreams that were almost lost. My eyes were opened to the endless possibilities of the amazing things I can accomplish and do, to make the world a better place for all humanity.
Mentorship exposed me to the amazing person I am, and through my journey with different mentors for seven years now, I have, and I am still blooming and becoming the phenomenal woman I am meant to be. I have intentionally pursued my career path with passion, I have read books and taken courses that improve my knowledge and skills every single day. I am committed to mentor other young people that come after me, to ensure that they have an advantage to learn from my mistakes and get lessons that propel them in life. This way, in my way, I create a ripple effect in mentorship for a better future.
My career mentors have walked the journey with me. They have called me out on things I need to work on, have exposed me to opportunities that build my capacity, increase my network and build my resilience. Their support and passion to give back through mentorship is unmatched. As Maya Angelou posited, “Your Legacy will be every life you touched” My mentors’ legacy is in my transformed life, and in every young person whom I passed on the knowledge, skill, and lessons I received from my mentors.
One thing is very clear to me, that whatever you believe you can do, you will. I have accomplished every goal I have set out for myself, simply by staying out of my own way. I let go of self-doubt, hesitation and procrastination, and my self-belief has enabled me achieve the impossible each year. With the lessons picked over time, I intentionally audit my friendships, to ascertain if we are adding value in each other’s life or not, and unapologetically let go of those that do not serve me. I have learnt to create healthy boundaries with everyone I interact with, and have come to enjoy alone time every week, to reflect on my life, exercise gratitude and set new aspirations.
I know better days are ahead. I am excited about what the future holds, and match on with all confidence to achieve new goals. As I continue thriving, I know I will continue blooming and becoming, and will continue mentoring, as much as I am mentored, to create a positive ripple effect. I will continue seeking other people stories, as much as I share mine, because stories empower, liberate, give hope, create compassion and enable us be our best selves unapologetically!