Indecision

Slide2.PNGIndecision. The sister to procrastination. Together, they can ruin your life effortlessly while you’re running around wondering what’s going on. When life gives you choices to pick from, just pick. Don’t try to be the smarty pants. If it’s what you really want, then there is no better choice. So what causes indecision? For some people, it’s been happening so long they don’t remember if their was even a starting point but for some there is.

It begins when you lose your childlike innocence and realize that every decision comes with consequences and now, you want to make the best decision given the choices available. Guess what happens eventually? You pick neither. You become so afraid of picking wrong that you do no pick at all. But here’s the truth you fail to see, no decision is worse. If you were to ask me I’d say that there are two main reasons for this:

  • Fear
  • Too much analysis / Overly cautious

So, to deal with them one after the other, Fear. When you’re afraid, what do you do? Fear is an illusion. It exists only in our minds. So the best way to tackle is to face it logically. Ask yourself what am I afraid of? Why am I afraid of it? When you tackle fear with this approach, your mind is able to process the information logically and then you realize one of two things.

  • There is nothing to fear. Or
  • There is something to fear, but you can’t help it, so you’re just worrying.Slide1.PNG

Being overly cautious is quite interesting. You compute every posssible combination of factors, trying to find the absolute best but because life itself is unpredictable and dynamic, you can’t account for everything and you end up calculating until the time for choosing has elapsed. Forget coulda woulda shouldas. If you only make decisions based on what you think should be done, as per what is right, you might end up rebelling and doing what you really want. Then, you’ll look like you don’t know what you want when the entire time you know. The human mind always wants to make a safe decision. A decision that gives security and guarantees safety of whatever is at stake.

One way to tackle it is to realize that uncertainty is a part of life and you cannot have everything under your control. If there’s a chance that something bad can happen, then there’s a chance that something good can happen. Many times we focus on only the bad and ignore the good. WE call this being ‘realistic’ or ‘keeping it real’ when in fact all we’re being is pessimistic. We end up missing out completely on life and with this comes regret. The worst kind of regret being the regret of ‘I could have’. For really big problems, if you have the time to wait, don’t rush into it, but don’t procrastinate either. There’s a fine line.

Remember to do this as an exercise. Just like everything else, it takes time to learn and grow but never give up or think you’re not making progress. At the end, you’ll become a better decision making individual than you were yesterday.Slide3

Don’t Keep Silent

There is a saying that silence is the best answer, well, for a fool. If you’re anything like me, who doesn’t like conflict, you probably do this often. It’s such a bad habit. I let people ride me, take me for granted and use me beyond reason just because I’d rather have peace than enter into a conflict. I’d rather slightly inconvenience myself than confront someone.

After I took a personality test and read the results (read more here), it felt like reading a diary someone secretly wrote about me. It physically drains me that I live in a world where I have to constantly fight for my rights all the time. Take for instance yesterday, I came out of my apartment to take a stroll to a nearby supermarket to get some groceries to make dinner. As soon as I stepped out, a group of men were just whistling and catcalling me. I ignored them and walked past, whereas my usual behaviour was to greet. Immediately I walked past them completely, a couple of them stood up and started yelling at me. I couldn’t make out the words because they had a thick accent. Anyways, I was frustrated. I hate catcalls even though I experience it almost everyday of my life. Some other girls would have shut them up especially because of the insults if I ever heard one but I didn’t.

Same thing happens in class, with friends and anywhere I find myself. I’m painfully soft, that’s why I tend to keep to myself and a small circle of friends. However, this has to stop. Now, I’m not saying you should be all out rude, calling people names or going round fighting people, verbally or physically. But if the need arises, you should stand up for yourself. If you feel uncomfortable, you should speak up. Sometimes, the person causing the discomfort may not be aware of the situation and may be more than glad to make you feel better.walk-human-trafficking-12136.jpg

As a child, I was an interesting personality mix, extroverted most of the time, bold enough to speak in public but not enough to raise controversy which showed my introverted side, and I still am.Sometimes I wonder why I’m not like others that could argue for hours and hours. Being a talkative, I was always asked to speak in debate, i always declined. I never saw the point. At the end of the day everyone went home with their opinions, just that one group was always well spoken so they won the prize. I’m working on myself and whoever is reading this and has similar experience should too. Whenever I’m in a situation where my mind says let it go and I find it really hard to but I want to d o so for peace’s sake, I know then that I should speak up. It takes practice but it works, It will happen eventually. Speak up, say how you feel. Your words might encourage another to take charge of their situation.

We need more voices to be heard. So many people are experiencing things they cannot say in the open because they feel they are the only ones going through such, so the more we speak up, the more confidence we give others. At your job, in your home, in your relationship, friendship, wherever, just speak up. Don’t die in silence. It would hurt to know that the reason you were silent was never appreciated. Open up. Find a safe space and let it out. There are many platforms to do so and if you don’t find one, create it. You have a unique mind and maybe you’re the only one thinking of that idea. Maybe, one day we’ll finally have a world that doesn’t need people to scream before their voices are heard but till then, do not keep shut.

I’ll always be a nice person, I’ll climb mountains for the people I love, and I’ll always go the extra mile for someone who needs the extra support. But I’ve decided not to let myself get hurt anymore, because it has affected me; especially mentally and emotionally. I’ve healed, and I’d like to keep it that way. To all the nice and kind people out there who can’t help it, I know the world is harsh but don’t change. Be the ray of sunshine in a snowstorm. The world needs more of us.

With Love,

Kris.

Why You Should Feel More Confident.

Confidence is such an important trait to possess. With confidence comes high self-esteem which can carry you a long way. Even though we wake up every morning and look like we can conquer the world , most of us feel shy and timid and require coffe and pep talks to get us through the day and when we are then required to step up boldly, even though we try, sometimes we fail.

The quickest resort is to think about all our strengths and all the things we can do quite well and stick to them. It is easy to be confident when you’re required to do things you’re probably an expert at doing. A basketball player will almost always be in the mood to play basketball but once you hand him a tennis racket, his confidence might shrink to the size of a mouse. Why? Because he feels out of his comfort zone and is in danger of looking foolish. We dread looking foolish in front of people because society does not allow for mistakes and shortcomings. We always want to look smart, sound intelligent and have the answers to every question thrown at us. Unfortunately, nobody can be that perfect.

As a child, the only reason we could learn was because we were not afraid or shy. There was no fear of failure. As a matter of fact, looking clumsy was part of the requirements and that was the same reason why we could try new things over and over again. Something to remember is that we are all in fact timid, shy, faulty, clumsy and have irrational fears. A huge wrestler may be scared of a cockroach but that does not make him less of a man. He’s just a man who has katsaridaphobia. All you need is the right circumstance and we’re all on the same level. So why should you feel more confident all the time?

You should because anything otherwise would cause you to miss out on the world at large. You might want to sing, or draw, or say your written words on a stage but you don’t feel confident enough to do it. Understand that everyone makes mistakes and not everyone got it on their first try. You don’t want to miss out on love because you were not brave enough to speak up. Sometimes being confident entails knowing that what and who you are is good enough for whatever reason you may need it for and only by trying and growing can you get better at what you’d like to do. I toyed with the idea of a blog for so long but never did it because I felt like there was not much I could tell anyone about anything because my life was in chaos, so who was I to offer help. Till now, I still hide that I have a blog from a couple of friends because I didn’t think it was good enough for it to be presented but I’ve started telling them one by one and a couple of them actually like the articles. Of course, not all of them love it but they appreciated the fact that I put in my work and time into it.

There’s a saying that you should start before you’re ready and  you should say yes to a job you have no clue about, then go home and learn it. To do so would require confidence in yourself that you can pull through. You must trust your abilities, that in a world of 7 billion people where  there are others that can offer the same thing as you, only you can do it the way you do.

Friendships During Hardships and Crisis

Friends are the family we choose. We pick them, we stand by them, and when needful, we change them. Challenges can make or break any friendship or relationship. The general assumption being that it was never meant to be. But what of situations where both parties were not ready to let go?

I have lost friends because of crisis happening in either our lives. I have pushed people away and people have pushed me away. It’s a normal human reaction during stress. I’ve had cases where I felt relieved talking to a stranger and the familiarity of my friends brought fear of judgement and criticism. I also happen to be someone afraid of criticism even though I still take it. As comforting as the idea is to push everyone away and try to “solve it on your own’, I’m here to remind you that it is not the best approach. Being in college can be difficult especially if you have to juggle all your responsibilities with any kind of struggle outside of your academics. Friends tend to be a good support for anyone in stress. The worst kind of situation to be in is when you and all your friends happen to be in the same dilemma at the same time.

There was a time I and my girlfriend were going through a breakup,emotional crisis at the exact same time. We would come to school and sit on the bench, stare into the nothingness and just sigh all day. The silence was painful but comfortable at the same time. On some days, when we felt like talking or we reached a new low, we would speak, usually with the other doing only listening with no contribution whatsoever. Why this system worked for us was that we had come to a very good understanding of each other. We knew each other’s reaction to such situations so it was relatively easy. It only took three years and a lot of awkward silences.Now that I think of it I’m very grateful to God that I met her. She’s one person but she’s all the trouble and support I need at the same time.IT became even funnier when we both had money issues, emotional stress and spiritual breakdown at the same time. I guess not only your cycles align when you hang around someone too much.

My other friend who reads a lot of psychology says you should not expect anyone to behave rationally when going through stress or grief but somewhere deep down, beneath the chaos that we  might be experiencing, we still know what we’re doing wrong and why our behavior is unacceptable. We expect that our friends, if not anyone else should be understanding and patient as we feel we would do the same for them. Truth is, it gets tiring and exhausting and some days, even you would want to throw in the towel. pexels-photo-167921

COMMUNICATION is all that is necessary. A second just to say “I know I must be difficult to deal with but thank you for hanging in there” could save a friendship from unnecessary death. A friend once said to me when he was having really difficult times “My priorities are right here”, he said, gesturing to the level of his chin, “and you’re right here”, he said pointing to the level  of his knee. “If I ever get to you, then we can talk, but for now I have too many things on my mind”. Words cannot describe how much pain I felt in my heart then. Even in the pain I  managed to understand that he had his whole world falling apart and there was nothing he could do to help it so he  was feeling very frustrated and helpless but those were harsh words for someone who was quite close to him.

Needless to say, he never got to me, we don’t speak anymore despite my failed attempts at starting conversations and that friendship came to an abrupt end. It took months to gain closure because somehow I believed my approach warranted the response I got. I felt like it was my fault but it wasn’t. We have mutual friends and he still talks to all of them but me. I guess because I cared too much he decided to blame me for everything and I received his wrath which again is quite normal from a psychological perspective, it still hurt.

I realize that talking about issues is probably not a guy thing and I also realize that not talking doesn’t help the situation. I’ve read books that say guys need to go into hibernation to come up with a solution to the problem but none said what happens when for you, they never come out from that cave. As much as I respect how the human mind works, with a little practice and conscious effort, almost anything can be learned. TO my guys out there, while we ladies learn to understand your thought process, a one-liner summarizing the problem could save you a lot of drama and this is in a platonic relationship. “I feel overwhelmed right now but I’ll be okay, I just need a little time to myself” would save you drama from your mother, sister and even your girlfriend.

Pushing away is easy,coming back is not, especially if the other party concluded that you needed time and decided to give you space. They’d probably be waiting for you to show signs that you’re back from your retreat and then you realize that a rift exists and you’d be too scared to make the first move. While ideally a “good” friend should understand you  and ‘be there’ for you, the reality of life is when you abandon people, they won’t be standing in the spot waiting for you. Life happens and time still exists.

Whatever hardships and crises you may be going through, don’t put friends through more than they have to go through. Even if they want to be there, life may not let them. When life gets hard hold onto friends tight, they might be hurting almost as much as you are and just want you to feel better.Value your friends and go easy on them.

I hope reading this helps save a friendship. Have you lost any friends because of hardship or crisis, personal or otherwise? Sound off in the comments.

International Women’s Day Tribute

Today is international women’s day as we all know by now. So many articles of female achievements and hard work that has shaped the existence of the 21st century woman. Women have fought tirelessly and paid in blood and sweat for us to have the voice we have today. For that, I will forever be grateful. I have never been the strongest person I know but I rise to the occasion when necessary. I’ve loved being female and I always will.

Today, I want to speak about a woman who has had the most effect on my life. She’s affected me directly and personally. She’s my mum. It’s been almost three years since I left home and saw her face last. Today is dedicated to her, because without her, I wouldn’t be here to know that other women did amazing things to make a female’s life. I know that’s what mother’s day is for but I kept thinking of her today. She had me at a point in her life when it was not the easiest. She never complained, she never grumbled, she raised me through the most difficult times even when I was absolutely ungrateful because I mean what are children for?

She gave up so many opportunities for me, because I would have to suffer especially academically. I remember one job she got that was very far from home and would require her leaving very early and coming back late. She turned it down, even when her family members said she was being unreasonable. Her reason was that the area was rural and had no good schools which I would be attending since she would have to move there completely as the transport fare was expensive.

A lot has happened between my childhood and adult years. I’ve seen her make selfless decisions not just for me but for the people in her life that she’s come across. She’s always like a mother to people around her even when she doesn’t have to and the people in question don’t deserve. She fights for the rights of others and she’s strong even when she doesn’t have to. I just wanted to say I love her. With all her strictness and rules, I know she  did it because she loves me. I am the woman I am, because of her. I pray she lives long enough to see the fruits of her labour.

Here’s to supporting and empowering each other

Happy International Women’s Day. May we become the women we look up to.

Life Simplified

I’m not a crazy fan of lists but this list right here for me, is life, simplified.

Here it goes:

  • The most destructive feeling             –  Worry

  • The greatest joy                                      – Giving

  • The greatest loss                                    – Self Respect

  • The most satisfying work                   – Helping Others

  • The ugliest personality trait              – Selfishness

  • The most endangered species           – Dedicated leaders

  • Our greatest resource                          – The youth and the elderly

  • The greatest “shot in the arm”          – Encouragement

  • The greatest problem to overcome – Fear

  • The most effective sleeping pill        – Peace of mind

  • The most crippling failure disease  – Excuses

  • The most powerful force                     – Love

  • The worst thing to give up                  – Hope

  • The deadliest weapon                           – The tongue

  • The two most powerful words          – I can

  • The greatest asset                                  – Faith

  • The most worthless emotion             – Self pity

  • The most beautiful attire                    – A smile

  • The most prized possession               – Integrity

  • The most powerful communication- Prayer

  • The most contagious spirit                 – Enthusiasm

  • The best teacher                                     –  Experience

 

Like and Share with a friend if you liked this list or if you agree. I hope this inspired you.

Surviving Loss

Today was a different day for me. I worked with a nurse in the Family Medicine part of the clinic and after all the routine checkups of all the healthy babies, cute and plump looking and their mothers’ faces beaming with smiles, a different case walked through the door. I thought she was pregnant but she wasn’t. She had a Caesarian section two weeks ago. What happened was she was one week past her due date plus her baby was breached. The doctors were scared and decided to operate her to prevent complications during birth should labor occur. Unfortunately, water got into the baby’s lungs and the baby died. Why it hurt most? This was her second loss. Last year, it was due to her water breaking at 5 months and then she lost the baby.

I sat across her beside the nurse and wondered how it would feel to have such loss twice in row. She even said this was her first boy and she was excited as she already had two girls. I may probably never understand how she feels but what she said tugged at my heart. She said she’d be crying everyday in her bathroom. Being in the middle class, if not less, she didn’t have much support in this time. Well wishers even kept asking her about the baby which made her have to relieve the pain of her experience.What could she possibly do? I had to come home to read up on this. I was grateful for the nurse who was the sweetest most soft-spoken person I’ve ever met. She tried to calm her down and explain that it was not the doctor’s fault, because the woman had a belief that the doctors were careless. I know those doctors and they’re nothing like that but then she’s a grieving woman.

So in scenarios like this, if you have such loss, how do you cope with it? How do you survive? While I’m definitely not a therapist and I have no medical qualification whatsoever, a few things you could do are:

  • Express yourself – You should say how you feel and when you feel it. It’ll definitely help get things off your chest. Even if you don’t want to speak to anyone, talk to yourself. If necessary, cry.

 

  • Allow yourself to feel sad – It’s a necessary step in getting through grief. The trick is not to live there forever but in the meantime, do feel sad. It’s the reason why men break down so much, because they never let themselves feel sad, rather they feel they have to feel nothing to be strong.

 

  • Keep your routine up – Wake up, dress up and show up. A shower, a hair do, make up will help. Sometimes if you look the part, you may begin to feel the part.

 

  • Sleep and Eat healthy – You know, starving yourself doesn’t help because then you don’t have enough strength to cry. You may not have the appetite but you still have to eat and survive. It’ll definitely give you physical strength to recover.

 

  • Avoid Numbing – Like with alcohol or drugs, all you do is postpone the pain and when the high is gone, it’s still there waiting to be dealt with. Running away never helped anyone so work through it. You are stronger than you know.

 

  • Therapy – No. you’re not crazy, but the talk might help you more than you think, plus it’s a safe space where you won’t be judged for how you feel or pushed to do things you’re not ready for. Anyway, only do this if it feels right.

Loss may never be fully understand as we all deal with it differently based on out strengths but just know that no matter the loss, you can always survive it. It is my belief that time heals wounds and God in his infinite mercy, gives us the grace to carry on.