Deep Lessons

I have not been opportune to harness development opportunities early enough but I remembered the camp I attended when I was 14 on leadership.

It was organized by MTN Foundation in partnership with Hope Worldwide Foundation. The camp boosted my self-esteem and play a larger role in my life even if I did not understand some of the things I learned.

In 2016, after completing my National Youth Service and completing six community development service projects. I shared my work online and for the first time, a senior colleague
Ibrahimpact Abidemi Amuda
sent me Mandela Washington Fellowship Application and YALI Regional Leadership Centre. I applied but got rejected in all.

However, I was able to complete up to 15 YALI online courses in three days. It opened my eyes to many things. I joined the YALI face to face group and met the likes of Mrs.
Adepeju Jaiyeoba
. Reading about their stories inspired me to do more and be more. I had access to several programs in Lagos and I could recall jumping from one seminar to another. Some of these programs catalyzed my growth and I am glad today I can tell the story.

Today I have benefited from several international programs and opportunities but it started with sharing about My NYSC project and I have learned some lessons. I will be sharing them below;

1. Tell your story, if you fail to tell it, you would not attract people who can help you. I have been volunteering but I did not tell the story or talk about it. However, sharing my NYSC project story was the game-changer. It was the story that made Ibrahim felt like I deserve receiving the Mandela Washington Fellowship even if I was rejected.

2. I didn’t get the opportunity but I dig deeper. I joined the YALI network and took courses to sharpen my knowledge in my area of interest. I turned my rejection into a learning opportunity.

3. I read stories of people in the same space and it helped me in catalyzing. They showed me courage. That if they can I can too.

4. It's okay not to understand what you have learned in programs. When the time comes, you will be able to connect. The leadership program I attended when I was 14 somehow helped me in dealing with some of the rejections. I would not forget the definition of self-esteem I learned from the camp. ”Self esteem is the way you see yourself and the world. The way you handle yourself and the world. You can decide to see that you are rejected or not. I choose the latter. I wasn't rejected.
Seth Godin said;
”They didn’t reject you. They rejected an application. They rejected a business plan. They rejected a piece of paper. They don’t know you.”

So, whenever you are scared to share, ask yourself, what will happen if I don't share? Nothing and Something. What will happen if I share? Nothing and Something.

You have nothing to lose but I think the benefit of sharing outweighs the benefit of not sharing.

Hammed Kayode Alabi (c) 2020

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