A culture of excellence: Stirring the Spirit within

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities, and if they continue to increase among you, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in attaining a full knowledge of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah.1 Peter 1.5-8

I heard excellence when I was praying this morning. Now, I had been thinking about excellence for a couple of days and I knew I was going to write about it but I guess hearing it when I was praying a scripture (Colossians 1.16) was astounding to me. I pray this scripture every day and today as I was praying that verse in relation to what I was feeling, excellence came. Yesterday was a bad day for me, I spent about five hours in a library and I left defeated, you see I am currently writing a professional course and the fact that I failed the exam before this gave me cause for concern. I knew what the report asked of me but it seemed that I just wasn’t articulating all that was in my mind, I was failing and I hadn’t even started. I planned on sending an email to the school asking if I could move the assessment until next year. That’s how bad it was! I went to bed tired and defeated.

But God!

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossian 1.16-18

Excellence at work

I realise that Christians do not necessarily put in as much effort as unbelievers do when it comes down to work or even education at times. I think that we(I) have the entitlement thing going on. For example, I realised while I was praying today that I failed the paper before this because I didn’t put in as much effort as I should have, I think I hurried the paper looking back and I expected God to make all things work together by giving me an A, it doesn’t work like that. There is always a place for hard work and a place for prayer, one doesn’t operate independently of the other, look at hard work like an offering, it is a sacrifice unto God whether you are at work or at school or in any place, you should put your best knowing that your work is ascending unto God a sweet-smelling savour.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, Colossians 3.23

Does it amaze you that unbelievers always seem to be the ones operating the economy? If you research into it I am certain you would find that they put in 100% of their time, effort and mind into everything they do. But some of us(me) Christians always seem to give God half-baked bread expecting Him to bless it. I don’t think God likes that. Think about Jacob and Joseph, even though the blessing was on them, they worked hard, always taking their masters business to be their own. I think there’s something about hard work and the manifestation of the blessing.

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes because an excellent spirit [was] in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Daniel 6.3

Can I tell you that until I took control of the position I was given and not seeing it as a ritual, things remained stagnant? I stopped complaining, I stopped leaving the office until I had finished what I had to do, I stopped being complacent and I started pouring into the company as the Holy Spirit pours into me, I took our business like my very own and did everything humanly possible to see that it went from where it was from where it needed to be!

I heard sermon earlier in the year and the preacher kept saying “put the blessing on it”, I kept wondering how to put the blessing on it when God has already blessed me but you see I got it today. You put the blessing by insisting on nothing less than excellence. Excellence means greatness-the very best, you put the blessing by being the very best at whatever your hands find to do. You do not despise your work, you do not complain, you do not murmur, you put in the very best until God takes your somewhere better.

If you are in school, be determined to be the best, do not wait till a day before to start reading or rushing assignments, learn to prioritize.

If you are married, be determined to be the best spouse you can do. You’re being the best shouldn’t be a response to how your partner treats you. You’re being the best is an offering unto God.

No matter where life takes you, no matter where you find yourself, be determined, strive towards the calling of excellence that is upon you as a believer.

I love you-Bankus

 

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My N,1000 Testimony

Jesus has been taking me on a financial journey for over a year now and it’s been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do-you see there are two things I still struggle with Him about; a husband and money.

The husband thing is a combination of the kind of relationships I had as an unbeliever and probably those I had as a believer. If you have been following this blog, you would have an idea of how disastrous my past relationships have been. Disastrous cannot even begin to explain it. Recently, someone asked why I always ended up dating phonies, and I honestly didn’t know until a few weeks ago. Two different guys were brought into my space and just like I am always in a hurry to get into a relationship and live happily ever after, I felt the same urgency I had always felt to choose and start a new life which I always assume will lead to marriage. But God is ever so gracious and loving, He literally gave me chest burns whenever I felt I had to choose. I am talking about serious chest burn. Can I get a witness? Okay, not chest burn but I never had peace about it. If you have chest burn whenever you are about to make a life-changing decision-don’t make one at that point. Give it a few weeks, prayerfully wait until you see the “fruits that the thing manifests.”

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus Philippians 4;7

Now, don’t get me wrong I trust the Lord, I mean if He gave me Jesus how will He not with Him freely give me ALL things richly to enjoy.

Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17

Back to my testimony.

When I started work last year, I decided I was going to give my first fruit (yay!), I gave it with the expectation of receiving cash from someone somewhere (don’t know why though). Meanwhile, apart from my salary, I really had little or no savings (I had nothing) but I really wanted to give.

I sent it directly to the account. But you know one thing, nobody called me and I was hurt. I assumed that after I had sacrificed my whole salary I would at least get a call of thank you .

Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6.4

That month was the worst month of my life tbh. I was practically struggling to get to work. But you know, I always had just enough till someone else came with a gift-it was either food, a car ride to and from where I needed to go or even cash if the need be.

I didn’t get “double, thirty or a hundred-fold” of what I gave and I was hurt. I mean, Jesus your bae was suffering and You didn’t show up like I wanted You to. But, I never forgot that He loves me so dearly.

Fast-forward to this year and the same thing happened, I gave double of what I gave last year. But you know what, I had learnt not to expect praise or thanks from men because it really wasn’t them I was giving to. I was giving to my Father.

So, I had the idea of giving, I had a good motive but like last year, I ended up broke by the first week. I dare not tell anyone what happened. I made it through the month glory to God and I was so happy to receive my pay for the next month-I gave myself a treat, but I still wondered why I ended up broke, battered and under the barrel.

Please note that in all these things, I never got offended in God, I have learnt not to be offended in God. Who is the clay to look to the potter and ask why He was created the way he was created? There were times where I got frustrated and wondered what I did wrong, there were many times where I asked questions but I always knew I missed something, and the Lord took me on several journeys before I finally understood.

1st N1,000

In April, there was a programme in church, it was the first of its kind and I wanted to do more than just pray and fast, I wanted to give. But I had difficulty in giving because I almost exhausted all I had in both accounts. Going to church daily was a struggle for me, giving my offering was a struggle for me but it was not as bad as when I had to give my first N1,000. It was a Wednesday service, I contemplated going to church that day because I had about N1,000 left (home and abroad) I didn’t want to call home because I knew the question they would ask but I just decided to go with the intention of not giving an offering. Jesus had other plans, He asked me to give it all. Give the N1,000! Give all I had left! How was I supposed to get to work! How was I supposed to get home from church! I didn’t want to, but I did (tearfully)

God loves me sha, do you know that night, I got a free ride home. Before I fell asleep, someone sent me N5,000 that was more than enough to see me through the weekend and even the next week! I was so happy.

And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Mathew 6.8

2nd 1,000

My mobile phone had seen better days, I mean it had seen better days, I would have posted a picture but it’s too shameful that a chic like me was using such. My phone was bad, my laptop was faulty and I was about to begin my M.Sc. I had been believing God for a phone for a couple of months and nothing was forthcoming. I mean the land was as dry as it could be, I even tried social media contests but didn’t win anything. Then I remembered, when you tell God about a need He talks to you about a seed!

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 2Corinthians 9.10

I couldn’t give away my charger, I couldn’t give away the faulty phone but I could give someone airtime. So, I did. I sent N1000 airtime to someone and in 24 hours, my dad gave me a phone and a laptop.

The blessings didn’t stop there…. someone else gave me a new phone.

What a wawu!

So why didn’t the first fruits work?

It was a simple case of mismanagement of funds…did you notice that I always spoke about being broke before and after I gave my first fruit? I mean broke the year before and broke the year after! But God was merciful to me… always providing what I needed but I don’t think He wants me to continually live from hand to mouth.

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9.8

He doesn’t want you to stay broke.

I had a job the year before, I was earning something, I ought to have been wise about my spending!

I am learning to take better care of my finances, learning not to spend on impulse, learning not to borrow based on sentiments. Do you have a N1,000 testimony you would lke to share?

Email me thelagosbeautyblogger@gmail.com

Single, Whole and Complete. What it means for marriage 

I am scared of marriage.

I see marriages break and I am scared that I will make the same mistake.

You know, I have never been an expert at picking boys, I don’t always seem to hear God. I always rush in and eventually end up with a broken heart.

I used to be the girl that clung to guys. I always had to feel needed, I always had to find my place in his life. I always had to help even if he didn’t need it, I don’t know why I have always felt this way. I just remember being like this.
This caused me to constantly pour into whoever I was with for that moment. I poured into that person so much that I hardly had time for myself or to even know who I was. I always felt that was my role…. to be the guy’s “very present help in time of need”

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46.1 (NIV)

What a foolish thought.

When I first got born again, I had this friend that I always sought counsel from in every decision I made, I even looked to this person for the name of the person I would marry. I never in my wildest thought imagined that God would be able to speak to me. I thought that hearing the voice of God was for a select few and I wasn’t among that few.

I remember I dated a guy because of this person. Like I said earlier, I trusted in his hearing God more than in my hearing God for myself. That relationship didn’t last and it took me a while to accept it, I remember that even after four months post breakup I was still waiting for this one guy who this person had said was ‘the one’ to call, to apologize, to make it better, to make us work, to change.

But he never did and that left me in a state of confusion.

If he was the one, why did he walk away?

I sought counsel from this person in my next relationship because I didn’t think I could hear clearly-I think a part of me doesn’t think I can fully hear God concerning marriage. I don’t think anyone that knows me trusts me enough to let me pick a spouse.

So I get anxious and it’s almost like something is holding on to my chest making it difficult to breathe-I don’t know if it’s me being overly dramatic or it’s the devil- I will let you know when I conclude.

I am also scared of what it means to be married.

I look at children and I get scared. What if I don’t make a good mother? What if…

The position of a wife is not one to be taken lightly, and sometimes I feel that I cannot totally be that. You see I do not have the spirit of an entrepreneur but I am very dedicated, I am not a fan of doing chores even though sometimes I clean. I am not so many things a wife is meant to be but my mind is constantly on getting married.

 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5.25

Why? I think too many Disney movies and too many Mills and Boon (those that know will know)

I acknowledge the fact that society plays a role in putting undue pressure on us so we get married before a certain time but though I am in this world, I am not of it. My Father is more concerned about my character than in marriage. He is more interested in getting me into a single, whole and complete state before he presents me to anyone.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and toknowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.… 2 Peter 1.6 

This is what society/family/friends fail to mention. You do not get married because you are tired of being single. You get married because you are first in the presence of God, you have something to do with your hands, you have received word from God about your purpose and you have grown in the fruit of the Spirit.

Now I realize that the relationships I have had in the past didn’t end because of something I did. It ended because of something I was not.

I was not whole, I was not single, and I was not complete. I thought being in relationships made me valuable. I thought courting made me more “responsible” in a sense, I thought that marriage was the end goal and I needed a man to help me birth all that God wants me to be. I did not realize that I was too broken to offer anything to anyone.

I have these two friends that have changed what it means to be single. They are so single that they don’t see the need for a spouse. They are so complete in who God has called them to be that they do not need assurance from a third party.

And this is who I want to be.

Will you join me in the quest to be single, whole and complete?

Let’s get our purpose and future defined.

Read This Tip To Eliminate low self esteem

There’s a term for plus size foot girls in Lagos and it’s called ‘no size in London’.

I have been called that so many times that when I go shopping and people try to sell my shoes, I just tell them not to bother because they can never have my size.

I started using a size Us12/Uk10/43 in J.S.S 3 and shoe shopping was never fun especially at Lagos market. I heard a lot of ‘ah, ki lo de, shey okunrin ni e ni’ and so on. The guys especially told me to get a carpenter to make my shoes. They were so mean! Sometimes I had to settle for boyish shoes just to have something to wear.

It was the worst for me. It took a lot for me to not to cry, sometimes I just laughed it off but it hurt a lot.

I turned my attention to sneakers mainly because they were the only shoes I could find my size in and because they covered my feet, you couldn’t tell I was a plus size girls in sneakers but you could tell in sandals.

Today, I had to wear a couple of shoes for a mini shoot at work, I was panicking because I knew how my feet will look like, big and ugly. We had previously done a mini shoot and my feet looked so big-jeez! I had my colleague delete so many, she got frustrated at a point and told me that my mind had been wired to think my feet was ugly. That sort of calmed me down and I allowed her to take a couple of more shots of my feet, it took a lot for me not to delete them but I didn’t and I am glad I kept them.

You know what I was fearful of wasn’t the fact that I have a plus size feet, I was more fearful “what people will say when they see pictures of my feet” as it has always been.

What will people think of my feet?

What will people think of my weight?

What will people think of my …..(Slot yours in)

The devil’s primary aim is to shift your focus. The bible says he comes to steal, to kill and to destroy the only way he can do any of these is if he can shift your attention from Jesus to your problems.

The moment Peters attention shifted from Jesus to his what was going on around him, he began to drown and that’s what happens really when you focus on your problems you begin to drown in them. When you focus on your looks and what people may or may not say about them you begin to get immersed in the external-the things that will pass away.

Don’t get me wrong, I am for looking your best-apply makeup if you have to, lose weight before you get obese but don’t be so consumed by them because “fixing things won’t make you happy”. Jesus is the only one that can make you happy.

So takes your eyes away from the external and focus on Jesus. When your eyes are fixed on Jesus the external doesn’t matter as much, you may have insecurities or uncertainties in some areas but at the end of the day, you know that what the Word of God says about you holds true.

I may have gigantic feet but I am fearfully and wonderfully made Glory to God!

 

I finally settled on these ones. They were taken from afar so they aren’t unpleasant to the eyes.

P.s How amazing is it that I work for a plus size Shoe store 😩

Jesus has a sense of humour

Only 2% of Women Think They Are Beautiful

The Real Truth About Beauty study was commissioned by Dove, to further the global understanding of women, beauty and well-being – and the relationship between them. It had its genesis in a growing concern that portrayals of female beauty in popular culture were helping to perpetuate an idea of beauty that was neither authentic nor attainable. Dove was concerned that this limited portrayal of beauty was preventing women from recognizing and enjoying beauty in themselves and others.

The Real Truth About Beauty findings is based on quantitative data collected from a global study of 3,200 women, aged 18 to 64. Interviews were conducted across ten countries: the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Italy, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina and Japan.

Here are some key findings from The Real Truth About Beauty

• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)

• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as ‘beautiful’

• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful

• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, but do not see their own beauty

• More than half of women globally (54%) agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic

“Dove believes every woman has the potential to look and feel her best,” said Dove marketing manager Kate Swan. “We feel the most beautiful women are not necessarily those born with the most, but those that make the most of what they have with simple everyday care.”

To help inspire women to think of themselves as beautiful, Dove has also teamed up with psychologist Nancy Etcoff and self-esteem expert Tara Cousineau to create a “Mindful Me” tool kit as part of its campaign. Check out Dove’s Tumblr page for more.

King Women: Sexual Abuse, Low Self Esteem and Jesus

“I Was Sexually Abused Right Under My Mother’s Nose”- Ayodeji Megbope

Oppression, depression, obsession and the likes of them are all tactics of the devil to hinder us from enjoying the benefits of the cross. Low self esteem, low self worth, timidity, fear, suicidal thoughts, sin and the likes of them are all blindfolds to stop our manifestation.

Break free! Yes you can! Who says you can’t? By yourself you can’t but with Jesus, you super can!!! Romans 8:12
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

Come, there’s a better life, there’s a higher way. It might not be the most popular but I can assure you it’s the most secure, if might not be the fastest way but I can assure you it’s the safest. It’s might not be the trendiest but I can assure you it’s where you find eternal rest.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and He is Life.

There is nothing that has been done to you, nothing you have done, nothing….absolutely nothing can disqualify you from His love.

 

Ayodeji Oluyemisi Megbope, is the CEO of No Left Overs Nig. Ltd– a full scale catering outfit which started with a take-off capital of N1,000 but today has an annual turn-over that runs into millions of naira. She was one of the first women worldwide to benefit from the 10,000 Women Initiative –set up to empower 10,000 underserviced women worldwide with formal business skills and education. Today she is an ambassador of the 10,000 Women Initiative; she has graced numerous local and international platforms and thus become an inspiration to many. The origin of “No Left Overs”

 

Please feel free to submit articles on how you overcame your low self esteem and if you haven’t overcome it, I am here to help.

Email me thelagosbeautyblogger@gmail.com

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My Boyfriend is Married

Hi guys,
Sorry for not writing for a few months I have been too busy and too exhausted. Plus I don’t have a laptop anymore and my phone is standing on its last legs.
I was in a relationship for roughly a year and in my mind’s eye it was perfect, and even though no one in my family liked him, I just believed that he was it.
He had been on my case for over a year, calling every day, always wanting to see me and all of that. But, because I had just gone through a bad breakup I wasn’t ready, I was an emotional mess, happy one minute sad the next. I eventually stopped talking to him because I felt rushed. Few months down the line, he called me from nowhere, we started talking again and that was it. I decided to love him-you know some people believe that you fall in love, I don’t believe that anymore, love is a choice, I can decide to love you and I can decide to stop loving you when it becomes a toxic relationship.
Our relationship was ‘long distance’, he stayed about an hour away and he tried to come as many times as he could. I was in heaven, planning our wedding. We had decided on the number of children we would have. He had met my mum, met my grandma, it was just good and then he soon disappeared.
I would call and he wouldn’t pick. There was a day I called so much that he had to send me a message that I was killing his battery. That just fuelled my indignation-I called the more until the phone went dead. I will never forget those days, I wasn’t sleeping I would stay awake and cry, I lost so much weight and even though I had my happy face I was dying on the inside from wondering what I did wrong because in my mind’s eye, the problem could never have come from him- he loved me too much, I must have done something.
When I couldn’t take it anymore, I went on my knees, I remember crying so much. The best heart mender is Jesus. I cried so much and then I let him go. I couldn’t do it anymore; I was harming myself and my body. It was one of the most painful things I ever had to do.
Do you know that after I called it off he only sent a message once and that was two weeks later. I remember clearly what he wrote.”Hi stranger”
You would think that would give me a clue to how he truly felt. I just held on the old him, the guy that was on my case for over a year, and the one that wouldn’t want to get off the phone even if he had a meeting. That’s the guy my mind held on to.
In case you are wondering, I never replied the text.
That was 2016.
Fast-forward to 2017, I was so pumped about Jesus’ plans for my plan and the exploits I would do. I was going to cause havoc to the kingdom of darkness. All of a sudden I heard his name. I had completely forgotten about him and now started hearing his name, consistently. When I knew I had to reach out was when I started having dreams and hearing his name when I prayed.
I should have just left it at prayer.
We got talking; he apologized for what he did and spun a lie about having financial issues.

So we picked up from where we left off, I remember my family being so angry. So angry because they knew how much he had hurt me but I categorically told them he was the one for me.
It was amazing until I got a text message from his wife, with his phone, at 3.00 a.m.
My world crashed.
Apparently, the person I was planning to get married to was already married and blessed with a child. A very beautiful eight month old whom I never knew existed.
The worst part was finding out the day after my birthday.
It took a lot to get me to let him go, I still believed him when he told me they were getting a divorce and he didn’t love her.
I still believed him.
There’s nothing I didn’t do to justify our relationship.
He was divorced.
He didn’t love her
He loved only me
He will love only me
I didn’t know.
Sweetheart,
He can tell you that they are divorced but God restores marriages.
He can tell you that he doesn’t love her but he loved her enough to marry her.
He can tell you that she got pregnant before marriage but that just means that he isn’t truly a Christian and he might knock you up just like he did with her.
He might tell you that he will love you forever but it is with those lips that he promised and even swore to God that he will love her till death do them part.
Love has boundaries, and one boundary is that married people are off. You do not break someone else’s home no matter how much you have invested into it. You do not do that.
There are too many men in the world;
God is such a good Father

• Do you really think He cannot give you your own man?

• Do you really think that He is not enough for you?

• Do you really think that that is His perfect will for you?
The three weeks following this event was a defining moment for me  I couldn’t hear God or I didn’t want to hear what He had to say because even though I was confused and broken I knew what the likely answer would be.
I didn’t want to believe I had spent so much time praying for another woman’s husband, talking with another woman’s husband, depriving a young child from the love of both parents. But it was what I did even though unknowingly, it was what I did.
Two pastors gave me this advice and I hope you let it sink.

• Focus on you

• Focus on Jesus
I spent a lot of time praying, listening to sermons; I even joined in the#HallelujahChallenge. At first, it was difficult because he kept calling and telling me how much he loved me and so many things. However, I decided to stay fixed on God. All of a sudden, I began to feel lighter, lighter and lighter until I was strong enough to let go. I do not know how it happened I literally thought I was going to die if I left him. But I am happy to say that I am not dead.
Now, I look forward to my own husband, my own child, my ministry, my future and look forward to seeing Jesus when He comes again.

King Women-King of Her Self Esteem: Chigul

Chioma Omeruah best known as Chigul is a Nigerian comedian, singer and actress who is known for her accents and comedic characters. In an interview with Premium Times, Chioma said, “It takes a bold, self-confident, love-yourself attitude to get through that (being plus size in a world that favors skinny people), which is what a lot of us are trying to create in ourselves,” she says.

I had heard about Kemi Adetiba‘s series but I just wasn’t moved to watch it until I saw a clip from about submission. I fell in love, I proceeded to watch as many as I could until I came about Chioma’s session. Her session on King Woman touched me, I can’t even begin to say just how much but I believe it will shine light in your darkness and make you understand that you can come out of anything.

According to Overcoming, examples of early experiences that could lead to your thinking badly of yourself include:

  • systematic punishment, neglect or abuse
  • failing to meet parental standards
  • failing to meet peer-group standards
  • being on the receiving end of other people’s stress or distress.
  • belonging to a family or social group that other people are prejudiced towards
  • an absence of praise, warmth, affection or interest
  • being the odd one out, at home or at school.

You may feel like the odd one out, but remember that what makes you odd makes you special to Jesus.

Do you have a question for me or maybe a topic you will like me to address?

Email me at thelagosbeautyblogger@gmail.com

For more on understanding low self-esteem

 

Humility and Commitment, the antidote to low self esteem

According to Killsyouneed, Self-esteem is about how we value ourselves, our perceptions and beliefs in who we are and what we are capable of. Our self-esteem can be misaligned with other people’s perception of who we are. Self-esteem has little to do with actual talent or ability as it is quite for someone who is good at something to have poor self-esteem, while someone who struggles at a particular topic might have good self-esteem.

Healthy self-esteem is an essential component for learning. Regardless of age, the self-esteem of a learner facilitates or inhibits learning. (Solomon 1992)

In the article Steps to Improve Self Esteem, one of the causes of low self esteem was identified as poor academic performance.

My name is Angel, and my affair with low self-esteem started since my primary school days. I traced the source to the fact that I wasn’t as brilliant as my peers.

I failed more times than I can count.

Two very distinct things happened that marked me forever.

The first was a time where someone was asking a random question and I gave an answer but she just ignored me and asked someone else the question. We’re were not beefing before so that got me thinking.

“Why didn’t my answer mean much to her?”

“Why was the other girl’s view better than mine?”

I knew that something is definitely wrong.

The second thing was with my report card. One term my report card was a disaster. It was very colorful, so full of red!

What worsened it all was that I attended a public school where the teachers didn’t bother to make you understand what’s been taught. They just assume you know it.

A good friend, Adeyemi Adedoyin Nifemi took out time to put me through the subjects.

I started knowing the subjects and my confidence started growing. I realize that knowledge gives you an edge,

-It will grow your confidence

-It will erase your doubts and fears.

-It add colors to your imagination

– You will begin to believe more in yourself

She helped open my mind to understanding how life works. It was not only in my academics this time but in my spiritual life, health-wise, financially, it cuts across all spheres of life

Yes, being a Christian changed it all. When you read the scriptures and understand the purpose and plans of God for His children, you start to see yourself differently.

Now,

I read with understanding,

I talk with understanding

I relate with understanding

I dream with understanding.

It is not just to pass time but to be conscious that life is about discovering and understanding yourself to fulfil a purpose.

And also helping others do the same.

I recommend that you do two things to overcome low self-esteem and insecurity

  1. Humility – admit you don’t know it and that you need help
  2. Commitment – get connected and committed to people or groups that are designed to help you grow

I have not seen my friend since then, but she will always be a part of my success story.

Please feel free to submit articles on how you overcame your low self esteem and if you haven’t overcome it, I am here to help.

Email me thelagosbeautyblogger@gmail.com

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Twitter adebankefalade

Candi M. Marsh on Overcoming Masturbation and Low Self Esteem

I have always struggled with self-acceptance and completely loving all of myself.  My self-esteem in my younger years was low and as I transition into adulthood it pretty much stayed there.

The home is where most people receive their validation and love (well at least this should be the place!)  However, this was not the case for me.  I was not raise in a traditional two-parent household.  I didn’t have parental figures telling me I was beautiful. None of that was going on!

So naturally, my validation came from the world, I look to see what others thought about me! From my peers and fellow classmates (by no means credible sources). Kids can be cruel and words do hurt.  However, they were only speaking my own insecurities what I had already thought about myself.  I was “too skinny”, “too dark”, and “ugly”.  So when the perceptions I thought of myself was confirmed by others around me, it just became my truth.

I was too skinny, too dark & ugly!

Why do you think your self-esteem was low?

The reason my self-esteem was so low was because I was looking for someone else (outside of Christ) to validate me to tell me that I was beautiful.   I struggled with no one liking me ENOUGH to be in a relationship with me.  Because being in a relationship was the epitome of my “self-acceptance and self-worth.” Being in a relationship with someone meant I was accepted, loved and wanted by someone.  A relationship is what I would always chase but always end up empty handed.

Due to this unhealthy perception I had of myself I would find myself in so many uncompromising situations as it relates to my sexual integrity which would in turn push my self-esteem down even more.  All because I just wanted someone to like me!

Never going as far as having sex, but dang near close enough to not be wearing a promise ring (which I had by the way).  As a Christian girl and now adult this cycle continued.  I knew God and the right things to do but my need for wanting to be liked over ruled what God said or says about me.  Yeah God told me I was beautiful, but that wasn’t enough.  But He is God. He thinks everyone is beautiful.  He made us and created us.  He would never say we were nothing less. What I needed was a physical human being to tell me I was beautiful.

My life came crashing down at the age of 21 when insecurities got the best of me and I was raped.  This just catapulted into a spiral of one poor choice, after another poor choice.  All in the name of wanting someone to like me.  My self-esteem however, reached the all-time lowest point when masturbation became my master.  It ruled over me and I was its slave.

This sexual sin was something that had me stuck in a vicious cycle.  So now not only didn’t men like me enough to be in a relationship, I didn’t like me.  But now I am for sure God didn’t like me either.  How could He, why would He.  I was a mess and disgusted with myself.  Living in silence was also the worst part no one knew I was battling with this addiction alone.  It was eating me up and tearing my self-esteem into micro-mini pieces.

It wasn’t until I started to share my struggle with people I could trusted did I start to work on putting an end to this addiction.  But even then I would still keep making the same mistakes to where I even lost a really good friendship over my addictive habit. This addiction needed to end.  But I knew I couldn’t do it alone.  It was not doing my self-esteem any good and I was starting to loss my identity.  I didn’t know who I was anymore.  Candi?  “Who is she?”  I was lost.

When did you become born again?

I was born and raised a Christian.  Going to church was a normal part of my growing up.  I went to school and I went to church. I enjoyed church and the friends I had while at church.  They accepted me and I never had to prove myself to them.  I was actively involved in church as a child, a teen, and young adult (I sang in the choir, I was a praise dancer, participated in church plays.  Even now as an adult I sing on the praise team.  Church has always been a part of my life.   With that said, even though church was a part of my life, I had not made God, the Lord over my life.  I claim to love Him but I didn’t really believe He could deliver me or love me the way He loved everyone else.  I mean I did all the things (well at least all the things) a Christian should do. I obeyed my grandmother, listen to my teachers, got good grades, never cussed, and did what I was told.  However, this struggle with masturbation created a separation between me and God.  I didn’t know how to get close to Him to build a close relationship with Christ.  God told me one time, “Candi you love me but you don’t know me. Each time I would mess up and fall into sexual immorality. I felt like God didn’t accept me or approve me.  I was reliving my school-age years all over again, now only with Jesus, and this was a tough pill to swallow.  If Jesus didn’t like me than shoot, no one would ever like me. This discourage my heart and left my self-esteem so damaged.

Did that help with your self-esteem?

It was not until about 2 years ago I got serious about my walk with Christ.  I was tired of going through the motions.  I wanted a real relationship with the Lord.  Most importantly I just wanted to be healed and whole.  I was willing to do whatever it took to be healed and whole.  I was desperate, I could not take the pain anymore. In that moment I prayed and I ask God to help me in these areas of masturbation, self-acceptance, and low self-esteem.  He surrounded me with some accountability partners that help me in my journey.  It was during that time I started to really focus on the areas within myself that I had been too afraid to confront.  Rejection and abandonment were my too biggest issues.  I had always been dealing with the symptoms of my problems but not really addressing the root.  I wasn’t until I gave these areas to the Lord that I started to see myself how God views me.  However, do not allow me to mislead you.  This internal transformation did not happen overnight.  I did not stop masturbating right away. There was a process.  However, it wasn’t until I started to see how I was truly effectively my relationship with God that I knew I needed to make some serious changes if I wanted to be healed and whole completely. Till this day I still meet with my accountability partners on a weekly basis to discuss my progress and process.  Today I can confidently say, I don’t need anyone to validate my self-worth. God has and still does call me I am beautiful.

Last month on Feb. 14th, (yes Valentine’s Day) I turned 37 years old I am not in relationship but I am trusting God and I do believe that there is someone in this would who would not only like me but love me.   Now that I have Christ at the center of my life.  All of my value and worth comes from and through Him.  I know what He says about me is true.  He said I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Simply put I am enough!

That’s it!

Game Over; control- alt- delete

Uhm…..okay so where do I began, I think I was 8 no 12, no 11, no I was 10. 
Fourteen is when it all began.  Fourteen is when my life and my identity had been taken over by sin.  The sin of choice? Well it’s called “lust.” I ran track in high school so I left the Holy Spirit in the dust. 
 
Fourteen, I said, is when it all began; when I became attracted to sin, or should I say it became attracted to me, I was young naïve I had not developed my inner beauty.
 
Not fond of my size, my skin or my face, when he said I was beautiful into his arms I embraced.  All I wanted really was my “very first kiss” but I got so much more, the kissed it was nice, then he touched me “down there” I did not like it; it did not feel right.
I knew it was wrong but I was too scared to say anything, so I just played along. Ashamed of my actions; by what had just taken place I told no one because I felt like such a disgrace. I could not bear the look of disapproval on their face.
 Brought up in the church how could I let this be? I am the holy Christian girl; you don’t do “those things.”
  
I keep my secret deep inside; nobody knew but the pain in my heart grew.  The game never ended I kept playing along, I search deep inside myself trying to sing my song, Titled, “Can-di you can be free” but I guess there was a mix tape because I kept singing the sin song “lust lives inside of me.”
 
With each encounter I came across, I played more and more; always thought I was doing good cause I never let them score.
I wore my celibacy ring proud, glad I did not lose my virginity, yet all the while I was losing my identity.
Masking my pain by doing well in school… all “A’s and no C’s;
I felt if I was a “little miss goody two shoes,” no one would see the hurt inside of me. 
If I appeared as if I was fine, then no one would ask.   It was oh so easy putting on the “mask.” “We wear the mask” as Paul Lawrence Dunbar would say; shoot this was easy I wore it all night and all day. 
At the age of 21 the game had changed, I was raped by this older man; I don’t even remember his name. 
I had my support from my friends, and my twin sister Brandi; but I never found the support inside of me.
I hated who I was and I didn’t want it to be; but I played the game so long I thought, “Hey this must be me”  
I suppressed my feelings inside because I had become someone I hate; to the point, I just needed any encounter so I began to masturbate.
I felt like a drug addict; I had to have it, it was a need, a must, there was no escaping this drug of choice, what did I call it? Oh yea… lust!
This cycle repeated again, & again, continuously for years, to the point I stopped shedding tears. 
This is when I became consumed with fear; oh, my God what if I will never be free? Will this spirit of lust always live inside of me?
I would tell my friends, trying to do the right thing. At this point in my life, I knew it was important to have accountability.
 I was tired of the lies! No more secrets! Time to be honest and speak the truth!
 
This was the only way I was going to make it through. 
The truth will set you free. That is what it says in the Word;
I wanted to soar in the sky; I wanted my voice to be heard. 
I was doing good… I was feeling strong… I was finally feeling free;
But as soon as I would meet someone, out jumped that lust inside of me.  Oh no not again, will this sin ever END!
We fall down but we get up, for a saint is just a sinner who fell down, but got up.  How many times must I fall Lord? Will I ever be free?
On the other hand, should I just stay on the ground, for this sin is beating me. 
Defeated; cast down, but I knew I was not destroyed!
All I wanted was to join another Army so yep I enlisted so I would be deployed. Therefore, in the front line I stand with my internal wounds exposed!  I die to my flesh, heart, mind body, and soul.  
I am ready to be free; I need Jesus to take control.
Each day I stand on the front line dying daily to my flesh, each day I don’t sin, I am passing the test.
I am walking in purpose, I am soaring, & sailing the sea, this game is over press the keys end Ctrl- Alt-Delete. I am free! 

Click Candi M. Marsh to follow her on Instagram

Please feel free to submit articles on how you overcame your low self-esteem and if you haven’t overcome it, I am here to help.

Email me thelagosbeautyblogger@gmail.com

Instagram/Twitter @adebankefalade