5 Tips You Need for Successful Personal Development

Sometimes, I wonder why some of us go through life without a plan. Would you have a tailor do your outfit without a plan? Or a contractor build your house without a plan and figuring it out as they go on? I bet you wouldn’t. Why then do you then fumble in life without stopping to think on where you’re headed? You need to plan on where you want to be clearly and make deliberate decisions on the direction you want to follow. The journey to personal development begins with self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to understand one’s thoughts, behaviors, motivations, weaknesses and reactions and everything else that makes us unique. You must actively seek to understand your strengths, weaknesses, emotions, motivations and your reactions to various situations. According to Maslow (1970), people have an inbuilt need for personal development which occurs through self-actualization.

For you to be successful you have to study what successful people do and apply it.

Life is competitive and unless we become tougher, we won’t be able to achieve anything.

  1. Set Goals

Personal development is interesting. Having a clear plan of where you want to be in future is part of personal development. It is easier to improve when you have a purpose of doing so.  Write down your goals in order of their importance and constantly review them.

  1. Assess Your Skills

You now have a clear vision of where you want to go but do you have the necessary means to take you there? First, you need to assess your skills to see whether they are in line with your dream. Constantly work on the skills you have to master the unique ones. Then list all the skills you should improve in order to realize your goals. Do whatever it takes to acquire the skills you are lacking.

  1. Discipline

After you have assessed your skills and acquired new ones, it’s now time to hit the road to your destination. Discipline is the ability of getting started regardless of your emotional state. Self-discipline is nothing but empowering your will and training the brain. After drawing your goals and acquiring the necessary skills, set a target and concentrate on it. It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone.

  1. Hard Work

Success doesn’t come on a silver platter, you must work hard. Personal development takes time and hard work. Understand how much work you need to put in in order to fully function. Employ a fixed schedule that you will commit to. Commitment has a positive effect on self-development.

  1. Be Unique

Often in life, we meet people who leave a very deep impression on us and make us admire everything about them. While it is in order to draw inspirations, avoid comparing yourself with them. Ask yourself who you need to be to become in order to be successful. Do what is in line with your vision and avoid the unnecessary pressure that comes from comparing yourself with others.

 

In a nutshell, personal development is a life time investment that seeks to improve your productivity and quality. When you put time and effort in developing yourself, the results are amazing. Personal development helps you manage yourself regardless of the situation you are in. Pick those tips and build on them. Life is competitive and unless we become tougher, we won’t be able to achieve anything.

 

Submitted By:

Shalom Musyoka, Cohort 8.

Susan Wavinya: Bringing Back Hope in her society

Being a mother at 17 was the turning point for Susan Wavinya Wairimu. She didn’t let her dreams and visions to be daunted. Susan, who is currently her cohort’s president decided to try a hand at ELF to see feed her curiosity on everything that goes on in the organization and understand herself in a better way.

“I remember applying for ELF in 2017, half-way though I gave up but found myself applying for the same 2 years later. My passion for leadership, mentorship and governance just couldn’t let me surrender on this chance.”

Susan decided to forward her name as a presidential candidate for her cohort, where she was the only lady contesting. “I didn’t think of myself winning, let me be honest. During the elections I was very impatient and pessimistic. Some of my fellows were raising my hopes of winning; I had to keep calm and wait for the moment.” The elections provided valuable lessons to Susan but one of the greatest lessons was strategy; coming up with good strategies is important not only when seeking votes but in life.

No one is answerable for your failure, if you have faith and purpose then God will surely see you through in what you desire to achieve.

Currently, Susan is a Human Resource Management student at Ngong Technical and vocational College and serves as the charter president of the student’s council at the same institution. Besides this, she formed an organization – House of Hope- that mentors, motivates and advocates for the rights of young mothers in Ngong Mathare slum, where she grew up. In November last year, Susan had her first mentorship session for young mothers in the area and she was able to reach 77 young mothers in the area, did a menstrual talk and distributed sanitary towels. She looks forward to hosting another session this month to celebrate women and gift them with clothing to appreciate their beauty and the efforts they put to raise their kids and sustain themselves.

“I believe that no woman should be discriminated or criticized for making the choice of being a mum at a tender age, what we have to do is give them a shoulder to lean on and allow them pursue their dreams. I am looking forward to having several activities that will help young women earn a living and get into leadership and have soft skills,” Susan

Further, she also leads in the mentorship of young girls who are in school.

“The training that I got at ELF and the sessions that we had also boosted my knowledge and helped improve how I carried out my duties.”

Despite all challenges encountered along the way, she desires to be an ambassador for the youths and young women at the UN or any other organization that will believe her dreams and welcome her to be part.

Susan is not ready to give up on her dreams, she believes that one must fight through all challenges that come along. “Many are the times when we give up on our dreams by complaining about lack of resources but my encouragement is keep pushing for it, if I am able to achieve and impact lives despite all that I go through, then pursue your purpose passionately and the resource and rewards will follow.”

“No one is answerable for your failure, if you have faith and purpose then God will surely see you through in what you desire to achieve.”

We celebrate Susan and her efforts in creating impact in her society.

Another chance at life, Thank You ELF

As I type this, I can gladly say that ELF saved my life. But how? You must be wondering. Well, let me tell you my story. Exactly one year ago, I had hit rock bottom. My hope was completely at zero and as each second passed, more and more suicidal thoughts crossed my mind. I had just lost a child through ectopic pregnancy and I was in a very dark space. It was even worse because my parents forbade me to talk about it.

Being an extrovert, I thought my parents would notice that something was wrong with me as I had become completely withdrawn which was unlike me. I was drowning in pain and everybody was moving on with their lives like nothing happened. I opted to slitting my wrist as a way of channeling the pain that was inside. One evening, the pain was overwhelming, and I couldn’t slit my wrist anymore because I already had too many bruises. For me, suicide was the only way out but to be honest, actualizing the thought is not as easy as it seems.

If anything, I felt relieved; I felt at home. I felt loved and I knew that ELF was now my second family. Here, I made friends for life and I knew that this was my second chance in life.

I lay on my bed with tear-filled eyes scrolling my phone with no agenda. My dad sent me a link to a YouTube video, and I thought to myself, “Let me watch this video first then I can think of a good way to commit suicide.”  As I think about it now, I can’t help but laugh. My dad knew how much I liked public speaking and he had sent me Caren Wakoli’s speech at St. Andrews Turi. As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but admire how well Caren articulated her speech and I got curious about this smart lady. Remember, at the back of my mind I wanted to complete watching this video and still think of a smooth way to end my existence. God works in miraculous ways.

After the speech, I decided to google and know more about Caren and that’s when I bumped into ELF. Little did I know that my focus was slowly changing from suicidal thoughts to curiosity about ELF and what it does. Amazingly, recruitment for cohort 8 was ongoing and I made my registration. At this point suicide was out mind since I had turned my focus to be part of ELF. Nonetheless, I still used to slit my wrist from time to time, as a way of coping. During the cohort 8 open day, is when I knew that I had really found a place to call home. Stella Cheboi was the first person I met and if you know and have interacted with her, you must agree that she gives the warmest welcomes. You know those deep welcomes that are hard to ignore, those that you’d think someone has known you for a while. I heard Jim India and Stella Nderitu speak and I couldn’t help but admire how well they picked their diction and articulation of words. It was impressive and at that moment, I concluded that I am in the right place.

As Sofina took us through the first session of life mapping and storytelling, I knew that I was in a safe space and that was the first time I shared my story with complete strangers and didn’t feel judged. If anything, I felt relieved; I felt at home. I felt loved and I knew that ELF was now my second family. Here, I made friends for life and I knew that this was my second chance in life.

Thank you, ELF. Keep impacting and changing lives because you never know how many more lives you will save.

Joyce Selim, 

ELF cohort 8 Fellow.  

The Importance of Self-Love

To all my single friends, your WhatsApp statuses and Facebook are probably stocked with your friends ‘baes’ and various gifts that they have been showered with. Don’t let lack of a significant partner make you dread this day. So today, I want to talk about self-love. Self-love is the most important form of relationship in your life. It is genuinely accepting yourself which in return creates a strong bond in your other relationships. It is about looking after your body, mind and spirit. You’ve probably heard of “love your neighbor as you love yourself”. So, treat yourself today. Get yourself a bouquet of roses and chocolates. There’s nothing wrong with being single as you wait for what you truly deserve. Being in a relationship is not a measure of worth neither is it an achievement. You deserve to give yourself all the love so don’t be afraid to spoil yourself and shower yourself with compliments.

Self-love is about:

Accepting yourself

Self-love is the willingness to accept who you are; both the good and the bad side. It is giving yourself as much as you are willing to give to others. It provides you with inner peace and happiness that can be affected by the opinion of others. It helps you make healthier choices and decisions across all relationships in your life. Self-love lets you celebrate others and appreciate their achievements rather than being jealous.

Self-love lets you celebrate others and appreciate their achievements rather than being jealous.

Knowing your value and adhere to it

Knowing your value and self-worth means you don’t see it as a privilege when you interact with people of higher status than you are. We self-sabotage ourselves in relationships and work places because we don’t ask for what we deserve. We feel that we are lucky to work at a certain organization or have some people in our lives.  Demand to be recognized be it in work places or in romantic relationships.

Teaching others how to treat you

If you find yourself unhappy on how people are treating you, it’s time to have a meeting with yourself and do a self-check. I have learnt that we attract who and what we are. People treat us the way we let them. If people insult you, take you for granted, use you or even abuse you it’s because you let them do it. You comfortably let it slide without confronting them about their actions. Maybe because you thought they were too important and you’d lose them if you questioned their behavior. Truth is, no one is more important than yourself. Let them treat you they way you deserve otherwise show them the door.

No one in the entire universe deserves your love more than you do. Self-love is the perquisite of all form of love in your life. You can never experience true love without genuinely loving yourself first. Let go of anything that makes you believe that self-love is selfish and egocentric. Loving yourself is a win-win. It is accompanied by unmeasurable happiness and joy that no else can offer you but God. So, if nobody treated you this valentines don’t wallow in self-pity. Wake up and treat yourself to a nice meal, a movie or even do a note to self.

There’s nothing wrong with being single as you wait for what you truly deserve. Being in a relationship is not a measure of worth neither is it an achievement. You deserve to give yourself all the love so don’t be afraid to spoil yourself and shower yourself with compliments

For those in relationships, don’t get into the whirlwind of valentine’s day and forget about yourselves. Self-love is the greatest love of all. Romantic love may come and go but self-love lasts a lifetime.

HAPPY VALENTINES!

 

Submitted By:

Shalom Musyoka, Cohort 8.

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OVERCOMING LOW SELF-ESTEEM

The 1990’s generation is deeply suffering from low self-esteem and many young people feel like they have lost it all. As I pen this down, I want to strongly assure our generation that we have the ability to create new champions in ourselves.

After last year’s training at ELF, I have thought about self-esteem in relation to Emotional intelligence and I can now clearly define it as an emotional opinion about oneself, how one feels about himself/herself as a person.

Many define self-esteem as ‘feelings of worth based on their skills, accomplishments, status, financial resources or appearance.’ However, from my school of thought I believe our sense of being a good person should not depend on what we do but rather on who we are in Christ (this is a Christian world view).

Our society seems to have it all wrong, there is a big problem with the society’s focus on self-esteem. The problem is that this focus involves measuring oneself against others, rather than paying attention to one’s intrinsic value.

Research shows that basing one’s self-worth on external factors (including academic performance, appearance and approval from others) is actually harmful to one’s mental health. The same research found that students who based their self-worth on internal sources (the unique qualities that make you- you) not only felt better; they also received higher grades and were less likely to use drugs and alcohol or to develop eating disorders.

From ELF’s training, I have learnt on how to apply a healthy view of myself and I can only achieve this by avoiding placing self at the center as the be-all and end-all of existence.

Iyanla Vanzant once said, “so many of us invest a fortune making ourselves look good to the world, yet inside we are falling apart. It’s time to invest on the inside.”

There are simple ways to help you increase your self-esteem and build confidence in yourself:

  • Challenge bad thoughts about yourself
  • Take care of yourself
  • Be sure to relax
  • Try new things
  • Surround yourself with people who make you feel good
  • Accept yourself
  • Set goals for yourself
  • Help somebody else out
  • Take a different perspective
  • Keep visual reminders of things that make you feel good

Each and every one of us have self-esteem. Self-esteem is made up of the thoughts we have about ourselves and plays a role in almost everything we do.

Having healthy self-esteem is really important as it helps you make positive choices in your everyday life, gives you the courage to be your own person, have good relationships and helps you deal with difficult situations.

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, spontaneous delight wonder, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

In conclusion, I believe that this piece will motivate someone and boost positive living. It’s not easy to like every part of the way we look, but getting stuck on negatives can really bring down your self-esteem. It’s important to believe that you can change. Change doesn’t necessarily happen easily or quickly, but it happens.

 

 

Submitted by

Stephen Muasya-cohort 8

in pursuit of purpose

The last time I had this feeling was 7 years ago in 2012. I felt joy, hope, happiness, freedom name it all when I won an award on “role of  youth in building a more democratic Kenya” organized by UNDP, amkeni wakenya and Youth Agenda. I didn’t have anyone to guide and mentor me on my passion, ELF was not there, rather, I didn’t know it existed, but deep in me I knew I had this big drive of participating, contributing and transforming our society in matters of democracy and good governance.

I followed another route which was more of computer based, profit making and money oriented but I still felt am human centered and I needed to go back. It has been a hustle, going back to school and mastering in courses of projects, participating in forums and fellowships, trying to quite but I had no courage until I met ELF 3 months ago.

So, I quit my job. Not today, 1 month ago, Friday 8/11/2019 was my last day.

My 8 -5 job that was making me good money, and with a good employer, yeah I quit it.

Why?

Because passion, conviction and self-awareness is taking action when you can’t see the whole staircase and all you can see is the next step.

For me, the next step was just to leave that office and start working on my dream job. To be a social entrepreneur and participate, work and surround myself in matters of democracy and good governance. To build my own empire, brand and bring transformational leadership to my land. To follow my dreams. To fail at my own thing. To start over. To succeed against all odds.

The training on self-awareness, leadership, good governance and Pan-Africanism, has contributed a lot to the above decision. Your (ELF) approach is so unique from others, it’s beyond skill or practical based and more of pure self-awareness of the potential we have, opportunity which are there and the direction to follow to achieve your born purpose and passion.

Elf cohort 8 gave me a platform to vie for a president though I ended up being male representative. It gave me a chance to lead a group of diverse ideologies, transformed group and am sure they will make an impact wherever they will go. The interaction with trainers and ELF staff was professional, awesome experience and very engaging. Community service was most unique one and successful since even after the attack by bees we were able to unite and deployed organised team work which made us save everyone and as well achieve our objective.

I may not have enough words to thank you, but just know am launching to my passion. As I step out, I may not talk about my future because it may not be very clear, but one day, I will speak about my present which will be my past while in future. Am forever ELF cohort 8 alumnus.

THANK YOU

 

Daniel Gitau

ELF cohort 8 male rep

an introverts struggle to be an extrovert

Before I joined the Emerging Leaders Foundation, I had spent a lot of time on the internet looking for platforms that dealt with youth empowerment. I then came across ELF. It took me close to two years contemplating whether I should join or not. Finally, I made the decision.

For a period of time, I’ve always felt like a failure simply because I had not discovered who I am. I am an introvert who has been struggling to become an extrovert since I always thought that to be successful in life you must be talkative. I was wrong. After going through the personality session at ELF, I changed that mentality. I accepted that I’m actually the best version of myself.

For close to 20 years I’ve always associated intelligence with high grades. But guess what? As much as it is true, an average performer can even be more intelligent and of a higher IQ. I’ll tell you why. The moment you realize who you are and make a decision towards being the best version of you, you realize that even if you’ve made mistakes in the past you can still work towards success and become the best there has ever been. I had an inner awakening after realizing that I am actually intelligent and that my personality is still okay and acceptable, there’s is this inner urge that arose from within. The desire to make a difference. A new amount of energy to work towards realization of my dreams and give back to the community.

I understood that it is normal to make mistakes and learn from them. Your past experiences can actually influence your current self and others in a positive way. I chose to let the past be and decided to work towards making the future bright. Getting to listen to other people’s stories and telling my own story was very empowering. I became aware of my passion. Yes! That’s how powerful the life mapping session was. Now I’m able to do something for the community to avoid a repetition of my story.

I met amazing souls who by the end of the day had become acquaintances. Friends who
empowered me a lot by sharing insights on their career growth as well as what they’ve been able
to do for the community. People I can work with to make this country a better place.

To cut the long story short, Emerging Leaders Foundation is the place to be. The positive impact
they make on their trainees is tremendous. They empower the heart broken, those that had given
up on life, those who gave up on working hard because of failures, and those aspiring to be better
versions of themselves.

 

Submitted by:

Shalom Musyoka.

RUN YOUR RACE, CLAIM YOUR SPACE.

We say we need space, but all we find is empty places as we don’t know what we are in a quest for. Expressively we start seeking the inner peace of discovering ourselves, and before we know it, we are more lost. In that chaos, that’s when we ironically understand who we are. For me, I got lost in the march of 2019, and I think that’s when the occasion of my storms skyrocketed. An unexpected event led to my knowledge of the Emerging Leaders Foundation and the first new page of the rest of my life begun.

Many phases many places may dazzle me, but new faces always put a smile on my face no matter the day and time. Today it was a Monday morning the mother of refreshment cocktails of opportunities, and the faces I saw screamed changes. We began with a fun introduction, in that you had to describe the person next to you and that was an excellent kick-off to team building.

Ever been asked to make a decision that requires your feelings and also logic thinking, and you just gazed unsure of your next move? Well, that’s because self-awareness of your emotional quotient and intelligent quotient hasn’t been made simpler to you. Emotional intelligence deals with self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management. With this in mind, one can understand that mind plus heart equal result, so the next time you are faced with a situation that requires logical thinking don’t put your emotions to it. Some studies suggests doing some personality tests helps one in self awareness and also decision making, in doing so you won’t justify your decisions rationally. We also participated in a storytelling art that aid one to open up to the environment around them. Honestly, it’s a scaring thing to do, allowing yourself to be vulnerable among strangers. What you don’t know is that that’s the safest space in the entire Milky way. On day one what a better way to top the cherry-like having a steamy creamy cup of tea with a bite snack.

Highly effective people have a particular rhythm that guides them in building up character. The freedom of choice inclines towards self-awareness, imagination, conscience, and independent will all of which are either stimulus or response. Besides, these habits are the building blocks of our leadership life as new levels bring about new devils. Having the courage to allow transformation shows the acceptance of being void of capacity and competent to thirst for knowledge. Consistency is key to communication as opportunity favors the prepared, you getting my flow by now.

Ever wondered what people say about you when you not in a room? Keep in mind your name is your brand because how you package yourself is what defines you. Always delivering is a promise of saying I did it once, I can do it again.

**brain teaser read about the elevators pitch**

Gender also shows the critical hierarchy of leadership as there is no real social revolution without the liberation of women. Therefore, one ought to be diverse in culture, socialization, religion, and his/her perception as they are deadly weapons to gender inequality and empowerment. This is almost my third day, and by now some electric current of change is causing my crimson blood and the people I met on day one have found a way to my home. You know the famous saying a home is where the heart is?

The currency of life is learning as the day you stop learning; you start decaying. To be a leader is a reader and a writer as documentation is an art. With the current millennial era knowing how to harness the power of social media and using the right channels strengthens your audience. Aside from social media, public speaking should also be practiced as one has to be one on one at the forefront of change. In conclusion run in your lane as nobody is like you and everyone is destined to bear different fruits.

 

Submitted by;

Faith Nyasuguta

ELF Cohort 8 Admission Now Open!