Most of the doors that have opened up for me, big and small, were because I dared to believe that I could do it! I could handle whatever came my way. I could deliver. I could achieve. I could excel. I could be the best in the room. And, I’m still getting there. I know everything is practically on a stand still as at now, due to Covid-19, but, I am a firm believer that this too shall pass. So as I write today, I pray that when that day comes, you’ll step out, boldly, believing in your abilities, knowing that you are unstoppable! For nothing is impossible for the man that believes!
Barack Obama’s slogan for his 2008 elections campaign was yes, we can! It’s important to note that he advocated mainly for change, with his main initiatives pegged on it. Wait, how did he even get to that point of campaigning for presidency? Barack Obama, one who did not have what we’d call a normal upbringing. One who lacked the constant affirmation and warmth of a father, having being left with his mother at the age of two. One who battled identity crisis better part of his teenage years. One who struggled with his racial identity. One whose family background did not give him a head start into politics. Nothing predicted he stood a chance. But you know what, at the end of the day, you get to choose, will you be a victim of your circumstances or will you rise above them?
We all celebrated his victory upon winning the elections in 2008, becoming the first African-American President of the United States of America. A black, with Kenyan blood flowing in his veins, in the most powerful office in the world! Awuoro! He admitted he was never the likeliest candidate for this office, but that did not stop him. He didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. He was not as experienced as his competitors. Many thought it was too soon for him, that he was young for that office. That did not stop him. He was not a pundit on everything he needed to know to become president, but he understood the power of strategy. On his race, some black voters thought ‘he’s not black enough’ and some white voters thought ‘he’s too black’. That did not shake his foundations. He had come to terms with who he was and knew how to leverage on it. He knew what he wanted, knew he could do it and he did it.
I’m curious. How many opportunities have slipped right in front of your eyes because you thought, ‘ah, that’s just not for me’, ‘I’m not ready’? How many? Take a minute. Many at times we feel there are others better qualified than us, better skilled, better equipped with resources and you just name it…because I’m sure you’ve given such excuses at some point in life. At times, it’s actually true that you’re not the best fit. Other times, I think we just never want to put in the effort and work required. What I’ve learnt so far is that, qualifications aside, hard work, determination and self assurance have to come to play.
Robin Sharma said, ‘Your I can is more important than your IQ’ . Can is an English verb which simply means to be able to. Everytime you say “I can…….” you are confirming your ability. Reminding yourself and telling the world of your inherent capabilities. Nobody wants to walk around with limited ability to do one thing or another. Not forgetting that we are a sum total of our confessions. So, what are you confessing today? What have you limited your mind to? Are you assuring yourself of your capabilities? It’s actually interesting to discover that one of the key differences between you and the person you really look up to is the belief in one’s ability.
In 2017, as Barack Obama gave his final speech, having ruled the maximum two presidential terms, with confidence he roared, Yes we can ,Yes we did! I got charged up as he urged the citizens to believe in their ability to bring change as individuals. No doubt, we can be agents of change, we can make the difference in society. Believe it, and you will do it! Not everyone will believe in you. That’s certain. But, do you believe in you? When the critics begin questioning your goals and ambitions, will you crawl back into your cocoon or will you keep it moving? Build firm foundations before you set out, by believing that yes you can do it all.
You see, a ship in harbor is safe but that is not what ships are built for. If we’re ever going to make a difference, in our lives, our families, our friendships, forget the world for now, it must start with leaving the harbor. Yes you’ll be tossed by waves and winds but you can navigate them all. We all love comfort but nothing good comes from comfort zones. I tend to believe we just get too lazy at times. I’m writing to get us accustomed to a new way of thinking and I hope we get to step out and make the bold moves. Nothing good comes easy. Let the ship sail!
Self assurance is not a new concept, but how many of us are conscious of how important a captivating self assurance is? Not just to make you feel better, but because as the ship sails, you’ll need it. In the uncertainties, when things don’t work out, when people trash your efforts, when some of your efforts bear no fruits, you will need to remember that you’re still unstoppable, able to do it all, that you can! Embrace your uniqueness and serve us your best. Don’t fit in, stand out. I call that freedom, because only then, will you have impact and influence.
You must be bold and daring. Life’s greatest chances aren’t grabbed by timid people. Be bold as a lion as you confess your ability. Tread on the paths of impossibility. All it takes is a man or woman with an inherent belief that yes, they can do it! Is it a job, your education, an innovation, name it. There are no limits to what you can do, just don’t go building a tower of babel for you’ll come down sooner than you get started.
Here’s to all the dreamers, thinkers, doers and all who see possibility everywhere. For the believers, remember you’re backed by God’s power and promises. Step out and Win!!!
I’ll be right here cheering you on!