Goodbye insecurity (“5 Things Secure People Just Don’t Do”).

So I was on YouTube (instead of attending to my to-do list for today). Typical.

Thankfully though, something good came out of this procrastination. I came across this video called “5 Things Secure People Just Don’t Do” by registered clinical counsellor, Julia Kristina.

As someone who is in the process of becoming a more confident and secure person, I found this video to be really uplifting and insightful.

The points covered can be summarised as follows:

  1. Secure people don’t feel the need to control everything.

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Secure people don’t have a need for over-control (an expression of insecurity). They don’t need to know who’s going to be there, what something’s going to be like, what the energy will be like. They trust that they will be able to adapt to the situation (whatever it is) and figure things out. Secure people are also able to set boundaries, say no and remove themselves from situations that do not sit well with them. They are not passive.

This resonated with me as I noticed my insecurity can show up in being overly concerned with how “things will be”. I also have the tendency to be passive and so I found Kristina’s observation that passivity, whilst it can seem like someone is being nice and accommodating, can actually be the result of fear. The fear of upsetting someone, the fear of somebody disagreeing with you etc.

2. Secure people don’t talk about themselves all the time.


Here, Kristina describes how secure people do not feel the need to prove themselves to others and how they have a deep sense of security, worth, love and belonging. She also notes that they don’t feel the need to shrink into themselves and never be proud of their achievements/accomplishments.

In other words, as Kristina says in the video, the mentality of a secure person when it comes to celebrating themselves is:

“It’s not that I am so great, it’s that I am grateful.”

I love that!

3) Secure people don’t look at and point out other people’s flaws.


Here, Kristina discusses how secure people don’t feel the need to nit-pick at others or put people down for being different to them.

She talks about how, a lot of the time, we are judging others to protect ourselves. We don’t want to see what our own issues/ areas for healing are and so we project onto others.

On the Instagram caption for the above quote, Julia talks about how being more compassionate towards ourselves can help us be kinder towards others.

I need to work on this.

4. People who are secure don’t over-apologise.

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Secure people find a balance between knowing when to take responsibility for their actions and not doing too much i.e. “I’m no good”, “I’m such a terrible person etc”.

Kritstina aptly states:

Take responsibility for the part that is yours, nothing more, nothing less.

5. Secure people know that they are not perfect and accept themselves as imperfect.


“Secure people accept themselves as perfect without resigning themselves to being stuck in whatever their struggles are”.

I loved this point because it accepts the reality of being a human (imperfection) without falling into the trap of self-pity, i.e. since I can never be perfect, I might as well stay here and struggle forever.

I have struggles I’m working through. You do too.

But we can still acknowledge our imperfect state whilst striving to do and be better.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Kristina’s point about embracing our imperfection reminded me of something I wrote in a previous blog post: On Soulmates (“To the single people out there” Part 2):

Maybe really knowing ourselves can help us love ourselves more and then extend this love outwards. A love that acknowledges in the same way we all have our “issues”, others do too. In the same way I’m not perfect, nobody else is and so on and so forth.

All in all, this video has encouraged me as I continue the journey of parting from my insecure ways. I hope it does the same for you.

Thank you for reading. You can check out the full video here:

If you’re also working on overcoming insecurity, low self-esteem etc, let’s talk about it in the comments below! Also, feel free to add more things secure people just don’t do.

See you in my next blog post. ✌️

Phases, A New Month and Finding your flow

We’re in October!! The year’s going to be over before we know it. It feels like just yesterday when I wrote my “Four Months to go” blog post (encouraging all of us to make the most of the remaining months):

And for some of us, come September, it’ll be time to resume our studies. (Still not entirely sure how I feel about this).

So, university has indeed started and with that start seems to have come what I’ll call a “down phase”.

Today’s blog post is basically a reminder to myself and to anyone else who’s feeling anxious, lethargic or weighed down that it’s normal to go through “stuff”-whatever “stuff” entails for you.

You’re not always going to feel positive, social and on top of the world and I think that’s just a part of life. There are ups and downs.

Validate your feelings by acknowledging them, not ignoring them. As much as you may be able to put up a front to others, at least be transparent with yourself.

I believe that you’ll end up finding your flow again- which basically means being back on the ball, back on track, more energetic, feeling good again etc.

When this “flow” will return is uncertain but the main thing to remember during this time is that you can be responsible for the mindset you adopt.

Yes, validate your negative thoughts and emotions by acknowledging “yes, in this moment I feel x,y or z” but don’t stay there.

What are the thoughts you can add onto a “I feel so down right now” to keep you in a positive state of mind?

What are the habits you can adopt to boost your mood?

What self-care rituals do you need to practice more frequently?

Be kind enough to yourself to realise that’s it’s okay to feel down. But also let that self-kindness be reflected in a constant reminder that:

Validating your feelings doesn’t have to be synonymous with self-pity.


This is the hook from a song called “After the Storm”, one of my personal favourites from the summer.

I’m going to close this blog post with the explanation the artist, Kali Uchis gave for these lyrics.


Keep on going. You’ve got “this”, whatever “this” is for you.

See you in my next blog post! ✌️

On being desperate for approval.

I like to think of myself as self-aware. To me that means being reflective; being aware of my thoughts, feelings and actions.

One of the things I’ve noticed about myself for a while now is that I’m desperate for approval; something often accompanied by another issue, being a people pleaser.

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I’m working on these things but for now and for the purposes of this post, just imagine somebody screaming from a megaphone “Approve of me” at the top of their lungs, all day, everyday. Metaphorically speaking, that’s me and I know there’s a bunch of people out there who can relate.

You’re always wondering what people think, how they perceive you-from the way you look to your opinions, always wondering if you make the cut, wondering why no one gave you a pat on the shoulder, worrying about who’s watching you, always wanting to toe between the lines so you don’t piss anybody off. (Check out more approval seeking behaviours here).

I think it’s normal for us to care about how we’re perceived but an incessant need to please people or to seek approval has to get tiring, right?

We lose ourselves in the equation of our own lives.

So, what exactly is “approval”? And is it any different to “validation”? These are the questions I found myself asking in the drafting up process of this blog post.

I came across this article entitled “Validation is to Approval as Empathy is to Sympathy”. The title itself is telling as well as the following definitions included in the post:


I also considered the following definitions, as provided by the Oxford Online Dictionary:

Validation= Recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.

Approval= The belief that someone or something is good or acceptable.

What I took from this is that approval is about liking something, e.g. A “like” on an Instagram photo, complimenting somebody’s painting, enjoying or approving of a song.

Validation on the other hand, is deeper. For example, somebody telling you that your work helped them overcome something in their life or someone, despite differences in opinion, choosing to acknowledge your point of view. Validation is about being seen.

On the basis of all this then, I chose to use “approval” in the title of this blog post because I believe it is different from validation, in the sense of being more surface level and thus something we shouldn’t be desperate for.

We should not be desperate for validation from others either but I’m just trying to say that because of the nature of approval, it’s something we need not expect from everybody. Approval is fleeting.

Not everyone will approve of you and nor should they.

Not everyone will validate you either but I think that ultimately what most people desire from others is validation:

Validation. What is it? It’s getting feedback from others that “what I do and what I say matters to you. You hear me. You see me. You think of me. You thank me. You acknowledge my accomplishments. You appreciate my efforts.”

It’s the same kind of thing for validation vs approval. If I validate your experience or opinion, I’m letting you know that I see where you are, I “get” how you’re thinking. I don’t have to agree with you. It’s not up to me to decide how you should see an experience or what opinion you should hold. I serve only as a witness. This is a very soothing experience to be on the receiving end of.

Perhaps this desire to be validated is a more worthwhile pursuit than that of being approved of. (And note that I’m not saying approval from others isn’t nice or that it shouldn’t be a thing. I just think that the absence of it shouldn’t determine our self-worth). The same applies to validation but that’s not what I’m specifically discussing here.

I’ve been reading a book called “Psycho-cybernetics” by American surgeon and author Maxwell Maltz. It’s been an incredibly insightful read so far. Below is an excerpt from a section of the book entitled “Ideas Are Changed, Not by “Will”, but by Other Ideas”:

One of my patients was a salesman who was “scared to death” when calling on “big shots”. His fear and nervousness were overcome in just one counseling session, during which I asked him, “Would you physically get down on all fours and crawl into the man’s office, prostrating yourself before a superior personage?”

“I should say not!” He bristled.

“Then why do you mentally cringe and crawl?”

Another question: “Would you go into a man’s office with your hand out like a beggar, and beg for a dime for a cup of coffee?”

“Certainly not.”

“Can’t you see that you are doing essentially the same thing when you go in overly concerned with whether or not he will approve of you? Can’t you see that you have your hand out literally begging for his approval and acceptance of you as a person?”

A visual representation of how I felt after reading that last part:

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I think being self-aware is not just about acknowledging your feelings. It’s about saying now I know that this is what I do, think, feel, whatever the case may be, how can I work on it?

I’m constantly working on reducing my need for approval and it’s an interesting journey.

All I can say is, we need to reclaim the power we give to other people when we become reliant on their approval.

We need to put our begging hands back inside our pockets and remember that we are capable of approving of ourselves as individuals.

Let us consider what we are truly doing the next time we find ourselves metaphorically holding a megaphone to our lips and screaming incessantly for someone (just someone) to tell us they approve of us.

Let’s dust off our knees and keep journeying towards becoming the best versions of ourselves. And after that, feel free to check out this post on how to stop being dependent on other people’s approval.

In closing, an important thing to note, as the author of the aforementioned post does, is that strategies for being less approval dependent…

won’t eradicate your desire for approval or the anxiety you feel when disapproval comes your way. What they will do is give you practice accepting such desire and anxiety without relinquishing your integrity.

Don’t lose yourself trying to get people to like you.

Main image source:

Photographer: Unknown.

Four months to go…

So, August is almost over, as is the summer.

And for some of us, come September, it’ll be time to resume our studies. (Still not entirely sure how I feel about this).

I deemed this “transition period” a good time to review the goals I’d made at the start of the year and for the summer.  In doing so, I found a few goals I had not accomplished or even started on. Of course, the year’s not over yet so it’s not all bad.

In saying that though, there’s something very annoying about seeing a goal you wrote down at the start of the year (presumably in a state of uncontrollable zeal) and realising you didn’t do what you say you’d do. (Especially when it comes to those goals where you set deadlines for yourself).

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Despite wanting to punch myself in the face, I was encouraged to make the most of the holiday period I have left before university starts and also to make the most of the remaining months of 2018.

We may only have four months left but I think there’s always time to revisit your goals. There’s always time to at least start working towards them before the year ends. You might even accomplish some of them come December 31st.

So, I rewrote my goals list accordingly, including those things which I didn’t start on but hope to by the end of the year.

Why not give it a try? Review the goals you set for yourself at the start of the year and even for the summer. How will you go about addressing those you didn’t start on?

Thanks for reading!

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Photographer (unknown)

A few things I’ve learnt about productivity

Last month, irritated by my ever increasing levels of procrastination and lack of productivity, I decided to embark on a “productivity challenge”. In short, this challenge involved approaching to-do lists in a different way to get the most out of them, as suggested by productivity coach Kirstin O’Donovan. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my old post “Send help please (on productivity and the lack thereof)” here.

I promised to write an update post four weeks from the start date of the challenge (9th July):

…after the four weeks are up, I’ll update you on whether or not the tips were helpful as well as any other productivity related stuff I learn during this period of time.

I’ve gone slightly over the four week mark. (Blame procrastination and constantly prioritising other blog post topics over this one). *Sorry*

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Without further ado though, here goes the update:

Were the to-do-list tips helpful?

Yes (some more than others though).

Just a quick recap of the tips I followed:

  1. Make different “to – do” lists to work from. E.g. a list for ‘side-projects’.

  2. Estimate how long each task will take.

  3. Prioritise. Try and spend the most time on the tasks that fit into one of two categories: a) Important and urgent and b)Not urgent but important.

  4. Review. Let the list go beyond being just a “to-do” list. O’Donovan provides the example of reviewing the list and using it to plan the week ahead.

For me, the most helpful tips were making different to-do lists to work from and prioritising tasks.

Having different to-do lists to work from was helpful because it allowed me to focus on goals that fit into different categories, e.g. fitness and side-projects. Splitting tasks in this way made me feel less overwhelmed than writing out just one long list of things to do, as did following O’Donovan’s suggestion to never include more than 7 or 8 tasks in each list.

I found prioritising tasks helpful because it’s always good to know you’re working on things you actually need to.

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I also enjoyed focusing on the tasks that were “not urgent but important”. This is because they link to long-term goals and working towards something you hope to accomplish in the future is always exciting.

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Estimating how long a task will take is helpful as it makes your day more organised.

However, I found that I didn’t like the restriction of saying “this will take X amount of time” and “Y will take that amount of time” and by the second week I stopped doing it. This boiled down to inaccurate estimations and lack of self-discipline which meant I went over the allocated time for a task.

That being said though, it’s helpful to know how long you do spend on certain tasks, e.g. an hour to workout, so that when you write your to-do-list, you’re already aware of how much of your day will be allocated to something. I feel like estimating how long certain tasks will take is a skill that gets better over time (and one that improves as you become more aware of your daily “time-spending” habits).

I also feel like you don’t always need to estimate how long something will take for you to do. Simply knowing what you have to get done in the first place may be a good enough starting point but I think it all depends on the person.

In terms of using the to-do list as a planning tool, it was helpful to schedule ahead and know what I needed to do either every day or on specific days only.

Now, onto what I learnt about productivity in general:

  • Waking up early is key.
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Don’t you hate that feeling where it feels like the day has literally run away from you? Yeah, me too. When I start my day earlier, I have more time to get things done and then chill later on.

  • Being realistic is also key.

I have the tendency to be over-ambitious whenever I write to-do lists. It helps to consider whether or not you can actually tick off the things you’ve written by the end of the day or if you’re just writing for the sake of writing.

  • Don’t feel bad for putting things off for a while if you feel you have too much on your plate.
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When you know you have a lot to do, things can get overwhelming. This is where you shouldn’t be afraid to prioritise what needs to be done at this present moment in time, let’s say, preparing for a test.

You gain more clarity from saying “from next weekend I will start on X (X being the task you want to work on but cannot sacrifice much of your time for)” or “after I’m done with X, I’ll start on Y…” as opposed to writing a task down everyday on your to-do list knowing full well that you’re not able to or ready to make time for it yet.

That being said, the difficulty lies in actually starting on “it” when the time comes but ultimately, if prioritising means holding off on something, do so, especially when you’re working on multiple things at once.

  • Instagram and YouTube can be huge time-wasters and I need to spend less time on them.
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  • I don’t have to nor will I be productive every single day.
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Not everyday needs to be exceptionally productive. I need to go easy on myself sometimes.

When we think about all the things we should be doing and all the things we need to do it’s easy to become very self-critical.

Yes, we should be honest with ourselves when it comes to our productivity but we should also recognise any progress we make, be it big or small.

Also, as much as we all have things we’re working toward and things we need to get done, we also need time to quite frankly, do nothing and not feel guilty.

It’s all about balance.

A while back, I found this article on “Medium” called “The Philosophical Argument for Working Less (And Wasting Time)” which I found really insightful:

It’s easy to take the idea of clearing space to leisurely do nothing and label it “lazy” or a “waste of time,” but that’s overlooking the serendipity of second-order effects in the process. It’s precisely the kind of autonomy that prolonged bouts of leisure produce that move our species in new and pleasantly unexpected directions. We grow and invent when we play.

Could it be that giving yourself “time-off” every once in a while is actually beneficial?

  • The proclivity for procrastination that I mentioned in the previous blog post is very much alive and well.
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There’s not much else to add here except that I’ve learnt and continue to learn that procrastination is productivity’s mortal enemy and I don’t know how to end the war between them. I’ll let you know if I find the answer though.

Until then, have a wonderful day and see you in my next blog post.

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On Soulmates (“To the single people out there” Part 2)


This is a follow up to a previous blog post I wrote called “To the single people out there“, inspired by Mbalenhle’s “You are the one you’ve been looking for“. In that post, I wrote about how one can indeed be happy and single.

Today’s blog post is tailored towards the single people who would like to be in a relationship one day. To the ones who daydream about that sort of stuff. To the ones who consider themselves romantics- hopeless and otherwise.

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We all know that being single and happy doesn’t stop us from daydreaming about being in a relationship. It doesn’t stop us from daydreaming about being in love nor does it stop us from appreciating the beauty in the relationships that we see.

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This is probably because at some point, a lot of us desire the opportunity to form this type of deep connection with another person or maybe just cute Instagram pictures but that’s neither here nor there…

Today’s blog post is on soulmates.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “soulmate” as:

“someone, usually your romantic or sexual partner, who you have a special relationship with, and who you know and love very much”.

I also hear soulmates being referred to as “the one”. In terms of my thoughts on the concept, at one point I thought soulmates were a thing. At another point I didn’t. That was where I stood for a very long point up until the other day when I started to reconsider.

My inner thoughts and questions led me to an article called “Soul Mates Do Exist — Just Not In the Way We Usually Think“. The author- psychologist and researcher Shauna Springer provides an alternative way of looking at the idea of a “soulmate”.


Springer suggests that we can become another’s soulmate as opposed to automatically being one:

If humans can develop finely honed skills in music, athletics, and language arts, wouldn’t it be equally possible for them to become perfectly suited and completely irreplaceable to their spouses?

I’ve included some more key parts from the article below:

  • Two individuals who have become perfect for and irreplaceable to each other have become soul mates.

Isn’t that beautiful?


  • In the final stages of marriage, the bond that can be created is a deeper, more satisfying level of love than anything that anyone encounters in the initial cocaine-rush phase of a relationship. In one sense, to make a comparison between the experiences of love at these two relationship stages is like comparing apples and oranges. I would argue that love of a deep and meaningful kind is only possible when based on real knowledge.
  • If being loved is based on being known for who you are and cherished despite your flaws, then the feelings one has during the initial cocaine-rush phase of a relationship can’t be love. These feelings would be some combination of other pleasurable things, like hope and attraction, and illusions of the soul-mate variety.

I really liked the article because it finds a balance between the “airy-fairyness” associated with the concept of a soulmate and the more practical side of things:

this is not a passive process — marriages don’t get better as a function of time alone, rather they get better as a function of two partners continuing to treat each other with love and respect, despite the challenges life brings.

So, all of this got me thinking.

If “love of a deep and meaningful kind is only possible when based on real knowledge”, this would entail forming a friendship with the person (whoever they end up being) first.

And then if that is true, shouldn’t we get to know ourselves as much as possible?

This is a point I raised in the previous blog post. Not that being in a relationship would hinder you from “getting to know yourself”. I just feel that on the basis of the whole “love yourself before you love somebody else” sentiment, maybe the real knowledge of ourselves that we gain through introspection etc can be beneficial.

Maybe really knowing ourselves can help us love ourselves more and then extend this love outwards. A love that acknowledges in the same way we all have our “issues”, others do too. In the same way I’m not perfect, nobody else is and so on and so forth.

Let’s face it, a lot of us may be single for a while longer. (I know somebody just read that and thought “no, no no, not me.”)

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Regardless of your feelings on the matter, all I’m saying is that you might as well make use of your time alone through gaining self-knowledge and more.

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This is so that in the future, if you do meet your “soulmate” (the way Springer defines them), not only will you already love yourself, you’ll also able to love someone else even after the “honeymoon phase” is over. This will be the result of you realising that really knowing and loving someone (*cough cough* yourself) includes knowledge of the good and the bad.

And if worse comes to worst, knowing yourself first can be used as a precautionary meaure. Real knowledge of another person may not necessarily lead to loving them but realising you need to:


WE CAN’T FIX OTHER PEOPLE but when it comes to you, if real knowledge of yourself includes things you don’t like and are able to change, you can do so!

I’m sure all of this doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes but I believe it’s a step in the right direction.

Let’s be what Springer calls “grounded romantics“. Others don’t complete us, they complement us.

So whilst you’re single, living life (hopefully your best life),

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don’t get caught up in looking for the person who can become your soulmate. If you’re single right now, it’s probably for a reason. Just chill.

Personally, I believe in God’s timing. For you it might be different. Regardless, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the whole “things happen when they happen” sentiment.

With that said, keep practicing gratitude for where you are right now, keep finding the balance between daydreaming and reality and most of all, keep bettering yourself.

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If you’re a Creative, read this.

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Whether you’re the aspiring designer, the aspiring photographer, the aspiring singer/songwriter, the aspiring director, the aspiring author. Whatever the case may be, this is for you.

Ever felt like this?

I feel like nobody cares.

This isn’t getting the exposure it deserves.

Maybe I should just quit.

Or asked yourself any of the following questions?

Why am I doing this anyway?

What if it all fails?

Why are my stats /views so low?

What if I’m doing the wrong thing?

A lot of us, including myself can answer a definite yes to some or all of the above. As a “beginner” when it comes to the pursuit of certain creative goals, like screenwriting, I thought it would be cool to write a post addressed to people like me.

It will basically be a (hopefully) brief list of thoughts/ advice to encourage all of us in our pursuits; things I think about, things I have to remind myself of or things I’m trying to implement into my life.

1) Consistency is key.

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Most of the time when you start out on something, it’s going to take time for “it” to reach the level you want it to be at.

But what matters is consistency and the fact that you enjoy what you do.

Yes, I roll my eyes at this sometimes too or internally scream “but why does it have to be like this?” but just think about the last thing you achieved and what it took to get there. And then with the things you wanted to achieve but didn’t, were you consistent?

Random example, but I’ve been trying to get up earlier and I can definitely say that a lack of consistency in the time I wake up each day has been a major drawback (#prayformepls).

Back to my point. In most cases views, subscribers (whatever the case may be) won’t come overnight.

So, whenever you’re feeling discouraged, remember the fact that what you do doesn’t boil down to views alone (which goes back to my point about enjoying what you do). This isn’t discounting the fact that yes, a lot of us want to reach large amounts of people with our work or want more readers, more subscribers etc. But these things don’t just happen at the click of a finger.

Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.

-Dwayne Johnson

I’m sure this whole being consistent thing doesn’t = no failures along the way.
It just means we keep trying.

2) Embrace uncertainty.

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A lot of us question whether what we’re doing is even the right thing. We don’t know how things are going to turn out or where we’re going to end up.

Even so, let’s try and find a way to avoid being crippled by this fear of uncertainty.

We’ll all have different ways of doing this.

The main thing to ask yourself is:

Would you rather not do anything because you’re scared of uncertainty or at least start taking steps in some kind of direction? (even if they’re baby steps)

3) Research.

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I feel like researching careers I’m interested in has helped me become slightly less idealistic (yes, only slightly).

What are the realities of the line of work you’re trying to pursue? For example, this article on becoming a director provides a “sharp reality check” on the steps required to do so.

I’m also reminded of a literature festival called “Africa Writes” which I attended last year with a friend. There was an author panel/ Q&A type thing where one of the authors mentioned that being an author is not her main/only source of income.

I also found this:

When it comes to money, there are two kinds of writers – there’s J.K.Rowling, earning massive amounts for every book, and then there’s the vast majority of everyone else, who, of course, aren’t.

To any aspiring authors out there, don’t be discouraged! Read the whole thing here to see the quote in context.

These are just examples of things that make me (slightly) less idealistic. Things like this make me think things like “Oh maybe I will need a 9-5 to be able to eat” or “maybe I should start looking into how I’m going to make X lucrative”. The list of the thoughts that keep me up at night continues.

This is all just a reminder for us to:

keep our expectations in check.

I like to call this “positivity with a dose of realism”.

Yeah we can daydream about making moneyyyyyyyy off our first official creative project or becoming a worldwide sensation (who knows? we might even pull it off).

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Let’s just make sure any grandiose expectations we have aren’t the only thing fuelling us.

After all, the J.K Rowling’s of the world had to work hard to be where they are now, right?

4) Always remember why you do what you do.

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A creative creates art. Not to make a buck, but to make a difference. She writes to write, not to be noticed or to sell books. She sings to sing, for the pure joy of making music. And she paints to paint.

There’s something you do that regardless of whether or not you made money off it, whether or not you gained international success off it, whether or not you won awards for it, you would keep doing.

What is that for you?

You may become “known” for your work. You may not.

Regardless of the outcome, hopefully your love for your craft will be a source of encouragement whenever you feel invisible, anxious or confused.