Young people especially girls between the ages of 13-20 are often faced with pressure from peers, neighbours, family, and boys even sometimes older men. During this time there is an increased pressure to conform with your peers, follow the latest trend, compromise on your ideals and vision. Because who wants to be that Strange Girl on her own, marching to the beat of her own drum. In the book ‘Daring to be ourselves’, Marianne Schnall tried to explain that when you accept who you are, in years to come, you will look back in time and be proud of who you have become.
So here are 10 simple rules to help you discover yourself
RULE 1 BE YOURSELF: do not allow anyone influence, coerce or cajole you into conforming to ideas or a life that does not match your goals or that may jeopardize your self-worth, career, education, and aspirations in life.
RULE 2 BE COURAGEOUS: accept nothing else other than courtesy and give nothing else than courtesy. Do not give anybody the opportunity to talk down to you, or make you feel inferior. A female child is as important as a male child. Be vocal about what you want from life and dedicate your time and energy to achieving them, there is an adage that says ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better’, so do not allow anyone play down your importance.
RULE 3 FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS: whatever you desire and dream to become pursue it with all your heart. Make sure you create a change, contribute values to the system at all times. Famous people are those who created solutions to a problem even before the world knew they had a problem. Take for instance the guy who created the telephone, (Graham Bell). The world already had a working communication system before his invention, yet today the telephone in all its incarnations is the most dependable means of communication.
RULE 4 CHERISH YOUR BODY: beauty is in diversity, and it depends on the beholder. Whatever your physique, you are beautiful, every day as you wake up in the morning look yourself in the mirror and make these confessions; I am wonderfully made, I am beautiful beyond comparison, I am special. Do this because that’s the truth.
RULE 5 YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH: you don’t need to be perfect, and by the way, no one is perfect. Perfection is an illusion that does not allow people to live a complete life. You are good enough the way you are, I know that most times society wants to mould us to who they want us to become, this is very wrong. We cannot all be tall or petite, slim or fat. Do not change who you are just to conform to an ideal. Only do so if you desire it for health purposes and wellness and let it be entirely your decision. After all, it is your life.
RULE 6 BE VISIONARY, BE AMBITIOUS: as a girl, you have so much power and opportunities to change the world, use it. Whatever your heart desires, go for it. It is ok to try and fail sometimes. The guy who invented the electric bulb (Thomas Edison) failed 999 times, if he had given up on the 1000th try he would not have made history. Do not ever give up on yourself, desire more, learn from the best, and work smart and don’t ever doubt your ability to succeed.
RULE 7 HAVE A VOICE: do not be afraid to speak up for what you believe in. Don’t be too afraid of confrontation, and don’t be afraid to disagree. If a boy, a friend, a family member, a stranger, or your teacher is not treating you well, you have a RIGHT to speak up. Not that you should be disrespectful or arrogant, but let your words carry power because if you do not speak up people will assume it’s okay to treat you the way they want, you may lose yourself along the way.
RULE 8 STAND OUT, YOU DON’T BELONG IN THE CROWD: be unique in your own way, be comfortable in your space, find out those attributes, qualities and principles that makes you tick and flaunt them. Trying to be the same as everyone else makes you lose yourself. Do not try to fit in, be proud of your differences and tap into your unique potential in order to create your own clime.
RULE 9 BE HAPPY AND GRATEFUL FOR THE THINGS YOU HAVE: no matter your issues or insecurities, always remember that there is someone somewhere wishing to have what you have now. Avoid the happiness trap, thinking that you have to get certain things or achieve specific goals before you can be happy. Life does not work that way, so live for the moment and appreciate the little successes.
RULE 10 LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE: at all point and stages in your life, live healthily, do not compromise your health, maintain personal hygiene especially menstrual hygiene, avoid anything that may endanger your reproductive health, eat healthily and above all build your self-esteem.
By Imo Chinasa Ude
Imo Chinasa U is a Communication/Content Development specialist, her career focus are on reproductive health, maternal/child health/youth empowerment. She is an activist against Sexual/Domestic violence, with over 6 years’ working experiences. As a ONE Ambassador she advocates for eradicating of extreme poverty in Africa, she is an Ashoka Scholar, a Global Citizen and a YALI RLC Fellow, She volunteered to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as a Humanitarian/Communications Officer. Co-founded JustCare Development Initiative and African Youth Employment Initiative both organisation focuses on youth empowerment, she currently work as a Communications consultant for MamaYe-E4Action. She Holds a Master’s Degree in Diplomacy/Strategic Studies and BSC in Public Administration