In celebration of Women’s history month, I decided to interview four inspirational young women who have had to deal with loss in many different ways. In part 1, I interviewed Lu Adesola who shares how she dealt with the loss of her mother at such a young age. In part 2, we look at how another young woman gained the courage to lose the detrimental thought of self-hate.
There are four parts to this series. Today’s focus is Tiwalola Ogunlesi.
Tiwalola Ogunlesi is a self-love and confidence coach and the CEO of ‘confident and killing it’. She has conducted several talks across, New York, London and Lagos. Tiwa has also successfully held a university tour across universities in the Uk; namely, University of Warwick, University college London, University of Manchester and Cambridge university.
What would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to face?
Trying to be positive and not letting my inner self-critic hold me back from being everything I’ve been destined to be. When I was younger, my negative self-talk was really bad. I never felt good, skinny or smart enough.
I was my own bully and it made me very miserable. Self-hate was my default and it was challenging to try and live life to the fullest when I had so many conflicting thoughts in my mind.
I also used to compare myself to everyone around me and naturally that made me feel insecure in my own abilities.
Breaking out of self hate can be extremely taxing, how were you able to overcome this?
When I read about how the mind is a battlefield of conflicting forces, I stopped letting negative thoughts dominate my mind. It usually works against you but you can train it to work for you, I awoken to the realisation that I am not the voices in my head.
I declared an intentional war on the slavery of self-doubt and went on a journey to discover my truth. I’m a very competitive person so once I realised I had the power of choice and the inner strength to control my thinking I was intentional about doing that every day.
I focused my attention on discovering my worth, my strengths and my passions. So when the lies of self-doubt told me I wasn’t good enough, I would remember all the things I loved about myself and start reciting them.
I had a list of positive affirmations to replace the negative thoughts with. The negative thoughts aren’t completely gone but the important thing is I now believe in what I have to offer and even if I don’t feel good enough, I’ll still be brave and pursue my dreams regardless.
What inspired you to start Confident and killing it?
Confident and Killing it is a movement that wakes you up to your truth so you can be confident, unstoppable and dare to live the life you truly desire.
The idea came to me when I was volunteering as a youth mentor. I noticed that more often than not young girls compared themselves to the false perfectionist standards society has set up around them. Seeing another generation of girls growing up hating themselves like I did motivated me to do something about it.
Data shows that one in four girls suffer from clinical depression by the age of 14 and if we’re honest, to be a girl and to hate yourself is far from abnormal in this society. However, I truly believe young women and girls cannot thrive if they don’t even believe in who they are and love themselves. Self-love is truly the foundation to unlocking potential.
My mission in life is to wake young women up to their inner badass so they can overcome the fear and insecurities that often hold them back.
The movement aims to use creative and thought provoking media to transform how young women see, think and feel about themselves. Rather than just ‘talking’ about it, the movement gives young women life-changing advice and tangible tips for dealing with self- doubt and being confident in all areas of their life.
What advice would you give to someone who is currently struggling with confidence and self-doubt?
I would let them know that nothing great can come from doubting themselves. Not believing in yourself keeps you stuck in life.
We all have seeds of greatness within us but we need to nurture them so they can grow and we can reach our potential. Loving yourself is a way to nurture those seeds.
I would also tell them that fear is just a negative thought of something in the future that hasn’t even happened yet so if they can think of a negative thought, they have just as much capacity to think of a positive one.
Positivity and happiness are a choice we can make every single day. We become what we believe so I would encourage them to start believing in their worth and value so they can live their best life.
Where do you see yourself and Confident and killing it in the next five years?
My dream for confident and killing it is to build a buzzing community of young women loving and supporting each other. I would also love to have a fully established media company that creates next level thought provoking and inspiring content that wakes people up.
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