5 Signs Of A Strong Person Who Can’t Be Manipulated

<SUNBIGHT>~Psychology~Orie~28th April 2022 @ 00:11 WAT~Power of Positivity

ARE you easily manipulated? While you would like to believe that the world you live in is filled with friendly and kind folks, some ruthless people are deceptive and unscrupulous. It’s not always easy to spot these individuals as they often hide behind a smile and warm demeanor.

Sadly, inside they’re full of devilish intentions and are working you for their benefit. It’s a common scenario today that people use one another to get ahead. Even a bit of it’s acceptable in the corporate world, but it can come with downright devilish motivation.

These scheming folks will twist and manipulate you for their personal gain. They will lie, steal, beg, borrow, and plead to get what they want. Some people don’t see these individuals coming, and they fall right into their trap.

Yet, other people can smell a rat a mile away. How do you fare when it comes to dealing with manipulative individuals? Do you know when something isn’t right because you have a gut instinct that tells you, or do you always give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise?

Five Reasons the Strong Person Won’t Be Manipulated

Why is it that some people are prey for these manipulators, and others don’t seem bothered by them at all? The key is in your presentation, attitude, and overall personality.

A self-centered, narcissistic individual knows who they can manipulate with ease, and they also know the ones they need to leave alone. Here are five signs that you’re a strong person that can’t be controlled.

1. You Set Firm Boundaries

Boundaries are often seen as harmful or restrictive, but limitations can be good things. For instance, before you enter a relationship, if you set firm guidelines, the other person knows what to expect. Should your partner cheat, lie, or do some other thing clearly on your boundary list, they can expect the consequences.

Borders let you and those around you know your limits, and they’re part of survival techniques. Others will not manipulate a person who establishes these guidelines. At the first sign of trouble, or when someone doesn’t honor their requests, they will quickly end the relationship.

Many people set boundaries regarding infidelity with their partner. If you’ve been dating someone for months and they cheat on you, then they know that it’s not going to end well when you find out. If you’re a strong person, then you don’t question the need to end things because once that line has been crossed, there’s no turning back.

Additionally, you will feel no guilt in severing ties because the person clearly knew what would happen if they cheated, and they did it anyway.

2. Bullies Don’t Stand A Chance

Bullies often prey on the weak. They search for individuals who have low self-esteem, are overly trusting, and are a bit naïve. By scoping out these individuals, they have a better chance at having their plan be a success.

According to an article in Psychology Today, the manipulator looks for someone who isn’t a leader, is quiet and shy, or has some insecurities they can use to their advantage. However, the manipulator is also savvy because they know which people to avoid. They will steer clear of those who are strong, self-reliant, and can see through their schemes.

In school or the workplace, the bully always seeks a weaker target or someone that stands out. How many times as a child did you hear statements like “four eyes” when someone wore glasses? A person with poor eyesight is usually sensitive about this issue, so they’re an easy target to be manipulated.

The narcissist can swoop in and promise them protection from other bullies if they do their bidding. The strong person would never find themselves in this position. They’ve already learned early in life how to stand up for themselves, and they won’t take too kindly to the manipulative tactics of someone with an abusive personality.

3. You Voice Your Opinions

It’s not a bad thing to voice your opinions. Those folks around you know your stance. Taking a stand for the things you believe in makes you less of a target to being manipulated.

How many times have you heard that if you don’t stand for something that you will fall for anything? Well, your strong position will protect you from the unscrupulous person who wants to use you for their gain.

4. You Will Say No

Why is saying “no” so hard for some people? If you’re asked to do things that are beyond your comfort zone or that you don’t have time for, then you just say no. It’s a simple little word that has so much power behind it. Most people are worried about the consequences of refusing, as they don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings.

Nevertheless, the person who has been burnt once or twice knows that using this word gives them authority over their life. They don’t beat around the bush or tower in fear that they won’t be liked or respected. You know your boundaries and what you cannot do, and you don’t let anyone guilt you into doing anything.

5. You Tell Folks How You Expect to Be Treated

The strong person doesn’t allow people to disrespect or use them as they tell them upfront how they expect to be treated. For instance, if you’re in a new relationship and the other party gets upset and uses a term like “stupid,” the strong party will have no problem putting them in their place.

Telling someone what you expect as far as treatment goes along with setting clear boundaries. It’s not really about punishing those who do you wrong, but it’s more about giving them gentle guidance into choosing a better way to do things. A strong person teaches by example too.

They may not want you to call names in an argument, but they also would never stoop to this level to gain control over a situation.

Other Traits of a Strong Person

The preceding signs show you why a strong person cannot be manipulated, and they have many endearing qualities that are impressive. Here are some of the top personality benefits of being a powerhouse.

•Good decision-making skills – The strong person is typically good at making decisions. They use pros and cons to form the right choice. They’re often great at leading companies because they won’t be swayed or manipulated by people underneath them.

• Goal-focused – Some people can’t handle being leaders because they get caught up in all the drama around them. However, goal-focused people keep their eye on the prize regardless of all the chaos going on.

Marketing gurus – Since they have strong personalities, they’re great at talking to others. Some people are natural-born sales professionals, while others prefer to be behind the scenes.

•Self-disciplined, confident, and aware – The strong individual knows how to control their impulses as well as restrain from drama. Rather, they spend their time focusing their energy and ambitions on good things. They’re firm in their values, interests and have an established character that others respect.

•Independent thinkers – Being assertive means that you don’t always go along with the flow. You’re not afraid to challenge things if it doesn’t seem like the best option. Your innovative thought processes are what makes good material to run a company.

Multi-tasking abilities – The robust personality often can do many things at once. Though The Cleveland Clinic states that multitasking is bad for your mental health and can cause you to burn out quicker, the strong person knows how to wear many hats with ease. Since they’re so confident in their abilities, they have no problem doing many things at once to get the job done.

Final Thoughts on How to Avoid Being Manipulated

Did you know that manipulating people is a part of life, and most folks do it without realizing it? How many times have you put on a big smile when you walked into work, even when you didn’t feel like smiling? You’ve learned that when you use this expression, you get more positive feedback.

Manipulation isn’t always a bad thing, primarily if it’s used for the right reasons. However, it should never be used to affect another person negatively. Some people use these tactics to try to play games and influence someone, to do their bidding. When it’s used as a form of control, then it’s wrong.

Thankfully, the strong person is not easily manipulated. They are firm in their boundaries, know their beliefs, and aren’t afraid to make a few ripples if something doesn’t feel right to them. The good news is that most strong people have learned through the school of hard knocks. Even if you’ve been manipulated in the past, it doesn’t mean you have to let it continue.■

13 Signs Your Personality May Be Intimidating People

<SUNBIGHT>~Lifestyle~Afo~13th March 2022 @ 11:34 WAT

HAVE you ever noticed that some people are just naturally intimidating? Or, perhaps, have you noticed that people tend to be intimidated by you?

Being an intimidating person is an intriguing situation to be in, as it can be tough to tell why people are so nervous around you – especially if you’re not a physically “scary” person. But it actually might be your personality traits that are causing the discomfort!

Here are 13 signs your personality may be intimidating people.

1.    You Don’t Do Small Talk

Being direct and to-the-point can be quite intimidating, and if you match that description, you do not waste time with small talk. You likely consider beating around the bush pointless and would much rather get straight to the point and talk about pressing and significant issues.

This means that you often skip pleasantries or straight out avoid talking to people that won’t start an engaging or productive conversation. This can cause a projection of you that appears cold or even rude to others, and that’s certainly intimidating.

Though this is fine and a preference you likely share with many people, do keep in mind that small talk can be a positive thing. Many communities around the world consider it a crucial part of their interactions and bonding.

2. You’re A Problem-Solver

It’s good to have the critical thinking skills necessary to be a good problem-solver, but that can sometimes intimidate people. This is because you’re always finding solutions independently and taking charge.

Others around you might feel like you hog the spotlight like you are excluding them, or as though they are unneeded. This can lead them to consider you intimidating.

3.    You Have Big Goals

Someone with big goals always strives to be the very best version of themselves. They do so by setting goals to work towards, and these are often ambitious and exciting in nature, with motivation and commitment involved that propel them forward.

If this description matches you, then it can be quite intimidating to the people around you. This is because of your colossal drive and forward movement. The good news is that the people who will likely be intimidated are those who are insecure about themselves and their achievements.

4.    You Don’t Conform

Others are often intimidated by someone who has confidence in themselves and does not bend or conform to the expectations of others. If you are an independent thinker, where your opinions are often not shared by the people around you, others with low self-confidence will find it hard to understand how it is possible to self-validate and not look for the approval of others.

In addition, people that are less knowledgeable in certain subjects may find it uncomfortable that you are so much more well-informed than they are. Once again, this will not be an issue for people who are secure in themselves and have positive thinking for their actions.

5. You’re Assertive

To an introvert, extroverted people can be intimidating. This is especially true if those extroverts are assertive. But you don’t necessarily need to be a stereotypical extrovert – or even an extrovert at all! – to have this feature.

If you are the type to quickly speak out while expecting others to do the same, you can be perceived as aggressive those around you. Unlike some of our previous points, this intimidation isn’t necessarily a mark of insecurity.

As a matter of fact, by taking up all the space in the room and disregarding the different communication styles of others, you may alienate the people around you. This doesn’t mean you should stop being assertive – it just means that you need to find the balance in a conversation instead of consistently dominating it. Here is what you can do in that respect:

  • Take the time to assess the people surrounding you. Do they speak the same way as you do? Are they the type to interrupt your long assertive speeches, or would they likely wait for you to stop talking – which might not happen until the point is lost?
  • Take note if people are unusually quiet or sensitive towards you. Try and encourage these people to speak or ask them what they think.
  • Match the pace of others. Sure, you have great ideas, but let others share theirs, too. You can dominate the conversation when it’s your turn to speak, not throughout an entire meeting.

6. You’re Opinionated

Being highly opinionated can also be intimidating to others. If you are not afraid to challenge societal conventions and even stand-alone with those opinions, you’re giving off a power that may cause others to feel intimidated or uncomfortable.

Being opinionated is a great thing with many positive sides to it, including improving your persuasiveness and making you less vulnerable to other people’s persuasion. Just make sure that your opinions are backed by sound arguments. Being opinionated involves:

  • Determination to do something even if it means not conforming to others expectations of you
  • Dedication to keep trying to achieve the desired result, even if it may seem strange or pointless to others
  • Bravery in sticking to your guns, even if others are not backing you up.

7.    You Never Make Excuses, and You Don’t Accept Them Either

Others may find you intimidating if you do not make or accept excuses. Not taking nonsense is not a sign of a lack of sympathy, but rather a sign of your willpower. Still, as justified as it is, no one can deny that it’s quite intimidating to deal with someone who wants results, not excuses.

People that don’t make or accept excuses:

  • Don’t see themselves as a victim, even if their entire world is crumbling
  • Don’t have a place in their life for complaints from anyone
  • Pursue whatever goal they have set with vigor
  • Have zero tolerance for procrastination and laziness

8.    You Don’t Let Fear Control You

It can be intimidating and unsettling when someone is unphased by fear. Fear can have such robust control over so many people’s lives, so for someone to have the utmost in positive thinking and never let fear stop, you can be quite a shock. You may consider fear:

  • An opportunity to grow and better yourself
  • A new experience to live through and learn from
  • An essential and vital part of life

9.    You Are Stubborn

Stubbornness can be an excellent trait to have in moderation, but others may find your determination to be intimidating. Being stubborn is one of the key reasons why you may be such a good problem-solver. Not taking no for an answer and doing your best to solve issues that you can see solutions to is the sign of a go-getter.

Others might find it challenging to understand this trait of yours, and if they aren’t intimidated or impressed by it, they may even become confused. To them, it’s a mystery why you would take up a great deal of your time-solving problems they’ve given up on, instead of merely letting it go.

10. You Never Get Envious

Refraining from falling into patterns of bitterness or envy at other people’s success can be a tough thing to do. As such, it makes sense that someone might find you intimidating if you never get envious of others.

Here are some traits that someone may have if they don’t fall prey to the green-eyed monster:

  • They know that their chance for success is unaffected by their current job, money or status
  • They can congratulate others without any envy or malice present
  • Being career-focused people with their own goals and don’t bother trying to meet other people’s
  • They know that every person is different and has a different path in life
  • Finally, they don’t view life as a race; they take their time and work on their aspirations at a pace that challenges them and them alone

11. You Always Want To Learn More

Close-minded people feel intimidated and insecure in the face of someone full of curiosity and always striving to learn more. So if you’re someone who understands that you don’t have all the answers in this complex world, your open-minded eagerness to grow and learn may throw off the people around you.

12. You Are Quick To Read Others

People find it intimidating when they meet someone that can accurately read them within moments of a first meeting. This is especially true for people who have ulterior motives, malice, or unfavorable characteristics, as you will not hesitate to call them out once you get a read on them.

Still, even those with good intentions only can be intimidated by quick reads. No one wants to feel like their entire life has been spilled within a few seconds, and it can make some people feel quite unsafe.

13. You Select Friends Carefully

Are you someone who chooses your friends very carefully? If so, the fact that you are so selective and even picky can be intimidating. This is because you don’t hesitate to cut off toxic people and want friends who are your peers, not those who will use you or who can’t contribute to your life in the same way you can contribute to theirs.

Still, this level of selection with friends can be a positive thing. This is because:

  • Equally strong-willed friends can boost your self-control and discipline, while those who are not disciplined will lead to slacking on your end.
  • You are less likely to take financial risks that may not end in a positive way if you have fewer friends in your life.
  • Having proper socialization levels can lengthen your lifespan.
  • The friends you make influence the choices that you make throughout your life.
  • You can learn from good friends who are in right positions or have the knowledge to share
  • A good friend group is one that lifts each other up.

Final Thoughts On Some Signs Your Personality May Be Intimidating People

Is it bad if your personality intimidates people? Not necessarily! It often points to a strong will, determination, and independence for which others should strive.

You shouldn’t feel the need to change those parts of yourself unless you absolutely want to. But do expect people to be a little nervous about speaking up around you, and don’t be surprised if people are taken aback when you reveal you can be a sweetheart after all! ■

[Culled From Power of Positivity]

20 Harmful Habits That Drive People Away (and What to Do Instead)

<SUNBIGHT>~Psychology~Afor~24th February,2022 @ 22:18 WAT

EVERYBODY has undesirable characteristics that make them unattractive, but did you know that these things can threaten your relationships? How often did you get asked out on the first date, but you never made it to the second one? Your undesirable traits may be to blame, as they can drive people away.

Think back over your life about when you were passed up for a good job or had significant upheavals and broken relationships that you never understood. Your method of interacting with others can make you seem attractive or unattractive to others.

Now, you must realize that no one is perfect, and everyone has a toxic trait or two floating around, but it’s essential that you get these things under control for your long-term happiness.

Twenty Harmful Habits That Drive People Away

Do you know when you’re behaving poorly enough to make a shift to your mindset? Perhaps you’re oblivious to what’s going on and need some direction. Here are some of the most common traits that drive people away and what you can do to resolve them.

1. Being Self-Absorbed Will Drive People Away

Self-absorbed individuals think of themselves more so than others. The chances are that you don’t realize you’re behaving this way. However, it could be one primary reason no one wants to spend time with you.

According to Dr. Leon F. Seltzer from Psychology Today, being self-absorbed is a psychological dysfunction. He furthers states that this is commonly observed manners in pathological narcissism.

To fix this behavior, act engaged about other people’s lives and talk less about yourself and your daily occurrences. Additionally, the help of a psychiatrist might be necessary as there could be an underlying personality disorder.

2. You’re Insecure

Do you constantly need someone to affirm you and bring comfort to your problems? It’s very annoying when you’re always insecure and need validation, and people don’t like friends that need to be supported continually.

While everyone has things about themselves that they don’t like, you need to love yourself for who you are in life. Start working on your insecurities to become a better person.

3. Being Rude Could Drive People Away

No matter how justified you feel in being rude, it’s never okay to be unkind to others. If you’re known for making a big scene, becoming loud, calling names, or kicking up a ruckus in public, then you could drive people away.

To fix this, learn to be silent even when you’re dying to say something. It’s wise to observe more and talk less. If you’re constantly being rude, then you need to examine yourself and see why you feel the need to lash out at others.

4. Envious of Others

Jealousy is often dubbed the green-eyed monster because it’s a complicated feeling to engage in. If you have high expectations of yourself, you’re going to fall flat every time. Start being thankful for what you do have, and all the blessings given by the Universe.

Remember that life is not a competition, and you’re not measuring progress. Live the best life you can for yourself and your family.

5. A False Victimhood Mindset May Drive People Away

One of the worst people to be around is someone who is constantly playing the victim. Everyone has things in their life that have hurt them or caused significant trauma, but you learn how to rise above these things.

You must stop complaining and see yourself as a whole person and not someone who’s broken into a million pieces. Get counseling if it helps you process what’s happened and learn to move past it.

6. Cheating and Cutting Corners

You’re never going to win if you cheat and cut corners. These are deliberate behaviors that you do by choice, so don’t make excuses for them.

If you want people to love and respect you, you will make sure you don’t do immoral things. Cheating can be considered fraud, and it’s also not being honest with yourself or those around you.

7. Bragging

A conceited person is just as wrong as one who is self-centered. No one wants to know how much you paid for your home or what’s in your bank account. Focus on being humble and leaving the dollars and cents out of your conversations.

8. The Outside is More Important Than the Inside

Don’t put a lot of focus on what’s on the outside, but you need to concentrate your energy on perfecting the inside. The clothes you wear, the hairstyle, or the purse you carry isn’t going to define you as a person. However, how you treat people will be what individuals use to judge you. Be kind!

9. Lacking Empathy Could Drive People Away

Empathy for others is essential. You must have compassion for those around you. Never engage in behaviors like backstabbing or cruelty for any reason, as it only shows how insensitive you’re being.

When someone is hurting, go out of your way to step into their shoes and understand their situation. Sometimes, you need to dig deep to find that compassion that lies within you.

10. Constantly Needing Validation

It’s exhausting to be around people who always need the validation of others. You don’t have to prove your worth, which is very draining to those around you. Stop being overly concerned with how you look to others, as you must love you for you.

According to an article published by MSN, social media has fueled the fires of those who need validation. Some folks will base their decisions and life around the approval of others. Dr Kocchar was consulted on the article, and he states that these attention-seeking behaviors often begin in childhood due to issues of neglect or other traumas. Stop fishing for compliments and learn to make your own choices based on what makes you happy.

11. You Are Unreliable

When you say you’re going to do something, you must do it. People hate when someone isn’t reliable, and you won’t make many friends when they can’t count on you.

12. Stubborn Perfectionism

Perfectionism is the folly of many, as it causes you to become moody and never content. Remember that no one is perfect, and life is full of evolutions. Be patient and stop demanding so much of yourself. Not only will this behavior drive others away, but it will drive you crazy.

13. Being Overly Competitive Might Drive People Away

It’s good to have a minor competitive nature as it helps you accomplish things. However, making constant comparisons with others can be dangerous. You don’t have to “one-up” your neighbor, and you must learn that if you have less or more doesn’t matter. Life’s journey is about helping each other along the way.

14. Can’t Let Go of Things

Why can’t people just let things go? Sure, change isn’t an easy process, but it’s healthy to let go of the things that hold you back. Try refocusing your thoughts and learning to change your mindset, as it will help you release feelings you harbor inside.

15. Pessimism

No one wants to hang around people who are moody and pessimistic all the time. It would help if you started by having an attitude adjustment. Cynical people aren’t happy, and you can always find things to be thankful for and happy about.

16. You May Drive People Away If You Are Judgmental

A judgmental person is looking at everyone else and pointing out their faults and failures, so they can avoid looking at their own. If you engage in this behavior, you likely have some serious issues that you need to fix.

When someone is having trouble, why not reach down your hand to them rather than judge them? Your high expectations will drive people away for sure.

ADVERTISEMENT

17. Dishonesty

No one likes a liar, and remember that your lies will always come to the forefront. Be honest no matter how much it hurts, and don’t hide behind stories and other creative tales you make to escape the truth. If you want to drive people away, then dishonestly is the one way to do it.

18. No Emotional Self-Control

If you can’t manage your emotions, you’re like a bomb waiting to explode. People don’t like being around hot-headed folks, and they don’t want to be associated with individuals who lose their cool constantly. You’re likely stressed out, have too much on you, and have some anger issues. Counseling and self-care can work wonders to get these emotions under control.

19. There’s No Line Between Friends and Enemies

You don’t make any comparisons between friends and enemies, as you see them both in the same category. Stop picking fights with others and learn to trust people for once. It would help if you were rooting for your friends and not waiting for them to stab you in the back.

20. You Might Drive People Away if  You Take Things too Personally

Do you think that everything said or done is directly targeted at you? You must realize that many people say and do things more centered around themselves, and they’re not usually a direct insult towards you. However, you need to learn to accept constructive criticism if it’s done with the right attitude.

If you want to have a healthy life and be productive, you will learn to stop letting the opinions of others define your feelings.

Final Thoughts on Harmful Habits That Drive People Away

Do you see any of these toxic behaviors on this list that you struggle with in your life? Even the best people have some deep-buried personality flaws that sneak up on you occasionally. The key to fixing these issues is to be aware of them, and once you recognize the things that drive people away, you can stop these behaviors and develop new, healthier ones.■

[Courtesy: Deborah Tayloe// Power of Positivity]

African banking tycoon Tony Elumelu shares his Top 7 rules for success

<SUNBIGHT>~Mentorship~Afor~16th February,2022 @ 09:40 WAT

  • He’s an economist by training, a visionary entrepreneur and a philanthropist.
  • He’s the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

TONY Elumelu is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

The banking tycoon founded The Tony Elumelu Foundation after he retired as chairman of the United Bank for Africa to prove that the African private sector can be the primary generator of economic development.

Through TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, the foundation trains and funds 1,000 African entrepreneurs every year to start and grow their businesses.

Today, we’ll reveal the business philosophies behind his huge success that every ambitious entrepreneur should follow.

Here are the Top 7 rules for success from the man who coined the term “Africapitalism”, Tony Elumelu:

1. Stay focused

According to Elumelu, entrepreneurship is a long term journey. “Stop seeing it as a short term journey. Great entrepreneurs or companies didn’t build their businesses overnight. It’s a long term journey. So dare to dream, implement your dream and stay focused.”

2. Have a vision

Talking about his illustrious career in banking, which saw him lead one of the largest mergers in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, Elumelu once said, “I grew up with certain beliefs and motivations, one of which is: when you envision and take a position to make that vision come through, then significant opportunities will crystalise.”

“We saw a banking industry that was growing very fast, and we didn’t think the requisite human capital capacity was available to support the continued support of these banks. So we took an early position in putting in place a company that would help guarantee the survival of banks, and when an opportunity presented itself, we were ready for it.”

3. Read and execute

Elumelu is an avid reader who tries to see learning points when reading fiction or nonfiction materials. According to him, people generally conceptualise ideas based on history or social environmental factors and influences, so young people need to read a lot. “I’d recommend autobiographies for many entrepreneurs out there who are looking for role models,” he said.

“Secondly, when you have a dream, you have to execute that dream by working hard, which is what differentiates a successful person from someone who isn’t successful. Combining the ability to read with the mentality to translate an idea into reality will guarantee your success in life,” he added.

4. Seize your opportunities

According to Elumelu, when running a business, entrepreneurs must be quick and fast in their ideas to know when an opportunity presents itself and how to seize it. “They say that success, to a large extent, depends on being at the right place at the right time, and this philosophy has helped us many times to take advantage of a situation and turn things around.”

5. Be disciplined

According to Elumelu, being financially diligent starts with being prepared even before a crisis hits. “Growing up, my dad always told me that if you earn a dollar and don’t save, when you earn a billion-dollar, you won’t save anything. And so that discipline of investment, keeping something and not consuming everything has helped me significantly.”

6. Work hard

According to Elumelu, hard work is what separates a dreamer from an achiever. Combining the ability to work hard and work smart increases productivity on another level. “I say to people who work with me that there is no substitute for hard work. Today, we hear many people talk about “working smart”, but I prefer a combination of working hard and working smart. So my message to entrepreneurs is to work hard to actualise their dreams.”

7. Impact others

According to Elumelu, people should not measure one’s success in the amount of money they have in the bank but how they’ve truly impacted others. Speaking about the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, Elumelu said, “Early on in my career, I realised that entrepreneurship was critical to the development of this continent. And as a successful African private sector business leader, I knew I needed to promote entrepreneurship so that we could have more successful business leaders in Africa. This was why we started the Tony Elumelu Foundation.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation through the help of its partners now empowers beyond the initial 1,000 entrepreneurs. Last year, TEF’s Entrepreneurship Programme empowered 4,949 entrepreneurs from across Africa, with a 68% representation of female entrepreneurs, which was a huge milestone.■

[Courtesy: Victor OLUWOLE// Business Insider Africa]

Queen Nanny. A warrior queen raised from Ghana, liberated Jamaicans [1680 – 1730]

<SUNBIGHT>~History~Nkwo~13th February,2022 @ 20:37 WAT

HISTORIANS have largely ignored Queen Nanny of the Windward Maroons, focusing instead on male figures in Maroon history.

The Maroons, on the other hand, hold her in the highest regard. Queen Nanny’s biographical data is sketchy, with her name appearing just four times in written historical documents, and typically in unflattering terms.

She is, nonetheless, regarded as the most significant figure in Maroon history. She was the Windward Maroons’ spiritual, cultural, and military leader, and her significance arises from the fact that she led the Maroons through the most difficult era of their resistance to the British, from 1725 to 1740.

Queen Nanny is thought to have been born in the 1680s on the Gold Coast of Africa (now known as Ghana). She was said to be from the Ashanti or Akan tribes, and she arrived in Jamaica as a free lady.

It’s probable that Queen Nanny, who is said to be of royal African descent, brought her own slaves. Slaves were kept by African dignitaries on a regular basis. She was rumored to have been married to Adou but had no children. In the 1730s, she died.

Moore Town, the Windward Maroons’ main settlement, was established in 1734 when the British demolished the former Maroon town, known as ‘Nanny Town.’

Identity and Culture of the Maroons in the Past

Slaves from the Gold Coast, Congo, and Madagascar were introduced to Jamaica as slaves. The Gold Coasters were the majority in Maroon settlements. This group was known as Coromantie or Koromantee in Jamaica.

They were tough and fierce combatants who preferred resistance, survival, and most importantly, freedom, and refused to be enslaved. They led the majority of slave revolts in Jamaica from 1655 through the 1830s.

The Maroons placed a high value on spiritual life, which was interwoven into every element of life, from child upbringing to military operations. Slave revolts almost often included African spiritual rituals. Obeah was commonly employed by leaders, such as Queen Nanny, who were able to inspire confidence in their followers.

Spiritual rituals like Obeah (and voodoo in Haiti) originated in Africa and were particularly important to the black community during slavery. However, as Western culture was pushed on the Caribbean under colonial control, many African customs became “outlawed” and associated with negative connotations.

Their forefathers are honored in Maroon culture, and their significance in everyday life is recognized. The history is both taught and shared as a source of pride. The history of Maroon resistance to slavery is a source of immense pride among modern-day Maroons, and it is an important aspect of Maroon identity.

The story of the Maroons’ resilience and ability to hold off British troops for nearly eighty years is unlike any other in history. The Maroons’ unwavering courage and determination were what got them to freedom. Their fight against slavery was fueled by their memories of Africa and its culture.

Their African culture and identity instilled in them a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. So much so that the stigma of inferiority imposed by the plantocracy was lessened. As a result, the Maroons’ fight to slavery was a defense of their culture and identity, spiritual and political principles, and the survival of African civilisation.

This is why their Maroon ancestors play such an important role in their daily life. There is a ‘private’ portion of the Maroon celebrations of the 1739 Peace Treaties that only Maroons are allowed to attend, where the ancestors are claimed to appear, especially Queen Nanny, who is revered.

The Importance of Female Maroons

Slavery was cruel on the plantations, and women were not spared. Slave marriages and unions were forbidden. Those who were able to arrange secret unions were forced to watch as their children were taken away from their mothers shortly after birth and sold into slavery.

Many ladies chose abortion rather than see their children suffer the same fate (slavery) as they had. Moreover, women on the estates were physically exploited by their slave masters through rape and other brutal sexual practices. They, too, were subjected to arduous physical labor in the home, performing domestic duties and raising their slave lords’ children. Some worked on the plantation itself on occasion.

The Maroon women, on the other hand, grew crops and were responsible for the majority of the agricultural output in their communities. Wild pigs were killed, and plantations were raided for food and supplies, as well as to release slaves. The plantations were frequently invaded in order to reintroduce women into the Maroon villages, who would otherwise be unable to expand their numbers and assure the race’s survival.

Legends abound of great female Maroon warriors raiding plantations and freeing slaves, carrying massive blades and chopping off the heads of the British. Women in Maroon villages were strong because of their place in traditional Ashanti or Akan culture.

The Ashanti culture was founded on a heritage of powerful and revered women and a warrior nation tradition. In Maroon language and culture, many Ashanti aspects were preserved.

Queen Nanny’s Mythology

Queen Nanny is attributed with being the military leader of the Windward Maroons, who used devious tactics to defeat the British on numerous occasions. She was an expert in guerilla warfare and taught Maroon troops how to hide in plain sight.

According to oral history, Nanny would cover her men with branches and leaves, urging them to stand as still as possible in order to mimic trees. The British soldiers would be picked off by the Maroons as they approached, fully ignorant that they were encircled.

The Maroon communities were high in the mountains, with only a tiny path connecting them to their town. As they marched in single line, the British soldiers could be easily identified as they approached, allowing them to be taken off one by one. This strategy worked particularly well when a significant number of British soldiers were slain by a small number of Maroons.

During the height of the Maroon struggle against the British in 1737, Nanny and her people were on the verge of hunger, and she was about to surrender when she heard voices from her ancestors begging her not to give up.

She found pumpkin seeds in her pocket when she awoke, which she planted on the hillside. The seeds grew into enormous plants bearing pumpkins within a week, providing much-needed food for the famished people. One of the hills in Nanny Town is still called as ‘Pumpkin Hill.’

The story of Nanny catching bullets has two versions. The first is that Queen Nanny could catch bullets in her hands, which was a highly developed art form in several parts of Africa at the time. Nanny was also said to be able to collect bullets in her buttocks and fart them out again.

According to renowned historian Edward Braithwaite, the original story was given a filthy twist by British colonialists who despised Nanny and were deliberately insulting about her when they told this story.

Last but not least, Queen Nanny is said to have positioned a big cauldron near the edge of a narrow mountain path. Even though there was no fire beneath it, the pot was believed to be boiling. Approaching British soldiers would peer inside, fall in, and perish. Some people were supposed to pass out and fall down the hill.

Because Nanny was known to be a herbalist, it’s been suggested that the pot included unique plants with anesthetic effects. According to modern historians, the pot was actually a circular basin formed by the Nanny River’s hollowed-out rocks united by the Stony River’s waters. The water was always frothy due to the constant flow of the river, giving it the impression of a boiling pot.

Queen Nanny’s Legacies

Queen Nanny is recognized with uniting the Maroons across Jamaica and contributing significantly to the preservation of African culture and knowledge. The British despised her. Early historians wrote about the Maroons in unflattering ways, attempting to portray them as savages no better than animals. Queen Nanny was frequently depicted as a bloodthirsty figure.

Thickness’ notebook from 1788 recorded an encounter with a woman who appeared to be Nanny herself and was wearing bracelets and anklets made from British soldier’s teeth. “The old hag wore a girdle around her waist with nine or ten various knives hung from it in sheaths, many of which I’m sure were sunk in human flesh and blood.”

Much of Edward Braithwaite’s efforts was essential in Queen Nanny being named a National Hero of Jamaica in 1976.

This resulted in a national acknowledgement of the Maroons’ assistance to the liberation of the slaves from the British.

The Windward Maroons, led by Queen Nanny, are a symbol of resistance, insurrection, and survival. Queen Nanny is a symbol of oppression for all those who are oppressed.

Nanny of the Windward Maroons was encouraging her people to oppose enslavement at all costs while Queen Elizabeth 1 dispatched pirate John Hawkins on her own ship, the SS Jesus of Lubeck, to Africa with orders to take Africans to Jamaica. Queen Nanny is thus the actual Queen of Jamaica.■

[Courtesy: The African History]

18-Year Old Becomes First Black Male Valedictorian at High School in Oakland

<SUNBIGHT>~U.S.A~Eke~10th February,2022

AHMED Muhammad, an 18-year old student from Oakland, California, has made history as the first Black male to graduate as valedictorian in his school, Oakland Technical High School.

Muhammad is honored with the highest academic rank in his class with a cumulative 4.73 GPA. He is also an outstanding athlete as a member of the Bulldog’s varsity basketball team.

Aside from that, Muhammad also founded a science education company called Kits Cubed last year during the pandemic. The company creates fun and affordable science kits that elementary and middle school-age kids can enjoy doing experiments with.

“Founding Kits Cubed was the culmination of all of the valuable lessons I learned throughout high school from so many amazing people,” Muhammad told KTVU. “I’m glad we were able to create something meaningful before graduating.”

However, Muhammad said it was just the start of endless possibilities for him. He was accepted to the 11 universities he applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and his “dream school” Stanford. He plans to major in engineering and computer science but has yet to make a final decision.

Muhammad, who is poised to be a first-generation college student in his family, is grateful for his parents who worked hard and served as role models to help him reach his goals. He hopes to inspire other young people to achieve success as well.

“Being named valedictorian is a dream come true,” he said. “I hope that me being class valedictorian inspires others from similar backgrounds to do the same.”■

[Courtesy: BlackNews]

Regain Control of Your Life: 15 Phrases Never to Forget

<SUNBIGHT>~Psychology~Nkwo~9th February,2022

IF you don’t regain control of your life, it’ll always feel like other people and external circumstances control it. Regaining control of your life requires controlling your mind and regulating your thoughts. Choose to focus on things that play a massive role in how your life works out.

No matter the circumstances, you can stay in control of your life. It all starts with controlling your thoughts and then your actions. As you regain control, you’ll begin to live the life of your dreams, helping improve all areas.

However, it’s sometimes hard to regain control when you aren’t thinking about beneficial things. When you struggle to take control of your thoughts and life, reading inspirational quotes can help. The words of wisdom from others who have been in your situation can make all the difference.

These phrases are ones you should never forget as they’ll help you regain and maintain control. The life lessons can help you shift your mindset and refocus on the essential things in your life. Then, you can regain control and focus on living the life of your dreams.

Fifteen Phrases Never to Forget to Regain Control of Your Life

1. “If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Whether other people tell you that you can’t do something or your inner thoughts, you must persevere. Don’t give in to the voices telling you that you can’t do something or you won’t have control of your life.

Instead, when someone tells you that you can’t do something, show everyone that you can. Once you prove the voices wrong, you won’t hear them anymore, allowing you to do whatever you desire.

2. “I found that every single successful person I’ve ever spoken to had a turning point, and the turning point was where they made a clear, specific, unequivocal decision that they were not going to live like this anymore. Some people make that decision at 15, and some people make it at 50, and most never make it at all.” – Brian Tracy

As Tracy explains, you must have a turning point in your life where you decide to make a change. If you want to become successful and achieve your dreams, regaining control of your life is essential. The turning point is when you decide to take back control and live by your own rules.

Everyone reaches this point in their life at different ages, so don’t assume it’s too late for you. You can start making the most of your life at any given moment.

3. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

When you think you have no power, you aren’t likely to regain control. You must believe that you are powerful and can manage any situation in your life. If you can remember this quote, you’re sure to maintain control of your life.

4. “Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” – Deepak Chopra

Reacting the same way every time something happens shows that you aren’t in control. Instead, it indicates that you are trapped in the past, repeating the same detrimental habits. Ruminating causes you to lose control, and you can’t get it back until you learn to let go.

Remember this quote so that you can make positive life changes. When you do, you’re sure to switch your mindset, take back control of your life, and move forward.

5. “Opportunity does not knock. It presents itself when you beat down the door.” – Kyle Chandler

If you want to control your life, you must go after you want. You can’t sit at home, wondering why everyone else receives opportunity and you don’t. Being in control requires you to get out into the world and work hard for what you want.

When you chase your goals, you’ll experience many opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise. The opportunities will allow you to continue growing and becoming a better version of yourself.

6. “Don’t let someone else control what you do in life. It’s your decisions, your outcomes, your life.” – Unknown

When you let others control what you do, you no longer hold power in your life. You must take the control back and start making decisions for yourself. Then, each outcome in your life will result from your hard work, determination, and desires.

7. “You can’t just hope for happy endings. You have to believe in them. Then do the work, take the risks.” – Nora Roberts

While it’s good to be hopeful, you must go beyond that. When you hope for happy endings, it is essential that you also believe in happy endings. As Roberts explains, you also must be willing to put in the work and take risks along the way.

8. “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli

When you focus all of your energy on wanting to control things you can’t, it causes you to lose control of your life right now. If you find that this is a problem for you, make a conscious decision to change your mindset and regain control. Take a moment to consider what you have power over before putting in any time or energy, and you’ll notice a quick improvement.

9. “You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.” – Steven D. Woodhull

There are an endless number of choices you can make in your life. If you feel like you have no joy or reason to wake up in the morning, you must make a change.

Remember this phrase and make a conscious effort to make better choices. You have control over everything you do, and when you do what makes you happy, your life will improve.

10. “Don’t settle. Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.” – Chris Brogan

Do you want to regain control of your life? Then don’t settle for anything less than you deserve and desire. There’s no reason to waste your time or energy doing things that don’t make you happy.

As Brogan explains, you don’t have to finish things you don’t enjoy. You also don’t have to stay somewhere you don’t want to be. Additionally, you can change your life path anytime if you decide you want something different.

11. “No one has power over you unless you give it to them, you are in control of your life, and your choices decide your own fate.” – Unknown

When you feel like someone else controls your life, it’s because you gave them the power to do it. It’s time for you to take back the control and start making decisions for yourself. Remember that every decision you make determines your future, so don’t let anyone take power.

12. “You get older, and you learn there is one sentence, just four words long, and if you can say it to yourself, it offers more comfort than almost any other. It goes like this: At least I tried.” – Ann Brashares

Sometimes you feel like your life is out of your control because things didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped. However, as long as you try, you are in control and hold the power over your life. It’s only when you let your fear, worry, or lack of motivation stop you from trying that you have a problem.

13. “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” – Robert Tew

Part of regaining control requires that you respect yourself. You can’t stay in detrimental situations if you want power over your life. Instead, assess everyone and everything in your life and determine what serves you, helps you grow, or makes you happy.

14. “Success is hastened or delayed by one’s habits. It is not your passing inspirations or brilliant ideas so much as your everyday mental habits that control your life.” – Paramahansa Yogananda

Your daily habits determine your chance of success in life. You can have many great ideas and moments of inspiration, but it won’t help if you don’t make hard work a habit. Continually working toward what you want and need are the only ways to regain control of your life.

15. “You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions your take.” – Jack Canfield

If you can remember this quote from Canfield, you’re sure to take control of your life. All you need to know is that you can control your thoughts and actions.

Final Thoughts on How to Take Back Your Power: 15 Phrases Never to Forget

Everyone experiences times in their lives when they feel like things are out of their control. These phrases can help you regain control and start living for yourself again. If you can remember these words of wisdom, you’ll stay focused on the essential parts of your life.

Putting these life lessons in an area, you’ll see often can help you remember. You could put your favorite phrase in your workspace, bedroom, bathroom, or anywhere else you’ll notice it.■

[Courtesy: Sarah BARKLEY// Power of Positivity]

15 Mantras to Help You Stop Negative Thinking and Overthinking

<SUNBIGHT>~Psychology~Eke~6th February,2022.

PEOPLE who overthink know how hard it is to overcome negative thinking. It’s a vicious cycle that causes more overthinking and negative thoughts about a situation. While there are many reasons for overthinking, there are also many ways to overcome it.

When you want to stop negative thinking and overthinking, positive mantras can help make all the difference. As you become comfortable repeating mantras, you’ll put an end to the cycle for good. Then, you can focus on gratitude, mindfulness, and living a fulfilling life.

When you use daily mantras, they promote mindfulness and positivity each day as the phrases help push away negative thoughts. The words will help you experience peace and happiness, helping you improve your life overall.

Fifteen Mantras to Help You Stop Negative Thinking

As you read through these mantras to stop negative thinking, remember the ones that resonate within you the most. The ones that resonate are the ones that’ll make the most difference in helping you stop overthinking. By implementing them into your daily routine, you’ll quickly notice the beneficial difference they make.

Fifteen Mantras to Help You Stop Negative Thinking

As you read through these mantras to stop negative thinking, remember the ones that resonate within you the most. The ones that resonate are the ones that’ll make the most difference in helping you stop overthinking. By implementing them into your daily routine, you’ll quickly notice the beneficial difference they make.

1. I conquer every obstacle I experience.

You can make it through everything that comes your way, no matter the situation. With positive thinking, you can overcome every obstacle and setback you encounter, helping you move forward. Things won’t always go as planned, so you must be prepared to handle them without overthinking.

While planning is beneficial in life, you can’t always count on things not working out in the way you’d hoped. Using this affirmation each morning can help you accept and overcome any obstacles that you experience.

2. I challenge all negative thoughts, allowing myself to move on.

This affirmation can help you challenge negativity and let go of overthinking. Anytime you experience a negative thought, switch your mindset and think of something positive and beneficial instead. Each time you challenge your thinking this way, it helps you relax your mind and refocus.

When you implement this mantra into your daily routine, you’ll begin developing better habits. Before you know it, you’ll challenge your negative thoughts without even thinking about them, helping you move forward.

3. I control my thoughts without letting anxiety set in.

All that it takes to stop overthinking is to learn how to control your thoughts. When you can manage your thoughts, it quickly changes your mindset, helping you see the positivity around you. This phrase will help you look for ways to overcome your negative thoughts before anxiety sets in.

If you can remember that you are the only one in control of your mind, you’re sure to refocus your thoughts. You can stop overthinking when you realize that you can choose your thoughts.

4. I am relaxing my thoughts and focusing on the present.

By relaxing your thoughts and focusing on the present, you’re sure to stop overthinking. Repeating this mantra can help you stop thinking about the past or worry about the future. Without thoughts of things you can’t control, you can live in the moment and enjoy the good things in your life.

5. I am focusing on beneficial solutions to things that I can control.

When you think too much, it might be because you are thinking about too many scenarios. If you can’t think of a beneficial solution, use this affirmation to help you refocus.

You also might overthink because you focus on situations you can’t control. When your mind starts racing, take a moment to think about whether there’s anything you can do about the experience. If you can’t, let it go, and focus on what you can control instead.

6. I am joyful and have happy thoughts about my life.

By telling yourself that you are joyful, you’ll experience more happy thoughts about your life. Repeat this mantra until you start to feel happy, and then repeat it as necessary throughout the day. The more days you repeat this phrase, the more effective for improving your mindset.

7. I am changing my perception of things.

Sometimes all it takes to stop overthinking is changing your perception of things. Using this affirmation first thing each morning can help you start your day with positivity and maintain it throughout the day. By changing your perception, you’ll begin looking for the good in all situations, even ones that didn’t go as planned.

Overthinking can cause you to miss out on the good all around you. It can also distract you from the essential things in your life. Rather than letting it consume you, use this positive phrase to refocus and shift your mindset.

8. I am okay and safe right now.

Sometimes overthinking and negative thoughts come from feeling unsafe or afraid. Stress and worry can make you feel like something negative will happen. If you ever feel this way, this is the mantra for you.

By reaffirming that everything is okay and that you are safe right now, you can eliminate the negative thoughts. Since you can’t change the past or control the future, don’t let fear convince you that you can’t enjoy life.

9. I release stress and worry anytime I experience it.

If stress and worry are issues in your life, it’s time to release those negative feelings. When you can let them go, you can stop overthinking right away. Free your mind of anything that causes you to overthink, and it’ll make all the difference in your life.

It might help to visualize the stress and worry flowing out of your body as you repeat the affirmation. Repeat the phrase a few times, envisioning the negativity leaving your body. Then, repeat it a few more times as you visualize positivity taking the place of your stress.

10. I let go of thoughts from the past because I can’t change what happened.

No matter what you do right now, you can’t change what happened in the past. Using this affirmation can help you let go of your negative thoughts regarding the past, helping you move forward. As you let go of wanting to control the past, you’ll experience happiness and joy in life once again.

11. I release unhelpful thoughts and breathe in relaxation.

With this mantra, you will notice that the unhelpful thoughts leave your mind quickly. Repeat the phrase and practice deep breathing in between repetitions. Then, on the inhale, visualize relaxation set in and negativity leaving your body.

Implement this mantra into your morning routine, and you’ll feel more positive throughout the day. It helps stop negative thinking and overthinking, helping you experience happiness again.

12. I let go of fear about the future.

Fear of the future can cause serious negative thoughts. It can be debilitating as you can’t think of anything else when you are afraid about what’s coming next. If fear of the future is an issue for you, start using this mantra every morning to help push it away.

13. I am experiencing peace within my mind.

By telling yourself that you have peace within your mind, you can start experiencing it each day. Sometimes all that it takes to eliminate overthinking is to convince yourself that you are at peace. Being at peace with your life will help you stop negative thinking in its tracks.

14. I am free from overthinking about things that aren’t important.

If you ever overthink about things that don’t matter long-term, this mantra can help you change that. This mantra can help you let go of thoughts that aren’t important, leaving space for the essential things in your life. Using the word ‘free’ helps your mind release anything that’s holding you back, such as overthinking.

15. I am free of thoughts that hold me back.

This affirmation is another one that uses the word ‘free’ to help you release negative thoughts. Overthinking and negative thinking hold you back from achieving your goals and living a happy life. Repeat this mantra until you feel positive thoughts coming back into your mind.

Throughout the day, negative thoughts might creep back in. If you keep this mantra in mind and repeat it whenever necessary, you can shift your mindset anytime.

Final Thoughts on Mantras to Help You Stop Negative Thinking and Overthinking

Negative thinking and overthinking can both hold you back and take over your life. Rather than letting them wreak havoc on your mind, start implementing mantras to help you instead. These affirmations will inspire you to release negative thoughts and focus on the positive aspects of your life.

As you read through this list of mantras, you likely came across a few that resonated within you more than others. If that is the case, start and end your day with those phrases. They’ll help you make the necessary changes within your mind to help you live a happy life.

When you add mantras to your daily routine and make them a habit, you’re sure to notice the difference. You won’t experience negative thinking and overthinking quite as often and, when you do, it’ll be easier to push the thoughts away.■

[Courtesy: Sarah BARKLEY// Power of Positivity]