Seize the day, grow some b….!

Liliana K story Nigeria Serbia
Liliana K reading

It is the fact that the main inspiration for my blog arose from a great interest of people that I know, as well as those I don’t, about my life in Nigeria, my success, adventures, and Nigerian people. Yet, I don’t want my blog to serve just as pure entertainment and stories. I have a great desire to share with people things I have learned that helped me become everything I wanted to be. I wish to show younger generations, as well as the older ones, that you can always achieve your dreams, regardless of the circumstances. I want to encourage people that there is always hope and the way out of the miserable life. Or maybe, just maybe a few people can learn something from my mistakes or success. I want people to understand that behind every great Instagram life and everyone’s success, there is a great amount of dedication, hard work, discipline, sacrifices, tears, sweat, and dealing with and overcoming many things that we don’t like about ourselves and other people.  

I am not perfect. I have many faults and I had to struggle and work hard for everything I have in life. However, there are two things that make me different from the majority of other people:

1. I take responsibility for everything that happens to me, admit my mistakes and work on fixing them.

2. This is the most important thing- I LACK FEAR.

Oh good old fear! It is everywhere and it has a great ability to disguise itself in many different forms, so we can’t recognize it. We are often not aware that lack of ambition, lack of interest to the world around us, negative mindset, haters, arrogance and especially ego, are most likely to be nothing but fear in disguise. Oh, so many faces the fear can wear, no wonder we are collectively unsuccessful and unhappy.

DO YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY?

I’ve been thinking frequently about fear and how much it’s preventing humans from being happy, as many people come to me or call me for advice when they are afraid of something or are trying to make an important decision in life. As I said before, I am not afraid of anything. Was I born like that, or have I lost the ability to fear early in life when I was exposed to many tragedies and hardships, I am not sure anymore. Being fearless does not mean being reckless. It simply means I do not permit fear to be an obstacle in getting everything I want from life. Let us be clear, we are not all built to be successful and many people don’t even wish for success. And that is completely fine. But often, fear prevents us from being happy. And who does not want to be happy?  

ARE YOU AFRAID OF FAILURE?

Firstly, there is a fear of failure. That one is a bad guy. So many people are afraid of failure that they never even try anything. The main defense mechanism, in this case, is making excuses. “That is not for me”, “I am not qualified”, “I don’t have enough money,” I am too old”, “His father is rich”, “She has a sponsor”, “I don’t want to work for small salary if it’s uncertain that I can be promoted”, and a million others. It’s impressive how many excuses can the human brain produce to avoid taking responsibility and facing your fears. Thanks to the internet today, we can read how many times have successful people failed before becoming successful, and we are still afraid.

What are you afraid of? So what if you fail? Whine a little, and then try again! And if you fail a thousand times, still try again! At least you will spend your entire life doing something you love, not being unhappy in your zone of comfort. Leave it! If you don’t know how to, then learn! Nobody knows it all! At least give it a try. You never know. Have a cup of coffee with yourself today, and have a little private meeting. Ask yourself why you are not happy. Admit to yourself honestly what is that thing that makes you unhappy. Maybe it will hurt, but after you are done feeling sorry for yourself, make a plan on how to change your life. Don’t be afraid! It’s never too late! Why not you? Do not look for excuses, look for solutions. Face yourself. Face your fears. It is not easy, but it’s is worth it.

NOBODY LIKES TO HEAR “NO”

Fear of rejection might be even more common than the fear of failure. Nobody likes to hear “NO”. Well, if you want to be happy, get ready to hear more of NO than of YES. So many times I have heard the sentence “I don’t want to beg anyone”! Why not? Do you think the world owes you something? Bad news, nobody owes you anything, not even your parents. Once we accept that, the whole world is ours. A big ego is a poison, and nobody got anything free of charge.  Stop thinking that those with rich parents or rich husbands are luckier than you. You don’t know their suffering, and the sacrifices they have to make. It would hurt some of your big egos just to think of it.  

Is your fear of rejection maybe disguised as arrogance? Do you think you are more beautiful than others, better than others or more intelligent than others? Do you think that is the reason someone owes you something? It might sound cruel but you are wrong again. No matter how beautiful you are, there are so many people more beautiful than you. No matter how smart you are, there is someone smarter. Life doesn’t serve us our portion based on beauty or intelligence. Many people who are less pretty than you have the thing that you want, right? I am not trying to kill anyone’s self-confidence. On the contrary, I think we should all love ourselves, but not expect that anyone owes us something because we are beautiful. Life is not fair and we are all different. Once we accept that, we will be able to free ourselves of spite and jealousy and focus on building the best version of ourselves.

Every successful person had to humble himself at least a few times in a lifetime. Very often that person was not half as intelligent or competent. But if you know what you want in life, humility comes natural, you have to leave your ego at home, and the opinion of others won’t matter. If you are afraid of getting rejected by the person you love, so you allow yourself to suffer for years, are you aware of what you are doing? So what if you get rejected? You will suffer a while, but you will be able to move on. At least you tried. Someone will come to love you just the way you are.

liliana k story blog nigeria serbia
Liliana K working

FEAR AS A STEPPING STONE

Whatever happens, it is not the end of the world. Try again. I had one fear in life, and I used it as my stepping stone – WASTED TALENTS. When I was younger, I used to work in bars and cafes and watch 40-year drunkards not being able to walk, people that don’t have money for coffee, groups that would sit in the cafe all day every single day complaining how miserable they are and blaming it on the situation in the country… So many things you can see in these places! I am not judging anyone. If that is what makes one happy, go ahead! The real purpose of life is to be happy after all.

However, I knew I did not want to spend my life like that. I didn’t want to let circumstances make out of me something I was not- an unhappy person! I was afraid of it. So one day, I had a meeting with myself with a cup of coffee, and we had a little talk. It was not easy. Oh no! Nothing good comes easy. But it was worth it. When I was still in High School and I made the decision to move to the United States, I wrote myself an encouraging poem, and one verse went like this: “The first step hurts the most, but it’s shorter than the second one…” Make that first step! The second one will be easier.

MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR LIFE

I am often asked how I was not afraid to move to Nigeria. We all read in papers about terrorism and listen to the news about kidnapping and similar. At the same time, Belgrade didn’t have a good reputation, although I still think it’s one of the safest cities in the world. I wanted to go, so I was not afraid. If you are afraid of failure you can always find an excuse. I lived in Chicago. Someone fearful may say that it is the US murder capital. It’s a beautiful city. I lived in London those years when terrorist attacks were happening often. Still, I think it’s the most amazing city in the world. What should I be afraid of? Death? If I am destined, I might cross the street in my “safe city” to get bread and get hit by a car. Something might explode in my apartment. I might get a heart attack. Why should we fear to die? Death will, unfortunately, come for all of us sooner or later and there is literally nothing that we can do about it. So meanwhile, let us at least live! Live happily and without fear.

P.S. Free of charge- translation of a verse from a Serbian song by the band called Ramirez, that’s been my favorite through years. It rhymes in Serbian and sounds so much better, but the point is still the same!

“Do something today! What are you afraid of?
Call on the phone someone you love.
Buy a new umbrella, and lose it again.
Hitch-hike to Berlin. Fall in love one more time”

Liliana K

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