On Support Systems and Other Unrelated Things.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

A couple of days back, someone tweeted about his high school experience and it got me thinking. It got me thinking of where I currently am compared to where I was in high school. You see in high school I was morbidly obese and I was the youngest in the class, and so I was bullied because of these things and it affected my self esteem. I went from the high self esteem I had in primary school to the lowest of low self esteem. I didn’t regard myself as important and I did not think that anything good could come from me. It also didn’t help that I was failing my classes, not because I wasn’t intelligent enough but because I was feeling so bad about myself that I became depressed (something I didn’t quite know then), and I wasn’t motivated to do anything because nothing good could come out of me, or so I thought.

Before I get to the essence of this post, I want to personally tell those who were bullied as kids or that is currently battling with self esteem and/or mental issues that you are priceless not worthless. There is so much inside you and you have big potentials to be great. You are not who those people said you are and you are definitely not going to be what they say you will be. Don’t let what people say about you drag you down, don’t listen to them, listen to your heart instead. You are amazing, there is no one like you in this world and there will never be anyone like you in this world — you’re one of a kind, and it really doesn’t get any better than you. I need you all to understand that this is a very touchy subject and I’m opening my heart out not for personal gain but so people would learn from it. I love helping people learn new things and people that know me know its the truth.

Okay, so somehow I was able to get to Grade 12 (or SS3) without repeating a class, which now that I think about it now was a big miracle. Then the time came for me to write the final exams to get into the university, and I was feeling a little bit better about myself, doing a little better in school because I had stopped eating and had lost some weight. I was a little more confident but it wasn’t enough, I was still seriously failing maths and some parts of english and without both subjects, it was almost impossible to get into a university. So here I am, in the beginning of the second school term, less than five months away from my final exams and I had no idea how I was going to pass the exam. I had no support system, my parents were seriously scared that I was going to have to reseat the exam, my teachers couldn’t really do anything for me and I had no idea what to do — it was just me against the world or in this case, the exam.

It was then I read the book, “Towards Mental Exploits by Dr. David Oyedepo” and while God and the book were instrumental in my success, I realized something else. I realized that I had no faith in myself, in other words, I wasn’t supporting myself. I realized that real success starts with me it starts with you first believing that you can succeed and then putting in the work — and that was when my life changed for the best. I constantly affirmed myself and told myself that I was amazing, intelligent and beautiful. I told myself that I was going to succeed in that exam and in life, and I said it to myself every single day. I found Romans 8 that told me about the love of God and I believed it more than I believed my name. God empowered me to become my own support system.

My parents, who are amazing people, could not support me realistically, they literally used faith to push my success — they could not affirm me and they certainly could not trust that I was going to succeed to the extent I did. To cut the long story short, I had 7 distinctions and 2 credits in the final exam which shocked every single person and I mean it when I say every single person. I came to school to collect my result that day and I ended up showing my result to every single teacher in that school because they could not believe that that was my result. It was then that my parents began to support me and became my biggest fan. I succeeded. My mother said it with her own mouth that she prayed for credits, my mother who is now my biggest fan wasn’t always my biggest fan.

Okay, so what’s the essence of this story? The essence is that before you go out looking for support, you need to check yourself and ensure that you currently support yourself. You can’t keep looking for validation from other people, you have to settle down first with yourself and validate yourself by yourself. Don’t get me wrong, having people that support you is very important and I’m not trying to downplay its importance but do you support yourself? Are you your biggest fan? What do you say about yourself? What do you think about yourself? You need to first settle down and sort this out and once you do, building a support system will be a very easy task. Invest in building yourself up, affirm yourself, take yourself out, talk with yourself and love yourself.

I very much discovered the importance of supporting yourself when I moved to Canada and my family had issues. I could not talk to my parents because they had so much on their plates already and I could not talk to my friends because I’m not one to share super personal issues like that with my close friends (we all still keep secrets tbh). I had to talk to myself and affirm myself by myself and I successfully pulled through. So how you see yourself is very very important in life, especially if you want to live a successful life. Also, not everyone that say they support you actually do so I advise you to choose the members of your support system wisely. I like to believe that everything (especially relationships) in life is a choice, so in choosing who will be part of your support system, make sure they have the same values as you and that they are also dreamers.

This kind of relates to my last post on the company you keep, but be super super picky of the people in your support system. Don’t just let anyone in because your support system comprises of the people you relate with, and a man can never be better than the company he keeps (or relates with) and the people he listens to. What/Who you listen to controls your thought and whoever controls your thoughts controls your life, so please please mind the company you keep. Also, if the people in your support system are not dreamers then you have to throw the entire system away because you will not be challenged. A support system that lacks dreamers and visionaries is a lifeless system. You need them to be real with you, to challenge you, to push you out of your comfort zone, to make you think. You don’t want people that just agree with whatever you say and just care about “making you happy”. In the words of Olamide, who e epp?

In summary, a support system is not just a group of people that give you life support, a support system is a group of people that give you and get from you life support. Don’t be focused on just taking from them, you have to give them value too. This is very important and often neglected because humans are very selfish and we tend to not think about others once we get what we need. A support system based solely on taking will crash severely, you need to give too. People will only give you their all if they know you would do the same for them. Care about the welfare of the people in your system, chat with them about life and other random things, appreciate them from time to time and I assure you that the value you will get will be almost surreal. In the words of Norman Vincent Peale and Phillip Brooke;

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

The truest help we can render an afflicted man is not to take his burden from him, but to call out his best energy, that he may be able to bear the burden.”

And remember that supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours.