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Observations of a Young Nigerian Female . Powered by Blogger.

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I am young, "normal" and I like to write. People say I eat too much, people don't know what they are saying.

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Self-Motivation with a Little Help

One of my favorite Beatles songs is With a Little Help from my Friends, and one of the most prominent lines is “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

It didn’t occur to me how clever that line is until I started writing this article.

You see, when you find an article or a book on self-motivation, you’re not expecting to read about help from anywhere, friends or not. You expect, like anyone would, that an article on self-motivation would talk about doing it all by yourself. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you’re going to be glad you read this.

The truth is that every human, adult or not, needs to learn to motivate themselves because life demands it. There won’t always be someone to tell you that you can do it or to push you to try regardless. You won’t always have your mom, or your dad, or your sister, or your best friend around to talk you into taking action that you are afraid of.

There are days that just plain suck, right? I mean everything is good, we’re all happy people, and life is going great, but there are days that really truly absolutely suck. You can’t deny that. Those are the days when the things you know to be true cannot make you feel better about the things that you don’t know.

You won’t always find a quote that gives you a reason to try, so what happens then? In times like this, you need to be able to find the reason inside you.

Self-motivation comes from an internal resolve to succeed. This resolve pushes you to try, to continue, to give your all, to do.


This internal resolve needs to be strengthened regularly. Like anything else, your faith grows weak sometimes and needs support. This is why you need a little help.

I had to merge this article with some lines from an article I started writing months ago and never finished. The article title was Self-Motivation: A Life Skill. I couldn’t finish that article because I didn’t believe in what I was talking about. Of course, self-motivation is a life skill, I stand by that. However, contrary to what I thought I knew then and contrary to the name, you can’t do self-motivation all by yourself.

There’s a line Nigerians quote a lot, “No man is an island.”

True, people mostly whip it out during exams when they want to guilt/scare you into letting them copy your work.

They go, “no man is an island o, you can’t know everything.”

Chidimma, you’re right, but you don’t know anything so leave me to write the one I know by myself.

Anyway, this line expresses the fact that we need people. An island sustains itself, but humans need God, people, things. if we were to watch a video reel of the life of anyone who says they motivate themselves and have gone through life on their own, we’d find that the person was lying, though they may not know it.

Just as you need to strengthen your faith in God sometimes, your faith in yourself also weakens and needs to be strengthened. So, here are some sources of help for self-motivate;


I’m not talking about your village people. A community is a group of people with whom you share certain interests and attitudes in common. Communities are great help for self-motivation; seeing, or hearing, or reading from people who share your beliefs, understand your struggles and have dealt with or are dealing with the same thing you’re faced with can make the difference between giving up and staying on.

Of course, it’s not really easy to find a community that is perfect for you, where all your interests and challenges are shared. For instance, months ago, I was dealing with a lot at the same time and I struggled to keep trying. I lost the struggle and stayed down for some time but I eventually got back on the horse.

You see, I could not find a community for young, ambitious, pregnant, newly married women, dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum and running a business. There are no such groups. True, these are aspects of my life where challenges emanated from but there were no other people with all of the same challenges. If there were, I never met them.

What I had to do was join a community(s) of young, driven people where I could see my mates working hard to achieve their goals and no one was too young for anything. I also joined a community for in their first pregnancies so I could be motivated by how they were managing their lives at that time. I joined a community of young wives where I read stories I could relate to and find practical advice. I joined a community of pregnant women dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum (but it was depressing so I ran away). I joined communities of women in business and saw that they all had their challenges too but were as determined as I was to work through them even if we had doubts sometimes.

Being in all these communities and seeing all these people, reading their stories, learning about their lives, it became a little easier to tell myself to get out of bed and write a to-do list. Join communities; they’ll save you when you can’t save yourself.


People are terrible, but not all of them. not everyone is hoping you fail or looking to steal your ideas. When you need help with self-motivation, get out and hang around humans for a while. I have a lot of friends and I’m grateful for them all. Some of them will do anything for me (except Josh) but the best things they have done for me are the things they didn’t know they were doing.

Hanging around people, listening to them talk, watching them work, it gets something going inside you. If you’re hiding under your blanket, you won’t get this. So, go out, talk to your friends, the little motivation flame inside you will burn brighter.

Sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed and just about ready to abandon a project, I’d call a friend to get their opinion on how I can go about it, and just hearing them explain things with complete confidence in my ability to handle it is all I need to get back to it. I don’t have to tell them I’m losing faith, just listening to them helps me find the strength to go on.

Of course, there are the humans who couldn’t find light at the end of the tunnel if it blinded them. They’re the “I can’t kill myself” gang and the “abeg I no fit” crew. These people can de-motivate you even when you’re 80% sure of yourself. You should know better than to hang out with them when you need help with self-motivation.

Don’t hide from people, they’re good for you; except when they’re not.

Social Media

Majority opinion says that this is the worst place to go when you need motivation. I disagree.

I believe that you can make social media do for you exactly what you need it to do for you. If you want to feel sorry for yourself, social media is there for you. In the same way, if you’re looking to raise your motivational energy, social media is great for that.

On social media, like in real life, there’s value and there’s fluff. You’ll find people who talk about their experience and in their posts you can see a clear track from where you are to where you want to be. There are also people who are where you want to be but talk like it was incredibly easy. Maybe it was easy for them, maybe they’re liars, either way, they’re not good for you.

I regularly unfollow influencers, motivational speakers and random people. Now, I don’t unfollow all influencers and motivational speakers, and I don’t have a problem with all of them. I unfollow people who make me feel bad about myself and about my progress. It’s not insecurity when you disconnect from people who make you feel like your effort is not good enough, it’s healthcare.

Follow people who make you want to do better, not people who make you want to give up because it doesn’t look like you could ever reach them. Follow people who share real experience, fails and all. Sometimes, an Instagram quote is all you need to get back at it.

Follow people whose journeys look like yours, so when you’re feeling like giving up, and you get on social media, you’ll leave thinking, “If they can do it, then I can do it.”

General Media

Finally, choose your books, movies, tv channels and music with great care. There’s a tendency to listen to music that would enable you wallow in your problems but you can’t live like that. For effective self-motivation, only expose yourself to content that makes you feel like doing something.

 I remember when I watched Girl Boss on Netflix; I had just launched my business and I was feeling so overwhelmed I actually googled “movies about women in business”. That’s how I found Girl Boss, and that is one of the best things I’ve watched in my life. Watching Sophia build her business from an idea, fail several times and keep building did more for me than any seminar or panel could have done. Sometimes, all you need is a good comedy that shows you someone doing worse than you are.

Seek out content that makes you want to try; from news channels to podcasts, surround yourself with positivity in reality.

You can’t do life by yourself. You need people and you need things. Self-motivation is not easy, but if you surround yourself with the right people and things, you can do it.




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  1. This was just what I needed. Glad I got to read it first๐Ÿ’• Thank you.

  2. I resonate with this post on several levels. I no longer have to be ashamed to admit that I get motivation from sources that are not me. It is such a relief.

  3. Such a refreshing post! Thank you, Anita. I had to listen to " With a little help from my friends" ๐Ÿ˜ Now I'm going to have to watch "girl boss" ๐Ÿ˜…
    I bless God for your life and for helping you pull through such an experience.

  4. Such a soul-lifting post! It's refreshing to read. I was just seeing myself in the middle of every salient point in the post. The last sentence is super powerful. "Self-motivation is not easy, but if you surround yourself with the right people and things, you can do it." Thanks Annie for this post. Blessed read.

  5. Amazing writ. Thank you so much for communicating so much value.

  6. This is the best thing I've read in my entire life. I am reading it at the right time too and I am sharing it with someone in the same line of thoughts as me, thank youuuuuu!

  7. I'm thankful I got to read this at this time, because I needed it. Some of the best things my friends have done for me are things they didn't realize they were doing too. I've heard a lot about the importance of "communities" too. And I think I was missing it in trying to find a community that addressed all my interests and challenges. But you've cleared that out in your post. It was a really nice read.

  8. Oh thank you so much for your kind words. Glad I clicked on this link.

  9. An inspiring memoir by Ryan Heller, King of Stars is the journey of a young boy balancing worlds of light and dark as he discovers himself by losing himself along the way.


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