I had an interesting question last night from my 10-year-old daughter Claire. Claire is a blogger and loves asking questions. A trait I admire so much. She was working on a school project and doing a few interviews with me.
She asked me if I had always been this confident and commented on how easy it is for me to get along with people including celebrities.
I thought about it for a while and I gave here the best answer I could with regards to my own personal development.
I was born in Zambia in Southern Africa in a small country town by the feet of the Mpangwe Hills and the Katete River. Katete is a very small vibrant town full of colors and culture, from its traditional ceremonies to the beautiful wildlife parks nearby. I was very fortunate that from a very young age as I was encouraged to explore my world and ask as many questions as I could.
My grandfather was a High Commissioner for Community Development and I watched him as a young girl interact with his people. He treated everyone with respect.
As a child I wanted to be like him, I wanted to make people feel good about themselves and yet have meaningful conversations that would inspire people to take action and create a better world for everyone.
The way you treat yourself is the way people will treat you. – Nkandu Beltz
As a parent, I’m acutely aware of what I say to my children. Words have power and if used properly they can build a person but if misused, they can cause tremendous harm.
It is very important to nourish the mind. We do our best as parents to make sure that the kids have a balanced meal but it is equally important that the kids learn to have a balanced life.
As a girl growing up in Africa, I became conditioned to what life had to offer. I knew that I would have some good days and some bad days. I saw this with my parents, as they never hid their feelings or situations. They would explain what is going on and from that, I had a balanced view of my reality.
My personal development started when I was born; the people around me helped me develop that. By the time I was 10 years old, I had this urge that something in me was missing. I knew there was so much more to life than what I was doing, school, play, family, poetry, and meetings with local leaders. I would read books; I would watch Oprah on TV. I would go to the library and find non-fiction books and by the time I was in high school, I had read Animal Farm and To Kill a Mockingbird, which helped me have a deeper understanding of our world. It was like my eyes suddenly opened and I could see the injustice around me.
I wanted to do something. Imagine if we all did something… if we cared a little. If we each do just some simple acts of kindness for others without expecting anything back.
I told Claire that my confidence comes from within. I told her that I get moments when I’m scared, moments when I’m not sure if things will work, but I have the courage not to give up on my dreams. But it is the unwavering belief that I am good enough and that I CAN do it that has had me going for the last 20 years. Oprah often says “What do you believe is true for you?”.
You are good enough; you don’t need someone to give you permission to shine.
I love this quote:
A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself. – Unknown
I had to read this quote a few times to understand its meaning.
Personal development and leadership starts with you. No one can do it for you. You have the power within you to create a life you deserve.
My keys to successfully living my life on purpose
- My life is balanced, I have learned to have realistic expectations of myself and those around me.
- To let life flow and not hold on to people or things.
- To love unconditionally, no matter what you have done or haven’t done my love is unconditional but that does not mean I will entertain you if you cross the line.
How does this affect my business
- Patience for the people that I work with.
- Have a deeper understanding that life will not be perfect but we can work around circumstances.
- To be the best at what I do and know that I’m not in competition with anyone.
I always say to my girls, surround yourself with people who inspire you, people who will bring out the best in you. Sometimes it may not necessarily be family. But choose your friends carefully and your mentors wisely. But most importantly do what you love and love what you do, by doing so, you will live a balanced life.
Nkandu x o x
Author – Nkandu Beltz, International Speaker, Author and Social Pioneer
Nkandu is the Founder of Fierce and Fabulous. Working with women and girls around the country on self-leadership and social change. She discovered from an early age that little acts of kindness have the power to make a positive and lasting change in the world. This passionate human rights activist is a voice for the voiceless.
Growing up in Zambia, Nkandu was acutely aware of the social disparity and injustice. Encouraged by her father to stand up for what she believed in, Nkandu petitioned for girl child rights at the age of ten.
Her passion for empowering women has led her to be a member of the U.N. She’s also the only Young Social Pioneer to interview His Holiness the Dalai Lama and is a well-sought-after master of ceremonies and keynote speaker.