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Excerpt for You Need To Know by , available in its entirety at Smashwords









You need to know

By Godsplan Kelechukwu Ugwuja

Copyright 2019 Godsplan Kelechukwu Ugwuja

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If knowledge is power.... And power is the ultimate.

Then it stands to reason that knowledge also, is the ultimate.

Knowledge is everything.





TABLE OF CONTENT



Dedication

Acknowledgement

Foreword

Introduction

1. Who are you?- Recognize your identity

2. Dealing with inferiority complex - It’s in you

3. Underachievement - An insidious killer

4. According to the time of life - The need for patience

5. Why worry when you can pray? - Kicking the habit of worrying

6. Fear - The greatest assassin of dreams

7. Persistence and Perseverance - Necessary traits for success

8. Indecision - A major cause of stagnation

9. Forgive, forget and move on - It’s not worth it

10. Procrastination - The thief of time

11. How do you handle criticism? - It will define you

12. Love - The greatest of them all

13. Hope - The essence of life

Epilogue - All He wants is you

Conclusion

Author’s Note



DEDICATION





I dedicate this book to you.

Because picking up this book to read shows your desire for knowledge.

It shows that you indeed realize that you really need to know.





ACKNOWLEDGEMENT



First and foremost, I give all the glory to the Almighty God for his grace, love, mercies upon my life and family. I also thank Him for giving me the inspiration to write this book.

I would also like to appreciate my parents – Mr and Mrs Ugwuja, for their unflinching support during the course of writing and publishing this book. I also give a special mention to my siblings for their continued support.

I also extend my gratitude to Dr, Mrs Ifeoma .I. Onwumelu (Phd) for taking the time to painstakingly review this book and to also foreword it.

I also appreciate my pastor Rev D.E Otunji for his invaluable input in my life – both physically, spiritually and all round.

May the good Lord richly bless you all.





FOREWORD



In the times we are currently in, it is disheartening to find a generation caught up in a quagmire of social, moral, economic and spiritual struggles, which has an unpalatable spill-over effect. Concomitantly, the almost eroded culture of reading, studying and writing is almost at the point of extinction.

Interestingly, the motivational articles in this book, written by a vibrant youth, are a soothing encouragement that all is not lost. There is hope for this upside down generation to get connected to the old time generation given to reading. The messages in this book You need to know are basically God-oriented. This makes this book to be rich, healthy, prophylactic and therapeutic to any reader – young or old, educated or not, christian or not. This work is truly generic.

With this, a clarion call is being sent out to a confused, deceived and ill-occupied generation to drop the cloak of lousiness, day-dreaming, secret cults and violence and instead, embrace the appropriate utilization of their God-given talents, regardless of age.

I sincerely commend the author of this book for his display of intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, divine inspiration and the understanding of human frailties so as to tactfully attack them and sagely proffer solutions. I am therefore highly pleased to recommend this book for circulation and use in churches, schools, banks, hotels and other places where people can easily be accessed.

- Dr. Mrs Ifeoma .I. Onwumelu (Phd).







INTRODUCTION



Every one’s life – man, woman, boy, girl – is defined by the choices they make. Your life is a product of your choices and beliefs. The things you see unfolding in your life, career, academics etc are as a result of the choices you made and the decisions you took some time in your past. The things that will ultimately take shape in your life will also be brought about by your choices and decisions sometime in the future.

Your choices - not chance - are what will define you in the long run. This does not mean that external factors like luck and other circumstances - some beyond your control – will not affect your life in one way or the other, but the majority of the things you experience results from your prior choices and decisions.

The choices a person makes distinguishes him or her from his or her peers and contemporaries. The right choices make a man outstanding in his life and endeavors while the wrong decisions will certainly ruin a person’s life, destiny, career etc. The articles in this book have been written to help you make the right choices and decisions as you journey through life.

The points in this book are presented in a simple to understand and very matter-of-factly manner, that jumps at you but aren’t too obtrusive. There are no complex or esoteric solutions in this book. Some people believe that the more complex a thing is, the better it is. Well, I am not a member of that school of thought. I believe that simplicity is elegance. The simpler a thing is, the more beneficial it is to the greater majority.

I am therefore thoroughly confident that after carefully reading this book, you would have known a lot of the things you need to know in order to make better decisions and choices. Truth is, there is no limit to the accumulation of knowledge. You always need to know.

Perhaps, the most important factor in making astute decisions is the quantity of information (how much you know) and the quality of information (how much of what you know is relevant) available to an individual. It has been widely said that knowledge is power, and this is very true because who you know may get you the job but it is ultimately what you know that will keep you in that job.

Therefore, access to the right quality and quantity of information is imperative to the success of any individual and that is what this book expertly offers – in spades. The beauty of the whole thing is that this book not only tells you what you should do but it also goes ahead to reveal and itemize how you should do it. Wonderful, isn’t it?

What are some of these things which you need to know? First, you need to discover who you are. If you don’t understand your kind of person, don’t be surprised to find yourself walking aimlessly through life. Why you must recognize your identity and how to do this are discussed in chapter 1.

Next, you need to know the cause for the complex of inferiority in a person. An inferiority complex does not develop because you are somehow less than others. It develops because you think you are somehow less than others. More on this and how to break out of the bondage of inferiority complex will be handled in chapter 2.

Also, you need to be aware of how deceptively deadly underachievement is - it kills without seeming like it kills. This is because when you underachieve, you are actually doing something, but the bummer is that it is not nearly enough. Chapter 3 has more details.

You need to take cognizance of the need for patience - the need to slow down once in a while. A lot of us are actually too busy for our own good. Motion doesn’t always bring about movement. Check out chapter 4 if you’d like to know more about this.

You need to know just how devastating excessive worrying is and how to massively reduce the extent of your worries. Note that I said reduce, not eliminate. Only a dead man has no worries. Sometimes the best we can do is to put these worries in check and to ensure that we control them and not the other way around. Chapter 5 contains ways of check-mating our worries.

You need to know how stifling fear is and how to suppress your fears and become fearless. Yes, those fears can be effectively handled. You can be rid of them. Chapter 6 has practical ways of doing this.

You need to know that to succeed at virtually anything requires continuous efforts, trials and retrials. This is where persistence and perseverance become indispensable. If you give up after a few defeats, you’ll achieve very little in life. Chapter 7 deals extensively on these brothers-in-arms.

You need to be made aware of the fact that being indecisive is one major reason why so many people don't make progress in life. They keep vacillating like a pendulum, wasting everybody’s time – theirs included. You can learn to be more decisive though. It’s a skill that can be acquired. In chapter 8, you’ll find ways to overcome indecision.

You need to know the need to forgive offences and move on, holding on to wrongs done to you is not worth it - trust me. It may not be easy but it’s absolutely necessary. Also, you must learn to forgive yourself, that’s the only way you can move on with your life. Chapter 9 has more on forgiveness.

You need to know that the habit of procrastination steals valuable time from you. It makes opportunities go begging because you are waiting to do it later. You also need to know how you can stop being a tomorrow or later kind of person. Chapter 10 is there to guide you.

You need to know the proper way to handle criticism because how you handle criticism determines how far you'll eventually go in life. You can’t control what people will say about you. The only thing you can control is how it affects you. You want to know how to properly handle criticism? See chapter 11 for more details.

Maybe above all, you need to know that love should be the nucleus of our lives, actions and interactions. Love should guide our actions, thoughts, lives and all. Only Love can make the world a better place. Chapter 12 expanded this further.

You need to understand that hope is the one thing we can’t lose, no matter how bad things get. It’s the only thing that’ll get you through the darkest nights. Hope is the essence of life. Chapter 13 has more on this.

You see, my deepest fear, your deepest fear, our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate but that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? We are born – all of us – to make manifest the glory of God which is within us.

That is the whole purpose of this book. The major reason I wrote this book is to help you make manifest the glory of God, which is within you. It is to help you unleash your potential and to live a fulfilled life. Even as you read on, I wish you a very successful journey through life. As you heed and apply the things you are about to know to your life, I wish you everything you wish yourself. BON VOYAGE!!!

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ONE



WHO ARE YOU?

RECOGNIZE YOUR IDENTITY





The most important discovery a man can make is self-discovery”.

Ugwuja Godsplan Kelechukwu





The question above is probably the most frequently asked questions ever, but still a great number of people do not even understand the question. I bet that if I walk up to you and ask you outright, “who are you?” you would begin and end by telling me your names and probably your titles, wouldn’t you?

However, the question above goes way beyond mere names, titles and designations. The question above is simply asking, “What do people know you for? What do you stand for? What can be said about you? What is your legacy? And above all, what is your identity?”

The question is asking, “Are you an honest man? Are you a cheat? Are you a man of integrity? Are you a thief? Are you a man who loves peace? Are you a woman who stands for what is right and fair? Are you a person who cares for his or her neighbor? Are you hot-tempered? Are you a person who loves God? Who exactly are you? ”

When the seven (7) sons of Sceva were confronted by the demon in Acts 19:15, the demon said to them, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?” The demon was simply asking for their identity and since they had none, they were disgraced.

Do you know who you are? Can you really explain your personality? Have you discovered your identity? Do you know your strengths, weaknesses, abilities and limitations? Do you even know what you can or cannot do? Have you discovered your gifts and talents?

A person who does not know his or her identity will not do anything worthwhile in life. Such a person cannot and will not amount to much. How can you get something done if you don’t even know that you can do it? How can you affect people’s lives with your songs, when you have yet to realize that you can sing?

If you don’t know your weaknesses, how do you avoid them? If you don’t know your limits, how would you know where and when to stop and sit back? For instance, if you don’t know that you are strong enough to lift up a bag of cement, you will never get around to lifting it. If you don’t know who you are, those who have discovered their identity will easily kick you about.

I ask you again, what is your identity? Who do your friends and colleagues know you as? If someone were to make enquiries about you at your workplace or in your neighborhood, what report would your co-workers and neighbors give about you? Can people refer to you as a man or woman of good repute even in your absence? Can your works speak for you? What mark have you left on your family, friends, community etc?

Do you affect the people around you positively or negatively? Do you make people’s lives easier or are you a burden? Are you someone whose absence would be felt? Remember that if your presence does not add value to people, your absence would make no difference. What are your strengths, your weaknesses, your capabilities, and your limitations? What are your talents? What is your skill set? What are your natural abilities and endowments? Just what exactly is it that you can do?

Dorcas’ works spoke for her. The widows gave a favorable report about her. The Bible even described her as “a woman of charitable works” in Acts 9:36. Ahab was described as “a king who did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him” (1 kings 16:30). David was said to be “a man after God’s heart” (1 Sam 13:14). Job was referred to as “a perfect and upright man, one who fear God and eschewed evil” in the book of Job 1:1. Noah was written of as “a just man, perfect in his generation and he walked with God” (Gen 6:9).

There are several of such reports in the Bible, some good and some bad. We know these men and women from their respective reports. These reports succinctly tell us about the lives and times of these people. Now, supposing a book is written about your life, what would be in it? How would you be portrayed? How would you be described? I ask you again, who exactly are you?

Who do you say you are? Who do men say you are? Who does God say you are? May I point out that God’s report about you is the most important and valid one. He knows you more than you could possibly know yourself – He created you after all.

Two very important questions you need to answer, do you know who you are? Do you know who God says you are? Who God says you are is your true identity – recognize it. As respected philosopher Aristotle once sagely said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom”.

So you’re probably wondering how to discover who you are, right? I’ll tell you how. The best and most certain way is by praying. This entails asking the creator of all things – yourself included – to reveal to you who you are. You can ask God to reveal to you who he created you to be. The Holy Spirit will reveal who you are meant to be if only you can ask Him in prayer and then listen when He speaks.

Going further, here are six questions you need to honestly and carefully answer in order to discover who you really are. (Heads-up; some of these questions are not new. You've probably seen them before).

1) If you had all the money you'd ever need, who would you be?

Although it shouldn't be so, the reality is that money is a big determinant of the kind of things a lot of people find themselves doing and the kind of people so many of us find ourselves being. Money determines who so many of us are presently. So many people today live fake lives because it brings in the cash.

A lot of people are living lives that they know are in dissonance with who they really are just because that lifestyle pays the bill. I know people who are still labouring with jobs that give them little or no satisfaction, just because the job puts food on their table.

Now, let's do something fairytale-like and suppose that your fairy god-mother appears to you out of nowhere, swirls her magic wand and poof! you just happen to have all the money you're ever going to need throughout your life. Let's just imagine that there's absolutely no danger of you going broke ever again. Please, just humour me and actually imagine being so rich that your wealth puts Solomon's wealth to shame. It shouldn't be too hard.

Now in that your alternate reality, what kind of person are you? What kind of things do you do with all that wealth? Who are you over there on earth 2? That person is the real you. This is because money is the great revealer of everyone's real identity. Wealth brings out everyone's true nature. Power is the ultimate litmus test of every man's actual self.

I'll know who you really are when crazy money enters your pocket. A man may be humble when he has nothing. Give him money though - lots of money - and you'll get to know for sure if he is truly a humble person. That's why you see people who are nice and caring when they haven't made it big. But immediately the big bucks start to roll in, you see their true nature. That's when you'll see that they are selfish and cruel people.

You see, it's what you do when you have the power to do and undo at will that spells out your true identity. Power doesn't actually change people or intoxicate them as we always say. Power isn't beer or vodka. Power only removes the inhibitions he or she had before, revealing his or her true self. Power removes restrictions, giving the individual the means and the opportunity to do all those things which he or she had always wanted to do, but didn't have the means or opportunity to.

It's your behaviour when you have it all that shows who you really are. So I ask again; if you had all the money you'd ever need in your lifetime, who would you be? What kind of things would you do with all that money? If you become as wealthy as Bill Gates tommorow, what kind of life would you lead? What kind of person would you be? That's the real you.

2) What would you do or who would you be if you know that you can’t fail?

The risk of failure terrifies most people. How many times have you wanted to change jobs or careers, move to a new city, promote a cause that is important to you or become an expert in a certain field, but couldn’t or didn’t because you were afraid that you may fail?

Now think about it, no risk of failure. If you are 100% certain that you could do anything or be anything you wanted and not fail, what would you do? Who would you be? That person is the real you.

3) What is your ninety (90) seconds personal description?

Supposing someone who is meeting you for the first time asks you to describe yourself in a minute and a half, without any prior notice or information. What would be your impromptu speech? What would be the first things about your personality that would come to your mind? Those things most likely points to the kind of person you are.

How would you describe yourself so that the person asking the question truly understands who you are and what things are important to you? What is your impromptu bio? That's the real you.

4) What are your core personal values?

Your personal values are the things you believe are crucial to the way you live. They are the codes and principles by which you live. They give a reference for what is beneficial, important, useful, desirable, expendable, destructive etc. Once you are able to determine exactly what values are most important to you, you can better determine your priorities, goals, dreams and ambition.

Your personal values are also a blazing arrow that point out just the kind of person you are. If, for instance, speaking the truth in every situation is a core personal value of yours, you can rightly conclude that you are a man or woman of integrity. So if you want to know who you are, examine your core personal values.

5) What makes you genuinely happy?

Find out those things that make you really happy or excited. They are very close to your personality and they indicate who you are meant to be. For example, if speaking to people is something that always lifts your spirits, then a public speaker is most likely who you are or who you are meant to be.

Also, the things that make you genuinely happy are most often closely linked to your core personal values. For instance, if your family is one of your core values, then taking a job that involves a lot of traveling would definitely not make you happy.

The things that make you happy are your passion. Who you are or who you are meant to be is your purpose. Your purpose always follows your passion. If you can determine what things genuinely lifts your spirit, you are close to discovering your identity.

6) What sustains your interests?

Your interests include your passion, hobbies and anything that draws and holds your attention over a sustained period of time. To figure out your interests, ask yourself these questions; “What do I pay attention to for a lengthy period of time without any decline of enthusiasm? What am I always curious about? What gives me concerns each time I come across it?”

Your passion and interests point the way to the kind of person you really are. For instance, if your passion is to help people or you are always interested in alleviating suffering, then you are most likely meant to be a humanitarian of some sort. If you are always concerned about lost and perishing souls out there in the world, you are very likely an evangelist.



I advise you to thoroughly think through and even re-think your answers. The questions are somewhat tough but are necessary in order to really understand yourself on a deeper level. Answering these questions require a great deal of introspection and soul searching. Take out a notebook and write down your answers to each question and then go over your answers again and again. The need to understand one’s self is paramount and cannot be over-emphasized. This is probably why renowned philosopher Socrates once stated unequivocally, “Man, know thyself”.

At this point, I’d like to recommend that you read Tim Lahaye’s book Why you act the way you do. This book would open your eyes and mind to understand the importance of your temperament. Your temperament is the most basic description of who you are. It is the most vivid indicator of the kind of person you are. Your temperament influences everything you do. Your temperament is who you are.

The thing is, you need to know why you act the way you do!



QUOTES



1) “When I discover who I am, I will be free”.

- Ralph Ellison



2) “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.

- Mahatma Gandhi



3) “The easiest thing to be in the world is to be yourself”.

- Anonymous



4) “Whatever you are, be a good one”.

- Abraham Lincoln



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TWO



DEALING WITH INFERIORITY COMPLEX

IT’S IN YOU





No one can make us feel inferior without our permission”.

- Eleanor Roosevelt





A popular saying goes like this, “a man’s worst enemy is himself” and I could hardly agree more. One of the major reasons why we have more spectators than participants in life, the reason why we have more people who talk about things than people who actually do things, can be traced to a low self-esteem, a low self-belief and little or no self-worth.

Many people today – though most people would never admit it – see themselves as not being good enough. They see themselves as being flawed or just not “cool” enough. They always believe that other people can do it better than themselves.

They believe that the next person’s life is better than theirs. This makes them take the back seat in almost everything, recoiling into their shells and preferring to stand in the background, leaving the limelight for those it was meant for.

By definition, an inferiority complex is; an unrealistic feeling of general inadequacy, a lack of self-worth and the feeling of not measuring up to standards, caused by an actual or supposed inferiority in one or more areas of a person’s life.

We are going to see ways of breaking out of the complex of inferiority but before then, you have to first understand what it is and its genuine cause.

Edward Ezeanu, a social confidence coach, describes in detail the actual cause of an inferiority complex. He is of the opinion that; the apparent cause of an inferiority complex would be the fact that you are inferior to others around you in a particular manner. Maybe you believe you are too fat, too short, too ugly, too thin, too poor, less educated etc. However that is not the real cause.

You see, we are all inferior to other people in some ways and superior in other ways. We all have our combination of strengths and weaknesses, qualities and flaws and overall, we are not that different from each other. The point is that a certain flaw is not a realistically sufficient reason to develop an inferiority complex.

The real cause of an inferiority complex has little to do with reality and a lot to do with how we process it. In order to develop an inferiority complex, you have to dramatize in your head the meaning and extent of that flaw or those flaws. That is, you exaggerate and begin to reflect on that flaw until it begins to weigh on your confidence.

For instance, you keep telling yourself that you are the shortest person on earth, or that you are as dumb as a mule, or that you are uglier than a monkey. This continual beating up on yourself makes it intolerable and creates a complex of inferiority in a person.

If this disease plagues you, I have good news for you. You are not the worst person in the world – I can assure you of that. You are not totally flawed and certainly you are good enough. Even if you have one or two blemishes, it is no reason to look down on yourself. No one is perfect. If you can just stop looking down on yourself, you will realize that you have great potentials in you. The Bible even states, “you are beautifully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14a).

Know this also; You are not a mistake or an after-thought. You were created as part of a very carefully thought-out process and as a vital cog in the machine called human existence. Pastor Rick Warren said, “Your life is not a mistake and your birth is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned for you but God did”.

You don’t need to be 100% okay in order to succeed. Realize that people with even worse conditions and more disadvantages than yourself have defied the odds in time past and are still defying the odds every day in order to succeed.

Everyone has an area where his or her strengths are magnified. It could be in sports, academics, business, spiritual matters, handcrafts etc. You just need to find your place in life. Don’t give me that sad story of not fitting in anywhere, it is impossible not to fit in anywhere. If you really believe that you don’t fit in anywhere, then carve out your own niche. Create a world of your own.

You can only do that by first knowing who you are and recognizing your abilities, then believe strongly in yourself. Come to think of it, how do you expect people to trust you when you don’t even trust yourself? How can anyone believe in you if you don’t even believe in yourself?

Gospel artiste Frank Edwards, sang in one of his tracks:

Do you really know how beautiful you are?

The spirit of the Lord lives and dwells in you,

All over the world no one looks like you,

You can put a smile on your face

You are beautiful.

Always remember that you are special and unique. You are one of a kind. No one else on this planet – be it an identical twin – is exactly like you. No one else can be you. No one else can do the things you do, exactly the way you do them. You alone can be you. Author and speaker Fela Durotoye wrote in The 17 Secrets Of High Flying Students, “No one else is YOUer than you”.

Never let anyone – even the devil himself – deceive or intimidate you into believing that you are second rate. You are God’s image. You carry his presence. You cannot be an anomaly. The Trinity consulted before you were created. God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man (yourself included) in our image and after our own likeness”. ‘Our’ in that passage means you carry the full stamp and signatory of heaven. That is how you should see yourself.

Don’t dwell continually on that flaw; it is not enough to limit you. That is just the devil’s deception. Whatever it is, you can succeed in spite of it. Always remember that someone else has it worse than yourself and as such, you have no right to go about mourning and belittling yourself.

Stop looking down on yourself for a minute, try believing in yourself for just a day and see the world of difference it would make. Go to school or work tomorrow with a sky-high confidence and see if you won’t be better for it. See if tomorrow would not be better than all the other days you had been wearing the tag of “worst loser on the planet – pity me”.

News flash – there is no pity left anywhere in the world, pity has gone extinct. Remember that the definition of an inferiority complex describes it as an “unrealistic feeling”. I assure you, that inadequacy isn’t enough to stop you.

Refuse to listen to the lies and deceit of the devil and his agents. What people think of you is secondary, what you think of your self is primary and most important. You have all you need to succeed. God could not have created you totally handicapped. He is too shrewd an investor to waste any investment or don’t you know that you are God’s investment?

You may actually be better than people give you credit for, but how would you know that if you keep hiding? Begin today to improve your self-esteem. How people rate you is not so relevant. This is because most people would always rate you lower than themselves. What is most important is how you rate yourself.

A very inspiring example of a man who refused to fall into the quagmire of self-pity, which eventually develops into a complex of inferiority - despite his very obvious handicap – is Stevie Wonder. He became blind shortly after birth and ordinarily, this should have been enough to limit him. But he saw beyond his lack of sight, he saw his talent.

He was able to recognize that God has blessed him with the talent of singing and he grabbed it with both hands and even his feet. Today, he is a legend, a musical icon and an inspiration to the younger generation. If Stevie, a blind boy could still fight to make it, why can’t you? Or maybe the question should be, Why won’t you?

Look beyond your present circumstances and make the most of it. That you didn’t go to school is not a reason to write yourself off as a failure. Ophray Winfrey, Cosmas Maduka and many others didn’t have much schooling but today they are all very successful.

Who says you are too old to achieve your dreams? Warren Buffet, one of the richest men of all time, and owner of Coca Cola soft drinks company, became a millionaire at sixty (60). That's right, at sixty years of age.

Do away with the excuses and step out into the light. The luminaries above all have one common characteristic that have made them ultra-successful and that is an unwavering self-belief. That is where it all starts; Belief in yourself. Even if no one believes in you, you must keep on believing in you. You must continue believing in your dream. The most important person in your story is the person reading these words right now.

Destroy inferiority complex today. Your family, your community, the world is waiting for you. Take that bold step and crawl out of your shell. Just have faith in your abilities, believe in yourself and you would be amazed by how much you would accomplish.

Do not worry about making mistakes or putting your foot wrong. It is all part of the learning process. Mistakes actually help you learn, they show you what not to repeat in the future. So learn from each and every mistake so you do not repeat it again.

Given that I am a big believer in not just telling people what to do, but telling them or better yet, showing them how to do it, I have put together a guide on how to destroy inferiority complex, Just in case you are wondering how to go about breaking free from the habit of self-deprecation, here are six straight-forward steps to assist you.

1) Be yourself - focus on you.

One of the major reasons why people develop this complex of inferiority and unworthiness is because they keep comparing themselves to others. They only see the good things in the other person’s life and the shortcomings in their own lives. As I have pointed out, everyone is unique in his or her own way. Nobody is 100% smooth – no matter how polished they appear - and nobody is 100% disadvantaged. Everyone has his or her own skillset; everyone has his or her strengths and weaknesses.

You need to increase your level of self-awareness. You need to know yourself better and be yourself. Try to live your life your own way. Quit being a copycat, stop the comparisons. Rather, discover who you are, discover your unique qualities, abilities etc. Focus on yourself and realise that other people do not matter as much as you do. Being your self goes a long way in forestalling inferiority complex.

2) Fix your mental self-image

Fixing your mental self-image is one of the most powerful actions you can take to combat inferiority complex. Remember that, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7a). Like I have been stressing, see yourself as being the best. See yourself as being better than the rest. The way you see yourself is most important. Even if people see you as a write-off, what really matters is how you see yourself.

Even if you have a physical or psychological flaw, if you see yourself as not being flawed, then you can live a fulfilled life in spite of that flaw (just as Stevie Wonder did). Life may have been unfair to you in more than ways than one, but it is ultimately up to you to make the most out of life and you can’t do that if you see yourself as garbage.

As always, it is mind over matter. The revered speaker and author Zig Ziglar said, “It is impossible to consistently behave in a manner inconsistent with how we see ourselves. We can do very few things in a positive way if we feel negative about ourselves.”

3) Improve your internal dialogue

Your internal conversations, which are the things you say to yourself all day long, acts as a seed as it programs your brain and mind and it determines the esteem or value you place on yourself. You must understand that whatever you keep saying to yourself regularly, unconsciously begins to firmly fix itself to your sub-conscious and soon, you’ll begin to believe it. Whatever you continually say to yourself registers on the mind and can either be uplifting or debilitating.

Therefore, you can greatly improve your self-esteem by controlling and improving your internal dialogue. The longer negative thoughts are allowed to fester in your mind, the greater the emotional baggage. This baggage is like an anchor, it keeps you tied down. This baggage will make you keep doubting and second-guessing yourself and pretty soon, your self-confidence will be eroded. Soon, you’ll begin to believe that you just can’t do anything right.

John Maxwell wrote, “If we want to change our lives, we have to change the way we think of ourselves. If we want to change the way we think of ourselves, we need to change the way we talk to ourselves”. That is very true.

This is why you must become your very own personal cheerleader. You must be your number one fan. No one should complement you more than you. No one should encourage you more than you.

Each time you do a good job, don’t just let it slide. Give yourself a compliment. Some people will call it pride or self-centeredness. I call it celebrating yourself and your achievements. If you don’t celebrate yourself, who will?

Also, each time you make a mistake, don’t begin to run through everything that is wrong with you. Don’t berate yourself, everyone makes mistakes. Instead, resolve to learn from that mistake. Tell yourself that you will do better next time.

Every positive thing you can say to yourself will help boost your self-esteem immensely. This self-esteem elevation has the knock-on effect of breaking you out of the complex of inferiority.

4) Stop making negative assumptions and remarks

Do away with remarks like “I am the worst dressed person in church today” or “I am the most stupid person to have ever walked the earth”. These kinds of remarks ruin your confidence, making you look down on yourself. That is how inferiority complex develops. Like I have already said, you are not the worst person on earth, so don’t see yourself as such.

Confess positively. Dale Carnegie once advised the students in one of his public speaking classes; “Act confident on stage even if you don’t feel confident and soon, you will begin to feel confidence swell inside you”.

It’s exactly the same with life. Even if you don’t feel great, act great. If you come into a gathering and you are feeling out of place, act confident. Strut your stuff. Act like you belong and soon you’ll begin to feel like you really do belong.

Stop assuming that people are going to laugh at you. Even if they do, be proud of yourself, hold your head high and pity them because they just don’t understand who you are. They just don’t get it. You see, when people say that you are weird, or when they laugh at your eccentricity, what they really mean is that they don’t or can’t understand you.

It just means that you are different. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with being different. Being different is great. What would be really pitiful is being like everyone else. I saw this quote somewhere and it really struck me, “They laugh at me because I am different. I laugh at them because they are all the same”.

5) Build your self-confidence – believe in yourself

Increasing your self-confidence or self-esteem will help you a lot. Self-confidence and inferiority complex are opposites. The more you have of one, the less you will have of the other. Building your self-confidence will make you believe and take pride in yourself and in your abilities. This will make you feel worthy and important and it would also help you overcome your inferiority complex.

Even if no one else believes in you, you should always believe in yourself and only an unshakable self-confidence can allow you do that. Remember that, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you” (Phil 4:13).

How do you build this confidence? Try using positive affirmations. Keep repeating assertions like "I can do this. I am beautiful. I am smart. I am the best. I will make it" and so on and so forth. Say them loudly, over and over again until you believe it. Begin each day with a series of positive assertions. Over time, these assertions will translate into an improved self-confidence.

6) Network with positive people only

Persons suffering from an inferiority complex have an already fragile self-confidence. There is no need to further endanger it by mingling with cynics and critics, who only love to shoot you down. Associate only with people who encourage you when you need it, people who correct you lovingly when you err and provide support for you when your strength begins to fail.

As much as possible, avoid people who deliberately berate and degrade you each time they see you. Do away with people who only criticize anything you do and who never see anything good in you. They will only destroy your confidence and seriously, they are not worth the trouble.

7) Celebrate your achievements

It is not easy getting to the point where you are currently (realize that a lot of people are still below you). Therefore, take pride in your achievements. From research, people with an inferiority complex tend to pay little or no attention to their success or achievements.

They find it difficult to accept praise or commendation for any form of accomplishment, because their focus is on what other people are achieving and they always find reasons to question themselves for not attaining the same level of success as that other person (Note that this is different from being inspired by the success of others).

Therefore, celebrate yourself, your life and your achievements because no single thing in life is easy. If you stop focusing on others and focus on your victories - big or small, things would be a whole lot better for you.



It’s in you. The question is, will you show it to the world or will you keep it hidden? Remember, the easiest thing to be in the world is being yourself. Good luck as you set out to fulfill your potentials. Always remember, You are only as good as you believe you are.

“And God saw everything that he had made and behold it was very good” (Gen 1:31a). If the Bible says that you are very good, why is it so difficult for you to believe it? Why is it so difficult to see anything good in yourself? Stop looking to other people and start looking to you. That thing you see in others is in you too. You just have to discover yours. It's in you.





QUOTES



1) “If you do not look down on yourself, no one is permitted to look down on you”.

- Ugwuja Godsplan Kelechukwu



2)“Inferiority complex is a gold-plated highway to the throne of depression”.

- Ikechukwu Izuakor



3) “The only person you are destined to be is the person you decide to be”.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



4) “To make mistakes that did not terminate your existence is to unconsciously catalyze the greatness processing of your livelihood”.

- Ifeoma Onwumelu



5) “You are the best version of you there will ever be”.

- Ugwuja Godsplan Kelechukwu



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THREE



UNDERACHIEVEMENT

AN INSIDIOUS KILLER





Why settle for less when you can be more?

Why be a king when you can be a god?”

- Anonymous





Success is a very heady feeling. Achieving a particular goal is really very nice. But many times, when we achieve success or some form of success, we pat ourselves on the back for too long and we believe that we have tried, when in reality we have not even began to scratch the surface of our abilities or come close to the peak of our powers.

The oxford advanced learners dictionary defines underachievement simply as, “doing less well than you can”. Note that this means you can still do better than you just did. The English mini dictionary defines underachievement as, “to achieve less than expected, to fail to fulfill one’s potential”.

Underachievement has limited so many people without them even knowing it. This is primarily because you are actually achieving something, but it is way below what you can actually achieve if you put in your best.

Therefore, put in your best in everything you do, no matter how trivial that thing may seem. Remember that anything worth doing at all is worth doing well. It is of no use doing things half-heartedly and achieving minimal success in the end. If you have taken the pains to begin any venture, why not put maximum effort into it in order to reap maximum benefits?

The book of Ecclesiastes 9:10a advices, “Whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do it with thy might”. Satisfy your conscience that you can go no further than you have gone. Make sure that you have done your utmost. Be absolutely certain that you have given your best and your best had better be good enough. Someone once said to a friend, “you are doing very well here, but we both know you can do much better than this”.

Always appraise your efforts thus; could I have done better than this? Did I give 100% here? Did I go as far as I can? Did I put in my best here? A fruit juice company – Chivita to be exact – has a mantra, 100% or nothing. This should always be your mindset.

Dr Benjamin S. Carson, one of the most widely celebrated pediatric neurosurgeons in history wrote something noteworthy in his book Gifted Hands. He wrote;

After graduating from Yale in 1973

I ended up with a fairly respectable grade point average

Although far from the top of the class.

But I knew I had done my best

And put in maximum effort

I was satisfied.

This brief extract sums up my entire point. He was not the best in his class, but he was satisfied because he had put in his best. The important thing is not finishing first or trying to be the best by all means, even to your own detriment.

The important thing is doing all you can, it is putting in your best. No one can fault you after you have put in maximum effort. No one can give more than his or her best.

In a class for instance, everyone cannot take the first position, no matter how hard they all try. I hear people make comments like, “God did not create anybody dull”. That is very true but God did not create everybody with equal abilities. The same God who created the man with an intelligent quotient (IQ) of 180 is the same God who created the man with an IQ of 80.

The point here is that everybody has different capabilities and different levels of natural endowment. Regardless of your level of endowment, your sacred duty is to ensure that you maximize it. Therefore, if in school you put in maximum effort into studying and you are only able to get a “B” in a course, you should feel satisfied. You can rightly say, “I did my best”. As I have previously stated, no one can give more than his or her best.

Encouraging someone to be the first or best by all means is not right or fair to the person at all. What if he or she doesn’t have the capacity? The right advice should be; be the best you can be.

Many people do not even know when they are underachieving. This is because they do not even know the extent of their abilities. They do not know their full strength or maximum potentials. If you do not know the maximum height you can get to, how can you tell if you are there yet or not? This is why it is vital that you know yourself and the extent of your abilities. Many people do not know when they are doing less than they can because they do not even know what they can actually do.

If you are ignorant of the fact that you have the brains to be a first class student, how would you know that you are underachieving by ending up with anything less? Realize your maximum potentials and you will know when you are performing below full strength. It’s only when you know where you are meant to be that you will know when you are not there yet. A very popular saying goes, “if you don’t know your destination, anywhere would look like it”. I urge you to discover your zenith and then work relentlessly till you get to the apex of your powers.

Underachievement comes in various shapes and sizes. Climaxing as an employee when you have it in you to be an employer of labour is underachievement. Ending up as a governor when you have the potential to be a president is underachievement, however harsh it may seem. I agree that being a governor is a very lofty achievement but as long as you did not get to the apex of your abilities, you have underachieved.

Ending up as a backup singer when you have the talent to be the main act is underachievement. Regardless of how much success you are seeing now, if you can still achieve more, then you are underachieving – however cruel that may sound. 90% effort is not 100% effort. I know a lot of people will take issue with this, but it is what it is.

In conclusion, do not allow the habit of underachieving to rob you of the greater heights you can scale. Underachievement has robbed so many people of greater accomplishments, making them feel complacent and settling for less.

A lot of people prefer to manage the little success they are seeing now rather than going for more. They would tell you that half bread is better than none. That is very true, but isn't the whole loaf better than half? Why settle for half when you can have the whole thing?

Only when you achieve your possible best should you feel satisfied. Put in your genuine best and leave the rest for God. It is not good to remain in a better position while the best position is attainable.

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds of all times and a renowned physicist once said, “We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility”. Remember, 100% or nothing.







QUOTES



1) “Do not feel comfortable or relaxed in second place when you have it within you to be first”.

- Ugwuja Godsplan Kelechukwu



2) “We must have it at the back of our minds not to disappoint our creator by performing below our divinely apportioned abilities”.

- Ifeoma Onwumelu



3) “Unless a man undertakes more than he can possibly do, he will never do all that he can”.

- Henry Drummond



4) “There is nothing as pitiful as unfulfilled potentials”.

- Ugwuja Godsplan Kelechukwu



5) "As long as you are satisfied that you've done your best, then that is all you have to do"

- Sonya Carson





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FOUR



ACCORDING TO THE TIME OF LIFE

THE NEED FOR PATIENCE





Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy”.

- Saadi





When God promised Abraham and his wife Sarah a son in Genesis 18:10a, He said, “I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son”. Also in 4:16a, Elisha the prophet said to the Shunamite woman, “About this season, according to the time of life, thou shall embrace a son”.

The common denominator in these two promises was that none happened instantly. There was a fallow period, a period of waiting and expectation. This is where patience becomes golden. Also, both promises were only going to happen according to the calendar of heaven – according to the time of life.

It didn’t matter if it pleased the people promised or not, it was only going to come to pass in heaven’s time, not man’s time. This is also very applicable today. It is vital that we understand that God cannot be hurried. He cannot be made to jump schedule or do things according to man’s calendar. Everything happens according to the time of life.

What does patience have to do with anything? We will get to that, but for now let’s see what patience means. The English mini dictionary defines patience as, “Being content to wait if necessary, not losing one’s temper while waiting”. Rev Ifeanyichukwu Agu is of the view that, “Patience is a temporal truce”.

When we pray asking God for one thing or the other and the answer is not forthcoming, we often get impatient and start seeking for solutions elsewhere. We forget that, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven” according to the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1. We do not stop to ask ourselves, “Could it be that it is not yet time for me to receive this thing I am asking God for?”

When we pray, God answers in either of three ways. He either says YES – meaning that He will grant your request. Or he says WAIT – meaning your request is premature and ahead of schedule. Or He out rightly says NO – this means that your request is detrimental to you, hence he will not grant your request.

When God says WAIT or NO, we often feel that He did not answer our prayer. He actually did, just not in the way we were expecting. It is at times like this that we need to exercise patience and wait for God’s time. Patience is a virtue, a fruit of the spirit and a must-have quality in the life of every individual.

Why is patience so important? Joseph Addison answers that question. He said, “Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments but let us have patience and we shall soon see them in their proper figures”. Things are not always as they appear.

A lot of the clouds that we experience actually have silver linings. However we will be able to see these linings only if we are patient enough to wait for them to reveal themselves. Every miracle takes time to fully mature. This is where patience is important.

The Bible says, “Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss” in James 4:3a. Here, Apostle James was referring to the fact that many of us pray for things that we do not need or even things we are not ready to handle. God in his infinite wisdom, knows that you are not yet ready to handle what you are requesting for or that you do not need what you are asking for – even if you think otherwise.

Hence, He withholds it and we go on murmuring and complaining in our ignorance. It is at this point that we need to show patience and agreement with God’s will. We should learn how to wait patiently for God, He is never late. I didn’t say you should just wait, but wait patiently.

Complaining endlessly and taking offence with everything and everybody even while you claim you are waiting is very wrong. Remember the definition of patience, “Not losing one’s temper while waiting”.

On the issue of God not ever being late, I remember a particular tuesday afternoon during a meeting of sunday school teachers, we were discussing about the death and subsequent raising of Lazarus, as recorded in John 11:1-45. Someone made a remark that stuck with me. She said, “Isn’t it great that when Jesus is four days late, He is still on time?” You have got to admit that it is really amazing.


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