They say I'm authentic.

I have mixed feelings when people say "Adaora, you're very real". I appreciate the comment...However, I wish it wasn't a rare badge of honor. I think it is sad that being ones authentic self is a compliment, rather than normalcy. I imagine myself as a little kid at the playground, receiving a pat at the back for helping the kid who fell off the swing. You know, the normal stuff we did in our childhood. Adulting can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you finally get to be "independent" from your parents. On the other hand, your entire mind is dependent on a subconscious programming that influences how you live.

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Adaora Mbelu
Stop running.

YOU. YES YOU. Stop running. Whenever I share a message on Instagram, I imagine that there are some people who deeply resonate with and appreciate the message, but have concluded that it is not for them. The people who say, "This sounds really great, but I don't think I am a King or any of these things that you're sharing about. I'm a learner". I know this because I have had conversations with people who I can see greatness in, but who have given into the fear that they cannot pursue this journey that they see. The people who don't share because they believe they have nothing worth sharing about. The people who attribute their challenges to family background.

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Adaora Mbelu
I've changed my mind about them.

You know that one person you didn't really like before ? Or that person that you've always thought didn't produce great work ? When you find out that they are a nice person, or that they are actually great at their work, don't be afraid to admit that you were wrong. If people say you are fake because you now hang out with the person you previously didn't like...let them know that you're not fake. You've changed your mind, and that's okay. Over the past few months, I listened to people argue their hearts out for political candidates that they no longer believe wholeheartedly in.

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Adaora Mbelu
I can’t give what I would like to. But I will give something.

About 8 years ago, there was a guy that used to sit at the same spot on a street near where I lived. I would take time out to chat with him, give him money and items needed. I did this for about a year and a half. When things became tough financially and I couldn't give as much as I wanted to, I would drive past a different street to avoid him. I felt really bad that I couldn't do much for him anymore, and I didn't want to have to see him every day. The solution was for me to completely avoid that route. When things were finally stable for me, I went to look for him and he was gone. It made me very sad. 

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Adaora Mbelu
It's not aligned with my current rhythm.

In the past month, I have declined several media interviews and speaking engagements. Why ? Well...mostly because they were not aligned with the rhythm for my current season. Nice opportunities yes, but not aligned with the wave that I'm riding. One of the last email responses I sent out said, "Thanks for reaching out. I appreciate you considering me for this opportunity. However, I will have to decline as the opportunity isn't in line with my plans for the first half of this year." As you progress on your life’s journey, you will receive several invitations and offers to show up and show out. Learn to choose them just as much as they choose you.

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Adaora Mbelu
Friendship is a choice.

One of the amazing lessons I've learned from experience is that the people you surround yourself with, can make or mar the actualization of your vision. As a kid, I grew up playing football almost everyday. We would start with Cap 1 and Cap 2, and each captain would pick their players. Everyone had a different way of picking. Some people just picked the strongest players, or the roughest guys. But I would pick a balanced team. My definition of "Best" was dependent on my vision for how I wanted to play. There were people who were strong players yes, but who would never pass the ball because they just wanted to keep scoring on their own. I wouldn't pick them, as they would demoralize my team.

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Adaora Mbelu
Warrior, not worrier.

I used to worry about the future, and people so much (Caring is different from worrying). Some times, I still think about stuff, but I shut down any fear that tries to show up. The moment I knew that I had really improved on my "Lose the worry" journey, was when my phone fell face down on concrete, and I was in zero rush to pick it up. The people around me panicked, and I just picked it up and put it in my pocket - didnt look at the screen. As far as I was concerned, the outcome, good or bad, is the outcome. Panicking wouldn't fix the phone. Also, there was a day that I needed to catch an urgent flight, and the traffic was insane.

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Adaora Mbelu
The Big gift is in the smallest parcel.

As a kid, I remember how people would show up to weddings with large wrapped gifts, and we would think they had to be rich people to be giving the biggest gift. Imagine my surprise in my teenage years, when I found out that the large gifts were usually a large stainless steel pot, or a plastic cooler. The small gifts that we ignored were actually the more valuable gifts. Fast forward to adult life... I see many people busy chasing the biggest gift in the pile, only to find out that it's a plastic cooler.

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Adaora Mbelu
Deal with your challenges

The easiest way to live a non fulfilling life is to use other people's problems as the yardstick to measure your life. I once read a message that said "You may be in the hospital with an inflamed appendix, lying next to a person with an amputated leg. His leg does not automatically take away the pain in your appendix." Many times, people use the situation of others as an excuse not to fix their challenge. Eg. "My spouse is not healthy for me, but in comparison to others, they are really good." . "I need to lose this weight, but at least I'm not as big as Abigail"

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Adaora Mbelu
Choose your environment.

In the past, when I would hear people that Inspire me...talk about the importance of Environment, I automatically assumed that they were referring to my physical location. I felt like I was in the wrong country. In fact, at some point I stopped doing work here. I knew that I was made to do great work in the world, and that Nigeria was hampering my progress. . ."Your passion must be in an environment that allows for your growth"....I now understand this differently. What it really means is that you must create and curate a sphere that works for you.

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Adaora Mbelu
Stop waiting for extraordinary opportunities. This is it !

Many of you are waiting for extraordinary opportunities and missing out on your training. Your vision of the post-wilderness experience is "I go Hammer". First of all, "wilderness" is not a synonym for financial challenges. And the "promise land" is not a synonym for money. I believe it is blasphemous to equate such a spiritually insightful experience to money matters. Don't do it. It's important for me to clarify this.  Re: Opportunities - You want to film your own show, and you need funds for production. See this Instagram App we are on ? It's your real world. You want to write a book ? Start sharing.

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Adaora Mbelu
Procrastination is scamming you using "consistency" as the cover

On my self awareness journey, I've been cautious about clarifying context. If I don't understand something, I search for clarity/ask questions. This has helped me not to be presumptuous with the content I digest. I am intentional about protecting my programming. There are so many messages these days talking to us about consistency, and these messages can be a hindrance.  For instance, I used to think that I couldn't just put out 1 thing as an expression of my gifts, and be done. I had to continue.

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Adaora Mbelu
7 Billion+ People: Don't tie your identity to fame

I once dated a guy that didn't know who Fela was. We were deep in a conversation where I referenced Fela and he said in his thick American accent "Fay La. Who's that ? I wish I could accurately describe my shock in writing. I was visibly upset as I tried to share Fela's story with him. I was like ...wait ? You've never heard of Fela ? I went on to mention various references that I hoped would trigger a light bulb moment for him. Perhaps, when I list out all Fela's work, he would remember that he knows this legend.

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Adaora Mbelu
Trust yourself more

I need to share this for someone. As a business owner, one of the insecurities I have experienced in the past are peoples assumptions about the skills of a “creative” person. My academic background is in Economics and Business, and over the years I have managed other peoples businesses. In business, my primary gift is visioning, and my primary skills are operations and finding the value/money in any business, product, or platform. Being both creative and analytical, has allowed me build several businesses for people.

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Adaora Mbelu
Honesty is hard, but necessary.

I’ve had opportunities to be on several global media platforms, and I have declined quite a few solid ones. It’s part arrogance because I believe that the opportunities will present themselves again in future. The other part is the fact that I want to ensure that the story I tell when I get on these platforms is not only powerful and insightful, but authentic and vulnerable. It will be the story that I live in my daily life, and not one that has been concocted for media consumption.

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Adaora Mbelu
Shame is only shame, if you believe it.

You cannot always control outcomes. You can control the role that you play, you can control the choices and decisions that you make. You cannot always control the results. For instance, if you work on a team project, you can put in effort and produce great work (doing your part), however, you may not be able to control how your team members work. Hence, the project can fail — not because it’s your fault, but because you’re unable to control all the variables that lead to final results.

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Adaora Mbelu