Delving into the unknown can be scary but it doesn’t have to stop you from taking a risk. The best way to deal with fear is to face it head on.
Nine months ago, I took a leap of faith and left the comforts of the life that I was accustomed to. I kissed that corner office goodbye, said ciao to my family and friends and moved to the land of opportunities.
I never realized just how daunting it can be moving to a foreign country until I landed in Washington DC and experienced my first stormy winter. Between finding housing and the culture shock, I had plenty to deal with. Life wasn’t smooth sailing and there were times I questioned the decisions I had made. During those times it was my bottom line that kept me going. Merriam Webster dictionary defines ‘bottom line’ as the most important part of something or the most important thing to consider. What’s your bottom line? Whatever circumstance you may find yourself in, the most important thing is how you play the hand that you’re dealt.
As an Atlas Corps Fellow, I must say that the experiential learning that the Fellowship program provides cannot be found in any classroom. The exposure and networking opportunities are immense.
I am a firm believer of Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, be the change you wish to see in the world, so where people see problems I see challenges that can be addressed. Where they see threats, I only see opportunities that can spark social change. My inspiration comes from leaders who have brought about change; not through chest thumping but through encouragement of others to be their best version.
For years, my work revolved around knowledge sharing and empowerment of grassroots communities. With time I became passionate about empowerment of young people to make informed choices.
As a result of my experiences, MimiNiChange (I am Change) was born. This movement aims to provide a permanent dialogue platform for the Kenyan youth make the changes they want to see. MimiNiChange intends to disrupt the status quo on tribal politics, unemployment and insecurity issues that the youth face everyday.
Attending the 2014 Nexus Global Youth Summit held in New York inspired me to make MimiNiChange a reality. Nexus cofounder Jonah Wittkamper remarks at the opening ceremony about young people speaking with one voice resonates with me to date. Countless times, I tried to talk myself out of this idea using excuses such as not having the time, money or resources to make it work. In the end, I overcame my fear and started sharing the idea with other people. I have received lots of positive feedback and some not so encouraging feedback. Just when I was about to shelve my idea until further notice, I came across the book ‘Tribes’ bySeth Godin. In this book Seth talks about fear of failure being overrated. What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It is blame. Criticism. He says that a comment such as, “I am surprised you launched this without doing more research”, is enough to get many people to do a lot more research, to study something to death, and then kill it. That’s exactly what I was about to do. So if you are about to shelve your idea like I almost did mine, remember Seth’s words, fear of failure is overrated.
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To learn more about leading tribes, read Tribes by Seth Godin