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Toyosi Phillips: Put Your Spin On It

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“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid” – Lupita Nyong’o

This is one statement that would definitely be repeated for generations to come. A part of me believes that she spent time thinking that one up- a statement that would shake the world and it did just that. But how different is that statement from good, old “Believe in yourself”? I’ve played both lines several times over in my head and there’s little to no difference in the basic message of both statements.

She took a well-known saying and made it hers.

Not too long ago I would feel like saying or doing something and then find myself thinking, “Oh, this person said that already, there’s no sense in repeating it” or, “Is that not what that person does? Why do I want to do something that is already being done?” It’s a mental wall I had to pull down repeatedly because simply put, it was a hindrance to my progress! I realized that I could say something that had been said before using my own words! I could breathe life into an old and trite statement just by saying it my own way.

I know there’s pride and pleasure that comes with being the first to do something, but not everyone will be lucky enough to beat a fresh path.

Truth is, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again (and) there is nothing new under the sun.”

For us to live and not merely waltz through life, mental walls that keep us rooted, that prevent us from exploring, have to be pulled down.

“Everyone and their cousin is a make-up artist in Nigeria, can’t you think of something else?”. No, I can’t think of something else because I feel really strongly about making people up and even having my own line.

“Designer? Really? Do you know how many designers there are in the world?”. Nope. But even if I did, it won’t matter cos I can’t stop sketching stuff and coming up with amazing designs in my head!

Don’t let go of your dreams because of the voices in your head and well-meaning but misguided people who are telling you that everyone’s already doing what you want to do. You don’t have to think of something new! You shouldn’t even find it easy thinking of something new!

Sing, act, bake, design, start your own blog, cater, make people up, follow beaten paths BUT put your spin on it! Set yourself apart! Become the standard!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Fernandes Borges Michel

Toyosi Phillips is a Lagos-based producer, presenter and writer. She produced and hosted “The Gist with Toyosi Phillips”, an entertainment show on SaharaTV New York for two seasons and co-hosted Sahara FM's weekly radio show from 2014 to 2015. She guest-writes for different publications including Bellanaija and Genevieve Magazine and is quick to mention to everyone that she saw Oprah at the 2016 Essence Festival in New Orleans. Her vlog turned talk show, "As Toyo Sees" will be airing on networks world wide soon. For more news and updates, - Subscribe to her YouTube channel (Toyosi Phillips) - Check out her website - Follow and interact with her on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn @toyosiphillips

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