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Titilope Sule: Sometimes You Have to Reject Your Beliefs to Find Yourself

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Who am I? How do I discover myself?

These are questions that plague people in their mid-twenties to early thirties. Do I go travel the world? Well, that’s expensive; I’ve got bills to pay. Do I start reading books and answering a set of questions? That might help. Experimenting. That is how you find yourself. If you want to find your voice and learn what truly matters to you – you must explore by experimenting.

How do you do this? One way to experiment is to reject your beliefs. You take a “belief” you have about an area of your life, reject it and do the opposite for a period of time (recommend a minimum of two months), then see how you feel about the new you after this period is completed. For example, if you believe you enjoy eating out. Try not eating out for a period of time to see how much of an impact eating out really has on you. During this period, you should explore other activities – such as cooking a variety of meals at home or hosting people at your house.
This period is really a test to validate if what you believe about yourself is actually true and it also helps you discover why that belief is so important to you. You may discover that you don’t miss eating out at all or you discover how important the social experience you get from eating out with your friends is to you. You may conclude that the satisfaction you get from eating out can be achieved in several other ways.

For the longest time, I was an avid watcher Bravo channel. Every week, I would watch every TV show that was on Bravo. I never considered canceling my cable because I had a strong belief that the real housewives series or million dollar listing was needed for my entertainment. Well, one day I decided to explore this area and see if I could survive. Inside, I was cringing at the thought of not having cable. Several thoughts crossed through my mind like what would I do on the weekends? How would my friends feel if they came by my house and I did not have Cable – will they think I am cheap or broke? Will my son have social problems in school because his peers can sing the Mickey Mouse song and he can’t? Well, we pulled the plug and cut off cable. Guess what? I never missed it. I started watching Netflix instead whenever I wanted to be entertained on the weekends. I discovered that Netflix also has an amazing catalogue of kids’ shows. I also picked up reading. So what did I learn about myself? Many forms of simple entertainment can be satisfying to me.

I also recently rejected the idea that a female engineer should wear pants always. Since I started my engineering career over eight years ago, I always wore pants because it was convenient for my work environment. The truth is 90% of my time was spent working on my laptop in the office, so I’m not sure why I strongly held on to that belief and did not change. I would often go to the store and see beautiful dresses but convinced myself that I should not buy them because I could not wear them. I convinced myself that it could be a potential safety issue on the manufacturing floor. Whereas, if I really wanted to, I could easily have placed some extra clothes at work to change if needed. In the last year, I rejected that belief and started wearing dresses to work. I thought it would be a big deal but nobody cared. I learned that as long as your clothing was appropriate for work, no one cared if you wore a dress or pants or skirt.

This past year, I took up coaching people on how to lose weight and after losing over 60lbs post birth of my son. I knew it was really a mental game. I tell my clients this, yet again and again, I heard people say “I can’t stop eating jollof rice”. To become healthy, you really have to reject that idea for yourself and see how far you go in two months. If you want to become a healthy individual, you have to reject your current beliefs and change it from “I can’t eat jollof rice every day” to “I am a healthy person. I will eat other nutritious foods and eat rice once a week”. I would love to see how much difference it makes in your life. You will discover other foods that you love just as much as jollof rice. You will feel lighter and build more confidence in yourself, and finally, you will increase your chance of a longer life.

We build up certain beliefs about ourselves that make our lives easy in our decision making. The brain of an adult has to make about 35,000 decisions a day; so these beliefs helps our subconscious mind make decisions faster. The problem is that these beliefs can also limit us in our progress in life and so it is necessary to challenge them often to see how true they are. Rejecting your beliefs to explore will help you discover a more concrete version of yourself.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime |Diana Eller

Titi Sule is a Controls Engineer by training who enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and seeking the best means to inspire women to be the best version of themselves whether physically through healthy living or mentally through education. Find her on Instagram

12 Comments

  1. Kaeto

    November 24, 2015 at 3:36 am

    In all just be open minded, question things, try and make sense of it. As for me I stay true to what works best, logically and emotionally for me which I have learnt from experience, that’s myself discovery. So cool in being adventurous or trying something new everyday, we learn so much in putting ourselves out there ( anywhere worth being).

  2. Me

    November 24, 2015 at 5:29 am

    I know this question might not be related to the story. But I can see that the author is a family Woman and a professional. I just wanted to know how women especially engineers (I am one as well but still young and enjoying her singleness ;)…..) are able to balance work and family? I really love my career but I also admire the whole family stuff like taking care of my husband and children, cooking, you know…. I don’t want one or the other to suffer at the expense of the other…..sigh….

    • Titilope Sule

      November 24, 2015 at 8:05 am

      I used to have the same worries when I started working. I first made the decision that an exceptional career at the expense of my family was not desired. Truth is you will have to make deposits and withdrawals in both your career and family. It will seldom feel all balanced at the same time. Here’s what have worked for me.

      1. The person you marry will make or break your career especially true for women. If your boyfriend is not supportive of your ambitions, drop him. Your husband will have to step in and help when you are not available and you don’t want someone who will make you feel guilty for chasing your dreams.
      2. Be very disciplined with your schedule. When children get in the mix, you really have no choice if you want to build your career. Discuss schedules with your spouse so you know when you can invest more time at your job and when you need to be home at 5pm sharp.
      3. Surround yourself with supportive family and career women. I have built a circle of family women in senior management roles who are my mentors. I talk to them about my fears and concerns. They’ve been there before so they help me navigate through it.
      See women like Indra Nooyi and Sheryl Sandberg are doing it, so why not you?

    • Olufunmi

      November 24, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Awwwww……hi Titi, how about having u for a friend and mentor plsss. kindly share your email address. mine is [email protected],com. I have loads of questions to ask you relating to the above question. thanks a lot

    • Idomagirl

      November 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      I really like what you said. Thanks for sharing.

    • Titilope Sule

      November 24, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      @Olufunmi, I feel honored. Yes, i’ll send you an email shortly.

  3. Cindy

    November 24, 2015 at 8:02 am

    “When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is imminent”. I question things a lot. I’ve always been inquisitive since I was a kid. If you tell me – don’t do this, I will ask you – why? That’s why I have a problem with a lot of traditions. I’m always like “kini di?” If you can’t give me a justifiable [email protected], I just roll my eyes and move along. Like someone above me said, being open minded is key.

  4. Lady

    November 24, 2015 at 8:20 am

    This post just spoke to me in sooo many ways. Just what I needed at this exact time! God Bless you

  5. beauty

    November 24, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I’m going to try something new with my character and attitude, I’m going to think less of the consequences of my actions and be more spontaneous and go with the flow!!! Hope I don’t get into trouble

    • Titilope Sule

      November 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      I’m reading a book titled “The Conquest of Happiness” and the author states that a person becomes happy when they are indifferent of their deficiencies. I encourage you to try and learn as you try. Not everything you do will work out to your favor, however, there’s always something to be learned from your experience. There is no fun in life if we always stay comfortable.

  6. ElessarisEllendil

    November 24, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    “I also recently rejected the idea that a female engineer should wear pants always”??????? Then I remembered Americans call ‘Trousers’ – ‘Pants’.

    Excellent write-up.

    • Titilope Sule

      November 24, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Haha! I love your sense of humor.

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