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Ololade Oyedeji: I Told You So

If you are not strong-willed, humans, by their nature, will talk you out of your dreams, not because they do not want you to forge ahead, but they do not think you have the abilities, capabilities and the required tools to go through life. Some might be protective because they do not want you to get hurt, but that is not always the case. 80% will say I told you so when things do not turn out as planned.

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I told you soA lot of people know I can be strong-willed when I know what is right for me. I listen to advice, but I always make sure I filter and sort what one advises me, keep what I know and believe is appropriate for me to do.

You may tell me to do something and I will do the opposite because I choose to follow my intuition. I will do a complete turn-over of what you required of me. I will choose me over you.

I saw a short clip of Taraji P. Henson and a particular line stuck with me. If you allow people to project their fears onto you, you won’t live. I had to replay the clip for clarity. I finally understood why humans are quick to shut your ideas down, and won’t let you make your mistakes in peace. How then do I learn? If you cannot do a thing or try, then you will never know. If you do not have the effrontery to do a thing, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t. Twins get buried in different graves. Both came to the world in the same womb, tied together for nine months, yet they leave in different ways. We may be friends, but our destinies are not entwined.

Here is an illustration: How do birds learn to fly? I saw this on Nat Geo Wild: Birds are trained with the power of reinforcement. The baby bird knows nothing more than that at regular intervals, their mother will come and drop some food off in their mouth. Slowly, the mother bird will stand farther and farther away from the nest, forcing the baby bird to come out of the nest in order to get food. Mother bird maintains neutrality. The bird realizes it needs this food to survive, and this is the motivation for them to venture out onto a branch. Chances are that the first few times the bird will fall to the ground, but this repetitive process slowly becomes habitual to the bird. It will eventually learn that it can ease its fall by spreading its wings. The bird will become accustomed to this idea, and every time it falls, it will attempt to flap its wings more and more.

The result of not falling to the ground is something known as positive reinforcement. The result of not falling/being able to fly its way back up to get food will motivate the bird to fly more often. There have also been reports that parents will sometimes push a baby out of their nest. Perhaps the baby will not quite realize that it can’t survive unless it learns how to fly, and become too dependent on their parent.

Mother-bird will forcibly teach them that unless they learn how to flap their wings, they are going to keep hitting the ground and will not get food.

Once the bird has experienced flight for the first time, it does not make the second or third time very smooth. The bird will flail its wings clumsily and only sustain itself for a few seconds, if that. Only with practice do they learn the ropes and develop the muscles necessary to flap their wings to their fullest potential. Else, baby-bird gets cosy in its nest, mother-bird keeps nurturing and nudging, and baby-bird never ventures out, never experiences the sweet swift of a flight.

Imagine mother-bird screaming at baby-bird every time it drops to the floor: I told you not to fly with fewer feathers out! You will go to bed hungry…

Humans should learn to correct with love, and the advice from us to another should be why not try, maybe it will work or not, just test the waters.

I came across this line “I told you so” in Michelle Obama’s Becoming. She had gone to one of her teachers to determine if she was fit for a prestigious college. The teacher told her the opposite of what her aims and ambitions were. She took herself and went to seek someone else’s advice because she wasn’t convinced she wasn’t good enough. Here is where the power of intuition lies. If you are not strong-willed, humans, by their nature, will talk you out of your dreams, not because they do not want you to forge ahead, but they do not think you have the abilities, capabilities and the required tools to go through life. Some might be protective because they do not want you to get hurt, but that is not always the case. 80% will say I told you so when things do not turn out as planned. The bottom line is this sort of people have become familiar with you, they know your plus, minus and will object any form of multiplication.

I have had my I told you so moments. I had a discussion with someone a couple of years ago. I told her I wanted to sit for a professional exam, and she was quick to ask why I wanted to do it? When would I get married? Will I keep on with my 8 to 5? I saw her picture, yes, I understood, but I wasn’t expecting her to come at me in that manner. We all can’t be entrepreneurs or businesswomen. But I didn’t listen to her. I studied her demeanour when I told her I would be sitting for the next diet. All glory to God, I will be inducted into this professional body. I went on to ace each diet, and I also run a little clothing line, which is running quite well. Why do one if you have the capacity to do both? I could say if the case was reversed, I may have gotten the I told you so lectures. I’m not the kind of woman who will talk another out of an idea. Except you are planning to rob a bank. And I could maybe come up with a better strategy on how to do that.

1 Comment

  1. Keem

    April 24, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Someone talked me out of a business I wanted to do, she probably did it out of concern but my spirit has been dampened since then. Thanks a lot for this piece.

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