Walk into those rooms, whether or not you think you’re deserving. You are meant to be there. Nobody is doing you a favor.
Ehi Mabo is a Canadian immigrant of Nigerian origin. She moved to Canada at age 17 and has since worked her way up to becoming a Transformational and Life Coach. After Ehi’s university education in Canada which unfortunately ended at the same time as Canada was undergoing huge economic recession, she struggled with joblessness and loneliness in the midst. Ehi had her light bulb experience in 2009 after an intense episode of a deep introspection. Today she is inspiring women to live purposefully and make an impact in the world through entrepreneurship. As an inspirational speaker, she helps women develop their self-confidence, overcome their fear and become profitable in their business.
Ehi shares the principles that helped her overcome the challenges that most immigrants struggle with in Canada.
1. Want it badly
Have a strong desire for success and quit thinking that being in Canada will on its own guarantee your success. This isn’t about hustling but about being intentional; desiring it; putting yourself in the right environment to get in. Your mental strength to want something badly and madly will make it happen.
2. Question everything
Here in Canada, it is alright for students to question their professors contrary to what most immigrants are used to in their country of origin before landing here. We were raised to accept and not question. There is the proverbial milk and honey here in Canada, but it is the milk and honey you are going to create. You won’t get it by being complacent or accepting everything. Ask for what you want with audacity and boldness. Have a critical mind and question everything.
3. Walk into the room and take up space
Demand for your job when you need to. Nobody will create a space for you but yourself. It is not aggression but saying and showing that you are good enough. It is saying that you’ve got what it takes to get the job done.
4. Don’t Overcompensate
It isn’t your fault that you have a different skin color or that you talk differently. Don’t feel guilty about that and feel pressured to make an impression. Bad is not synonymous to black or any color! Not every person of color is criminally minded. Don’t use the time you should use to pursue excellence to be defending yourself. There’s always going to be bad apples, bad Canadians, bad English people, bad Americans, bad white, bad black, bad human beings everywhere. Crime is not a race problem but a global one.
5. Be in the right circle
While we think it safe to be among people of our own extraction because they look and speak like you, know that staying that way is limiting and counterproductive.
Go out and meet people. There are multitudes that are willing to accept you for who you are and support you. But you can’t meet them by staying off their track! Create a diverse community network. Value coaches and mentors. Hire them for the value they can add to you. Put yourself in rooms where you can shine, where you are humbled enough to learn. We are all products of words. Be intentional about the words you expose yourself to. And while you’re at it, make sure you’re not always in the same kind of room. As they say, variety is the spice of life.
6. Challenge your negative belief system
It is a process, and this means one thing – it won’t happen overnight!
Negativity is a type of cancer. Deal with it before it takes root and begins to challenge and eat up every of your effort.
Walk into those rooms, whether or not you think you’re deserving. You are meant to be here. Nobody is doing you a favor. Set your heart on becoming a success in a short span and don’t be apologetic about it. You owe nobody any apologies.
Canada wants you to be here and that’s why you are here. Don’t limit yourself. Conceive it. Receive it. Become it!
This article contains excerpts from Episode 62 of The Immigrant Life Podcast. Listen here for full benefit.