Monthly Archives: October 2016

Self-improvement lesson 1: Clear Your head, start a journal

This is the start of a series of post I’m going to do on rebuilding yourself to improve your brand. You might not even be a creative with a brand. But some of these lessons I have learned can be beneficial whoever you are and whatever you do.


The first thing you need to do before you start rebuilding, is to work on your mental health. I don’t know about you, but I am completely unable to create anything good when I have a lot of thoughts spinning around in my head. Especially if I’ve been knocked down by somebody or had my mood killed because I came in the way of someone else’s bad mood. And you do not need lengthy therapy sessions to clear the clutter from your mind. Obviously, there is a place for that too, but you might not be in that place.


The tool I’ve started using is journaling. And even after a few days of this new practice, I could start to feel the benefits. The beauty of your own journal is that you can randomly write about whatever, whenever. The writing doesn’t need to be structured at all. You don’t have to write the next Princess diaries or Bridget Jones.


I find that when I want to sit down and work and I have a lot going on in my head, I write down all the thoughts that enter my head. After only a few minutes of thought diarrhea, I feel calm enough to start thinking about lyrics, melodies, messages and storylines.


I also use the journal to rant about people and situations in my life that I don’t like or want to improve. It’s ok to discuss these things with friends. But I find that getting the worst of my anger out to myself makes for more constructive and less negative conversations with friends at a later point.


The scariest part for me about starting a journal is all the self-examination that automatically starts to happen. I write my journal like how I think, so I literally write each thought as it enters my head. And you know that when you think, one thought leads to another and then another. So you end up thinking about something completely different to what you started thinking about. Through the process, I’ve learned and I’m still learning about sides to myself that has held me back from being my best me and it’s not always pleasant. Because it’s hard to fool yourself in that process. But the pain of discovering these things is necessary in order to make lasting changes.


I used to think keeping a journal was a lot of work and would take up lots of time, but that’s really not the case. When I feel pressed to write something, or want to pick up the phone to have an unconstructive rant, I open the journal and write for as long as it takes for me to feel lighter and better. Often, I only write for a few minutes at the time. But because I don’t think about structure, or making it readable to other people, I manage to sometimes write a lot in those minutes. I definitely recommend you try it. Nobody needs to know about it. And remember, there are no rules for how it needs to be. If you want to be Bridget Jones, you can.


If keeping a journal doesn’t work for you, regular prayer or meditation can also be helpful and they can be combined With the journal. Whatever Works best for you. And I also find that exercising Works well for me. But I think some form of stopping all activities to really examine Your mind is vital towards an improved you. So exercising should ideally be an addition to one of the other options.


You are Your best help

Gosh! I haven’t written on here for such a loooong time! My excuse, life happens and now more than ever, I’ve come to realize life has so many different seasons and I have reached a season of rebuilding myself and my brand.


Before I reached this stage however, I’d like to be honest and say I was in a season that wasn’t so progressive. I had released a song yes, and it has received close to 90 000 views on YouTube. While I realized that’s not much compared to the world famous music legends, it’s definitely a new height for Lioness Oyinbo. For personal reasons I was unable to travel to do any more work and being in Norway was really killing my creativity. Even my Nigerian Entertainment Awards nomination for diaspora artist wasn’t really cheering me up. Not until I went to New York. And that’s when I realized I needed to pull myself together. Winning the award was the kick up the butt I needed. Ironically though, I didn’t win what I was nominated for, but I won something called The Trail blazer award. This is awarded creatives in the Nigerian industry who has taken new directions and done great things. I got it because I had broken so successfully into the Nigerian music industry.


I was very emotional receiving the award and singing in front of a screaming audience and doing my thank you speech felt really amazing. Being in the music industry can at times be very lonely and unforgiving and knowing that the audience love your voice and appreciate you, really is just what you need. I’m still up and coming and though I have faithful fans, I don’t receive tons of adoring public tweets every day. But that means the cheers and the applauses means so much more. As do the heartfelt messages I’ve received on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.


I realize that winning this award means I have a lot of work to do if I’m gonna keep deserving it. So I started working on myself from the inside and my brand from the outside. In New York I’ve shot an amazing music video to a new song that’s dropping soon. I also had the privilege to fly to Dallas to do an Interview with Not Just Ok TV which I have been told will come out soon.


The outside work has been great and I realized that to continue doing great things and to be in a better environment, I’m going to have to do another international move which I am so excited about. But I’ll do another update on that soon.


What’s been even more exciting for me though, is the work on me. As I was travelling, first to New York and then to Kenya, I realized that there are many areas of my thinking and personality that I need to work on. Not only will it improve my mental state, but an improved mental state also means an improved brand. And because I’m not where I want to be yet in terms of my career and because I won’t reach it by not undergoing some personal improvements, this is extremely necessary. I have already learned lots of lessons and truths that are really mind-blowing and I want to share some of my new insights on here in the months to come. What I want to say for now is though, if you need your brand to excel, it’s great to have the contacts; it’s great to have the support. But if you don’t tidy your head, you’ll not really get anywhere. Many people can believe in you, but it doesn’t work unless you help yourself.