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Ten months on.What a mentoring opportunity has taught me

Photo of Tamanda Chabvuta

Remember Tamanda Chabvuta, she won the most popular video prize at the Global Landscape Forum last year and received an award of two coaching sessions. In this blog post, she reflects on the influence of the coaching sessions on her life.

If I had a superpower, I’d like the power to magically be present for all my professional and personal responsibilities at all times. Meetings, yes, those deadlines, professional and personal commitments, you name it! But sadly this never happens. Hear me out.

I am often buried in a busy schedule and at times have to mark off, delay or postpone many plans on a daily basis. That means, getting to a point where that application form for another degree never gets submitted; that proposal for the start-up organisation I have been dreaming of still doesn’t get any action. So on one day, I learned the magic that exists in a “NO.” From then on, I see the world as my oyster, and it has opened up to many possibilities. 

Post the prize at the GLF Youth Initiative in 2015, a mentoring opportunity with Pamela Yieke was the beginning of it all.

I was excited.

Pam and I agreed on a schedule for our sessions after we first virtually met. Before the first session, it was expected that I complete a Timesheet for seven days; logging in my activities every hour.

The intention was not to log in what I thought she would want to see, but an honest reflection of all I do, day in and day out. So I went for it. The goal of the task was to find a way in which I can effectively manage my time, so I did not candy coat that time-sheet. I would like to think I did a good job at it. Therefore, it was no surprise when during the first online session with Pam, I was asked why most activities logged were not a reflection of my efforts at working and making progress on my goals and aspirations.

I realized I had been missing out on one question all along. I had not taken the time to weigh in my intentions and prioritize on what’s important. It took a few more pondering for me to know that setting plans are one thing, but committing enough time and a place to complete those plans is the ultimate goal.

We often fail to find enough time to complete tasks because of social expectations, ad-hoc plans and simply procrastination. We would rather fake sticking around helping others when our help or presence is not really necessary. For a long time, I had been a failure at saying “NO.”

It simply rarely existed in my vocabulary. I had not given myself the power to say it and had instead submitted to expectations, tasks duties which at the end of the day, took me several steps further away from getting things done.

Now, I am often reminding myself there are goals and dreams waiting for my action, and nothing will change until I learn to set my priorities straight; instill a power within me to say no with good intentions.

By putting myself first, my goals and aspirations, I will not only pursue my dreams but will allow chances in which I can even be of more help and resourceful to those around me.

The mentoring opportunity with Pam has compelled me to have an intention for my life; more focus and a better zeal: I can’t be everywhere all the time, but with self-discipline, working on my goals with better time management, and a clear focus will surely get me where I want to be. 

Find the original blogpost on the Global Landscapes Forum Blog.