Category Archives: BLOG

MY IDENTITY YOUR IDENTITY

I have spent the year 2020 asking myself who I really am, who I want to be and understanding my Identiy. At some point in my life I felt very confused and distressed, not finding my thing in life, not understanding my hobbies. Life was super exhausting. I asked myself questions like; who am I? what do I want? what do I enjoy doing? At crucial times in our lives, it is normal to ask ourselves who we really are.

We all have different identities. Sometimes, this identity does not fit into what friends, family and colleague are comfortable with but guess what, it is your Identity. I believe it should be accepted my whomever is interested in associating themselves with you . Sometimes we fail to accept who we really are, however, coming to terms with oneself starts from understanding your identity and believing in your Identity.

The next question is what is my identity and what is your identity ?

Identities are our unique character traits which includes our individuality, beliefs, expressions, qualities, gender, ethnicity, and so on. I believe we all have mutiple identities, my personal identity is how I relate with the world, my capabilities and my reputation. Personal identities are modelled according to our vision and mission, how the mind directs us and our perspectives towards certain issues. Moreso, most people have a different identity at work and struggle with fitting into certain categories or people either because they want to impress or they feel intimidated. Using myself as an example, I used to struggle with similar situation when i moved to the United Kingdom for my masters degree, I tried communicating with a british accent and sometimes I did not ask questions in the presence of my colleagues. Instead, I send an email to the lecturer to ask my questions. This is because I was skeptical about the lecturer not understanding my english properly.

Honestly, we just have to be confident with our identity, stay true to who we are and change will always take place when necessary as life is not static. Another example is at the work place, I remember a friend of mine whom I worked with in Nigeria, she was a totally dfferent person at work , extremely nice and polite but outside of work she was a nasty rude lady who did not care about what people think about her. Her person at work was completely differentt from that outside of work. It was almost like she was pretending at work to not be the rude person she always was. Clearly by switching personas, it was evident that she was not true too her identity. There was never a claim that one’s identity (mostly character here) would always be positive. A person can also have an identity which is more on the negative side but that is a topic for another time.

A lot of people have conflict in identifying their identity thereby having multiple identities but I presume we should be able to fill the gap at least to a reasonabe extent and come to terms with who we are. Allowing people to accept you and believe you for whom you are, allowing yourself grow and pursuing your dreams.

HOW TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF

  • Reflect on opinions and views from family, friends, colleagues and any other persons you believe will have a valid contribution or feedback about yourself. This reflection process will help you understand your personality better.
  • Identifyinig where you want to be can be a key to identifying who you are. I once felt that when I have a family, a house and a car then I would be fulfilled. I did not realise I was only deceiving myself with those thoughts as Identifying what more I could achieve for myself and do for the world made me realize that much more about myself.
  • Understand/Identify your personality and interests, especially the ones you really want to develop. Also, identify new interests that you do not know how to start but are interested in.
  • Know your place in the world. Your identity can be defined by things you have been subjected to such as loss, oppresssion, violence or the likes. You should have a way to come out of that situation to remove negative impacts and stand up for people in such situations.
  • Embrace rejections. People may not accept you for who you are. Be ready to face this in life. This should not sway you from being the person you want to be. Be ready to face rejections but always remember to persevere.

Accepting my identity is one thing I am glad about. I feel like I have understood a bit more of who I really am and what I really want.

You can bury your identity deep down but its never really gone. Lost identities can and will always resurface.

Feel free to share your thoughts about your identity and you can get in touch with me here.

Do not forget to subcribe to this blog xx.

YOU SHOULD SMILE MORE

GIVE A SMILE TO SOMEONE.

Hey lovelies, I was having a chat with a friend who was lamenting about how frustrating life can be and why he doesn’t smile. He asked me why I smile often regardless of my situation, then I made him realize I have reasons to smile despite the situation.

I understand that in life we all face obstacles and feel that we do not have reasons to smile but I tell you today that regardless of how bad your situation is, you have a reason to smile. Even though sometimes you must seek out this reason within. Life will always give us reasons to be sad but we can always rise above it maybe not immediately but surely. We should try our best to find a reason to clutch that which gives us hope because where there is hope, there is life. “Hope is what we fight with when all else is lost”- Pandora, God of War 3.(Yeah, I know its a video game)

I will be listing out 6 main reasons why I smile with the intention of this helping you find a reason to smile

  1. I smile because I am beautifully made.
  2. I smile when I am able to put a smile on someone elses’s face.
  3. I smile when someone gets me up upset and I do not want to react negatively. It helps calm me down.
  4. I smile when I remember I am a blessing to my parents and many others.
  5. I smile because it is healthy and relieves stress. When you smile, endorphins are released which help as a pain reliever and anti-depressant.
  6. Smiling could just make someone else’s day.

There are 1001 reasons to smile. Depression may hold us down, but we should try our best to stand back on our feet and find a different solution to whatever obstacles we are passing through.

Sometimes we express our problems by frowning or being harsh to other people. I am guilty of this as well but I realised that it is never a solution to the problem. Instead you are leaking sadness into other lives as well.

I hope I have been able to put a smile on your face or brighten your mood with this write-up. If you will like to have a conversation with me, you can drop an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Make sure you put a smile on someone’s face.

Have a lovely day ahead.


YOUR GREATEST ENEMY IS YOUR MIND

One day I woke up and asked myself ‘is my mindset good or bad?’ i.e. do I have a positive or negative mindset? This is a question I think we have all asked ourselves at one point of our lives. Sometimes, you feel very miserable or you struggle with the past. I want to let you know today that you can take control of all this. I am not saying that it is an easy task but it is a possible one. The moment we stop doubting ourselves, we have an edge in succeeding. A lot of us have negative thoughts towards other people, we compete with others over unnecessary things and jealousy begins to seep in as well as a dissatisfaction with where you are or what you have.

We are created to stand out, invest in yourself, invest positive thoughts to your mind, love yourself, be your own best friend, be proud of yourself,

Tony Robbins called our biggest enemy living inside us Saboteurs.

Ways to stop being your enemy

  • Limit your regrets: I wish that this had happened..
  • Feeling disappointed or guilty when you don’t need to be.
  • Say good words to yourself, be optimistic.
  • Understanding that no one is perfect and should never judge yourself too harshly.
  • Try to be content. You might not have it all but you have something and should be happy with what you have.
  • Cut yourself some slack. You could already be doing an amazing job.

Thanks for stopping by. Kindly encourage someone else by sharing this article. We never know who needs this words of encouragement.

I will like to know your thoughts on becoming a better friend to yourself.


MY EXPERIENCE FROM ‘COVID-19’

What happens when life gets hard?

This is a question I have severally asked myself during this pandemic as It’s been more than two-months since key day activities that will get me closer to my personal & professional goals have been paused. This also has a negative effect on my psychological, financial, emotional and social wellbeing. There is nothing as devastating as seeing my plans for 2020 become unrealistic. For example, I had a trip planned out to visit my family in early April as well as developing key contact in Nigeria for my field research regarding child’s right in Nigeria. Sadly, the current pandemic has interrupted my plan, making me going back to the drawing board to reconstruct my plans for the 2020. I have no other reason than to accept that this has been one of the worst period of my years, which keeps me wondering if 2020 is going to start all over again (LOL).

Having said that, I believe it is wise to make the best we can out of bad situation. I have been able to learn several things from the pandemic and I would like to share key take-out this life changing event has taught me.

Positive take-out

  • Identifying my self-worth: During this pandemic situation, I have realized how much I can make of myself. I appreciate myself more as I am literally living without any form of physical social contact with people. Thanks to technology as it connects people from different part of the world through mobile phones, texting and video applications. I have learnt to believe more in myself and my capacity to handle difficult times.
  • Investing time in passion: I have an interest in photography and content creation. I try as much as possible to give time to this interest especially on my Instagram handlehttps://www.instagram.com/tobioyefeso/. However, meeting the demands of my interest clashes with my academic and career pursuit. Thanks to COVID-19, it is not entirely a period of crisis because I have been able to invest more time into building up my passion and creating contents as this post and some other posts on this blog. Hopefully, I should create time for this passion when the pandemic is over and life goes back on the fast lane.
  • Cherishing family and friends: Before the pandemic, I showed little concern about the welfare of those around me especially family and friends. I barely make and receive calls, work and school made it almost impossible to respond to text messages. For instance, I have family members in the United Kingdom and I have not seen the since I began my Postgrad program. The pandemic almost made me disregard the importance of family and friends. Again, the pandemic is a blessing (not in the natural sense of a blessing) because I have become very close to the wellbeing of my family and friends. The daily updates on death from the virus makes me appreciate that family is everything and can do little without them, since my family and friends gives me the support I need at this important time of my life.
  • Patience: It is a key take-out learnt in this time. Sometimes, all I need is a moment to relax and breath and let things happen at the appropriate time. Since I am only a human being with goals and plans for my life, I can barely identify when a time is appropriate. The pandemic has taught me to sit and do things calmly. For instance, I have been waiting for my confirmation letter for my primary data collection and waiting for job vacancies (LOL). Right now, all I have to do is to be calm and wait. Hoping that good fortune meets my hardwork.

Negative take-out

  • Depression: This almost messed me up during this period and the reason was built around fear and uncertainty. As a young lady, I have my life planned out with key milestones that would help me define success. There was a time I was very sick and in so much pain but I was scared to call an ambulance. The whole sickness, isolation, financial constraints, academic difficulties almost got me thinking about what exactly life is all about. All I believed and hoped for was God’s Intervention. Having said that, I had to stand up and fight against negative thoughts that will deter me from seeing a brighter future ahead.
  • Procrastination: This devils tool has made me delay in performing certain activities that are would improve my career and academic goal post COVID-19. In February I was meant to conclude on my research structure but I felt lazy about the process because I felt I could do it after my holiday in March. The pandemic came and took the world by surprise, which constrained me from making key progress on my research. Therefore, this pandemic has taught me to get done with things as quick as possible as time is limited.
  • Poor financial planning: I assume no one had a plan, especially a financial one to manage this pandemic. Like you, I was taking unawares and i wished I had more savings to suit my bills through the pandemic. This has taught me how important it is to save for the future. Going forward, I will factor in unforeseen circumstances in my savings and investments. I think you should too.
  • Health and Fitness: Everyone needs to be healthy in order to pursue their goals and carry out plans they have set for themselves. In my case, I wanted to do more exercise to stay fit physically and mentally. It has been difficult to follow my exercise routines in order to maintain proper body fitness. The reason is closely related to procrastination and my ability to strictly watch my diet. However, the place of physical exercise is important for me and you. All I can do is hope that my body weight does not increase but guess what, hope is never a strategy.

Having said all these, I presume life will not be the same for a lot of us but we need to get ready for post COVID-19.

Thanks for taking out time to learn from my experience. I would love it if you can share your experience from this pandemic in the comment section.

xoxo ;-).


Importance of Literature Review in Social Sciences/Humanities

Literature review is an essential part of academic work. My deep understanding of literature review emerged from my Bachelor’s degree up until my Ph.D. degree. As students we are not believed to be experts of the topic, therefore, the following are what I have learnt about the importance of literature review;

  • Identify contribution to knowledge: This is a key fact in any research work, most topics have existing knowledge which are vital to broaden ones knowledge as a researcher. According to my Ph.D supervisor (Dr. Brian ), understanding the existing knowledge of your research through scholarly works will help you in identify your contribution to knowledge and setting research question. The essence of every research work is to address something different or discover something new. This will give an affirmation to the audience that your work is valid and you have done your home work properly before concluding or having a position on a topic. The more the scholarly works, articles and books, the more expertise you will be.
  • Understand your Methodology & Theoretical framework: Adopting the right methodology to your research is very important and can be achieved by understanding the existing knowledge. Research methodology across disciplines differ, it is necessary to put that into consideration and read through previous works in order to adopt the right methodology. This also applies to the theoretical framework as the theories that will be adopted needs to be understood thoroughly.
  • Improve Writing and Critical thinking skills: It will be difficult to enhance this skills if you do not expand your knowledge. My personal way of improving my critical thinking skills is by reviewing a literature review, writing my contributions about the scholarly work, what I expect from the author, understanding the validity and reliability of the research. This has helped me in analyzing my personal research work as a third party. This is an idea acquired during training sessions at the Centre of Academic Writing at Coventry University. The understanding of how to place arguments in a research will be ameliorated, not everyone are good at writing. Therefore, if you are in that situation, it will be of great importance to read as many literatures as possible, this way you can understand how writers write.
  • Networking: In the context of networking, I denote relating with scholars in your field. A personal experience is when I started my Ph.D., I found great a significant book ‘Corporal Punishment of children: A human rights violation’ by Susan Bitensky, she is a professor of International human rights. My interest aligned with hers, I couldn’t help but get in touch with her for advice and to commend her work as well. I wouldn’t have come across her work if I didn’t engage in a lot of literature review. In addition, networking is needed for collaborations, publications and so on.

My conclusion is that in academic work especially in the social sciences, reading is a vital tool.

I hope you find this helpful? kindly let me know your suggestions, thoughts and experiences, as it can be useful to me and to other audience.

Thanks.


Some path will be lonely, learn in time to walk alone

No one achieves great things by following the crowd. Have a spine. Strike your own path.” Robert Kiyosaki

The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.” Albert Einstein

There are times in life when we need a lot of people to walk with us, as human are social beings. Many decisions are being made that involves others, as life goes on, it is impedient that some paths are better walked alone. It will be lonely. There is a point in everyone’s life, the crowd cannot help in fulfilling, regardless of the number, they won’t just be enough.

There is a popular saying that “it is better to walk alone, than walk with a crowd in a wrong direction”. It is not literally walking with the crowd, it also includes advice from people and doing things as the norm requires. Some reasons why some paths will be lonely includes making a cogent decision about one’s life, low self-esteem, life disappointments, when passion and desire is being followed, once there is a question about the rightness or wrongness of decision of others, when there is a fault or wrong in the value shred by people.

Regardless of your circumstances, always remember that a lot of people are passing through the same phase or even worse phases that yours. I believe we owe ourselves the courage and determination to always overcome the bad times, I am of the opinion that it is never wrong to be alone during setbacks, as long as you discover yourself and become a better person.

Everything and everywhere that is worth discovering is where no person has been. Everything that is needed to be discovered is where no person has been. That is why you must set forth on this journey. You must say goodbye to what has been home.Majority that walks with the crowd,get lost in it.


WHAT I LEARNT DURING MY FIRST YEAR OF Ph.D

It was a struggle and it is a progress not yet done. I was super excited to have started my Ph.D. and so far its been nothing less than I expected except the fact that sometimes I get lost during the Ph.D. adventure. The enthusiastic nature in me has kept me on my feet and I am always curious discover new things. Cutting the story short, below are the 10 main things I have learnt during the first year of my Ph.D.

  1. Self-Motivation: I have learnt that my motivation is key to the progress of my research. We all have a reason for choosing a particular research area and this should always motivate us. There have been times when I feel tired and confused but I persist in putting so much effort to achieve my goals. It is very important to have passion in ones research work, this will keep fueling the research energy.
  2. Accept rejections: There were several rejections I encountered, an example is journal article rejection but I have only learnt to work on it better and not to be disheartened.
  3. Seek assistance: Seeking advise from senior colleagues, lecturers and staff is very necessary. We can’t always assume to find answers without asking the more experienced persons.
  4. Identifying research aims and objectives: It is important to understand the reason why the research is been conducted, the contribution to knowledge and how the objectives will be achieved. This is major guide through the research.
  5. Accept new directions: There are lots of times my research was adjusted. An example was when I had to change my theoretical framework, this was a major challenge. Most times, new directions lead to positive results.
  6. Public speaking: I have never had fear of public speaking but this is one thing I have constantly engage in during my Ph.D journey. It is important to be happy about your research and willing to always talk about it. There are lots of presentations to be done either at the faculty or external events, although they are most times not compulsory but they are very good for personal development. I was always excited to make presentations, which hearten me to present at 2 different conferences in my first year.
  7. Discipline: Occasionally, I am tempted to spend time on distracting things instead of my research. I have realized that distraction is a tool that should be avoided and can self-discipline is a tool to fight it.
  8. Literature review: This is a continuous progress, it is important to keep up to date with the literature of your research. You can click on this link for the importance of literature review https://tobioyefeso.com/2020/05/12/importance-of-literature-review-in-social-sciences-humanities/ .
  9. Confidence: Having confidence in ones research work is awesome, this shows that you are conversant with your research and you understand the direction your research is going.
  10. Good relationship with supervisors: This can be tactic but it is very important to establish a good working relationship with supervisors.
  11. Organization: Staying organized is very important, I have always loved to work with a plan and prepare ahead of my days. Therefore, I didn’t find it difficult in organizing my research work. It is necessary to keep your calendar up to date, as there are lots of activities that will be occurring. Having said that, there are different tools that researchers use to organize their research such as Mendeley, Evernote, Microsoft One Note and so on.
  12. Social and Mental: There is more to life than just a PhD, I usually engage in other activities such as attending moot courts, tea breaks, catching up with colleagues, blogging, visiting places around, going to the gym, watch movie and others. I believe this helps to keep the social and mental health good. As a famous proverb says that ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.

WHY I DECIDED TO DO A Ph.D.

Starting a Ph.D. was a dream come through for me. While growing up, I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do career-wise but I knew I wanted to do things that seem impossible to the feeble mind.

I wanted to enage in mind boggling activities within the social sciences and understand how variable related into outcomes. In a few words, I wanted to engage in tasking activities and sicover peculiar facts based on research findings. I wanted to make positive impacts in peoples life through my intellectual power as many people believed I was very smart just wanted. But then, I wasn’t sure about how to go about it, I read lot of books and solved lots of puzzles, which made me believe there is always a way.

My dad wanted me to be an Accountant and my mum wanted me to be whatever I wanted to be. Sadly, I was terrible at mathematics, so I eneded up as an Art student. This did not deter my dad who trusted my path to Accounting was still nurtured. One day, my dad sat me down and asked a simply question, he said;

Dad: Tobi what career path have you chosen?

Me: Daddy I want to be a Lawyer

Dad: Why do you want to be a Lawyer?

Me: I want to help people (that was the only thing I had in mind as a teenager)

My parents supported me in the path I wanted but at the long run, my discipline was too broad (I’d talk about my degrees in another post). My parents decision towards my career seemed different but I learnt from their style of career informed parenting. I think forcing a child to pick an interest in a particular discipline (science or art) is poor considering that you may have not understood the passion and interest of the child. We can only understand the passion of our children by been readily available for them. We should not allow the modern caveats in our society make us impose a career on our children or leave our children to free will because we do not want to force a career on them. The fundamental responsibility of parent to children is guidance from experience and love. This will make us avoid subjective training in the career development of our children from an early age and help us develop their strengths and skills in what they find engaging and willing to invest their resources to add value to the world. Forgive me for digressing but I will talk more about this in a different post.

I had passion in children and it is always a misery when I see a child rights been violated and can’t do anything. This was a great motivation for me. Let me cut the long story short by highlighting 5 reasons why I decided to do a Ph.D.

1. I want to kill my curiosity in discovering new approaches

2. To become an expert in Child Rights

3. To demonstrate my intellectual potential and get enough confidence to analyze and solve societal problems

4. To offer a significant contribution to the existing knowledge of my research

5. Long-term career goals.

Let the Ph.D journey begin…

Do not forget to drop your comment and advise.


  1. Plagiarism!!! I learnt this in my second year as an undergraduate student in University of Lagos. Two of my lecturers…

I NEVER BELIEVED IN PATIENCE

I am not a fool, therefore I can’t be patient. I always believed in quashing any form of attack, either done by mistake or not. Some people say I am too defensive but I tell them again ‘I am not a fool and nobody can override me’. Sadly, this saying by me has failed me several times and made me grasp that been patient does not mean I am a fool. This is a thought a lot of us have and we have never realized how bad that orientation is and the damages it does to us.

Recently, I reflected about been patient. I asked myself if it is necessary having issues with people because of my impatience. Sometimes, anger makes us react in a way we do not want but if we are patient, we can always control what we do and what we say. There is an adage that says ‘think before you talk’ either in a bad situation or during a heated conversation because the words we say are like broken eggs and cannot be taken back.

I have decided to always wait until I am calm before I make decisions. However, working at different places/companies and meeting different people in this world has made me to realize that it’s not everything I need to react to. Considering the fact that it stresses me out 🤨 *NOOOO… that stress of impatience ain’t worth it*

Tips to develop patience:

  1. Always practice thinking before talking
  2. Think about doing things that are important
  3. Always take a deep breath
  4. Learn how to be a good listener
  5. Learn to ignore

Ideas are welcomed. Kindly drop down your thoughts about been patient and how to develop patience.