If you haven’t heard of Mofoluwaso Ilevbare, or been to one of her coaching, mentoring sessions or events, then you probably don’t know how much fun and smiles can be packed into one human being! You meet her once and never forget her, yes, she does make an impression- Her business card has a lovely passport cut photo of herself so you can always remember and put a face to such a unique name! See what I mean?
So we were able to squeeze an interview in after she returned from one of her events, although based in Switzerland, she travels all over the world speaking and mentoring women around the world. This we mustt admit, has been one of the most engaging and interesting interviews we’ve ever given- reminding us of why we have categories like this on SBM!
10 Questions with Mofoluwaso Ilevbare:
1. How did you decide to build a career in coaching and mentoring? What was the tipping point for you?
For me, coaching and mentoring, raising unstoppable leaders in the workplace or the market place, is not a career, it’s a calling! Now, I didn’t always know this was a calling neither did I have a dramatic experience like a thunderous voice from heaven calling my name in the night..lol. I believe I have a gift given by God that has developed out of the bitter-sweet experiences of my life. At a very early age, I realized I was a confident girl, passionate about supporting others, rallying people around, teaching younger ones, and willing to share hope and joy at any opportunity I got. It’s probably what landed me a radio contract with Radio Nigeria (FRCN) at just four years of age, and I enjoyed every moment of it telling made-up children stories to kids in their homes.
I have had not one, not two, but three near-death experiences in my very short life but God has used these tough experiences and the waiting periods of my life to shape me for my calling, my assignment. I’m still evolving and discovering who God has created me to be and the impact HE would have me make in the world. My message to everyone is this “We are all talented. We all have a story. We all can make a difference in the lives of the people around us and then globally”
2. What’s the best thing about your job?
Hmm..”it’s not a “job”. See, I’ve still got a regular 8-5 I go to during the day but I don’t even call that a job so imagine what I do outside of that. The truth is when you uplift your WHY, your reason for living, you’ll wake up every day with a fire in your belly, whether you work for someone or you’re the boss. So, the best thing about what I do daily is seeing people make small changes leading to big shifts in their lives that positively impacts affect not just them but the lives of many. Seeing my clients get clarity, gain unshakable confidence, design productive lifestyle that gives them more time for family and the things they love gives me satisfaction and propels me to want to do more.
3. How can someone become more confident in themselves?
I’ve always believed that we were born confident but lose some of it as we grow older and life happens. Picture a baby in your mind. As that baby gains more awareness, she is curious and wants to explore the world around her. Nothing seems impossible whether it is climbing the sofa, jumping from a height, or that urge of touching fire. The only thing is as that baby grows older, she is socialized to start believing certain things about herself and her surroundings. She is conditioned on what’s right and what’s wrong. Her value system and beliefs begin to be influenced by experiences and learning from parents, teachers, media, and society. As life throws her lemons, she is hurt, sometimes afraid and gradually the once buoyant-hopeful-care-free baby has grown into a young teenager or adult with layers of insecurities and life lessons that could make or mar her BEST in life.
So, how can someone become more confident? I believe the first step is realizing where you are and what is getting in the way of your confident bold self. Confidence breeds Confidence which breeds Credibility and vice versa. When you know who you are, what you’re worth, and step into it every day, nothing is impossible! So, identify your fears and the stories you are telling yourself that make you feel inadequate or unworthy and then make up your mind to do something about it even if it’s just one baby step every day. If you find it hard to identify the root cause of feeling less confident, get the help of a life coach (like me), a mentor, or seek professional help from trained therapists. If I summarize in three statements:
a. You were born confident
b. Your mind is the battleground
c. You can do something about it.
Living and Leading with CONFIDENCE not only enhances productivity but helps you lead well and live better. Like someone said “Confidence is like soup. The more you brew it, the more the aroma oozes out”. To be more confident, here are 4 habits you need to stop:
1. Stop Trying To Please Everyone: Trying to make everyone like you is like trying to contain the ocean in the palm of your hands. Instead of trying to please everyone, do the best you can with the majority. Find the change agents and influencers and create a buy in. Know that not everyone will always be on the same page with your ideas. Don’t let trying to get everyone’s approval keep you stuck. Channel your effort into what you believe in and you’d attract like minded people.
2. Stop Trying To Be Perfect: Many times, less confident people their ability to excel or your self worth Are you too hard on yourself? Trying to be the perfect partner or parent, perfect CEO or leader in your organization? Seeking perfection is the mother of stagnation. It’s the perfect excuse to not get started on that business idea, that NGO, that book you’ve always wanted to write, that exercise plan, that habit you know you need to form, or that proposal that keeps you tossing to and fro on your bed every night. Step out and take baby steps. If you make mistakes, they are learning moments. There will never be a perfect moment.
3. Stop Trying To Blend In: courageous people don’t blend in, they stand out. Just think about your favorite hero/heroine.If we exchanged notes, I’m sure our role models have something in common – They defied the odds. They were weird, unique, misunderstood, but they stood their ground, believed in their dreams and made a difference. You also were made to have gigantic dreams, to be unique, and to do that, you cannot blend in, you’ve got to stand out!! Make your mark. Be different. It’s liberating!
4. Stop Wishing and Start Doing: Two months ago, I released my 6th book of the year (My goal is to write 10 books this year) and my goal was to ignite fresh passion and energy into people who are either starters not finishers or dreamers, not action takers because at the end of the day, what’s the use of having a big dream that benefits no one not even yourself? A great way to build your confidence is to build your competence. As you build your competence, you build your credibility and your self-efficacy increases. As you build credibility, people trust you, you become the go-to person and that ultimately builds more confidence. It’s a success cycle. So my challenge to you, dear reader, what is that area in your life you know damn well that you’ve been wishing and dreaming but not doing anything about it? It’s time to get started. In this book, I share 5 steps to get you started. You can download a copy here bit.ly/thisisyourmoment. Be Unstoppable!
4. Are you tailored and fitted or loungey and loose?
Ha ha, great question. I guess I’m mostly loungey and loose. I love colour and I love spontaneity but if the occasion requires tailored and fitted, I try to represent. Dress the way you want to be addressed, right-:)
5. The item of clothing I’m currently wearing the most is …
….Either a dress sometimes made from Ankara or a top with capri pants with a shade of magenta, pink or blue.
6. Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you like to have as your dinner guest? Why?
Hmm..difficult one. Can I choose two? If yes, I’d choose Cece Winans (I’d love to sing a duet with her someday) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (bold, brilliant, beautiful).
7. What book are you reading right now? The book I’m reading right now, apart from the Bible, is Multipliers – How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown.
8. What skill would you like to learn no matter how old you get?
I’d love to perfect my skills of playing the piano / the guitar so I can continue to write my original songs and share them with the world and sing-along with my grandkids. I’ve had both musical instruments for quite a while now, ha ha, I eye them every now.
9. When it comes to staying healthy I...love fresh fruits and freshly cooked meals. Home-made smoothies are a must for me daily and I love experimenting with different ingredients I find such as kale, ginger, honey, avocado, etc.
10. What are you most excited about at the moment? Most importantly, I’m so excited to be alive. Having survived 3 near-death experiences in a space of just six years, I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I’m living a borrowed life. I owe my life to God, the one who holds my life in His hands, so every morning when I open my eyes, I whisper “I’m a miracle!”. I’m also excited about my upcoming projects in the second half of the year. The goal for my 7th book of the year “Girl Courageous – an African Teenager’s Guide to finding purpose and possibilities”, will be launched across schools in Africa in the week of the “International Day of the Girl” and I’m really looking forward to that. If you’d like to be a sponsor or want to get free copies, join my launch team by sending an email to email@example.com
Thank you, SBM, for this privilege and the platform to share part of my story with your readers. For questions and comments, I am reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can be sure of inspiring posts on my Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter feeds, so pls follow.
Mofoluwaso Ilevbare (Author. Speaker. The Unstoppable Life Coach)