September 14, 2022

This month of September, we will share with you, parents, children, youth, women and all stakeholders involved how to improve the lives of your teenager. Do you realise, that not many teenagers believe in themselves and that they have an inferiority complex? Do you know that this may have a negative impact on them today and may hinder their success in life tomorrow?

We have talked to many teenagers and this thought runs through their minds whenever they meet difficult situations. As the biting economic times show no sign of an end, since the COVID -19 pandemic, it has led to many Ugandan schools increasing third term school fees. Many parents with their children are worried and not sure their children’s education will not be cut short.

When success eludes us, we are tempted to throw in the towel and assume its unattainable. As soft skills trainers we believe we must continue to instil in youths the importance of training, in modules such as positive attitude and positive thinking. We need to change their mindsets believe that success is attainable. John Maxwell in his book Today Matters writes, “Every great company, every great brand, and every great career has been built in exactly the same way: bit by bit, step by step, little by little.”

Mariam Nalwoga, a 15-year-old girl when called upon to move in front of a group of 22 fellow youths in Kiyanja recently a suburb in Kawempe Sub- division, looked frightened. I asked her to talk firmly straight into the microphone and she could not. I asked her to look straight in the face of the other youths as I was training her to be a future leader. She could hardly look at me directly. After, a lot of persuasion and encouragement that she could do it, she then introduced herself as Mariam Nalwoga a Senior three student. Another girl Nakakande Pauline, a 13 year old when asked to move in front of the class and introduce herself kept on turning and shifting from left to right and vice versa. All actions that indicated low self- esteem, lack of confidence and an inferiority complex. When asked why they were afraid to speak amongst their own peers, they said they have not gotten opportunities to speak up or in front of an audience. Surprise Mukyo another 13 year old girl was not any different. Her body gestures, her eyes, lips all show low self- esteem.

But Mariam and Pauline’s attitudes are not unique. It is a common attitude amongst many young female teenagers we train in the lower class echelon . Many youths who live in outskirts of Kampala have an inferiority complex and victim hood mentality. It is after several repeated trials that they both eventually improved and were able to talk louder and even respond to  what their ambitions in life where, what their vision was, what they would do different after our soft skills training in mindset change. They were able to assertively say they had started believing in themselves and had clear goals to achieve their vision. It was a opportunity for them to refocus how to achieve success.

How can we kill this negative mindset?

Our training encourages youth to do the following:

  • Continuously seek knowledge in and outside the classroom. We encourage them to read and write and ensure they learn in schools and share with their school mates and communit.
  • Volunteer time in the community and even in their homes and share lessons they learn in our trainings especially mindset change from negative thinking to positive thinking. We encourage them to work more on removing the inferiority complex of thinking they cannot achieve big things.
  • Include team building programs and encourage them to do extracurricular activities like physical exercise programs to help them become bolder in life.
  • To engage in as many activities in their lives as possible to be able to identify their talents which will ensure they become successful in life.
13 year Mukyo Surprise introduces herself to her peers during QMS soft skills training