Presenter, radio host and journalist Claire Clottey reached out to founder of The British Blacklist, Akua Gyamfi, along with Angie Le Mar, Melysah Charles, Hayley Alexander, Elaine Adu-Poku, Rachel Ritfeld, Terri Walker, Siobhan Copland, Simone Bresi-Ando, and Jenny Francis to find out what they’d tell their younger selves, for Melan Magazine.

See excerpt below:

The New Year is traditionally observed as the perfect time for fresh starts and gathering courage to do something new.

Investing in support and guidance from professionals like life coaches and mentors is always useful, yet we should remember that experience and hindsight are also great teachers. The popular saying: ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, rings true for many of us, and so we have gathered our own ‘village’ in the form of 10 female amazons, over the age of 30, who have strived and reached the top of their game.

We asked them to reflect on what they would tell their 15 year old selves. Their responses are beautiful and inspirational. What would you say to your 15-year old self?

Akua Gyamfi, Founder of The BritishBlackList www.thebritishblacklist.co.uk says: 

Stop worrying about what people think. Speak up and speak your truth. If anyone is offended by you speaking your truth, then they’re not for you.

Stop feeling guilty for feeling angry. If someone upsets you, it’s not for you to make them feel okay, it’s not for you to explain why they made you upset, especially if they’re not willing to acknowledge what they did in the first place. Don’t bury your feelings. People won’t change their attitude or behaviour towards you if they don’t know that what they’re doing is affecting you.

Don’t be afraid to make demands about what you want. Be clear about how you want things to be. People respect those who are in control of what they want and aren’t afraid to make it clear. This is not about being rude or aggressive but about setting boundaries with clarity so no one is confused.

Be more open with your mother. She’s more understanding than you think… (well actually she’s not – lol) but she’s a lot more tolerant than you give her credit for. In amongst the ranting and shouting she’s actually a first class banter queen with unending valuable wisdom. Be patient with her. Speaking of motherhood, you’re going to be a fantastic mother!


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