Do not be afraid to shine

I attended a high school where success was highly celebrated. We had a honor role program where 5 outstanding students were recognized. Every end of term, in the presence of everyone staff and students, those 5 students were called out in ascending order and applauded by the whole crowd. I loved hearing my name called out by the principal and that really was extra motivation to work hard in a very competitive climate. People loved you for getting in the honor role too, they will come to you to ask for your notes so they could complete theirs, teachers treated you nicely and you sometimes escaped general punishment. Sometimes.

Fast forward to University…

I carried on the habit of excelling in school- everyone is happy when you excel- you are happy, your parents are happy and the whole school is happy right? Wrong. Turned out, not everyone was. My first test result came and I happened to score a 9 out of 10. I had made friends in class and we all gathered to compare results. Apparently, it was a bad result day and everyone took turns to announce their scores. “2, 5, 4, 9, silence…” Everyone left the gathering soon as I announced my score and went about their business. Wait, no hugs? no applauses? Welcome to the real world, Ufuoma.

This happened a few other times and I started missing the hugs and applauses that I was so used to getting and so,

I will lie about my test scores and say I got a 2 out of 10 instead of a 9 out of 10. I noticed that I will get a big hug and a ‘me too’ and, I liked that.

Safe to say, that wasn’t a clever move.

Are you constantly trying to conceal your success from the people around you? You got a great new job but cannot talk to your friends about it because they will feel some type of way? You finally wore that bright red dress that you have been saving for the right occasion but you quickly changed into a grey one because you do not want to look better than the birthday girl? You refuse to take credit for a successful project at work and when it is directed to you, you say, “we thank God.”

Do not be afraid to shine. Let your light shine so bright.

  • You are like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Evidence: Psalm 1:3
  • You are like a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. More evidence: Matthew 5:14

Do not feel bad about your accomplishments simply because people will not like you. They are not obligated to.


The biggest mistake a woman can make is to remove jewels from her crown to make it easier for a man to carry. Ladies.

Stop seeking approval from people and dimming your light to make them feel comfortable. Stop acting dumb in front of a potential date because you do not want him/her to feel intimidated and run away. Remain humble and grounded but allow yourself to shine. God did not make us to be mediocre. Forget how the world feels about your success; succeed, fly, soar, don’t worry about them, they will be alright.


Till next time,

the ufuoma six

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  1. Now that’s a true story! We need to let our lights so shine cause that is what we are created for and not a life of mediocrity.

    1. We need to let our lights so shine cause that is what we are created for and not a life of mediocrity.” You couldn’t have said it any better plus, Hi Chinnnnnny 🙂

  2. Reminds me of the societal teachings of dimming/hiding your success cos of fake friends or bad people. “Don’t let anyone know you’re travelling, getting married or having a baby” they said. I’m totally with you on letting our light shine especially not for pride sake but to bring glory to God. I believe if God has blessed you, no one/nothing can take that away from you provided you remain connected to Him. Cheers to shining Jess! Great piece! Loved it.

    1. Ah! Absolutely love this comment. Such a timely reminder to do it to bring Glory to God and not for pride sake. So very important! Thank you Deola! Thank you!

  3. mmnh..!interesting post.!
    Just to add an element of ‘humility teachings’ that come from culture/religious influences; these tend to encourage success with a dimmed light.
    I think often times the underlying factor is the need to be hugged as you alluded. Sadly, that is really just a need for acceptance or validation, thus one will either turn it on or off depending on where and with whom they want to fit in.
    Yes to Shining bright !!
    I really enjoyed reading this post Ufuoma

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