Rising Through Resilience: Kemi Sogunle on The Five Things You Can Do to Become More Resilient During Turbulent Times

An Interview with Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

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You need courage in order to be resilient. Resilience is one’s ability to recover from a difficult situation while staying positive. Courage on the other hand, is the ability to remain confident without giving up during the process/journey. Courage helps you stay positive and develop the right mindset needed on the journey to resiliency.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kemi Sogunle.

Kemi Sogunle is an award-winning certified life coach and relationship expert, award-wining international speaker and multi-award-winning author of “Love, Sex, Lies and Reality,” “Being Single,” “Beyond the Pain” and “On Becoming Restored.”

Kemi’s purpose in life is to help single men and women to navigate the murky waters of life and relationships, overcome challenges/ roadblocks and build positive and healthier relationship habits while living truthfully and purposefully to make their lives become better not bitter.

She is dedicated to helping others (globally) break barriers that hinder them from making a shift in life’s journey and finding their true identity. You can learn more about Kemi Sogunle on her website: https://www.kemisogunle.com

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

I grew up as an inquisitive child with the desire to learn and explore different things in life. I began counseling at the age in 17. As an intuitive and highly empathetic teenager, I was counseling others but I got distracted as a due to peer pressure (after graduating high school) of dating. This led to my being raped at age 17 which was the beginning of losing myself. I looked for love in the wrong places afterwards and further lost myself in the process.

I got married but it was an unhealthy relationship. I later got divorced after 15 years of marriage. I decided to embark on a self-discovery journey as I felt in my own world. I knew there was something bigger than me as I began unlearning and learning about who I truly am. This was also a journey of walking in my life’s purpose.

This self-discovery journey led to birthing the 4 books I have written (which have also won multiple awards); “Love, Sex, Lies and Reality,”Being Single,” “Beyond the Pain” and “On Becoming Restored.” I also began speaking globally on life and relationship issues in order to support others and also became a certified life and relationship coach.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

One interesting story happened in 2015 when I got invited to speak at a 3-day event named after my first book, “Love, Sex, Lies and Reality” in the UK. It was my first global speaking engagement and I didn’t know what to expect.

I remember the host reaching out to me via email after a chat on Facebook and letting me know that they were in the process of hosting an event coined after my first book. The organization had followed my weekly video posts on Facebook.

I gathered information about the audience and prepared for the event. I got on the flight and was ready to speak to the attendees.

I summed up the courage to be vulnerable and was willing to be transparent while speaking the truth in love.

My biggest takeaway was that you never know who is watching you and what doors can open up for you if you don’t hold back…becoming resilient and committed to the journey of purpose.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I strongly believe that it is the ability to deeply connect with my clients and empower them about their journeys through coaching, speaking and my books.

I have successfully worked with clients globally and connecting to each individual in a unique way while being present, actively listening. Empathetically connecting with my clients and bringing them to a place of conscious awareness and collaboratively working with each individual without judgement.

I also help my clients understand that each individual’s journey is different and unique and it is working with them to identify what works best for them while setting goals that can help move them forward in life and relationship.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

So many people have helped me through my journey. My speech professor in college is someone I am grateful for. She pushed me above and beyond while in college.

I always wondered why she picked up me but I now understand that she was laying the foundation for me to become a global speaker on life and relationship issues.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is one’s ability to bounce back from a difficult situation. It is an opportunity to turn obstacles into stepping stones towards one’s greatness.

I believe resilient people stay focused, endure tough times, learn to be patient and trust the process as well as have developed a growth and positive mindset.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

You need courage in order to be resilient. Resilience is one’s ability to recover from a difficult situation while staying positive. Courage on the other hand, is the ability to remain confident without giving up during the process/journey. Courage helps you stay positive and develop the right mindset needed on the journey to resiliency.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

The biblical story of Joseph comes to mind when I think of resilience. He shared his dream with his siblings, yet, they sold him into slavery. He landed as the second in command to Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him and Joseph escaped but landed in jail. He didn’t give up on his dream and his dream eventually came through for him to fulfill his purpose.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

I have always been told as a child that it was impossible for me to do certain things and I got motivated to try to accomplish those things which I eventually succeeded doing.

I have and continue to strongly believe that life is limitless and if we place a limit on ourselves, we will limit our possibilities and miss out on opportunities in life’s journey.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

Yes, my greatest setback was after my divorce. I wanted to die and prayed that God should take my life. I felt my whole world had crumbled but I was determined to find myself and discover my strength. I went from losing everything and having to start from ground zero.

I was down to my last at that point. I went from a size 12 to a size 2 and had lost 5 pints of blood but I was determined to stay alive for my son’s sake.

I fought my way back medically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and emerged like a diamond in the rough as a multi-award -winning author of 4 self-help/development books, award-winning global speaker and award-winning certified life and relationship coach.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

Every step of my journey has been based on resiliency. Being able to fight myself through the rape experience and keeping my head above waters.

I was also the scape-goat child and I always remained focus and strived harder each time I faced challenges. I was surrounded by those who encouraged me to keep going irrespective of what I was facing and that helped me in keeping my head up when I was down.

As a prayer warrior, spending time in prayer and meditation also keeps me in alignment and helps me find my inner strengths.

My divorce also contributed to be building resiliency as I had to challenge myself with the deep knowledge of knowing that there was something bigger than me that I had to step into…the journey of purpose to impact lives through my books, coaching and speaking.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Never have a victim mindset — Everything we go through in life brings us a conscious awakening to the parts of ourselves we are yet to discover. We are not a victim of our circumstances but a student of each experience. You must look at each experience and ask yourself the question, “What is this experience teaching you about yourself?”
  2. Take time to self-reflect and understand your emotions as well as examine your thoughts — “Tame your thoughts. Don’t let your thoughts tame you. Tame your emotions and don’t let your emotions tame you. Think before you act and reason before you react or respond.” — excerpt, “Beyond the Pain” Copyright ©2014, Kemi Sogunle. All Rights Reserved.
  3. Set/Establish life goals — Goals help you develop and build on resiliency as they push you to discover your strengths. Hold yourself accountable for accomplishing your goals. Start small and challenge yourself daily.
  4. Show yourself compassion — Be kind to yourself and learn to be patient. Acknowledge each experience you go through, extract the lessons and learn from them and be quick to forgive yourself and others. Understand that there are no mistakes in life…only lessons to be learned. See each experience as an opportunity for growth.
  5. Be grateful always — Having a heart of gratitude changes everything and gives you a new perspective to life. Be grateful for opportunities to learn and grow. Be grateful for opportunities to discover possibilities and to turn obstacles into stepping stones towards your greatness.

Understand this:

“The tests we face in life’s journey are not to reveal our weaknesses but to help us discover our inner strengths. We can only know how strong we are when we strive and thrive beyond the challenges we face.” — excerpt, “On Becoming Restored.” Copyright © 2014, Kemi Sogunle. All Rights Reserved.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I am currently on a mission to support singles (as well as married couples who are struggling) to discover who they are truly created to be and become by raising a conscious awakening. We have been taught what to think and not how to think and helping people begin to gain a conscious awareness into how our thoughts and experiences shape our decisions and life, is my life’s mission/purpose.

I am on a mission to support others in taking their power back, finding their voices and becoming the best version of themselves while still breathing and living as well as helping them build on purposeful relationships that can significantly improve the quality of their lives.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)

There are so many people would love to meet…Oprah Winfrey, CeCe Winans, Tamia Hill, John Nicholson (the actor). If I could have breakfast or lunch, it would be with Oprah. 😊

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can connect with me on my website: https://www.kemisogunle.com, email: coaching@kemisogunle.com as well as on Instagram: @kemisogunle and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kemi.sogunle1

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor