4 Inspiring Women, 1 Question: How do You Deal With Negative Emotions Like Pride When They Show Up?

Hey, it’s the first day in March and I am super pumped about the series we’ll be exploring this month. However, before we put a wrap to last month’s series on quietness, I did promise you guys in this post that I’d ask a couple of our social media influencers if they also get overwhelmed by negative emotions sometimes and of course, how they curb them. Today, I’m sharing the answers I got from asking these 4 very inspiring women, who are doing well in their different assignments that question.

1. Lanre Onasanya: @auntyLanre

Mrs Lanre Onasanya runs the Aunty Lanre Initiative – a social enterprise dedicated to reaching out and showing love to kids, especially orphans. She also co-authored best-selling book, ‘Blue Skies, Red Seas’ with her husband, Bolu Onasanya.

Photo source: @auntylanre

Ooh, I must add this, the first time I found Aunty Lanre on Instagram, I was immediately drawn to her. That’s because as I scrolled through her pictures, the first thing I saw was her heart and I really couldn’t understand how someone could be so open-hearted and genuinely loving. For long minutes, I kept gushing to my siblings about her and even ended up sending her a DM that night. She is undoubtedly beautiful not only on the outside but also within. So, when I asked her if she sometimes gets overwhelmed with negative emotions like pride, I wasn’t surprised when she said:

Aunty Lanre: Errrrmmm, the truth is, with my kind of person, I’m naturally humble. I never really want to take credit for anything. I never get proud, neither do I expect people to treat me differently. When they do however, especially at events, I become uncomfortable and sometimes the shyness in me takes the front role. Also, when people say I’m doing something amazing, I nicely say thank you and that’s it. I hardly get those feelings, even though a lot of people expect me to. Don’t know why, maybe it’s just me.

Tirzah: Thank you ma. What about dealing with wrong motives. Do you get that feeling sometimes? If no, what do you think a person can do to curb them?

Aunty Lanre: Hmmmmn, a lot of times, I try to check myself. Like there was this time I worked with a friend on something. When I realized her motives were wrong, you know what I did? I pulled out! With ALI, I don’t get that feeling because I only do what God wants me to do. Infact, I didn’t really like taking pictures or putting names on the things we did at first. We only started doing that because we use crowdfunding for most of our projects and we would like to show the people who supported us pictures as proof.

So for people dealing with wrong motives, try putting a hold on whatever it is you are doing and don’t move until you are convinced it’s not because you want people to notice or applaud you. What I mean is, sit down with yourself and sort your motives out first before taking any step, irrespective of how long that takes.

Photo source: @auntylanreinitiative

2. Raquel Jacobs: @itisiraquel

Mz. Raquel Jacobs runs Beyond the Classroom (BTC Education) – a foundation that supports quality education for every child and provides basic educational supplies to pupils, especially in public primary schools. She also co-founded the Club31Woman Network.

Photo source: @itisiraquel

If there is one thing I admire about Raquel, {besides her confidence and fierceness}, it would be the amount of self-sacrifice, commitment and work she puts into her assignments. When I asked her if she sometimes gets overwhelmed with pride or wrong motives though, she said:

Raquel: Pride from me? Well, No. I know whose work I’m doing and knowing that it has absolutely nothing to do with me keeps me in check. The same applies to wrong motives, if something is not laid and impressed on my Spirit, I don’t do it.

Photo source: @itisiraquel

3. Abimbola Akinsanya: @bimbola_akinsanya

Mz. Abimbola Akinsanya or Miss Bimbo as she is fondly called runs Bimbo and Friends – a social enterprise dedicated to developing Africa by reaching out to young girls and women through community services and social projects.

Photo source: @bimbola_akinsanya

‘Mama’ as I often call her is one of the ladies I respect so much. When she was leaving Uni in 2013 (I was in part 2), she called me and a couple of other girls together for a night out, where she impacted so much into us, including clothes! 😜 Over the years, she has taken that big, passionate heart of hers into schools, correctional centers and communities where she is immensely touching the lives of many young people. As with the others, when I asked her the question of dealing with negative emotions, she said:

Miss Bimbo: Okay. Right from time, I knew that attention might make a person proud, so I started praying about it early. Back in school, I never really liked titles, so my expectation wasn’t high. Anytime people make comments, I always remind myself that the glory belongs to God. This I do intentionally and daily. Also, consciously reminding myself that the vision I have is of God helps keep me in check.

photo source: @bimbola_akinsanya

4. Tolulope Micheals: @tolumicheals

Mrs Tolulope Micheals founded and leads the GodLovers Fellowship, a community dedicated to raising people who love God and others around them.

Photo source: @tolumicheals

I recently started following Tolu on Instagram. I haven’t met her in person, neither have I had any prior conversations with her, but guess what she did when I asked her this question? She sent in a voicenote! She was so eager to pour her heart out in answering me and listening to her, I could hear a woman who is not only beautiful but has depth, a lot of wisdom and an open heart to teach. Here is what she had to say:

Tolu Micheal: Yes, Seun. I have had these negative emotions before, but I have learnt to deal with them. For those who still get overwhelmed, here’s how:

  • Know what it is and put it in perspective.

By perspective, I mean, put it in its proper place. If it’s pride you are dealing with, ask yourself ‘do I deserve to be respected and honoured?’ If yes, then does everybody know that? The answer, you’d see, would be a NO. Even if you were Michelle Obama, it’s not everybody that knows Michelle and you are not even her. So, even while being grateful for where you are, realize that your sphere of influence is different from someone else’. In your own corner, you might be thinking ‘Ooh wow, but they should do better than this. They should treat me better than this’, ‘if they knew who I was or what I am doing, they would call me to the front – to sit on the high table. They would not be saying ‘dear’ to me, they would be saying ‘ma’.’ (LOL) All of these just go on to show the states of our heart.

So personally, to curb pride, I ride on that scripture that says “Don’t be hasty to put yourself in the front seat, instead sit at the back, lest you sit in front and they tell you ‘ooh the seats have been reserved for some people. You cannot sit here.” This means that you shouldn’t esteem yourself more highly than you ought to. Another scripture says to ‘Outdo one another in showing honour’. This helps me to look out to honour those who show me honour. With that kind of mind set, I’m not really about who isn’t respecting or noticing me. It’s okay to accept respect and stuffs but don’t go out looking for it. Respect in my opinion is a gift. It shouldn’t be demanded.

  • Work on your relationship with God

This is something my husband says a lot and it’s true. As you grow in God and get closer to Him, those tiny things, those subtle pride, those gentle rudeness we overlook become more visible and God just helps pick them out. When your motives are wrong or you are doing something wrong, the Holy Spirit talks to you and you adjust simply because you love God and don’t want to keep doing something that hurts Him.

  • Pray: 

Humility should be at the top of our prayer list. The truth is, a person can be greeting you with his/her head almost touching the ground and yet, they are not even humble at heart. Humility is of the heart. So, in your assignments, as a leader, ask God to help you yield your heart in service to the people He has entrusted to you – not just because you want to be a good leader but because you just want to obey Jesus and didn’t He tell us that ‘the fundamental of leadership is servanthood?’ So, pray.

  • Finally, understand who you are dealing with. 

Because the devil knows the things that God is doing through you, he tries to attack you with negative emotions such as pride and truth is, as humans, we naturally have that ego problem, so all the devil tries to do is simply press the button. Personally, I rebuke the devil and constantly (& consciously) throw out thoughts that do not align with the Lordship of Christ.

These are the ways that I dealt with mine. I mean, we’ve not even started anything yet, but you’d see that if you deal with what seems little now, as you begin to do more work, they really won’t mean so much to you.

Photo source: @tolumicheals

So guys, need I say more? Nah, but if there is anything to take out of this post, besides everything we’ve been told, it’s that these women have a relationship with God and they consider everything they do as His assignment. If that be the case with us as well, then that one knowledge should humble us when pride tries to suffice. I really hope you learnt something o. If you did, share what you learnt with the rest of us. Also, if you have any more questions for me or any one of these women, you can ask. I’ll convey your questions and personally get back to you. Till later, have a great new month!

With Love,



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Author: Seun Olagunju

I'm just a simple 24-year-old girl, living for One and working to make the world a better place than I met it. I love to teach and tell stories, which is what I do as a blogger. I'm also the founder of Beyond the Surface Development Initiative. There, I reach out to teenagers by educating and empowering them, with an aim to curb the increasing number of teenage pregnancies and school drop-outs in Nigeria. When I'm not writing or involved in a social project, I work as a Product Manager with a tech firm in Lagos, Nigeria.

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