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What happens when you can’t meet a set target? When your path is littered with stumbling blocks? When it seems you are standing in sinking sand and the whole world is collapsing around you. Do you give in or do you dare to win?

Image courtesy of GIPHY images

Image courtesy of GIPHY images

We have someone this week on the LR platform, who has a special message for everyone struggling out there. A message for all, who are sitting on the sidelines, just observing life. The guest feature this week is determined to reach out to those of us who feel unheard, unsung, uncelebrated, underrated as well as all those living in prisons of fear or doubt. The message transcends race or creed. It is for everyone still knocking themselves with unkind words like inconsequential, irrelevant, inadequate, too old, too busy, too late. It hurts when any of us to do this to ourselves. Nonetheless, we do it anyway. We may not all do it at the same time or in the same way, but we do it anyway. Today, she is asking us: what we would do, if we were to throw away our truckload of excuses?

She is a multitasking professional, serial entrepreneur, wife and mother of two boys aged 10 and 7. She has spent many years living with the challenge of wearing too many hats. She is a corporate lawyer with over 26 years experience. A Compliance Practitioner, Consultant, Motivational Speaker, Mentor and Coach. She is the creative energy behind several initiatives, which include:


– Host of LEAP and SHINE Community on facebook.

– Convener of the Leap and Shine Conference

– Convener/Facilitator of the Leap and Shine CIT (Creative Interactive Transformational) workshop series.

– Creator and Host of soon-to-be launched Leap and Shine podcast.

– Author of the book “PRISON BREAK: The 9 to 5 Escape Agenda– Taking the Leap from limitation to liberation” as well as the e-book “25 keys to find your passion and lead a fun-filled life”.

She is Clara Rufai known in the coaching world as the *Personal Brilliance Coach* and *Shine Factor Strategist*. Let us listen to her.


I wasn’t always in such a good place as I am now. For years, I had been caught in a roller coaster of going through the daily motions of being unhappy. Not really enjoying life, fulfilling my calling or living out my purpose. It always seemed like I was taking one step forward then three steps backwards. I was depressed!

After years of frustration, self-doubt and dissatisfaction with the direction my life was headed, I got a rather frightening wake-up call one morning when I collapsed on my kitchen floor. I passed out cold and woke up to the scare of a brain tumour. I was forced to get off the treadmill of life, take a precious few days off work, and, while laying on my back in bed recuperating, I did some deep thinking and took  some deep decisions.

The decisions made over those two days definitely led to an interesting chain of events. My story of how I overcame muscle fatigue, mental exhaustion and the demands of a stressful career to become a published author in just 64 days is better laid out in my book Prison Break. It was natural that my first published book should focus on a pain, which I myself understood only too well. I wanted to act as a signpost to career mums, to prove to them that they can commit to finding their personal brilliance despite their many responsibilities.

Prison Break was written to give voice to sleep-deprived, multitasking, fatigued career women wanting to pursue their dreams. I also wanted to give the world a book that would make an inspirational read and a useful roadmap for anyone navigating their way into purpose.

It has given me a ready platform to help other women discover their shine and discover their brilliance. I set out to provoke the reader to dream big, capture their creativity, and find their ‘shine zone’ in the world.

I do not claim to have arrived, but I am truly grateful to have begun that journey – and what a journey it has been already!

I’m excited yet very humbled, for the current privilege I now have of being able to help other women who are unhappy with their current lives, to discover fulfilling and meaningful alternatives, focused around their passion, their gifts and their callings which many of them may never have considered.


Here are a few of the random lessons I’ve learned on my own journey:

-I’ve learnt there are no limitations save those we place upon ourselves – the only ‘prison’ is located in our minds!

– I’ve learnt the responsibility is mine, not only to dump my mind’s trash, but to disallow other people from dumping their trash on me.

– I’ve learnt to retreat into the beauty of silence, and harness the unusual creativity that can come from the saneness of that space!

-I’ve learnt that if we set our sights higher and we expect the most wonderful things to happen to us, they usually do!

-I’ve learnt that if it can be believed, it can be achieved – we must start with the seed of belief and slowly work our way up from there!

-I’ve learnt that life actually offers us lots of second chances – they’re called new horizons

– I’ve learnt that we must never dull ourselves to make other people uncomfortable around us – we’re all born to shine!

Ola and Clara Rufai

Ola and Clara Rufai

The LR team was really happy to be able to share Clara Rufai’s story. A woman who dared to win and let go of that truckload of excuses. We hope you’ll dare to win too. Remember it takes the ability to dream, the determination to focus, the zeal to work hard and the ability to let go.

So, when you can’t meet a set target? When your path is littered with stumbling blocks? When it seems you are standing in sinking sand and the whole world is collapsing around you. You do not quit; you dare to win – because there is no one out there better than you. Clara Rufai could not have put it any better or simpler “there are no limitations save those we place upon ourselves – the only ‘prison’ is located in our minds”

Now, what’s limiting you from hitting your keyboards and leaving us a comment?



***Many thanks to Eryho Obodo, the LR Editor who led the production of this work. 

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