5 Mentalities Nigerian Youths Must Drop To Succeed

No man can go beyond his thoughts.” This saying has proven to be true in the lives of many people, especially the Nigerian youth. And no matter how gifted, talented, educated, or skilled a person is, that person can’t progress beyond his or her mentalities.

It is quite sad that youths, because of some of these mentalities, find it harder to survive in Nigeria than they usually would in other developing nations.

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Here is a list of 5 of such mentalities Nigerian youth must drop to succeed:

1. The “Starting small takes too much time.” mentality

I have conversed with a lot of Nigerian youth and the mentality of not wanting to start small is common. Some believe that starting small is time-consuming. These youth see the benefits that starting small can bring, and yearn for the fruits without the growth process. Some will rather dodge meaningful things that take patience to grow.

This mentality is why a lot of these youth celebrate and boldly defend cyber fraudsters who choose to cut corners when these fraudsters are apprehended by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

The be honest, Nigerian youth know what they want, they know the price to pay to reach their goal, but the issue with the majority is that they are unwilling to start from square one and go the whole nine yards.

Hey, if you feel three years is too long to dedicate to grow a business or career at twenty-seven, remember that you will still be thirty years in three years’ time with little or nothing to show for it. So it is better to be thirty and have a three-year-old business or career, than to be thirty wishing you had taken that bold step three years earlier.

The start of anything is not always easy because the start (foundation) is where the strength lies. The foundation of any building takes time and resources, and the more time and resources put into the foundation, the stronger the structure.

2. The “If you’re not talking money be brief.” mentality

A lot of Nigerian youth are not succeeding yet due to this mindset. It is the reason behind their nonchalant attitude towards training, seminars, boot camps and conferences. They think attending these events is a waste of time.

Money doesn’t grow on trees. It comes when we have the right mentalities and consciously make the right efforts towards success. There is a need to look beyond money to see the greater opportunities that lie ahead. But Nigerian youth see any job, discussion or activity that its immediate reward isn’t money as “invalid.”

If I had focused on the money when I started as writing some years ago, I am sure I won’t have had a writing career now. I did a lot of free jobs to hone my writing skills, and I always looked for opportunities to learn and grow. I was rejected by so many editors despite the fact that I offered to write for free.

As a rookie writer, I understood the concept of seedtime and harvest, so I didn’t lose focus of the bigger picture I had in mind. Am I still writing for free today? No, because I have paid my dues, and I’m reaping the harvest now.

The ‘money-love’ is seriously stagnating a lot of vibrant youth.

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3. “Tech is for men” Mindset

Many young Nigerian ladies aspire to become young entrepreneurs in the youth-dominated tech industry in Nigeria but decided to let go of their dreams because of the mentality that the tech industry is male-dominated.

The thought of what family and friends might say about their supposed career choice kept them from living a life they are passionate about.

Some years ago, I approached a glazier to teach me glaziery, but he refused my apprenticeship because he believed glaziery was for men.

Many Nigerian youth share this mindset and it is one of the reasons why we have few women making marks in the Nigerian tech industry.

4. The “If it’s Nigerian, it’s substandard.” mindset

Recently, Innoson Motors ( Nigeria’s first automobile manufacturer), trended on social media platforms for the 25 million Naira car prize won by the winner of season 4 of Big Brother Naija.

5 Mentalities Nigerian Youths Must Drop To Succeed
Made in Nigeria by Abubakar Sadiq Abdullahi

Some youth took to social media to belittle the vehicle because it wasn’t a foreign brand. How can our manufacturing industry grow if youths have such a mentality?

The mentality that a locally produced product is substandard has crippled many businesses and led to depression among local manufacturers. Some of these Nigerian youth would rather promote foreign products at the expense of our own products. They spend their savings patronizing foreign companies instead of buying locally made products.

We need to drop this mentality if we must grow. The result of emancipating our thoughts from such mentalities would subsequently bring in the era of the much-needed growth in the Nigerian entrepreneurial ecosystem. I believe this is one area that Nigerian mums must take some responsibilities and do something to correct this mentality in their children.

5. The “Salary is the money they pay you to forget your dreams” mindset

This mindset is common among young corporate workers and entrepreneurs. I wonder how such an untrue sentiment became viral in the first place. Some young Nigerian employees in the corporate sector rarely put in their best because they believe they are forgetting their dreams by working for someone.

And this is the reason many of them run out of paid employment and jump into entrepreneurship without knowing what entrepreneurship entails.

Everyone can’t be an entrepreneur and not everyone can be in the corporate world either, so I don’t know where such a mindset came from.

We all have our role to play in making the world a better place, and the most important thing is identifying your strength and positively utilize it.

Talking down a person for choosing to be in the corporate world doesn’t make any sense. I’m an entrepreneur, but I think it is wrong to see someone as less for choosing where to be legally productive.

6. High Mindset of Entitlement

Yes, I said 5, but the year is running to an end and I chose to gift you something worthy of year 2020 – Listen, Nobody owes you anything, not your parents, not your spouse, not even your children!

If there is only one mindset you must drop as a Nigerian youth to succeed in life, it is the entitlement mindset. You must learn to develop and rely on yourself. If there is one statement that comes to mind often, it is this – “Accidents don’t just happen, they are caused by a series of unfortunate events, each of which is associated with one or more cause factors”.

And so is the story of our lives, we are the product of our actions and inactions, simple. In order words, wake up from your slumber, and wake up to your responsibilities. Only one person can take you from where you are now to where you want to be – YOU!

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A lot of Nigerian youth must re-evaluate their mentalities regarding so many things. Our mind is the engine of our life, and it does not function optimally when clogged with the wrong mindsets.  

Positivity – One Mindset Nigerian Youths Must Develop To Succeed

Ask any Nigerian what mindset they would love to develop to aid their success, and a majority would tell you that it is a positive mindset. Nigerian youths no longer believe in working hard, little wonder the president referred to us as “Lazy Nigerian Youth.”

Unfortunately, they no longer believe that anything works in the country any longer.

There is an urgent need to focus on reshaping the mindset of the average Nigerian youth. The country has failed its youth – the majority no longer believe in working their way to the top. They now prefer to bribe their ways through.

We must work collectively as a nation to put an end to this negative mindset menace and refocus the mindset of our youth on to right values. We must find a way to get the Nigerian youth to become positive-minded.

Suggested Reading: 12 Ways to Instantly Become a More Positive Person

So, what is your thought on the author’s position on Nigerian youths and their success mindset? Unfortunately, these mindsets spread across sub-Saharan Africa, and it is not limited to Lagos or Nigeria. It affects millions of people.

We would love to learn your thought, please share using the comment section below.


  1. Nigerian youths needs to be prayed for
    The way they think and reason are really alarming,imagine someone saying”you can never be Rich in Nigeria if you are not into fraudulent activities”.
    Their mentality is very low towards projecting a profitable business for themselves.
    Youth nowadays does not look at things critically before concluding.they jump at every little mention of Money without checking and making enquiries about the source.
    They forget the parable”little water makes a mighty ocean”start little,be patient,steadfast and focus, determine and watch things fall in place.
    Don’t sleep on that mentality.


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