Episode 64: The Contrast: He Climbed out from Under the dark Mental Space that only High Achievers ever get into

Guest: Kwasi Adu Poku

Kwasi’s story unveils the struggle he experienced with his deep desire to be successful, the immense pressure he put on himself, and the mental toll he endured as a result of his process. He expressed that he was desperate for approval, and no matter what success he captured, it never seemed to be enough. Kwasi shared the many barriers he faced which put additional stress on his desire to perform with high standards he set for himself to meet goals he set out. Kwasi shared that being alone with his thoughts was detrimental to his self-esteem and confidence, he would analyze each interaction with others, and it took him quite a bit of time for him to understand the need to connect to his needs and give himself the same approval that he would seek out from others. Kwasi can relate to imposter syndrome, symptoms of depression, and feeling the weight of the world. When he encountered dark spaces, he described the feeling as a weight too heavy. Knowing how heavy the weight was that he was choosing to lift or attempt to lift, knowing it was too dangerous, he would still go for it even if he felt he was sinking further and further down to the ground for whatever he was attempting to achieve. He speaks about what his mental wellbeing was impacted by as he only allowed himself to experience emotional toll behind closed doors. His key message to the listeners is that: give yourself room to feel what you need to feel; unpack what needs to be unpacked; validate all emotions and give yourself that space to acknowledge it too; be kind to yourself, check-in with your inner voice and set it straight if it starts to misalign.


Guest Bio: Kwasi is a small business owner and a former varsity athlete for McMaster University located in Ontario, Canada. He is also a master’s policy student at Toronto Metropolitan University and resides in the neighbourhood referred to as ‘Jane and Finch’. He currently works as an Account Coordinator for the province of Ontario on housing and homelessness program. Kwasi launched his very own virtual business called, ‘The Reach Series’ in 2020 based on his varsity basketball and mental health challenges, and uses this platform to provide workshops, speaking services, and custom apparel promoting personal development.

He is passionate about leadership, community engagement, and academics, which is reflected in his 20+ awards and $70,000 in scholarship funding. Behind all Kwasi’s achievements, however, is a man who has constantly felt that he could do more; that he wasn’t enough, and this is the battle he speaks to in this episode.


Passionate about:  

Generation Chosen: https://www.generationchosen.ca/

Canada Basketball Academy: https://www.canadianbballacademy.com/

Hoops Canada Elite: https://instagram.com/hc_wolfpack