I enjoy coaching ambitious go-getters. The people with fire in their belly. However sometimes even with the best of intentions, their efforts don’t provide the results they desire.
This blog contains some of the insights I gained from personal experience, observation and researching existing materials. I’m sharing it with the hope that it inspires the go-getter in you to keep going for the goals you desire.
Your vision should not bow to self-imposed limitations
Your vision should not bow to self-imposed limitations or what is commonly accepted as impossible. Constantly ask yourself, what would it require of me to reach my goal? Then take action accordingly. A daily check of your mindset is important. Are you viewing your vision from the perspective of what the challenges are or what the opportunities are? This makes all the difference!
Invest in building the right skills
Build the required skills intentionally. Set aside time, book it in your calendar. Make that investment. Seek out mentors. When you prepare yourself intentionally, you will steadily make progress towards mastery.
Does your VISION match your WHY?
“If your ‘WHY’ doesn’t make you cry, it’s not your ‘WHY'” Coach Hite
It’s important to understand the inherent motivation behind our goals. When we dig deeper, the goals that really make a difference to us and leave a legacy are the ones that touch us deeply, when we are in service to ourselves and our families. In doing so, we make the world a better place.
What is the feeling you wish to evoke in your life when you achieve your vision? Are your goals inspired by a need to win the acknowledgment from others without genuinely making you happy? If your vision doesn’t genuinely make you happy, it won’t go the distance, it may not come true. And even if it does, it wouldn’t conjure the usual feelings we associate with success (for e.g., joy and fulfillment).
If you need help reflecting on your WHY, here’s a helpful video.
That was a short and crisp summary of some of my research so far. I promise to share more in future articles. If you found this helpful, please leave a comment. Thank you!
Confidence. It’s said that some people have it and some people don’t – is that really true?
At least that’s how I used to think until a few years ago. I could fake confidence successfully in front of a crowd or in important meetings that when I would later tell close friends or colleagues that I wasn’t so confident, they wouldn’t believe me!
All the while I kept wishing that my confidence came from a more reliable, constant unshakeable source. I have never been a fan of faking anything, including confidence because I believe that authenticity is the bedrock of a life well lived and can lead to beautiful, soulful experiences and relationships.
After I got tired of wishing and wanting more confidence, I decided to pursue this thing called confidence, investigate the source of it and make it a part of my life. It eventually happened and today I am happy to report I’m worlds apart from my previous self in terms of confidence and all the beautiful qualities that accompany it – grit, determination, and a steadfast vision. Today I want to share 3 powerful tips that could help you too.
Take inventory of all those people who, in your perspective, display tremendous confidence in themselves and how they conduct themselves in daily lives. Study them from close quarters and if possible, share with them your admiration for their qualities. Nobody can resist such a genuine compliment and probably you can get them to mentor you or at least share with you their perspective on developing confidence.
An area in your life where you feel very confident
There is most likely an area in your life where you are more confident than any other. Is it related to health, fitness, project management, relationships including parenting, hobbies including gardening or cooking? What makes you confident in that area? Is it your organization skills that make you a great project manager? Is it learning and becoming stronger by making “mistakes” that have made you strong at managing the relationships in your life?
Just get curious and see how you can apply that insight to another area in your life. To give you an example, in my corporate career I was known as a superb project manager because I have the ability to look at the big picture, break it down into chunks and get super organized. With increasing levels of success, I am able to apply that to organizing aspects of my business as well and can see the impact already.
Step outside your comfort zone
Confidence comes from taking action. It is like any other muscle, that gets stronger with practice. The best way to get over a fear or discomfort is by exposing yourself to it in increasingly larger doses. Whenever I hold an event or a workshop, I’ll be equally excited and nervous. I walk into the audience nevertheless with butterflies in my stomach.
I then remind myself of the WHY of whatever it is I am doing and it gives me strength. For example, in the case of a workshop, I remind myself that this is not about me but about giving my audience value, something that will enrich their lives. Connecting with my audience with that intention takes the pressure off of me magically.
Let me share a bonus tip. The unshakeable source of confidence that I told you about? It’s within each of us. None of our lives is an accident. Each of us is blessed with all the resources we will ever need to lead a meaningful life. When you step into that knowledge and feel the beauty and power of it, you will feel confidence surge through your veins.
I hope this blog was helpful. If you are struggling with confidence and need to talk about your unique situation, just send me an email at email@example.com.
Yes, the spirituality of food or the spirituality in food.
This title was inspired by a conversation I had with my husband this morning, over the course of which I realized that in the past 4 years I have managed to have breakfast at home every day and managed to have lunch wherever I was.
This must be normal for so many of you.
However, 4 years ago, when I was aiming for the corner office, working overtime to get straight As in the corporate world, food and rest were the last things on my mind. I remember rushing every morning to the office, shoving some bread pieces into my mouth and mostly foregoing lunch — unless a colleague would buy from the bakery downstairs a sandwich, which I ate in haste while staring at or typing on the computer.
I am celebrating:
• Embracing things/experiences/people/ what makes me happy rather than others (read corporate, bosses, society, my own false expectations of myself)
• Self-care that I give myself through the simplest and most overlooked of things and experiences such as food. It could simply be just eating food on time, or making an occasional celebration of it by inviting friends and family over dinner or at a restaurant.
Food bonds people. Taste is one of the most tantalizing senses and nourishes our souls in more ways than just the chemical impact of food on our energy reserves
• Getting to know my needs more, respecting that, prioritizing that and serving those needs.
• Not wasting the learning that pain provided me. Yes, you read that right. Let me elaborate.
4 years ago, my petite 163cm/49kg/35-year-old body and the uterus within was ravaged by the second attack of fibroids (non-cancerous cysts), 20 of them, each the size of a lemon or more. My belly had enlarged to the size of a 4-5 month pregnancy. My periods were hell, I would bleed through clothes in a matter of minutes after changing my pad-tampon combination.
I ended up for a fibroid removal surgery for the second time in 4 years, which went horribly wrong and had to be rushed to emergency surgery within 2 days followed by an ICU stay.
Taking the Step to Change
I knew there was more than genetics at play here. I wanted answers and neither the doctors or scientific literature gave me answers that helped or that I resonated with. So I became a scientist in my own life. I took drastic, bold steps:
1. I moved to a largely vegetarian, dairy-free diet
2. Knowing that there’s more to my search than what traditional medicine or science would reveal, and guided by my intuition, I dived deeper into spirituality which in my definition means connecting to the true essence of who we are, connecting with our souls’ purpose. My coach back then and Kundalini yoga helped me unravel that process. I got most of my answers there, including the next one.
3. I identified my main stressor. I soon realized that I was being bullied at my job by my seniors. It was difficult to believe that this could happen in the well-polished corporate world and that even on raising such issues, other people would rather keep their eyes shut and ask me to be less “sensitive”.
I knew I was overwhelmed, overworked, under-appreciated and burnt-out which had a direct link to my health situation. I quit that job and started pondering over what really lights my fire.
I realized nothing could match my love for working with people and helping them explore their true potential. I decided to go full steam into coaching, set up my independent practice and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.
As is expected, I fail at it more often than I succeed. However, the lessons are worth their weight in gold. As long as we maintain an intent to learn and grow from our experiences, we can only grow stronger.
The curiosity, exploration, learning and growing continues. The best exploration is the one we do in our minds.
Coming back to the title, the simple act of eating breakfast on time and without hurrying, having gratitude for the nourishment the food provides and prioritizing my self-care through food is something I’m celebrating today. That, in essence, is spirituality in daily life for me, acknowledging and being grateful for the experience of life and every moment I get to take care of myself. By taking care of myself, I am more energetic, available and supportive of the others in my life, my community and the world at large.
Now I’ll move to the most important question.
Why is this relevant to you?
I hope that by sharing my humble example, story and experiences, you may see that you’re not alone in your experiences. We all continue to evolve and are connected through a stream of consciousness, like leaves on a big, beautiful tree.
The essence of life might just as simple as sharing and growing together.
As always, I’m sharing some insights from a client conversation I had this week. This is for the business owners, managers and those amongst you who collaborate with people on a daily basis (well, basically, all of us!).
A well-functioning team is what everyone dreams of, whether you’re a business owner or manager. You feel supported and free when your team works seamlessly and efficiently. On the other hand, it can lead to stress and sleepless nights when there’s trouble in the team, even if it’s just one team member’s performance that doesn’t meet expectations.
So what can you as a business owner or manager do when faced with team members whose performance seem to be suboptimal?
While firing the person might be an immediate, tempting choice, it may not be the best at hand in most instances. Why? This is because most human beings bring some strength or the other to the workplace. As a leader, it is up to you to identify, nurture and use those to the advantage of the company, your team and the individual’s career progression. In this blog, I delve upon ways how you can do that.
1) Understand that not all of your workforce may comprise of the superstars you desire to have
This understanding alone can take the pressure of expectations off your back. It will help you realize that you have the responsibility and power to create the team that you want, even if things aren’t going great right now. While great teams can be nurtured over time or can also happen as a rare natural constellation, as with everything in life change is a constant. People switch teams, leave the company, you add new team members, etc. which change the structure of the team. With the addition of every new member, there’s a steep learning curve – not just on the specifics of the work topic, but also in integrating into the team and company culture. This requires effort from everyone in the team if it’s a high-functioning team that you desire. While as a leader, you can hope and dream that the person is motivated to learn, integrate and thrive, the onus falls upon you to create the space within the team for the person to feel accepted, provide support and have regular conversations to understand how things are shaping up. More on that in the points below.
2) Trust is key
Take time to know the person and what their professional aspirations are. Be human. Over several interactions show genuine interest in the person and treat them as a human being. I see our society is very uncomfortable with this, but here is where the gold lies. You see, every human being is wired for human connection. We thrive in environments where we feel connected and appreciated, where we feel we are valued. We then are motivated to contribute our best. On a Monday morning, when a person steps into the office, s/he doesn’t remove that requirement from their personalities. We are all habituated to wearing armored selves at work, but at the core, we all still crave to be understood. Can you imagine the difference it will make when your manager take the time, sits down by your side when you are going through an exceptionally challenging situation in your personal life and work, and offer her/his support? It doesn’t mean you have to pry open your entire personal lives to each other, but why not go beyond the usual superficial pleasantries?
Trust is built in small increments through such seemingly inconsequential steps. When someone knows that you as a leader have their back, that they can rely on your support, their motivation skyrockets. It helps during those tricky performance feedback meetings as well, when you can share your feedback (clearly, honestly and kindly – more on that in another post), where the person will understand that you’re coming from an empathetic space where the only desire is to create exceptional results for the company including the individual.
3) Communicate clearly
You might have the best intentions but if they are not communicated clearly in a way your employees understand, it can only lead to confusion and poor performance. Ask yourself these questions, reflect on the answers and see what changes you can make.
Am I regularly sharing updates and expectations with my team?
At the end of key meetings, do I summarize or ask someone in the team to summarize the key priorities, ownership structure and desired outcomes?
Am I being approachable and open enough for my direct reports for clarifications, feedback and sharing ideas?
Do I set regular milestones, through regular touchpoints, to review progress and provide feedback?
If something didn’t work, what could I have done better in hindsight to clarify and follow up on expectations?
Are there regular SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) in place that teams can follow for important, repetitive tasks?
4) You are the leader. Mindset is key and, everything starts with your mindset
What’s your attitude when it comes to your team? Do you have stressful thoughts when you think of a particular team member? What’s the quality with which you’ll show up at work when your internal software (thoughts) is mired in resistance?
Instead, what if you choose to take a positive stance, to understand the motivations and strengths of each individual, and how to build a coherent team using everyone’s unique skills, knowing you are completely capable of creating an exceptional team? Feel your state shift. It’s a more empowering stance, isn’t it?
5) With that empowered mindset, take a look again
Is that person or people in your team really unsuited for the job? Can there be skills that can be taught? Am I ensuring that the people in my team have enough time to build the skills? Or can you re-assign jobs based on individuals skills? With the right support, training, and feedback, you’ll notice improvements.
Thinking of parting ways with a person (aka firing or severance through a mutual agreement) should ideally be the last option in my opinion. The more humane and empathetic workplaces become, the more motivated individuals and teams will be. This is the ideal foundation for exceptional results for the business and a highly satisfied and motivated workforce.
Teamwork, performance and business results – I’ve touched upon some key areas here. I’m eager to hear from you. Do you have insights to add or are struggling with something related to team performance? Let me know in comments.
There are times in our lives when our projects may not be going so well, our relationships are rocky or we aren’t generating the income we expected to from our business. In those situations, it’s easy to blame the circumstance or another person for why things aren’t working.
In this blog, I will share some powerful reframe that will switch our minds from a victim mentality to an empowered, inspired one.
The cons of complaining and putting the responsibility on external circumstances or people: we take on a victim mentality and things start to seem way out of our control than they actually are. The risk? We stay stuck in situations without achieving our goals (for e.g., finishing the project, enjoying harmonious relationships, generating abundant income), we lose our confidence and we might give up on our goals altogether.
I know for a FACT that we are all powerful creators and are divinely gifted. That is why I want to help you reframe seemingly rocky situations and emerge the winner that you’re born to be.
The pros of doing that? You naturally sense the resources at hand to turn the situation around and achieve what you desire. You feel inspired to take action and the scenario transforms.
Here are 3 steps to help you:
1. Ditch the victim mentality
Do not fall prey to the mindset that you are a victim of circumstances. The victim mentality disempowers you. It makes you focus on those aspects of your life that drag you down. It’s an easy mindset to adopt because it’s rampant in the society and we’re programmed to adopt what’s rampant in the society as “normal” or acceptable. However, you can decide differently. Successful high-performers catch themselves in the act and stop the downward spiraling of thoughts and emotions. Sure, you can’t control the external factors that come at you, but you can control how you react to them.
2. Acknowledge Your Power
Be aware of your own actions and their consequences. Realize that you are responsible for the outcomes in your life – the good and the bad. You have control over the outcome of any situation, and however hard it is, YOU can turn it around. Think of ways on how you can improve your project and its financial outcomes including investing in the right mentors or coaches, assess your relationship with your partner and see what behavioral changes you can adapt to turn it around or seek professional help as needed.
3. Turn Your Failure to Inspiration
Even if you consider something a failure or a mistake, there is the richness of experience, knowledge, and growth in that, which will be the fodder for your next steps.
Do not be ashamed to admit your shortcomings to yourself, do not be ashamed to admit the possibility that you overlooked something that could’ve caused your failure. Acknowledging what didn’t work is, in fact, the first step in a transformative act that will help you determine the necessary course-correction to successfully reach your goals.
How you condition your mind plays a big role in how you achieve your goals. By acknowledging your power, you unlock your potential, and by unlocking your full potential, you draw in success.
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