EGYPT: Discover More about Yourself by Stretching Your Comfort Zone

EGYPT: Discover More about Yourself by Stretching Your Comfort Zone

We all tend to stay in our comfort zone. It’s safer and more comfortable even if we are not totally satisfied with our lives. To make a change and discover more about our strengths we need to get out of our comfort zone, experience discomfort, and challenge ourselves.

Six years ago, I decided to start my own business expecting to earn more money. I took the challenge without enough knowledge about how to do it. I thought I will learn through the journey. Five years later I closed it out and stayed at home. I spent most of my savings, from my previous job as a software engineer, instead of earning money. I was frustrated and I preferred to stay in my comfort zone.

I spent almost a year and a half just thinking of how to restart working on my coaching career without taking any real steps to do it just because I felt safer in my comfort zone. I spent this time trying new things like learning drawing,  painting, and writing for self-discovery. I attended healing workshops and silence retreats as well. On the last retreat, I discovered why I am procrastinating to take the first step. I am fearful. I feared failure, critiques, competing, and not doing perfectly. I was so in pain with this discovery because I didn’t know how to deal with this fear feeling.

What was really surprising is that I got a phone call, from the local TV, asking me for an interview about how to deal with stress and anger,  I was kindly refusing such interviews for years because I never felt comfortable showing up on TV, but at that moment I realized that it is time to challenge myself. I said: “You will never achieve anything unless you take risks and challenge yourself. It is time to do it even it’s not perfect” and I did it. I got very positive feedback from my friends and relatives. A few days later I got another opportunity to give a talk at the Infinite Youth Africa Summit, a talk about self-discovery and self-motivation. In the beginning, I was so excited about the idea, I love sharing my knowledge and my journey of self-growth with others. Later on, when I started recording the video I realized that it was a big challenge because I didn’t speak English for years now. In addition, I had to translate the talk into French, which I didn’t speak for decades, but there was no way out. I gave my word and I have to complete the talk and the translation. It took me almost two weeks to do it; two so stressful weeks repeating the video recording to correct language mistakes and to speak more confidently. Now that I completed and delivered them on time I feel more confident, satisfied, and proud of my achievement. It is not perfect but it was the best I can do at that moment.

Done is better than perfect. Challenge yourself to discover more about your talents and capabilities. Don’t wait to do it perfectly just do your best and accept the result. It will make a big difference in your life.

You can sign up for the Infinite Youth Africa Summit here – www.heartfulness.africa/youth-summit

Nihad

Nihad is an Egyptian woman, who was born and has lived her whole life in Alexandria, Egypt. She says, “People who visited this city know how charming and beautiful this city is. Although I love every city in Egypt, Alexandria is the one I love the most.” She is a software engineer and has worked in the field for more than twenty years. But recently she quit her job, got a coaching certificate and she is now a self employed life and career coach. She says, “I believe that women in this era face big challenges and they are taking huge responsibilities. That's why I have chosen my niche -- women looking for happiness and satisfaction. I help and support them in making whatever change (career change, life change, behavior change, belief change…) they want to bring more satisfaction and happiness in their lives.” Nihad is a mother of two lovely boys, 15 and 9 years old. She states, “They are the most precious gifts I have ever had. I madly love them, and I consider them the main source of happiness in my life.” Our inspiring mother in Egypt can also be found at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

More Posts

EGYPT: Beliefs and how they impact our lives

beliefs

According to Merriam Webster, a belief is, “something that a person accepts as true or right, a strongly held opinion about something.” A belief is just an opinion, not necessarily the truth or the reality. Beliefs can be imagined as an iceberg. There are some beliefs  we are conscious of, like the tip of the iceberg that can be seen above the water. Meanwhile, there are other beliefs we are less aware of, the larger part of the iceberg that lies below the water.

There are different types of beliefs. There are some that are empowering beliefs, like we are happy, we are successful , life is beautiful and worth being lived, failure is a part of the success journey, and so on. Other beliefs are disempowering, like I am unhappy, I am not good enough, life is unfair, I am a loser, et cetera. Such beliefs can be very limiting. Our beliefs about ourselves shape our lives. If we hold empowering beliefs, we feel more satisfaction and peace of mind. Otherwise, we are frustrated and unhappy most of the time. Most of our beliefs are formed during our childhood and adolescence.

Why our beliefs impact our lives?

Our beliefs drive our behaviors, so anything we do can be linked back to a certain belief we hold. Our perception of a situation creates a thought in our mind. The thought triggers an emotion, and the emotion makes us behave in a certain way. For example, one of my clients felt uncomfortable when her colleagues repeated to her, “You are so kind.” From my point of view, it was a positive comment of praise, while she perceived it as, “You are so naive.” With the positive perception, she would have felt totally comfortable and satisfied. Meanwhile, with the negative perception she felt annoyed and uncomfortable. These two different perceptions of the same situation triggered two completely different feelings, which lead to two totally different behaviors.

When we go through the same experience with the same thought, we feel the same feeling and we behave the same way until it becomes an unconscious belief and the behavior becomes automatic. Unfortunately it becomes the TRUTH while actually it is just our truth that we created due to our perception. If we want to change our behavior, we need to change the angle from which we see the situation.

“Making mistakes is shameful”

I grew up in a family and a school where making mistakes was not an option. We were punished, made fun of, and severely criticized for making mistakes. There were only one way to do anything, the way the elders wanted it done. Anything else was wrong and unacceptable. Living in such an environment was really hard.  I always felt like an accused who needed to defend herself. I wanted to have my own life, but unfortunately anything that did not match their way was considered a mistake.

One of my dis-empowering beliefs that negatively affected my life and harmed my self confidence for many years was, “Making mistakes is shameful.” I was so sensitive, so I avoided many situations and experiences to avoid the feeling of guilt and shame I felt every time I thought I made a mistake. I feared oral exams, trying new things, delivering presentations, and giving an opinion in a meeting or a class. I was so frightened of failure that I had to find help. My coach helped me see my foundational belief that making mistakes is shameful, and helped me to see that it caused me to avoid situations where I feared failure. It took me some time to adopt the new perception and to overcome my fear and my belief. Fortunately, I can now express myself in public easily, confidently, and in a relaxed way.

How we can change a behavior?

When you want to change your behavior in any situation and you want to find out what dis-empowering belief you hold, just answer these questions:

What are your thoughts in this situation?

How do you feel every time you go through it?

Write down your answers, and repeat this process several times. You will begin to notice a pattern. Notice your inner self talks and your wording – it will tell you a lot about your beliefs. To change the behavior, you need to change the angle from which you perceive the situation. Try to find a more positive perception – it will make a big shift in your thoughts and feelings and hence your behaviors.

As moms we need to be so careful with our children. We must pay attention to how we treat them, and also how we treat ourselves or speak about ourselves in front of them. We need to be aware of our dis-empowering beliefs, and work on changing them as they will surely affect our children. They acquire their self confidence and self esteem from ours. Our children see themselves through our eyes and they believe us, so if you tell your child they are not good enough or they are amazing they will believe you and may be they will live their whole life with this belief. Be cautious which beliefs you want to implant in your child.

Are you aware of your beliefs? What type of beliefs do you hold about yourself? How do they affect your life? Do you have a similar story, to share with us, about replacing a limiting belief ?

This is an original post for World Moms Network by Nihad from Alexandria, Egypt. Nihad blogs at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

Image via José María Foces Morán / Flickr

Nihad

Nihad is an Egyptian woman, who was born and has lived her whole life in Alexandria, Egypt. She says, “People who visited this city know how charming and beautiful this city is. Although I love every city in Egypt, Alexandria is the one I love the most.”

She is a software engineer and has worked in the field for more than twenty years. But recently she quit her job, got a coaching certificate and she is now a self employed life and career coach. She says, “I believe that women in this era face big challenges and they are taking huge responsibilities. That's why I have chosen my niche -- women looking for happiness and satisfaction. I help and support them in making whatever change (career change, life change, behavior change, belief change…) they want to bring more satisfaction and happiness in their lives.”

Nihad is a mother of two lovely boys, 15 and 9 years old. She states, “They are the most precious gifts I have ever had. I madly love them, and I consider them the main source of happiness in my life.”

Our inspiring mother in Egypt can also be found at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

More Posts

EGYPT: Choosing our children’s career path

career-path

One of the most challenging decisions faced by families in my country is choosing a career path and a college for their child. The journey starts during the second year of high school, when students choose between a scientific or literary curriculum. Later, in their final year, pupils who chose the scientific section must choose between mathematics-focused or biology-focused studies. Both children and parents struggle for support during this journey – and none is given.  Most importantly, children’s strengths are rarely assessed or taken into account when considering the different choices. But do we as parents have the right to choose our children’s career path?

Many factors and beliefs affect this choice. Some career paths are more prestigious than others. Some colleges are suitable for males but not females, and vice versa. Graduates of some colleges get hired immediately after graduation while others are less likely to find jobs quickly. Some families believe that children must follow their parents’ career path of their parents, or realize their parents’ own dreams. Most importantly, if the child does not get high enough scores they will not be accepted to their college of choice.

I admit that at this young age, most children are not mature enough to make such choices on their own. Even if they are interested in a certain field, most children are still unable to assess their own strengths and capabilities as they relate to the real world. As a result, many students simply comply with their parents wishes.

During a school seminar I once conducted, I met a girl whose mother forced her to select the literary course because she believed that scientific studies required too much work. The girl loved science, but her mother discouraged her from following her passion. By the end of the year, the girl was miserable and the mother regretted her decision. Another student’s father wanted her to join the pharmacy college, although the girl wanted to study arts. Many students shared their stories, lamenting that their parents were forcing them to join specific career paths.

I remember my own experience many years ago when I graduated from high school and wanted to join the faculty of engineering to study computer science, because I loved mathematics. My father wanted me to go to the faculty of commerce because he, himself, was a banker. I, however, insisted, and made my own choice.  By the end of my third year of college I knew this course of study was not for me, but unfortunately I couldn’t make a change. I did not know what else to do and no one would allow me to follow a different course. On the other hand, I never regretted because the choice was my own.

Just six years ago I decided to shift my career from software engineering to life coaching. All my colleagues and family were against me. They still consider me foolish to leave a prestigious position for a complete change and an unknown career. I believe in what I am doing, I believe in its power, and what difference it made in my life. Sometimes I wish I had done it earlier.

Choosing a career path that provides fulfillment and satisfaction  to our children and suits their capabilities and strengths is the most important choice in their lives. It is true that making a career shift is possible now, but not all people are courageous enough to take such a risk. In addition, why should they waste their time and energy on an inappropriate path while we can help them avoid it? With support from specialists, we can better understand our children’s strengths and preferred way of learning, and we can allow them to try different activities and fields to discover their real passion. Most importantly, we should not impose our own choices on our children. They must make their own decision, with support and guidance from us as parents.  With our help, they can learn how to make the best choice for themselves.

Do you have any experiences with helping your children to choose a career path? Are assessment tools used in your country to help the students make the right choice? Would you impose a certain field of study on your child just because you believe it suits them even if they do not like it?

This is an original post for World Moms Network by Nihad from Alexandria, Egypt. Nihad blogs at  Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

Image via Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Nihad

Nihad is an Egyptian woman, who was born and has lived her whole life in Alexandria, Egypt. She says, “People who visited this city know how charming and beautiful this city is. Although I love every city in Egypt, Alexandria is the one I love the most.”

She is a software engineer and has worked in the field for more than twenty years. But recently she quit her job, got a coaching certificate and she is now a self employed life and career coach. She says, “I believe that women in this era face big challenges and they are taking huge responsibilities. That's why I have chosen my niche -- women looking for happiness and satisfaction. I help and support them in making whatever change (career change, life change, behavior change, belief change…) they want to bring more satisfaction and happiness in their lives.”

Nihad is a mother of two lovely boys, 15 and 9 years old. She states, “They are the most precious gifts I have ever had. I madly love them, and I consider them the main source of happiness in my life.”

Our inspiring mother in Egypt can also be found at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

More Posts

EGYPT: Finding Inner Peace in Challenging Times

EGYPT: Finding Inner Peace in Challenging Times

World Mom, Nihad, is a life coach in Alexandria, Egypt at Aurora Beams Life Coaching. Today, she is on the blog helping moms around the world find their inner peace when times get tough through some tips she learned from a recent webinar with life coach, Mary Allen.

Sit back, take a deep breath in, and read…

Hello, World Moms!

“How easy can you find your inner peace in challenging times?”

Do you find that you “lose it” when things get tough? That finding your center is impossible when things don’t go as planned? Maybe the kids are fighting. Or the bills are higher than you expected. Or the world news is getting to you. Or something else is burdening your mind.

Well, get out your pens and paper! I have some questions for you further in the post that I recently learned to help you find the calm when the boat is rocked. I’m your life coach today, and we’ve got this.

2015 WMB Quote Inner Peace Nihad

In the past, balancing my demanding career as a software engineer with all the other commitments a working woman and mother has, I know very well that finding inner peace in challenging times is not so easy. With a busy schedule at work and at home and with deadlines to meet and projects’ plans to complete inner peace is a very far away destination to reach, especially when we don’t have any tools for support.

Why do we need to find inner peace?

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make inner peace with ourselves.” Dalai Lama

According tho this quote, it’s not only about how we feel inside. Our relationship with the outer world, as well, is affected by how peaceful we are in the inside. So, we need to find our inner peace first to live in peace with all of our surroundings.

I can feel inner peace when I am alone, away from all kinds of noise and distractions as a busy mom, but in challenging times I know very well that finding inner peace is hard for me.

It also depends on the kind of challenges I am facing and working to overcome. I also found that I need to be clear about what inner peace means to me. I simply consider the definition of inner peace, or peace of mind, as the opposite of being stressed or anxious. In very challenging situations, I lose my inner peace, become so stressed and sometimes helpless. There have been times when I found myself yelling at the kids most of the time, and I felt bad about myself after that.

What helped me is gaining clarity and awareness about the situation that I was stressed about. For me, it was the demands of working as a software engineer paired with the demands of raising my children.

Woman Meditating

Six Questions to Help You Find Inner Peace

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a webinar that was discussing how we can regain our inner peace in challenging times. The facilitator discussed how answering 6 key questions in any challenging situation can bring us closer to inner peace. Do you have your pens out? I’m about to take you through her questions, so jot down your answers!

1.What is the reality about the situation?

Naming what exactly is going on in simple statements is the first step to gain clarity.

 2.What am I resisting?

Stress is definitely due to some kind of internal resistance. It can be resistance of change because of fear of unknown. Change takes us to ambiguous results and the fear of these results creates resistance. It can be resistance of taking action. It will be different for everyone. Do you know what it is for you?

And, “What if I continue resisting?

Figuring out what you may be continuing to resist and where this resistance will take us is another way to gain clarity.

3.What can I appreciate?

Creating a sense of gratitude to help figure out what positive side there is in the challenging situation is key. It may be strengthening our will power, stretching our comfort zone, allowing us to discover more about our capabilities and strengths.

4.What are my options?

In any situation we have several options to consider. We may think that we don’t have any choices, but actually, if we think deeply we will find some options. Just knowing we are able to choose makes us feel in control, which brings us closer to feeling peaceful.

5.What will I consciously choose?

At the end, it is up to us to consciously choose one of the options we have created for ourselves in this self-survey. It is an option of our own, not suggested or imposed by anybody. This can make you feel more in control. This sense of freedom can also attribute to helping us regain our inner peace.

We’ve gotten there together, but really, you’ve done all the work. Take a deep breath again. Now, how do you feel?

These questions are from the “5 Keys to Inner Peace NOW” checklist built by Mary Allen, America’s Inner Peace Coach. I believe these questions can be very helpful to figure out what is stressing us out and what to do to feel peaceful, even in hard times.

Do you have any other tools or experience with finding your inner peace in challenging times?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Nihad from Alexandria, Egypt. Nihad blogs at  Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

Image courtesy of “Middle Aged Woman Doing Meditation” by stockimages,  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Nihad

Nihad is an Egyptian woman, who was born and has lived her whole life in Alexandria, Egypt. She says, “People who visited this city know how charming and beautiful this city is. Although I love every city in Egypt, Alexandria is the one I love the most.”

She is a software engineer and has worked in the field for more than twenty years. But recently she quit her job, got a coaching certificate and she is now a self employed life and career coach. She says, “I believe that women in this era face big challenges and they are taking huge responsibilities. That's why I have chosen my niche -- women looking for happiness and satisfaction. I help and support them in making whatever change (career change, life change, behavior change, belief change…) they want to bring more satisfaction and happiness in their lives.”

Nihad is a mother of two lovely boys, 15 and 9 years old. She states, “They are the most precious gifts I have ever had. I madly love them, and I consider them the main source of happiness in my life.”

Our inspiring mother in Egypt can also be found at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

More Posts

EGYPT: The Saboteur Voice Identified, and How to Deal With It

EGYPT: The Saboteur Voice Identified, and How to Deal With It

“Thinking Woman With An Ideas” by Kittikun Atsawintarangkul (1)Years ago, every time I would decide to try something new, questions flooded my head: What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t have enough experience? What if I lose my investment? What if….? What if…? What if…? The inner voice that never ceases, the voice that questions whether goals are possible, is called the saboteur voice–a.k.a., your inner critic. Usually, it is negative, harsh, and destructive. It works hard to keep you down, to shake your self confidence, to keep you in your comfort zone, and to deprive you from growing, developing and enjoying new experiences. Before studying coaching, my saboteur voice was very loud, and it deprived me of a lot of opportunities. Now, I know how to deal with it. I know that it will never go away, but that I can control whether it shouts or whispers. Instead of believing the worst of the what-ifs, I listen to the voice, thank it for its concern, and remind myself that I know what I need, what I want, and what I can do.

I tell it to calm down.

It is not always that easy to deal with it, and sometimes one needs a professional to help, but, in general, just observing it can minimize its power. Other things that can help include repeating daily affirmations to enhance your self confidence, and remembering to breath deeply. Keeping an achievement list and revising it regularly can also be useful. What experience do you have with the saboteur voice? To which extent do you allow it to affect your life? What have you found useful to mute this voice?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Nihad from Alexandria, Egypt. Nihad blogs at  Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

Image courtesy of  

“Thinking Woman With An Ideas” by Kittikun Atsawintarangkul FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Nihad

Nihad is an Egyptian woman, who was born and has lived her whole life in Alexandria, Egypt. She says, “People who visited this city know how charming and beautiful this city is. Although I love every city in Egypt, Alexandria is the one I love the most.”

She is a software engineer and has worked in the field for more than twenty years. But recently she quit her job, got a coaching certificate and she is now a self employed life and career coach. She says, “I believe that women in this era face big challenges and they are taking huge responsibilities. That's why I have chosen my niche -- women looking for happiness and satisfaction. I help and support them in making whatever change (career change, life change, behavior change, belief change…) they want to bring more satisfaction and happiness in their lives.”

Nihad is a mother of two lovely boys, 15 and 9 years old. She states, “They are the most precious gifts I have ever had. I madly love them, and I consider them the main source of happiness in my life.”

Our inspiring mother in Egypt can also be found at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

More Posts