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How to develop your personality through self-awareness

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most arduous part of my job is when a potential client asks me what they can achieve through coaching. This is not something I can answer in a sentence as there is so much to say. You may find meaning to your life, your career, your passion. You may find out your “why” and that moment may change everything around you. What one client achieves will be different from what the other achieve. An individual could work on various skills – emotions, mindset, personality traits, behavior patterns, all of which could completely transform your life to bring success in the long run, or bring a purpose to your life that you may not have even imagined. The most crucial action in personality development is to take the first step to enhance your knowledge and awareness about yourself.  

The most important personality skill for a person depends on what they are trying to achieve. I have listed a few here that I think are important:

  1. Self-reflect on your behavior: What do people frequently notice about you that you can agree upon as a skill you excel at a little more than others. Use this skill in your personal and professional life to live a more fulfilling life. What is that one skill you know you would like to improve upon? Try to reach a goal of building this skill so you can make the best use of this skill.
  2. Mindset Magic: I have mentioned mindset in multiple places in my blog posts and other social media posts. If we are happy with the limited skills we possess and do not feel the need to improve upon our skills, we may not achieve higher goals. Our mindset needs to be positive and always growing. Trying to find forced gratification in the unhappy place we are in will lead to a stagnant personal and professional life.
  3. Identify and manage stress triggers: Stress is one of the biggest hindrances in achieving goals. Stress is also highly linked to your mindset. Extreme stress can make you fall back to a negative mindset. Identifying your stress triggers and trying your best to manage these triggers will help in a healthier lifestyle.
  4. Build your side hustle: If you are not already doing so, try to divert your passion and drive to build your side hustle. This will help create a retirement life that is profitable for you by generating higher income. You may have so much more to give to yourself and the world than you already do. It is worthwhile to dig inside yourself for skillsets that may change your life for good.
  5. Be resilient to failure: Being successful in your career or being a successful entrepreneur is not always easy. We may fail multiple times until we gain success. It is important that we see these failures as opportunities and spring back into action rather than accept defeat. Alibaba founder, Jack Ma’s story is a popular one. Ma was rejected for every job he applied to include KFC. Ma was also rejected by Harvard but he is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world and his company’s market cap is more than $400 billion.
  6. Journal your development: It is important to know where you are in your personal development journey and where you would like to be in a certain period of time. What particular skill are you trying to enhance and how will you enhance are some crucial questions you can ask yourself. Personality development is almost impossible without a call to action. Discover your call to action for your present state.
  7. Find your reasons for not investing in yourself: Many find money to be a huge cause for not investing in personality development but do not think twice before buying other tangible things. It is evident that the more we develop on our personality, the more advanced our thoughts and skills will be that will bring us closer to our goal and eventually success.

Coaching is a great way to develop your personality and learn more about yourself by advancing your skillsets and mindset. Book an intro session with me to find out what skills you would like to develop that will lead to success in your personal and professional life and what issues you are struggling with within your life that needs addressing.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

 

 

How does the leader in us recognize racism through humility?

 

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” –Mahatma Gandhi

Leadership is a vast topic. The types of leadership skills range from the one identified by Kurt Lewin’s team in 1939 to numerous other patterns of leadership styles discovered by researcher Bernard M. Bass in the 1970s to Hersey and Blanchard’s leadership styles. But an element of leadership that most people overlook is humility. Even to this day, leadership to many wrongly equates to power and charisma. I believe a leader who uses his charisma and dupes his crowd is the most dangerous of all leaders.

So how does humility make one a great leader? We notice time and again the wisest among us are the ones who listen and want to learn more, not the ones who think they already know enough. The idea that the knowledge we possess is little leads to more learning, acquiring knowledge, and decision-making skills. My blog post on Outcome Bias touches on the topic of the consequences of overconfidence and lack of humility.

Modern times have seen a lot of discussion on high self-esteem and positive affirmations. And as much I agree to the idea that self-esteem and positive affirmations are important in our lives, we must also leave some room for healthy humility, that will help keep us grounded to reality. Healthy humility will help create a chamber in our heart to hear and help understand the deprived, the disadvantaged, the have-nots. It will help us recognize at least a fraction of racism. Racism not only stems from institutional and structural dynamics but also interpersonal biases. Growing this human trait of humility leads to a better understanding of structural racism that can be tied to the history of American slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. It is important for the privileged to understand why people behave a certain way, or what role hundreds of years of oppression plays in modern racism. Increasing our humility will also help in understanding certain disparities in health, education, and occupation that create major socio-economic disadvantages in society.

It is unfair and biased for the privileged to only see the repercussion of the deprived because of the aftermath of years and years of domination. Exposure and cultural awareness will help increase humility that will help us understand the behavior and conduct of minorities that are disadvantaged. This will also slow the “quick to judge” attitude towards the oppressed. This may lead to a properly conceptualized reasoning that will include nonracial dimensions of inequality. Merely trying to understand racism and discrimination is just a small start to thoughtful and strategic planning that is needed in society today.

A good leader, from any segment of the society, will take an initiative to slow their pace and recognize aspects of racism that may not be overtly distinct. Humility and being a good listener will help identify these aspects in the society we live in, the community that we associate with, and the organization that we work for.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

Do Positive Self-Help Affirmations and Mantras really help us?

Self-help mantras and positive affirmations are thronging social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. These quotes have really caught my attention lately. Yes, they are inspiring and they do make me feel great about myself sometimes. Self-help is also a multi-million-dollar industry. Let me also say I am talking about quotes pertaining to self-help here and not quotes from great leaders and motivators. So, what are self-help mantras? Here are some examples:

“I have the knowledge to make smart decisions for myself.”

“I have all that I need to make today a great day.”

“I am, and always will be, enough.”

 These are some great positive self-affirmations. At first glance, it is difficult to see anything wrong with it. Now, I would like you to picture a client of mine who experiences low self-esteem at the workplace and struggles to find his voice in meetings. If he is asked to say “I am, and always will be enough” every day, it will contradict his inner feelings and may result in him feeling worse. Research shows that for people like my client, it is more rewarding when their negative feelings are brought out with the help of a broader intervention than overly positive and unreasonable affirmations that they do not relate to.

Social media platforms force us to think positively but the reality is that it does not really lead to happiness. When we fail at something, these beliefs on positive affirmations contradicting the story that we build in our head can cause real harm. Our understanding of what makes us happy can be skewed sometimes. If I were to choose between two events – one a vacation in Mexico and one volunteering to coach and guide someone who needs me, whom I have never met in my life and lives in another continent, I definitely would choose the vacation and I would think that would make me happy. The truth is these two events happened in my life and I am pleasantly surprised that the volunteer session I did with this individual brought me a sense of ecstasy that I have never experienced before. The fact that she sat in a house with no walls talking about women empowerment gave me goosebumps.

Paradoxically, an individual who has high self-esteem can gain a lot of benefits from these self-help affirmations to enhance his career and life in general. Having good family relationships, close friends, a satisfactory job are some of the factors that affect an individual’s self-esteem. It is important to understand that self-esteem cannot be based purely on a simple self-affirmation every day in front of the mirror. If you have low self-esteem and your confidence is affecting your productivity, promotion, and climbing the ladder of success, it is imperative that you get help and not resort to self-affirmations that may be doing more harm than good.

One piece of advice that has not gone to waste for me is that we are in control of our thoughts and actions. It is not a surprise that your thoughts and actions are related. If your positive self-affirmations are contradicting your beliefs and actions, you must not sweep it under the rug. Using words that contradict what you are truly feeling will not change things in your life. I strongly recommend to get help, invest in yourself. We invest in clothes, cars, and houses but hesitate to invest in our development. You must be your first priority not what you own. Saying “things are fine” multiple times, does not make it fine. You must confront your issues for it to actually be fine one day.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

How to Understand Intelligence to Achieve Success

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” ― Stephen Hawking

 I believe I must thank Alfred Binet, Robert Yerkes, David Wechsler and the list goes on for the psychological assessments we have today. When IQ traveled the Atlantic and reached the American soil, the psychologists decided that this little gem was innate and was determined by your ethnic group, culture, and genes. People from war zones were tested before their entry to the US and were noted to have lower IQ whereas the Nordics were tested and found to be high in IQ. The same ethnic group of people who scored low in the IQ tests was tested later and found to have a much higher IQ. Research into this change revealed that this was due to proper nutrition, education, and also some change in their parents’ educational level. Yes, it is true, your parent’s education level can have an impact on your IQ.

When psychological tests were introduced in the early days, women performed significantly worse than men. Men had better access to the types of tests such as puzzles and other activities compared to women in that era which connotates the reason for women doing poorly could be the lack of accessibility to such activities. This also suggests that the requirement to do these IQ tests then were purely abstract intelligence. This is different from the practical or emotional intelligence that we talk about today. The biggest misconception the world has about IQ is that it is a measure of your intelligence and it is innate and cannot be changed. The truth is practicing IQ tests can increase your scores. Also, your environment, nutrition, childhood accessibility to healthcare, and other factors have a huge impact on your IQ.

Intelligence must always be seen as multi-faceted but sadly it is not so in the world today. Children who are labeled to have low IQ or considered less smart than their peers grow up into adults believing what they were told. It is astonishing how many adults underestimate their intelligence and subsequently their confidence due to their belief about themselves. Humans have different kinds of intelligence and if we use the right intelligence for the right job, we will be successful and content in our career. Forcing oneself to use the part of intelligence that is not their strength is catastrophic and can eventually lead to burnout and lack of motivation. These are probably the people who wake up on a Monday morning dreading to go to work.

Let us have a look at emotional intelligence. Now, how does a person high in emotional intelligence use it to be successful in life? One element that is prevalent in most emotionally intelligent people is empathy. This comes from being self-aware of one’s own emotions and that of others. The presence of empathy leads to the consideration of feelings of others in action and words. Empathy is a great quality in a leader. An empathic leader is willing to acknowledge other’s emotions and also unmask her own emotions at the right time. This also makes them excellent team players as they are more understanding of others. Emotionally intelligent people are less defensive and entertain constructive criticism. They work on themselves and instigate change in their life. The intrapersonal skills possessed by an emotionally intelligent person makes them an adaptable person. Their outlook is more positive and they do not dwell in negativity. The relationship management of emotional intelligence makes them a great mentor, influencer, and inspirational leader.

My linguistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence is high along with some logical-mathematical intelligence, which is probably why I decided to become an entrepreneur and a blogger. My spatial and naturalistic intelligence is lower which is probably why I didn’t become an engineer or a biologist. Being aware of the type of intelligence I possess and knowing my personality strengths gives me gratification in my life and a sense of validation that this is what I am born to do. I can easily justify my lack of expertise in other fields because of the awareness I have created learning about myself. Stephen Hawking’s quote above has so much more meaning to it now.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

Small Business Owners During a Pandemic

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes a picture-perfect life falls apart and leaves us in bewilderment on how to survive in this world. Life definitely brings us to a halt sometimes but you have to remember that you are not the only one going through this turmoil. Life is never a straight line and we all experience ups and downs. It breaks my heart to learn that unemployment in the US alone amounts to more than 26 million which is 15% of the US workforce. We have to fall apart to create a new and meaningful life – a life that makes us even more strong and robust. The truth is we may look back at our life and someday talk about the strength and wisdom we achieved living in the time of the pandemic called COVID-19. We will have to wait and see how many different types of businesses boom at this time. There have been too many articles on how the COVID-19 has seen many blessings in nature. But since my focus is on people and organizations, I will stick to my forte.
1. If you are a small business owner and have delayed taking your business online in the past, now is the best time to do so. If your business is not online, you do not exist in the market at this point. Social networking and connecting should be a priority even if you do not appreciate it.
2. Change is difficult especially for some more than others. If you feel you are this person, acknowledge this weakness in you. This particular weakness may set you back years in your business in terms of success. Identify how you feel about change and ask yourself if this is a valid claim.
3. Your business must be evolving and if you practice the same customs for years without change, your business will suffer. If your natural market does not require your products, you cannot keep selling it, no matter how good your customer service or product is. The best example of this is Blockbuster.
4. Business owners are good at identifying their opportunities and threats but when making decisions on how to grow and implement ideas, it is important to list as many ways as possible and consider the wild factors. There is a human tendency of hesitation or avoiding actions that have not been taken before in an organization. Business owners and top management prefer to stick to ideas generated that are close to the organizational culture. This is true when it comes to private practices as well such as lawyers’ or physicians’ offices.
5. Be aware of your company culture. Be innovative and instigate change even if you think it is very different from your previous habits. You may bring a completely new and different perspective to your organization that will help your business evolve.

As a coach, I would like to support you if your business is suffering and you would like to bring some change or have had difficulty coping with your new work situation, or you just need someone to find your strengths to divert it to a new passion or business idea. I would like to help broaden your horizon to help generate some extra income through my coaching sessions, wherever you are in the world.

Hamna Siddique is a coach specializing in life and business mindset coaching.

How does Change, Mindset, and Passion Drive Career

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

How do you find your passion? Passion and mindset are a go-to topic for motivational speakers. You could listen to the most motivational speech of your life and still not get inspired to make a change in your life with the wrong mindset. Like I have said before, your mindset is magic. But how do you gravitate towards the right mindset? You could begin by jotting the things you love to do, something you have always wanted to do but shied away from because you were afraid of failure. Next, just do it. Do what you love the most and what scares you the most. Take baby steps. What is the worst thing that can happen? Once the fire of interest is ignited no one can stop you. If you are ready for your new venture and are still intimidated, then I would say get help. We live in an era where there is an expert for everything. You will be surprised how far a little push by the right person can get you.

For me, finding my passion was a quest that took years. My blog post on “Are you unhappy with your career” will shed some light on the path to my passion. For those of you who have not sought coaching before, I would ask you to answer the following questions:

  • How happy are you to wake up in the morning to dive into your work?
  • Do you resonate with your work at all?
  • Do you happily think about your work and are eager to get back to it when you have an idea?

If you feel your answer is a ‘NO’ to the above questions you may risk a chance of feeling burnout, even physical symptoms from being unhappy at work. Some of us gravitate towards a certain discipline at a very young age and are more focused than others. For example, a child who always loved Math in school may choose to be a Math major in college and subsequently a Mathematician/Scientist. Some of us are rainbow personalities and may have various interests that change over time. Pinning these personalities to one discipline and one job their whole life is a form of torture. Whereas some may be a combination of both – focused at times with one activity and a rainbow personality at other times.

A person with a fixed mindset may be biased towards a person with a growth mindset and may criticize the latter for not being focused in her work and the latter may complain that the former is not creative enough to work with her. The activity and the interest of the person engaged in the activity determined the engagement level and the depth of interest. The truth is both these people can find fulfillment and passion in their careers with a little effort and getting the right mentors to help cultivate their interests. Understanding the value your work has and its impact on people and the society may help create passion and guide you into the right mindset.

Understanding your personality may help in comprehending your passion and interest that can be used to enhance your career. People who have been working in the same industry for a long time are intimidated by the idea of changing careers. You do not have to make an immediate drastic change one fine day. It can be done slowly over the course of a few months or even years. With the right mindset, interest, and passion you will gravitate towards success. Albert Einstein said “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

The most important element that drives my business is passion. I had decided to earn a living following my passion. It seemed like a difficult choice at the time. How do you follow your passion and do so as a career choice and be successful at it? I doubted myself but my passion helped fill the void with a sense of content and happiness.

Being a blogger and a coach, my writing and coaching have created a virtuous circle of happiness for me as the clients I talk to bring joy and inspire me to write my blogs on personality development. My blog posts, in turn, help people approach me for coaching needs. I did not plan this. I started blogging as a way to put my thoughts in one place to honor my love for organizational psychology. I have been pleasantly overwhelmed by the social engagements I have been receiving for my posts, for which I am perpetually grateful.

Hamna Siddique MS, CCII, CLC is a coach specializing in life and business mindset coaching.

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC | All Rights Reserved |

 

 

Change and mindset

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

I have been approached by a few business owners and professionals since the pandemic outbreak. I feel and understand the panic in the air for business owners who are earning way below their usual profit margin and have had to let go of a few of their employees; professionals who have had to take a pay cut in their jobs because of the current COVID 19 situation and is in a panic on whether they will have a job or not.

  • It is important to stay positive. Our mindset is magic and if you truly believe in yourself, your skills and instigate change in your life towards your goal, you will be successful. It is not an easy task and we do need a lot of motivation to attain our goals in times like this.
  • If you have more time in your hands, isn’t it a good time to get to know the skills of your employees and initiate other business ideas that have always been at the back of your mind. I would not recommend jumping into any new venture without proper research but do explore your possibilities.
  • Do not see this pandemic as a haul to your business endeavors, but an opportunity to divert into something new, something exciting.
  • If you are a professional hired by someone, isn’t it time to see what you can do for yourself. You can always start your side hustle without quitting your job. You will be amazed at how much you can achieve and the potential you possess if you really dig deep!

I had a full-time job when I started my coaching business. It was various challenges, a motivating coach/coaches and the right mindset that made me the business owner that I am today. It is time business owners take Organizational Change Management seriously and invest in the ‘soft costs’ that are equally important in bringing your profit margin high. At times, the low return on investment for the soft costs are the people and their mindsets with unrealistic expectations, guidance or lack of proper communication. It is imperative that organizations keep a check on their culture, values and see their success rise in the coming years by initiating a mindful approach while taking decisions pertaining to their business.

I am a business and leadership coach and I am happy to help in every way I can if you feel your business is suffering or you are unable to cope with the business pressures due to the pandemic or you have completely lost the balance between your professional and personal life.

 

The effects of COVID-19 on small business owners

Small business owners have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of people who contacted me for help were also small business owners. I would like to reach as many of you as possible through this post if you are going through anxiety and financial crunch due to the current situation. Here are a few things that will help:

  1. Embrace the uncertainty: Uncertainty is part of running a business. It is a fact that uncertainty gets worse in times of a pandemic. Even businesspeople that are established and experienced go through anxiety not knowing what their financial situation would be. It is imperative that you understand that during a pandemic not everything is under your control and we must let go of the things that are out of your control.
  1. Be cautious: Learn to prioritize your projects that generate higher income. Stop and think for a moment before you jump into various projects, on whether the project will give you the revenue that you are looking for. It may have generated a high income for you in the past but it may not do so in a pandemic. I have been contacted by various clients who just needed some help organizing their projects and balance their personal and professional life.
  1. Join your community: Join a community that is going through a similar experience as you are. If you are already a member be active in the community and be a leader by organizing various events and activities that will keep you distracted from the anxiety.
  1. Keep a check on your emotions: Your emotions can take over at times like this. It is important to keep a check on them to avoid any activity triggered by your emotions. People sometimes buy and sell investments during a pandemic and regret the decision later. It is a good idea to write down your new ideas, ask what emotion triggered this idea, and the consequences of executing this idea in a pandemic.

Fun fact: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a funding pool of $50 billion in response to the virus.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

The effect of COVID-19

We are a couple weeks into the COVID-19 and I hear around me a lot of nervousness and frustration. My home, Houston that dominates Oil and Gas industry is hit severely due to the current climate. In the midst of this despondency, I would like to stimulate some reassurance and inspiration. My goal is not to pour down some unacquainted cheerfulness to spread oblivious hope. I would instead, like to talk a little about what people around me are going through.

  1. Many have already lost their jobs; wondering how to get another job while being trapped in their house. If you are one of them, I would like to assure you not to lose hope and take this time to analyze your passion and interests. Make use of your internet connections and network like you have never before. You will be surprised by who you meet and what you learn. I have had numerous clients who had lost hope completely after losing their job only to find new passions that led them to a completely new field and independence. Yes, there are numerous possibilities if you put your heart and soul into it. Use a fresh pair of eyes and find your strengths. It takes a lot of perseverance but you will get there.
  2. For those of you who had to take pay cuts, had to terminate your employees or subordinates, with a heavy heart, please do not blame yourself. It is a fact that the economy does not move in a straight line and we often see fluctuations in the economy where some lose their jobs, and some lose their incentives. Consider this a transition period and reflect on what you learned from life that you can use later. Yes, do some research and increase your knowledge.
  3. The world has come to a standstill. We are seeing a decline in polarization and agreeing collectively to one thing – end this epidemic. Can we, for a minute, embrace this unity and discard all the hatred and racial loathing? Can we create a new culture of harmony and logical political choices?
  4. We have new enemies now. Surprise! They are not humans. A virus is our new enemy that decided to pose a threat to our safety and our mere existence in this world. Needless to say, we need protection from this. Can we give the same respect and love for our healthcare workers like we give our soldiers? These are our heroes who fight for us in the forefront while we sit comfortably in our homes.

As a coach, I would like to support you if you have lost your job, have had difficulty coping with your new work situation, or are a small business owner who is a little lost, or you just need someone to find your strengths to divert it to a new passion or business idea. I would like to help broaden your horizon to generate some extra income through my coaching sessions, wherever you are in the world.

Health at the time of COVID-19

How are you taking care of your family and friends? And most importantly, how are you taking care of yourself? What changes have you made to your health routine this week due to the COVID-19?

Most of my content on my blog and Facebook posts have been psychology/emotional health-related. To be more specific, it is about behavior patterns and personality blocks that may be affecting my clients’ professional and personal life. But today I would like to talk a little about your physical health with your emotional health. Most of us have heard of the saying ‘Sound body, sound mind’. Although the 17th-century Western world differentiated the mind and the body, the 20th-century gradually saw a change in this view and today we completely understand that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind.

We have all experienced some changes this week and I would like to offer some tips on how to cope with these:

  1. One can easily experience boredom, exhaustion and a general feeling of lethargy and loss of hope during times. It is not unusual but it is important to keep a check on your emotions and seek help if you feel an overwhelming feeling of desperateness.
  2. The time for social distancing is unknown and for those of us who are planners, uncertainty is a trigger for stress and so try to keep your focus on certain projects and ventures that you had in mind and have been avoiding due to lack of time.
  3. If your business is suffering, seek help. You may have handled your business issues yourself but there is no harm in getting help at the time of need and who knows you may venture into something new and exciting.
  4. Your physical health is as important as your emotional health and vice-versa. Now is a good time to kick start a workout routine if you have not been doing so. Get some cardio by doing some step-ups, try some lunges around your house, maybe squats or make use of those dumbbells. You could also try the various youtube channels to get inspired.

As a coach, I love to challenge people to do things they have been afraid of doing and see them thrive in their newfound strength and freedom by supporting them. If you feel you are going through a rough patch, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am happy to help.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|