My biggest takeaway of 2017….

I always thought I was a die-hard positive person and would be very conscious of using positive language in my communication but the past few months have made me realise our biggest motivator for change is PAIN!! Nothing makes one learn faster than the wisdom that comes from braving pain and coming out a victor.

 ” ‪Your deepest pain is your greatest gift if you learn how to use it”

~ Tony Robbins, #1 New York Times best-selling author, life and business strategist, philanthropist, entrepreneur

I went through a lot of personal emotional challenges at a young age. The greatest transformational point in my life was when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I was in my final year at the university when doctors gave her a life sentence of a few more months to live. In a few months, we saw our mother lose her gruelling battle with cancer and at the young age of 24 when most girls are busy romanticizing the idea of a partner; I found myself being a mother to my five siblings; the youngest being only nine years old at that time. Not only that, the toughest part was acting as a partner to my father who now relied on me for all domestic matters. Personal challenges became even more difficult when my father also passed away within six years of my mother’s death. Now I had a checklist of things to do, get my sisters married and support my brothers so that they could stand on their feet. As a young single woman living in a conservative Pakistani society, I had to forge ahead very much on my own. I was very clear of what Allah had ascribed as my purpose of life. I had to be the nucleus for my siblings and carry out responsibilities that my parents’ early death had left me with. I wed off my sisters and supported my brothers in their academic pursuits.

As if God wanted to further hone my personality, the older one of my brother’s had a major emotional breakdown after my father’s death. At 28 years of age he was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia. For the following nine years, I was main the carer of an adult mentally ill brother, the bread winner for my family and the ‘maika‘ for my married sisters making sure all cultural expectations of in-laws were appropriately met.

However, these life experiences made me a strong person, mainly because there was no other choice but to be strong. Hence, I feel our pains are actually a source of enrichment depending on how we deal with them.

As a coach, I learnt to help people gain clarity of their biggest pain that they wish to eliminate. By dealing with the core issue we can identify and address the underlying factors that hinder in the path of success. If you wish to tackle the pain in your life and move towards a more fulfilling and stress-free 2018, then contact me to set up time for an informal chat.


How do you view pain in your life? What was your biggest takeaway in 2017?

Wishing you strength and prosperity in the New Year!

Feeling low? Are you asking yourself the right questions?


The most powerful tool used by coaches are the questions they ask. I read an excellent article by Slava Menn recently who shared his experience of a great question used by Tony Robbins that is sure to snap you out of a feeling of hopelessness to discovery. He summarises;

“Your brain is a computer. Submit a question, get a response. Submit negative questions (Q) and get negative responses (R).”

Negative examples:

  • (Q) How’d I get into this mess? (R) I made bad decisions.
  • (Q) Why can’t I get ahead? (R) I’m not smart enough.
  • (Q) Why can’t I get in shape? (R) I’m lazy.

But if you ask your brain empowering questions, you’ll get empowering responses

  • (Q) What did I learn from this mess? (R) To make better decisions.
  • (Q) How do I get ahead? (R) Find a book and a mentor to help me.
  • (Q) How do I get in shape and have fun doing it? (R)Pick up a fun sport as a hobby.

Dig deep to find true answers.

Back to Tony’s question: What’s great about this situation that you’re not seeing right now?

Here are some empowering responses:

  1. This is a wakeup call and I need to address my anger/health issues ..

  2. I need to seek help in …

  3. This is an opportunity to turn my life around…

Life is full of ups and downs, but we have to maintain the energy to stay on track. This energy can be derived from an external source like a friend, a coach or mentor who can help to re-ignite the spark within ourselves.

Setbacks are stumbling blocks that teach us lessons. Every time I fall, I try to ask myself challenging questions that can help me feel empowered.

Examples of powerful questions:

What is it I am doing that is not working?

Are my actions in some way contributing to the situation I am in?

Have I really given this project my 100%?

What can I change?

I stay away from the following question types, as I know they will only make me feel weaker and lost:

Why am I not as successful as my colleague?

Why does this always happen to me?

How long will it take when I get a break?

Its not always easy to break that vicious cycle of struggle, hopelessness, motivation. It takes determination to stay positive. I seek inspiration from my mentors, from self-development books and listening to inspiring people.

There is no such thing as total darkness or hopelessness. There is always something positive in a situation, we are just so engrossed in the negativity of the situation to see any other perspective. So next time you are feeling low, try to ask yourself questions that can help you to dig deep and find answers. Challenge yourself to think outside your comfort zone. Don’t lose sight of that light shining at the end of the tunnel, you will surely succeed. Prepare yourself for success by;

  • Getting your energy (physical, emotional, mental) to 10/10
  • Re-affirming your strengths with regular incantations and affirmations
  • Adopting a healthy life style
  • Teaming up with a buddy or coach who can help to keep you on track

Interested in talking about an issue that is affecting your mood and your life. You want to move ahead but not able to do so? Feel free to contact for an informal discussion.



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