“Mirror mirror on the wall, do I have what it takes to be…..”~an exercise on self-reflection


Are you a pussy cat who sees themselves as a lion? or a lion who appears to be a pussy cat? How realistic are your perceptions of yourself?

Are you in the midst of repositioning yourself in life. Looking for a more challenging and fulfilling career? Or at a crossroads deciding on which path to take? Often when we are faced with an important decision we start to contemplate and think about who we are, are we strong enough to take that jump or do we prefer to stay within our comfort zones.
Change can be very exciting as well as nerve racking, all depends on your state of mind. However, no matter at what stage in our life there is usually a vision in our minds. Successful people train their minds to visualise success. The law of attraction is simply about attracting things in our lives that we focus on.
This post will introduce you to a simple exercise that I find very effective at un-decisive times. Through self-reflection we are able to clarify our thoughts and focus on our real goals.
Start with a vision board of the ideal place you see yourself in, visualize the tiniest detail. What are you doing? Where are you living? What does your work area look like? How are you behaving? What are you wearing ? Who are your friends? What are you doing on a holiday etc., you can either draw this, make notes or even create a collage of pictures cut out of a magazine.
Once you have your vision in place, you know where you are headed. Now its time to find out if you have what it takes to be that person you wish to be. Whether you want to be the Chief Executive of a large corporation, a successful writer or a great father, you have to start acting like the person you wish become.
Its time to have a good look at yourself in the mirror.
What do you see? Who is this person in front of you? Do you identify with him/ her? Do you like this person? or you feel hopeless ?What is this person saying with his eyes, his look, the slight curve of his mouth.
Note the things you see, what you like and what you wish to change. Seems simple right? but it’s really not that simple.
How you perceive your physical reflection has to do a lot with how you perceive yourselves. Are there any nagging thoughts? What is your mind saying to you?
“I am the best and I deserve all success” or “I can never be the person I want to be”. “I don’t have the brains, or the confidence”, “I am not smart enough”, “I can’t do this because I don’t have time”, “I can’t do this because my husband won’t allow me”… 
Are you the blamer, the procrastinator or the risk-taker?
Keep going back to the mirror and quizzing yourself. Make a note of the voices you hear in your head. This mind chatter is not senseless, its your sub-conscious manifesting itself and making you take decisions. Look for repetitive patterns. These voices are your guide for the future.
Note down everything you hear your mind say.
Then sit down and rate each statement. How close to reality is each statement. Rate yourself on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the highest score which represents your reality. Start working on the gaps you find. Depending on what your personal scoring is, you will be able to take an informed decision. Listen to your heart and if you really want an objective assessment discuss your analysis with a friend.
Your friend can be a good coach. In the darkest and most challenging phases of my life my friends have been my mentors and coaches I feel really blessed to have them.
To help you on your path practice the following:
1. Write positive affirmations about yourself start with at least 10 affirmations. These should reflect what you want to be or what you wish to do with your life. Always use the word ‘I’ and use the present tense.  eg. “I am always good at my job”. Read them aloud, this will help you get the negative thoughts out of your mind.
2. Look within yourself. Ask questions about yourself and understand your behaviours and your thoughts. Your subconscious makes you the person you believe you are. Meditate, reflect , start a journal.
3. Keep visualising, be creative, DREAM BIG!… YOU are UNSTOPPABLE
If you like contact me for an informal discussion. Coaching can help you to not only take an informed decision but also challenge you to be the best version of yourself and reach the heights of success you were born for…

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  shaistakhan@eduservecommunity.org for an informal discussion.



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