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How to become Resilient with Zaheen Nanji!

Very excited to have Zaheen with us at the Pensatta Resilience community, Zaheen is a coach in the field of resilience and wellness, author, TEDx & and Keynote Speaker.

The first thing I learned about her was “Avoidance IS the best way to never move forward

Thank you for joining us Zaheen.

I know, like lots of successful women you experienced plenty of ups and downs in your life journey, tell your story of becoming Resilient and teaching Resiliency and Leadership.

I suffered from a speech impediment as a child and thought I had no voice. I was teased and bullied about my stutter. While I was going to University, I decided that I was going to face my fears, use my fluency skills from speech therapy and do the very things I avoided before. It took me 10 years and more to become comfortable with my voice. Just to add here – my family was in Kenya while I was studying in Canada!

In 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer – just when I was getting known in the speaking industry. That episode ended in 2017 and I am back doing the things I love.

 Can you share with us what are the things/steps, to become resilient?

  1. Practice. Resilience is about adapting to your challenges and learning from your experience, but you’re not born with those skills. It’s an everyday practice. In my story above, I make that clear on how I practiced my fluency skills AND took steps to overcome my fear. For example, I could not order a pizza over the phone, but I started using the phone slowly. Similarly, you can learn to build more resilience, and the best way to start is by practicing reframing a negative situation to a positive.

  2. Reframing. When you find yourself repeating negative phrases or thinking negative, reorient your thoughts and attitude by asking: “What else could this mean that is more useful and positive?”.

  3. Supportive Network. You cannot do it alone! Resilient people also go through fear and doubt, but they make decisions and bounce back by tapping into their supportive network. Start building your inner circle now. These can be family members, close colleagues, and friends.

What do you recommend doing during major life changes?

Changes have been occurring all the time. A major life change could bring opportunities and threats. We tend to hold on to things during major change because we fear what lies on the other side – could it be a threat or an opportunity? Start becoming consciously aware of the opportunities that could come your way with this major life change. It will make the transition easier.

As a woman on the go, how do you balance your work and life?

    In this time of constant disruption, it is extremely important for a woman on the go to balance work and life. Women make great leaders because of their innate ability to juggle multiple aspects of their life! Here’s what I do:

    1. Wake up at 4:45 am so I have two hours alone without any interruptions to work on my businesses (or my graduate studies). Once the world starts waking up, I’m inundated with tasks, emails, questions, and phone calls.

    2. Delegate tasks that I don’t know how to do or dislike doing or takes away precious time. At first it may hurt the pocket, but it allows me to focus on my strengths. For example, I delegate Facebook ads, social media posting, contacting meeting planners, website updates, blog updates, and house cleaning.

     In the end, how many items are you carrying in your bag? Does an organized bag help you to carry fewer items but be more efficient from morning to evening?

      I’m carrying items that I can find easily and need on a daily basis such as: keys, lipstick, eyeglass cleaner, wallet, mints, hand sanitizer, a mask, couple of pens and highlighters, my phone, a small journal and a packet of tissues. I’d probably need another bag to carry my laptop with me!

      Thanks for your time and for being part of Pensatta Resilient community!

      Connect with Zaheen on her LinkedIn and listen to her TEDx and talks at her website


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