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To a New Reality

What do you mean I can choose my Beliefs?

In 2007 I was offered a senior Leadership Role with a large international organization. I almost turned it down. I told myself “I don’t have enough experience yet” (maybe I need another year or 2), “I’m not as smart as these guys think I am”, and “I don’t know how to manage the challenge at hand, so I’d better not take it on”.

I’m glad I overcame these beliefs because that role was a game changer for my career. Those beliefs were not the truth, but boy, did I believe they were. By talking it through with my coach, I realized that I choose my beliefs abut all aspects of my life. I choose to limit myself, or I choose to empower myself.

What are beliefs and what role do they play in our lives?

From the moment we come into the world, we begin developing our belief system. Beliefs are mental assumptions we have about ourselves, and the reality of the world around us. We form these beliefs through our experiences in life, and interactions with the world around us. Authority structures play a role in forming our beliefs, as does tradition and religion. Our beliefs create our reality.

So there is the practical purpose of having a belief system. Self-limiting beliefs hold us back because we hold them to be the absolute truth. For example, “My superiors can see how good I am, so
I don’t need to ask for a raise”. They are the kind of beliefs that limit your potential, your opportunities, and the life you so deserve to live. And, they are not true.

So, how did I come to believe in these self- limiting beliefs?

Many of our beliefs are formed and accumulated in our childhood. We learned through what we were told by our parents, teachers and those around us. When we were told, “you are not studying, you will never be top of your class” we believed it to mean “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not talented”. This bleeds into our adult life where we continue to believe these un-truths and make them our reality.

These may be the beliefs of someone else. And if you have believed the beliefs of someone else, then you have been living their version of reality and that’s not the only version there is. Understanding what your beliefs are can pave the way to bust these limiting beliefs. Here’s a process I have found useful to bust my limiting beliefs.

  1. Identify your limiting beliefs

From my experience, many of us have very similar beliefs. Here are some of the most common limiting beliefs, particularly amongst women: What I want is not important; I am not important; I’m not good or smart enough; I’m too young or too old – people won’t take me seriously; I don’t deserve it; Good looking men are unfaithful or unkind; I need more money – then I will be happy.

The first step in busting your limiting beliefs is to write down your limiting beliefs. Write down what you say
to yourself. Only when you see it written down will you realize how ridiculous it is. From your list of limiting beliefs, pick one belief at a time and go through the following steps for each.

  1. Write down how this self-limiting belief makes you feel

Describe the feeling in 5 words. Are you happy about feeling this way? Does it help you in any way? If it’s not a good feeling, you can choose to change it. Example: I feel trapped in this unhappy job. I believe that I can’t have a job that pays well and is fun.

  1. Find a data point that proves this belief wrong

For each limiting belief, think
of one specific example where
the statement is not true. Where
you did something, experienced something or saw something (even if it was through someone else) that proves that this belief is not true. For example, for the belief I am trapped in an unhappy job – think of someone who has a job that pays well and is also a lot of fun. It’s important to differentiate between
a real weakness and a self-limiting belief. For example, not being able to speak a foreign language is a real weakness if it’s something you need to progress in your career. The self- limiting belief is that you can’t learn such a language.

  1. Flip it and write your belief in an empowered way

For each limiting belief, flip it over and write it in a way that empowers you. For example, I am too old
to start something new should change to I can start something new whenever I want to – it’s never to late for me. I am too fat – no man will love me should change to I am a beautiful person who deserves to be loved for who I am.

  1. Write down how this new empowered belief makes you feel

Does this new belief pull you down, or help you think and be bigger? Say your new belief out aloud – how do you feel? Is this a belief around which you want to create your reality? If it is, then make the decision to shift your belief.

  1. Discard your old, self-limiting belief

Consciously discard your old limiting belief. Say, “I do not believe that…. [Old limiting belief]”.

  1. Adopt and reinforce your new empowering belief

Now, adopt and internalize your new empowered belief. Make it into an affirmation. Repeat it every day to yourself, many times a day. Stand in front of the mirror and repeat it, repeat it on your way to work, in the shower. The more you say it, the more you will believe it until it becomes your reality.

Watch out: your old limiting beliefs will come back to you – repeatedly. They have been there for so long, they wont leave you so easily. Recognize them. And discard them by stating what you did in step 6. And reinforce with your empowered belief.

Work with a buddy who also wants to change a self-limiting belief. Support each other with regular updates and celebrations of success, even small progress steps. Share your experiences with us. Reach out when you need support.

It’s your reality. You choose it. You become it.

This Blog was first published in THE ALCHEMIST / Edition No.11 / February 2015

GOALS- Dreams with Deadlines

This blog post is about why setting goals are essential and how to go about the whole process. Before we delve into the why’s and how’s of setting goals, let me first tell you exactly what a goal is. A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. I decided to name the article in this manner because the true essence of a goal is that it has a fixed timeline and schedule.

When it comes to setting goals never let your saboteurs tell you that it’s too farfetched or impossible for you to achieve. Make your dreams come alive through the actions you take to achieve your goals. Set a goal that you find excites or motivates you enough to step out of your comfort zone, exceed your own expectations and conquer your dreams.

When it comes to setting goals there are innumerable mistakes that you could make. Just to keep you on track while setting goals it’s a good idea to follow the SMART system.



S- Specific:

Your goal should have a specific purpose fulfill a desire or accomplish a particular objective, it should not be ambiguous. It should answer questions like- What, When, Where, Why, Who or Which. If possible break down the goal into smaller steps or short term goals.

M- Measureable:

Establish a way to track your progress and see how far you have come. When it comes to measurability of a goal it’s all about how much or how many. The goal should be measurable in terms of a numerical value, income or output

A-Action Oriented:

The goal set should have a result that can be described in terms of the steps that need to be taken towards its accomplishment.

R- Realistic:

On one hand you should never limit your imagination but on the other you should realize that some goals may be unrealistic because of certain constraints in the external environment which are completely out of your control. The goals you set should be BIG and at the same time be REALISTIC and achievable.

T- Time Bound:

The last aspect to look at when you’re setting a goal is by when you want to achieve it. It is very important to set a deadline for your goals as it pushes you to work harder towards it.

WHY is it necessary to set goals?

“The most important thing about goals is having one.” – Geoffry F. Abert

Goal setting is the first step towards achieving success. It is what puts your dreams into actions and drives you to succeed.  It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life. Setting goals are an excellent way to take control of your life and focus on things that are important to you. They act as a guide for your thoughts, decisions and actions. Having a goal gives you a purpose in life, it motivates to be the best you can and have the confidence to work enthusiastically and efficiently. Finally, it gives you clarity of your vision and helps you reach where you want to be.

HOW do I set goals? WHERE do I begin?

If you feel like you’re lost or don’t know where to start, reflect on your life and decide an area that you are not “content” with. If you want a change in your life the first step is to realize that you have to make the change.

Here are 4 simple steps that will guide you through the process of goal definition

STEP #1: Decide on the area of life you’d like to impact – money, business, career, relationships, fitness, etc.
STEP #2: Choose a goal that you find challenging and will require you to learn and grow during your climb towards it.
STEP #3: “An idea is just a dream until you write it down, so make sure that you write it down. Pin it somewhere so that you can constantly see it and remind yourself about where you want to be.
STEP #4: Take one action, no matter how big or small, towards your goal every single day (this is important!). Get the dream out of you head and make it your reality.

This might help you on your journey:

In Conclusion always remember that the most important thing about goals is having one. So get up and set up your goal today! Don’t let your dreams stagnate and die, take the initiative and live them instead.

Creating your Niche

While Navigating your career, it’s critical each one of us builds our own personal brand. You already have a brand – the question is whether it’s the brand that represents your values and who you really are. Is your brand “by default” or “by design”?

Your brand is built from how the people you work with perceive you. This is from the work that you have done and the way you do it. You have built a reputation not only with your co-workers but also your clients, buyers, associates. They have branded you.

Do you KNOW how you are perceived by others? Are you deliberate about the impression you create at work? Do you own your existing brand?  Or do you need to re-brand yourself?

Don’t allow others to define your brand.

Identify your ideal career niche so that you can brand it and communicate it effectively to others. Over time, you need to articulate what you want your name to be synonymous with. Do you want to stand for dependability? Or execution? Or creativity? Or something else?

So, if you are to build your personal brand, it’s important to understand what are the key elements that make up a great personal brand:

  • What are you Passionate about?
  • What are your skills and talents?
  • What is it that your company/ industry needs and values?

It’s the convergence of all these three things (what you absolutely love doing. What you are very good at (or could potentially become very good at) and what others value and need) that your unique brand will thrive. This is your career Niche. A sweet spot; where your skills and talents are in great need, and an area that you absolutely love doing.

If you can manoeuvre into a career path where you get to do that every single day, you will feel incredibly satisfied, and you will build a great brand for yourself.

So go ahead and be deliberate about creating your brand.

Communicating through Emotion

Communicate to be heard

When we communicate, we do so with a purpose. The purpose is to persuade, to inform, to appeal or to convince.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle divided the means of persuasion into three categories–Ethos, Pathos, Logos. I referred to this in an earlier blog post (the rhetorical triangle).

Pathos (Emotional), means persuading by appealing to the audience’s emotions, through their values and interests.

As part of my work, I coach and train clients on their presentation and public speaking skills all the time. When we introduce the topic of communication, we often ask the participants how much they have thought about their audience (pathos).

For lots of people, this question is a major mindset shift. As a speaker, we often spend so much time thinking about what the ‘facts’ are, or about what we are supposed to be saying, or about that brilliant idea we want to use, that we forget about the listener. This can happen with a single listener (in a one on one conversation) or an audience of many listeners. We forget that the message is for them, and that the speaker’s purpose is only fulfilled if the listener(s) have understood the message in the way that it was intended.

So how do we communicate so that the message is understood correctly? One of the ways is to communicate with Pathos. We connect to the emotions of the audience, and speak to them.

To do this, you could consider a few questions you can ask yourself to help uncover new ways to connect to the audience:

– What ideas, feelings or experiences do I have in common with the audience?

– Are they conservative or innovative?

– Are they a homogeneous audience? If not, who are the unique people? How can I reach out to them?

– How much do they currently know?

– What do they want or need?

– What are they afraid of?

– What attitudes do they have toward my subject or me?

– Whose opinion do they respect?

If you don’t know the answers, do some research. Ask around. Reflect on the answers you get and incorporate your new thinking into how you design your presentation or conversation.

Now, go out there and communicate with Pathos.

This blog post was first published in September 2013 here:

3 Day Workshop in SP Jain School of Global Management

The budding entrepreneurs of SP Jain School of Global Management, Dubai worked on their business model canvas and presented their innovative ideas at the end of their 3 day workshop.


“Enjoyed it a lot!. It was very different! Never done anything like this before. It was an experience in how to identify and make the business model. The mentors helped me to work on my ideas and to come up with a plan”.
Dhrishti Rajani.

Whats your Perspective?

Have you ever been stuck? Not just stuck, but really stuck, when you can’t see a way out? When you felt you didn’t have a choice. How did you feel?

Really, how did you FEEL

What did you do to get out of this “state of stuck”?

Did you stay there? Or did you chose to do something about it? Did you do it consciously? Or subconsciously?

Often, when we are stuck, we are unable to see a way out (that’s the definition of stuck, isn’t it?).  The problem is that when we view our situation from a single perspective, it’s like viewing our reality from a single window. See the image below:

That’s not a true picture of your reality, and that’s why you are stuck.  If you could open up more “windows” you could see more of the actual reality, and find solutions that were not there before!

You can move out of this “state of stuck” by

  1. Becoming more aware of how uncomfortable we feel
  2. Creating a desire to get out of being stuck
  3. Exploring alternate perspectives
  4. Choosing the most resonant perspective
  5. Committing to your choice

It all starts with being AWARE of what’s happening. Do you realise you are stuck? How does it make you feel? Are you uncomfortable enough to do something about it?

Next, be clear about your intention to change. Are you willing to make the change and stand by your commitment?

Explore looking at the problem from different perspectives: if I was [boss] how would I be viewing this situation?; if I was a child, what would this problem mean to me?; if I was on the moon, how would I view this problem?; if I was President Obama, what could be possible?;…… get out of the box and visualise yourself in a different perspective…..

Choose the perspective that resonates with you the most…..not the one that makes the most sense, but the one that “feels” right…….we often believe we don’t have a choice, but that’s not true. You always have a choice – the question is, do you choose to make that choice?

And finally, make a commitment. Commit to making that change. Not just to yourself… but to someone who you can’t lose face with.  Commit in a way that you can’t back out. Commit in a way that holds accountability.

What will you commit to?

Do share your views with us….. and get in touch with us if you would like to get “unstuck” from your “state of stuck”.

First published here:

Building your Personal Brand (Murdoch Career Workshop Series 2017)

Awesome workshop at Murdoch university on importance of personal branding for university students. Personal branding is key to getting a new job, starting a business, or even starting the next phase of life.



 “It is not to late to start your career, plant yourself today to grow much bigger in the next few years”
Syed Mohammad Hassan Raza

Dare to Dream for Teachers’- DPS Silicon Oasis

We are excited to kick off our Dare to Dream workshop for school teachers in DPS Silicon Oasis. The session was a fun, authentic session to renew, re-energize and re-focus for teachers and academic facilitators. During the session, participants became more aware of their purpose and strengths and set clear goals for all aspects of their life.


“ The pace of the workshop was great. Neeru had a lot of energy and kept the tempo. The wheel of Life was an Aha moment. Articulating and penning down dreams and goals helped gain clarity of thoughts.”- a participant

“It allowed me to think, believe, dream and know myself better. I hardly get time to think about myself, but thanks to ‘Marya’, I was introduced to Me.”- a participant.

Communicating persuasively with the Rhetorical Triangle

The Rhetorical Triangle

Does your heart sink a little when you are asked to prepare a written document or present information to an audience? If so, you’re not alone! Many people struggle with putting their ideas and thoughts together in delivering an effective message.

Perhaps the biggest problem when you communicate is that you often don’t get a second chance to make your point in a different way. You get one shot, and if you lose your audience, it is difficult to get them back. This is why you need to pick and choose your words carefully, and present your points in a style, manner and sequence that best suits the message you are sending.

The Rhetorical Triangle is a useful way of formulating your thoughts and presenting your position. Here we look at how you can use it to improve your communication, be it verbal or written.

Understanding the Tool

Rhetoric is the ancient art of using language to persuade. If you use it well, your audience will easily understand what you’re conveying, and will be influenced by your message.

The three points on the Rhetorical Triangle relate directly to the three classic appeals you should consider when communicating.

  • Ethos – Building trust by establishing your credibility and authority.
  • Pathos – Appealing to emotion by connecting with your audience through their values and interests (Audience).
  • Logos – Appeal to intelligence with well-constructed and clearly argued ideas (Context).

To be fully effective and persuasive, your communication must appeal to all three of the elements of the Rhetorical Triangle. An argument that is purely based on emotion won’t last for very long. Likewise, if all you do is present facts and figures, you will lose your audience’s interest and they won’t be able to relate to what you are saying. Finally, you can be the most credible person going, but if you don’t make sense, or your arguments aren’t logical, you won’t be considered credible for very long.

People like to listen to those who are sincere (Ethos); they would like to see ‘what’s in it for me’ (Pathos), and finally they would like the communique to ‘make sense’ (Logos). I remember writing a note to my landlord requesting him to reduce the rent for the following year; where I clearly remember, after an elevator pitch on my credibility, pointing out to him five reasons why ‘he’ will be benefitted in having the rents reduced. This worked wonders….although he did not go down on the rents, he has kept it at the lowest point for a while now while going up on the rent for other tenants.

First published in march 2013