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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

When I realised I wasn’t a hamster [Wise Wednesdays]

Recently, I’ve spoken with a number of pretty stellar women who feel unsure about what they have to offer. I’ve had coaching conversations with an engineer who had worked with the UN on climate change; an experienced vice president in tech who single-handedly raised her son; a doctor specialised in global health security who is leading in the national response to the pandemic. Like many powerful and empathic women, they give a lot. But often feel it's not enough. Sometimes, their environment doesn’t support them either and that adds to the self-doubt. The world loses out as a result. The challenges that I see plague powerful empaths (women and men) include: - They can't see their own genius - They don't see themselves as a 'leader' - Their most brilliant ideas are ignored (if they dare speak them) - They're put down or diminished by others who are less capable and caring than they are. Over time, their confidence may drop and keep them trapped in the job because they don’t believe they can move on and succeed on their own terms elsewhere. Plus, they're so caught up giving that they don't have time to think and plan for a different future. But if they overcome these doubts they fly again. I remember wondering why anyone would want to work with me despite a pretty decent CV and work ethic. In my earlier career, the culture was often that you never really got a pat on the back. You just got pulled up if there was a problem. Whatever you achieved, you always got told there was something else you could do and someone else who did it better. And it was tiring. But I eventually two truths spoke to me:

1. You're not ivy.

You're not here to climb tall buildings just because you can. That’s a success trap. And, it didn’t make sense to climb a ladder if it was leaning against the wrong wall.

2. You're not a hamster.

You don't need to live on a hamster wheel with occasional breaks in exchange for pellets of validation. With this inner-shift, an outer-shift began. I understood myself better and seeds of courage and imagination started to sprout. I started to see a new future was possible. It wasn’t always a smooth ride. But a series of serendipitous meetings, experiences and learning outside my job helped me shape my vision and take one step at a time in a completely new direction. Mostly because I was open to it. Perhaps, like me, you’re shocked that the psychology of personal change and deep resilience isn’t taught in schools and organisations. And, that’s why it’s important to educate yourself beyond conventional sources of information. And you know that learning is one of your superpowers, no? Have a great week, Amina p.s. Presence Power Possibility 3-month group coaching programme is open. It’s a powerful incubator for your vision and an accelerator for you to take focused action. If you’re ready to let go of what holds you back from creating the career and life you deeply want, and are wondering if the programme is for you, join me for a 30min Q&A call today. Click here to join the Zoom call at 7pm UK. I’ll also address some questions I’ve been asked recently like:

• Do I need to know my vision to leave my job?

• How can I find more time and motivation for what I want to do?

• How can I develop my network?

If you’re curious or want a dose of energy and inspiration, see you later.

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