Assalam alaykum.

AlhamduliLLah upon all conditions!

After a break for the school holidays, the Boost Your Iman series resumed with an amazing workshop by Sister Yasmin Hafza of Strategic Mynds.

While introducing herself, she mentioned that Strategic Mynds was founded to empower as many Muslim women as possible to realise their leadership traits. She recounted how some years ago, she did some searching within herself to find out who she truly was -apart from being a wife and mother. She later realised that a mother can be the same person at home and at work- a leader. It’s all about one’s mindset. We need to shift our mindset and implement those leadership traits we use at work when we are at home because leadership is really the same in both places. At home, we are not just mothers but leaders and there are responsibilities that come with this.

To begin the workshop proper, she asked us all to stand and then remind ourselves why we were there. She encouraged us to nod when we felt we had really come to that realisation.

Next, she got us to do a ‘silent dance party’. This did not involve any music or sound. Sister Yasmin informed us that research shows that movement releases positive endorphins which make us feel positive vibes and improve our mood. At the end of this activity, we were all giggling like excited kids!

While encouraging us to participate fully, she let us know that the purpose of the workshop was to embed in us that we are leaders and to help us empower others. In her words, ‘not to use our minds to the full potential is selling ourselves short.’

LIVNG LIKE A LEADER

As leaders, we should embrace the following:

  • Committing to Constant & Never-ending Improvement (CANI): The learning never ends.
  • Continually investing in yourself: The more value you add to yourself, the more you can add to those around you.
  • Find a paid or unpaid Coach and/or Mentor: There is someone in the world that has done exactly what you want to do and succeeded. Find them. If you want it hard enough, you will succeed. Find someone who gives you solutions when you need them.
  • Be mindful of your peers:Surround yourself with people who believe in and appreciate growth, someone who understands. Growth takes courage.
  • Understand your balance:Every single person is different. Find the balance that feels right for you. Recognise where you are and what you need to improve.

The balancing act

We should make a conscious effort to see why we do things. What is the goal? What purpose is it serving? We need to know who we are as a person without all the titles of wife, daughter, mother and so on. This helps us to recognise and share our talents.

The Balancing Act entails writing down the duties and roles that we play both at home and outside the home. In doing this, we need to decide which ones are negotiable (have low priority, can be replaced or done without) or non-negotiable (top on the list and compulsory). These are relative and vary from one person to another. We did this activity individually and surprisingly, the sheets got filled!

Next was grouping these roles into the categories on The Wheel of Life.

These categories are:

Family

Partner

Finance

Personal Growth

Health & Fitness

Spirituality

Career

Hobbies/Interests

Every position we fill must fit into a place on the wheel. On a Scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest and implying perfection which is not likely), we had to assess where we were in each category and fill them in on the wheel. The lesson in this was to see how bumpy or smooth the wheel is and what areas we would want to improve on to ensure that the wheel moves as smoothly as possible.

Sister Yasmin encouraged us to carry out this activity periodically on our own to help us see what and how to improve in our lives. She advised us to find ways to create a balance. As she said, “We can if we want to, switch your ‘I can’t’ to ‘I want to’.”

This was a lovely reflection exercise for me because it made me evaluate where I presently am and the things I do for the people in my life which I take for granted. It also made me realise that in the process of everyday life, I get carried away and neglect a lot of things that can draw me closer to my Rabb.

THE ULTIMATE GOAL

This is like a diary entry we write to ourselves in advance. We write what we want to happen in the future as if it is happening presently.

In writing the ultimate goal, we go through all the focus areas and know that whatever we write will ultimately happen, In shaa Allah. She urged us to sit quietly and write our ultimate goal as it is a road map to prepare our action plan.

She mentioned the importance of finding an accountability buddy with whom you can meet or talk periodically to remind us of our ultimate goals. The person should have our ultimate goals and should be someone who would be honest with us.

Making 90-day goals

We choose 2 or 3 focus areas at the maximum especially those areas that need the most urgent attention and create 90day goals for them. It is better to break the goals into smaller and easier to achieve bits instead of trying to do everything at once. We make minimal increments to the goals every month.

LEADING FROM THE FRONT

Is consciously leading in addition to the unconscious leadership we do. According to her, “Everything we do, we will choose to do because we want to do it.” Weshould let our kids know this too.

 “A brave leader is someone who says I see you, I hear you, I don’t have all the answers- but I am going to keep listening and asking questions”

  • Brene Brown

We should implement this with our family and kids. We can make what they want happen in a way that works for us. We should lead the way by acting, talking and listening to others.

“If you only listening is the only thing you are able to do for your kids, you have succeeded.”

ANCHOR

An anchor is something that we can see, feel or touch that takes us back to a certain place.

When we say something enough, we begin to believe it. When we believe it, we begin to act in a way that proves it.

And in the end, we did the Anchor!

We stood with our anchors raised in our hands and shouted “I am a leader” repeatedly till we felt comfortable saying it and believing it. That really felt wonderful!

May Allah reward Sister Yasmin Hafza for the wonderful workshop. No doubt we all left happier than we arrived.

AlhamduliLLah, I am a Leader!