Assalamualaikum and Hello my dear friends! I wanted to share about this topic for a while now however I didn’t really get the chance to do so. I am thankful to be able to put aside sometime to blog about some of my humble beginnings when I started my Mumpreneur Journey. There will be a few parts to the topic, each touching on various areas which resonates deeply in me which gave me the motivation to continue what I am doing until today.
I recently did an FB Live with Michelle Ow, one of my mentors in the Training Industry on this topic on ‘COURAGE’. It gave me the inspiration to blog about this a bit more with the hope to inspire most of you who is reading this.
COURAGE To Step Out Of My Comfort Zone
Since I was young, I was brought up in a sheltered environment with loving parents with 4 siblings. I was the eldest and perhaps with that responsibility, I was the most patient one and naturally I was the more nurturing one towards my siblings to care for them. I am originally an introvert with low self esteem who lacks of confidence especially with the way I look and I was most unaccepting of the size of my feet. Because of my built, I was always the tall one and the big sized one in school. I remembered crying when I was made fun off and I didn’t know how to manage those emotions. I would cry every time I buy shoes as I could only fit on men’s shoes and not the nice pretty ones. I envied looking at my friends and my younger sisters who had pretty lady like shoes. As a teenager, I would prefer wearing 3/4 shorts with Tshirts and slippers instead of dresses and skirts because of those disappointments. I was just unhappy with the way I look.
It was during Secondary School that I was so engaged in my CCA. I made so many good friends and because of the opportunities that were given to me as well as leadership roles, I started to become confident. I met others who believed in me and my capabilities. I was able to pay it forward as an alumni to support and train other future cadets in the school.
The experience in the NPCC allowed me to experience being a Freelance Instructor when I was 18 years old. A friend introduced me to the Outdoor Education industry. My life changed then. I was pushed to be out of my comfort zone. I learnt so many new skills such us Methods of Instruction, conducting various games and activities, training leaders and life skills and facilitation skills. I went deeper into the Art of Facilitation and until today that skill has helped me in my growth as a Trainer. That was when I realized being out of my comfort zone contributes to my growth as a person and as a Trainer in this training industry.
COURAGE To Start My Own Business
Being a wife and a mother led me to make the biggest decision in my life. I had to pause working fulltime and I started my own business. It was originally my husband’s idea and since I had more time in my hands, I decided to proceed with it. I started by registering the company in ACRA as a commitment to build the business and with planning and baby steps with advise, collaborations and partnerships with others around me. I found ways to make it work. I made so many mistakes and collapsed so many times because of disappointments, frustrations as well as my own expectations and others which could not be met.
Each time I had thoughts of giving up, I pursued on. My mistake, I wanted to do everything by myself to save money and cut costs. Since we just started out. I learnt the hard way. I also wanted to expand too quickly and wanted to do so many things at the same time and because of that, I didn’t had the energy and the stamina. I learnt that the hard way as well. Despite that I learnt the importance of figuring out what I really want and needed as well as identifying my priorities and managing my different roles in my life. Until today, I am still learning.
COURAGE To Mindfully Communicate My Thoughts, Needs, Wants and Desires
Through my journey as a Mumpreneur, I realised the importance of making decisions and communicating those thoughts and forming them into words for others listen in the most mindful way possible. At times we get so busy with our day to day activities to make ends meet and put food on the table that we might have neglected our loved ones. At the same time, the desire to achieve success in our lives especially in this competitive society puts a lot of expectations in us which can cause friction in our spouses and family members. I have been through all that. It takes a lot of patience to communicate with others especially on your point of view especially when they are not in your shoes. However, communicating is still better in keeping quiet and keeping those anger and frustration which can resort to resentment in the future.
Effective Communication is an important social skill which is needed in this time especially when most of us are impatient. From eye contact, to our tone to respecting each other’s boundaries and needs, having meaningful discussions. It is a long term process that requires patience and respect from both parties. In fact most of us are most impatient with our family and we are nicer to others and strangers instead. It is also a reflection for me to ponder and for me to learn from. Especially when our family is one of the reasons and our WHY in doing what we do. At the end of the day, we are all working towards becoming the best versions of ourselves. Do we have the courage to live for ourselves? To live for something that we are proud of?
I shall end this blog with these 3 pointers and here is a quote for all of you:
“Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Coach Aifa Ahmad