“How to reach your full potential.” With Beau Henderson & Yumna Aysen

I truly do believe that education is the thing that will allow everyone in the world to reach their fullest potential and which will enrich the communication between people. It will also bring about a very powerful connection and create unity. As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During […]

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I truly do believe that education is the thing that will allow everyone in the world to reach their fullest potential and which will enrich the communication between people. It will also bring about a very powerful connection and create unity.

As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yumna Aysen.

Yumna, founder of ‘Oh Yes It’s Yumi’ is a life and business coach and a motivational speaker who has a deep passion for helping and serving others to become the ultimate version of themselves. Yumna takes people on a journey to turn her client’s purpose into prosperity. She also helps guide them to create a life that they love.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

It’s funny because I never thought I would become a life/business coach or a motivational speaker. I was extremely shy for a large part of my life growing up. I was so incredibly shy that I couldn’t even order food in the food court for myself because I was too afraid to talk to people. So I would give my food money to my sister to order food for me. There was a point in my life when I was a teenager and I thought “enough is enough”. I want to be successful and I desperately need to increase my confidence.” So I decided to take a debating class in high school called MUN (Model United Nations), where we had to represent different countries and their viewpoints on political, social, and economic issues going on at the time. I was really bad in the beginning and my heart would race like crazy standing up there and doing public speaking. However with determination, I got better and my confidence started to improve. I eventually got picked as part of the top 12 in my MUN class to represent our school in Haileybury in England.

Fast forward a few years, I got introduced to network marketing or MLM when I was about 20 years old in university. I sold a variety of health products and in the beginning- I couldn’t sell to save my life. However, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and even though I was scared to approach people about my products, I bit the bullet and did it anyway. I eventually became the highest ranked woman in South Africa in terms of sales for the company. I started doing motivational trainings for my team. That’s when I realised that I have a deep passion for helping people and I absolutely LOVED motivational speaking. And that’s where the spark was ignited. I went through some depression in my life and I felt stuck in my life a few years ago, and I saw a life coach. My life coach truly opened my eyes to things I wasn’t seeing and to see things in new ways. It was at that point that I realised that I would love help people who are also shy like me and who also felt stuck in life. I wanted to use my experiences to help others. It started off with me doing a few motivational videos of myself here and there and it grew and here I am today- a life and business coach.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I did a talk once about “First Class Thoughts” and the main thing that guided my entire speech was the fact that I brought along a piece of carry on luggage (to symbolise baggage that you carry in life) that you bring on an airplane. I spoke about self sabotaging thoughts. These thoughts weigh you down and are the negative voices in your head saying that you are not good enough. These thoughts are heavy (hence heavy baggage) and won’t allow you to fly freely in life.

First class thoughts are self empowering thoughts that give you clarity to see the positive in the negative with 2020 vision and help you become the best version of yourself. They reignite that fire within you every single time without fail. These thoughts are light and allow you to fly freely in life.

This speech brought so much laughter into the room when I presented it. It was great!

This was the last part of my speech that truly exemplified the powerful message of the speech: “Let’s take you from economy class to first class with the implementation of first class thoughts. In order to ask yourself “Where will tomorrow take you?”- like the Emirates slogan, let’s start with today, and ask yourself- where will today take me? Live in the present, and let’s keep climbing with our dedication to slaying our first class thoughts”.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

I would suggest that leaders lead by uplifting and empowering others. We live in a world where transformational leadership is vital in order to create a fantastic work culture. There is an African proverb that goes like this: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” There is so much significance in this proverb. If you want to create a work culture where people feel proud to work at your company, it’s important that you create a culture where people empower one another, and transforms one another from the inside out. In order to create this sort of environment, we need to add vulnerability and empathy into the mix. An environment where people feel safe to raise awareness of how they feel and they won’t be shut down. Ask yourself: How can I help my people be at their natural best? Be the best versions of themselves?

Surrender the ME for the WE.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I am a bookworm and I absolutely love self development books. However there is one book that really made a significant impact on me and that is: “Everything is Figureoutable” by Marie Forleo. I have been following Marie Forleo for years and I absolutely love her whole mantra- “Everything is figureoutable.” The reason why this mantra really resonated with me is because we live in a society that is very focused on the negative and basking in the many problems and challenges that we have in our life, without ever thinking about a solution. We are all going through a problem or a challenge in our lives at the moment and sometimes it seems like some problems can’t be solved and will never be solved. However, if you were to shift your paradigm of thinking to believing that in fact- “everything is figureoutable”, then there will always be a solution. It’s important to shift from being problems focused to solutions focused.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?

Mindful is all about being present in the moment and being aware of your feelings, your bodily sensations, and your environment without attaching judgement to those feelings and sensations. It’s about being engaged in the present and bringing warmth into the present moment.

This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?

Being mindful has many and a variety of benefits. Being mindful allows you to open your mind and become more accepting of others and yourself. It allows you to embrace things as they come and to live in the present moment without fearing the worst. Being mindful can help you greatly if you suffer with depression or anxiety. It can also help you with staying focused and being able to successfully avoid distractions. You will find that you’re able to sleep better at night and your body will feel healthier. Healthy Body = Healthy Mind.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness and serenity during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each.

  1. Listen to some calm music (specifically music that uplifts you): For example, there are a variety of playlists on Spotify that I listen to that really helps me focus and also relaxes me at the same time. Some of the playlists that I would recommend are: “Peaceful Piano, Lo-Fi Beats, BrainFood, and Instrumental Study.
  2. Sit up straight/check your posture: This is something that my mom taught my sister and I when we were teenagers. The importance of sitting up straight. Not only does it help your muscles and helps you relax your shoulders, but it also makes you feel strong when you sit up tall. You feel like you’re ready to take on the world.
  3. Schedule meditation and put a timer on while you do it: I remember Marie Forleo saying that “If you don’t schedule it, it’s not real.” This is so true. Because many times, we schedule our work to do list that we have to get done, but many times, we forget about our health and how important it is to schedule in that relaxation and reflection time. Scheduling in your meditation and setting up a timer to abide by will make a huge difference to being mindful.
  4. A mantra: Choose a mantra that you really like and that really ignites a spark within you and say your mantra to yourself a few times. I find that saying my mantra to myself in the mirror makes a world of a difference, as corny as it may sound.
  5. Do some gratitude journaling: This is something that I also learnt from Marie Forleo and it truly has worked wonders for me. A lot of times, we tend to focus on the negative and all of the things that we have still got to do and how far away we are from our goals. But if you were to just take some time, to open up a book and look back on how far you’ve come, no matter how big or small the accomplishments are, this will make you feel very empowered and you will feel like you can do anything.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

  1. Talk less, listen more: Call your friend or family member and genuinely ask them how they’re doing without any other stuff on your agenda that you want to ask them (e.g. a favour). Sometimes, some of us just need someone to listen to. Having your friend/family member just speak out their feelings and their thoughts can help them significantly.
  2. Offer help: Speak to someone closest to you and ask them, how could you be of service to them in order to alleviate some of the pressure that they might feel that is bringing on the anxiety that they’re feeling. Perhaps it could be with giving them some pieces of advice on their life (but non judgemental advice), or career advice.
  3. Asking powerful questions: Asking powerful questions to someone close to you can open a person’s eyes and change their perspective in the way that they’re looking at a specific challenge of theirs. A question such as: “What will make you feel best about yourself?” Ask them also to give themselves a few compliments. We tend to give other people a lot of compliments, but we might find it cheesy to give ourselves a compliment. Trying it out won’t hurt. You might be surprised at how well it works.
  4. Sending them a written letter: I know for me, when I receive a written letter, I get very excited! Because we hardly ever receive written letters in the mail. In the written letter to your friend or family member, write a letter on all of the qualities that you love about them and how wonderful it is to have them in your life. Express gratitude towards them for being there for you.
  5. Suggest professional support: Therapy might not be for everyone, but for some people, it’s something that can truly turn someone’s life around especially because it’s from a third party. Someone that they might not be familiar with right now. Therapists, life coaches, psychologists, etc. can give your loved one clarity and action steps on what to take to alleviate their anxiety.

What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?

I would suggest the app “Calm” and “Headspace” that you get on your mobile as two magnificent resources that you can use to truly learn more about being mindful and develop mindfulness through redefining your daily habits and shifting your paradigm of thinking. These two apps can teach you that.

I also recommend reading the book “Everything is Figureoutable” by Marie Forleo. She gives you some action steps to take in your life so that your life can flourish.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela

This has been a quote that has always had great significance in my life and a quote that I hold very dear to my heart. Because I’ve doubted my abilities for a large part of my life, I used to underestimate myself and how capable I am of achieving things. Before I did something big or took a leap of faith in my life, I used to think that some things are not possible, however when I put the intention out there that I’m going to do this and I focused and committed to it, great things happened for me. And I realized that instead of asking the question- “What can go wrong?” Instead I should be asking myself the question- “What can go right?”

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The movement that I would start is based off of this quote: “Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. Until all are taught.” — Mark Victor Hansen

I truly do believe that education is the thing that will allow everyone in the world to reach their fullest potential and which will enrich the communication between people. It will also bring about a very powerful connection and create unity.

I am from South Africa and youth development is vital. Educating the youth from places of poverty and teaching them the art of leading the way will make a world of a difference. The youth is where the change for tomorrow starts.

The whole idea of each one, teach one will help create generational wealth and not only money as the way in which we know wealth, but all types of wealth including- great health, prosperous relationships, world class communication and leadership amongst many others.

In unity there is strength. Education is something that creates powerful unity.

Something that I would incorporate into this movement to take it to new heights would be titled: Uplift yourself to uplift another. I love everything about empowerment, leadership, self development, and mentoring. I believe in the power of empowerment. This empowerment is vital towards youth development and generational holistic prosperity.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?


Instagram: @yumiuniverse

Facebook: (Oh Yes It’s Yumi)

LinkedIn: (Yumna Aysen)

YouTube: (Oh Yes It’s Yumi)

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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