Yumna Aysen Of Oh Yes It’s Yumi: “Let go of perfectionism and lean into progress”

Let go of perfectionism and lean into progress: Perfection is something that can be considered subjective. Everyone has their own vision of what ‘perfect’ looks like. There is a significant relationship between perfectionism and procrastination. Being a founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated […]

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Let go of perfectionism and lean into progress: Perfection is something that can be considered subjective. Everyone has their own vision of what ‘perfect’ looks like. There is a significant relationship between perfectionism and procrastination.

Being a founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. 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 co-pilot’s with professionals in transition on their life journey so that they can uncover their purposeful leader within.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

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.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

This is similar to what I spoke about in the last question. My “Aha Moment” took place during a dark time in my life. Before I even started my current coaching company, I went through a really bad depression because I felt extremely lost and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life especially when it came to my career. I was so depressed that I started having very dark thoughts including suicidal thoughts. When I was in high school, our English teacher asked us, “What are you most afraid of?” And I said that what I am most afraid of is “Losing myself.” I bring this high school experience up because just before I started my coaching company, I felt like I was losing myself — that number one fear was popping up.

What I found was that blogging about everything and anything inspirational was a great outlet for me. Not only did it inspire me, but it started inspiring others. I then went on to create motivational vlogs and tips of the day to navigate through life. This started my journey of navigating out of depression and into a place of hope.

My “Aha Moment” came when I realized that there was actually a lot of people who were feeling the same way that I was feeling. That lost feeling and not knowing what that next step may be in their life. Feeling stuck with no hope in sight. Those were the very same feelings I was feeling. So I used my journey that I went through to get out of depression as a platform to help other people who were in a similar place to where I was to help them live a life that they can’t wait to wake up to and live every single day and be that lighthouse and beacon of hope for others.

In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

I definitely don’t feel like I was a natural born entrepreneur. If anything, I was the complete opposite of an entrepreneur growing up. I preferred stability, doing risk free things, and not getting criticized.

I saw myself growing up to be in corporate for the rest of my life. I studied a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources so that was my set-up for the corporate life.

The turning point for me and where the entrepreneur within me was ignited (side note- to be honest I didn’t even know there was an entrepreneur secretly deep inside of me) when I met a fellow student in my economics class in my first year of college. He introduced me to an industry called Network Marketing or MLM (Multi-Level Marketing). It isn’t in the traditional sense that you own your own business, but it had a lot of entrepreneurial aspects to it. I learnt how to sell for the first time, face a lot of rejection, get out of my comfort zone to do motivational speaking and in person sales/leadership trainings. I loved that I dictated my own time and that my schedule was flexible.

This industry exposed to the world of entrepreneurship. It can be a scary world, but it’s very exciting.

I sucked in the beginning when I joined network marketing, but I eventually gained more confidence and worked myself up to become the highest ranked female in terms of sales for the company.

After I left this company, I went on to create other businesses and the current one that I’m in right now which is my coaching and motivational speaking business (which I absolutely love).

Even if you don’t think you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur, with dedication, patience, and a deep purpose for what you are doing, you can definitely make it as an entrepreneur. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

I would say it was definitely my mom who inspired and helped me start my journey with my business. She is someone that I look up to and a lot of other people look up to as well. She grew up in a small town in Durban, South Africa and started with nothing. She worked her way up because of her dedication, hard work, not people pleasing, and knowing exactly what she wanted. She is now an executive of a very large global gaming company.

She is someone that has always encouraged me to pursue my passion, no matter what that may be. Some parents may want their kids to take the safe route and not the path less traveled. She encouraged and assured me that it was ok to take the path less traveled. She also has this amazing ability to see things in me that I didn’t see in myself.

My mom and I share a lot of similar characteristics in terms of being highly ambitious, natural leaders, and having the passion and purpose for serving others. I do believe that these characteristics helped me propel myself to start the business that I have and love today.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I believe that what makes me stand out as a company is the way I choose to serve others and the way I coach. My goal is to help my clients eventually become their own coaches or their own cheerleaders.

I am here to listen to my clients’ thoughts and by doing this — I plant a seed of hope in their mind. Together we can then understand what goes on not only in your mind, but in your heart so that we can co-create solutions for a bulletproof mind and heart.

The author Donald Miller speaks about you as the business owner simply being a ‘guide’ in your client’s journey. Your client is the ‘hero’. You are just there to offer them guidance, just like how Yoda offered Luke Skywalker guidance and mentored him.

Not only do my clients learn a lot from me, but I also learn a lot from them. I don’t have all of the answers to everything, but through collaborating with my clients (or as I like to call them, my ‘partners), we come up with amazing solutions and lessons learnt. I am always asking for feedback actively after each coaching session to see how I can better bring value to my clients.

My coaching is also very bespoke and I use my very own coaching process called “Rise To Lead.” For every single client, I create a very personalized coaching training before each session. This coaching process is also very deep and not only does it focus on developing action plans to overcome their challenges, but we start from reframing their mindset and tackling the deeper challenges that may be standing in their way.

I am also a very bubbly, enthusiastic and quirky person. A lot of people say that I have a very dry sense of humor, so I love bringing that aspect into my coaching sessions. Coaching should be something fun, deep, and fulfilling.

I have seen this first hand when I coached a client of mine from a small town in a rural part of South Africa. She felt very demotivated and felt like there was no hope in sight, just from the first session, she felt so much happier. It was as if my positive, high energy and humorous personality uplifted her spirits. I made her see things in herself that she didn’t see. I ultimately turned her into a transformational leader in her own right. I am now proud to say that she is the President of the prestigious Ernst & Young Toastmasters club in Cape Town, South Africa.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Three character traits that were most instrumental to my success are:

  1. Integrity: I do believe that your core values have a compound effect on everything that you do in life. It is like the foundation of a house. If the foundation of your house is very weak, your house will eventually collapse. And this is very true for your life too. Your foundation is everything. It guides the decisions you make, how you think, the friends you choose, your mindset, and the type of person you are. Once you have a strong foundation, you won’t crumble. There were many times in my life where people asked of me to do unethical things especially when it came to business. I absolutely refused because my core values and specifically my integrity was everything.
  2. Being open and vulnerable: Being open and vulnerable was something I really struggled with growing up. I always had a guard up, up until my early 20’s. I still sometimes do, however I have improved a lot with this. I do believe that allowing yourself to open up more and be open with others can open many doors of opportunity for you. What I found was that through being vulnerable and open during my coaching sessions with clients and not being afraid to share my failures, took my coaching sessions to new levels. My clients are able to relate to me on a much deeper level and know that they are not alone. And it’s because of me being open and vulnerable with my clients, that my clients are also open and vulnerable with me too. As a result, this ensures long term success for my clients.
  3. Having a strong resilient mind: It’s funny that I put this character trait down because I have struggled a lot with this, especially before I started my coaching business. However, I realized that there was something deep inside of me that was resilient enough to keep pushing on besides the crippling effect of depression. I can sometimes be a stubborn person and when I want to achieve something, I put my all into it. If I look at everything that I have achieved, especially things that seemed quite impossible to achieve, I know that it’s because of my strong resilient mind.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

Yes there was an experience that came to my mind immediately when I saw this question. This experience was when I was in a network marketing company. The top earner who also happened to be my mentor at the time spoke about the need to “Think positively 24/7.” If ever our team failed to make our sales targets, it was always our fault. He used to say very often that “We were not thinking positively enough” and that’s the reason for our failures. He completely dismissed other logical aspects that might have affected our sales. I honestly believed that I had to feel positive all of the time and if I was not thinking positively all the time, I felt extremely guilty. I was in my early 20’s and to be honest — I do feel like I was brainwashed and naïve. My mentor made me and our team feel very guilty if we had any negative thoughts.

The story I just shared is the perfect example of a concept called “Toxic Positivity.” “Toxic positivity is the assumption, either by one’s self or others, that despite a person’s emotional pain or difficult situation, they should only have a positive mindset or — my pet peeve term — ‘positive vibes,’” explains Dr. Jaime Zuckerman, a clinical psychologist in Pennsylvania who specializes in, among other things, anxiety disorders and self-esteem.

Toxic positivity sets an unrealistic expectation that we need to be happy all the time. As a result, we might put on this fake positivity attitude, which in turn prevents us from actually experiencing true positivity and happiness. Toxic positivity can also prevent people from seeking help to improve their mental wellness and their life as a whole.

I know that negative experiences are a natural part of life and we have to go through them to learn vital lessons about ourselves and to heal from challenging situations. It might sound counterintuitive but embracing negative experiences and feeling negative can actually be a good thing. Fully feeling our emotions — even when they’re negative or unpleasant — allows us to properly heal. The most important part is to get back up again.

Looking back in hindsight, I wish I had never followed the toxic positivity advice.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

Creating a safe, open, and warm culture is vitally important to ensuring that employees thrive and do not get burnt out. It’s important to make an active effort to create a variety of opportunities to connect with your teams.

Being open with your colleagues and cultivating an environment of openness results in a strong cultural foundation built on trust. This foundation then leads to employees thriving and not only achieving the organization’s goals, but their personal goals as a by-product.

There is a very strong relationship between connection, communication, leadership, and motivation. All of these things need to go hand in hand. And if you want to move people to action and make people feel like they’re part of something bigger, it’s important to first connect with someone’s heart. There is a saying that goes like this, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. I have had many epiphanies during my career of the importance of connecting with individuals to see where everyone is coming from and meeting people where they’re at, at this moment in time.

Something that I would suggest to avoid burn out is to encourage employees to leave an hour early after a day that was might have been stressful. It is also highly important that clear boundaries be established for working after-hours and time off.

It’s also important to celebrate your employees’ achievements to uplift morale and make employees feel like they are deeply valued.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

I do believe that cultivating an environment of trust and building your credibility and authority as a leader starts with being able to relate to others and follow through with what you say you will do. A leader needs to be able to meet the individuals that they are leading where they are right now and listen more actively to their followers dreams and challenges. Genuinely being there for them and having strong core values by doing what you say, creates great trust, credibility and authority for business leaders.

A business leader needs to also be able to lead by example. At the end of the day, you are a leader and a leader takes that first step. This shows initiative and someone who is credible and is confident in their abilities.

Show your employees that you are not afraid of failure either. Sometimes a leader’s ego can get in the way and they might look down upon failures of their employees because they feel like it’s a reflection of them. I encourage leaders to let go of their ego and create a safe space for employees to cultivate a learning environment. It’s vital that leaders teach their employees how to fail forward. These failures are lessons in disguise that ultimately help create leaders and further the value that a company brings to their community.

Also, let your employees have authority over certain tasks. Micromanagement benefits nobody and actually does the opposite of building trust. It shows that you don’t really trust your employees, which damages those relationships with employees that are so vital in order for everyone to thrive.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

More so now than ever before, building trust, credibility and authority as a leader is very important.

Trustworthy leaders create a safe and prosperous organizational culture that enhances employee collaboration and foster great teamwork and trust amongst not only peers but the relationship between employees at the bottom of the organization and mangers at the top of the organization. Trust starts at the top and filters down.

An unfulfilling workplace that has a lack of trust affects innovation in a negative way and dampens employees passion for their work and prevent them from unleashing their full potential.

An innovative company is vital to surviving in a rapidly competitive world today. If you are not moving with the times, you will ultimately become obsolete.

This is also essential in today’s working world because having capable leaders with good character fosters an environment of openness and safety, which in turn improves communication between teams and leaders and therefor the company thrives.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

There are three common mistakes that I have seen CEO’s & founders make when they start a business:

  1. Not having a solid WHY (reason & purpose for starting their business): Some people may start their business with the sole purpose of making money. Yes, making money from your business is important, but if that’s the sole thing that is going to motivate you, your business will ultimately fail. Your reason for starting your business or as Simon Sinek likes to call it, “Your WHY”, has to be very strong and deep. It needs to align with your soul. It needs to be bigger than you. Something that serves others.
  2. Not having patience/thinking you will achieve success overnight: I see a lot of newbie entrepreneurs thinking they can make money overnight by building a business. These people are usually in business for the wrong reasons. This is why it’s important to have a solid WHY. Nothing worth it came over night or easily, it takes time.
  3. Lack of authenticity and bringing value when it comes to the sales process: There are some entrepreneurs that treat sales like a very transactional process and they can come off as pushy and desperate. Potential clients and customers can see this from a mile away. They can sense that pushiness and desperation and nobody wants to do business with a person like that. The key to scoring clients/customers is to learn to relate to them and form connections with this person. And when I speak about relating and forming connections, I mean authentic ones. Always try to see what value you can bring to a customer or a client by asking questions about some of the challenges that they may be experiencing. From this point on, think about how your vision can align with your customer or client’s vision and goals and find common ground. Make every sales pitch personalized and take the time to genuinely get to know who your potential customers and clients are.
  4. Know that rejection is part of the process: This is probably one of the main reasons why people end up quitting is because they can’t stand the rejection. Every entrepreneur will tell you that rejection is something that comes with the territory. You have to keep going despite this rejection. I heard a saying once that says that, “That moment when you feeling like quitting is the moment when success is just around the corner.” This is a saying that keeps me going.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

It’s definitely not easy being an entrepreneur. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of stability amongst many other things, especially the emotional lows that you will experience many times while being an entrepreneur. A lot of times especially in the beginning phases of building a business, you are not sure when and where you are going to get your next paycheck from. Being an entrepreneur is an exciting but unpredictable journey. You are also unsure whether your business will fly or flop, so this is an added stress.

When you are an entrepreneur, in the beginning for the first few years — as the founder, you have to play all of the roles of a business. From doing admin to sales to strategizing, writing business plans, social media management, writing content, managing your business effectively, etc. Whereas usually in a job, you are assigned to a specific job in a specific department.

Since you wear all of these different hats being an entrepreneur, when you do end up achieving goals — it feels extremely amazing because you know the amount of effort, resilience, and many obstacles it took to get you to achieve those goals.

If you are building a business that leaves a legacy, these highs can also feel dramatic because you know that you are building a strong legacy that you can pass on to generations after you and perhaps even generational wealth.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

A recent experience that I have had with a former client of mine was so rewarding and exciting. My former client is from a small rural town in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. When I first met her last year, she was in a place where she felt very demotivated and stuck in life. She didn’t know what that next step was to take her life and career to the next level. Through coaching and mentoring her, I have seen her grow tremendously in all sorts of ways.

She went to become elected as the Vice President of Education for the Ernst & Young Toastmasters Club in Cape Town, South Africa and she has just been elected as President of this club too. To see her go from someone who was very lost in life to being President of the Ernst & Young Toastmasters club along with starting her own business, starting her own political party, and being involved in making a difference in her community is absolutely extraordinary to see.

Best of all, she has stepped into her power and is a woman that is making changes in her community and empowering so many people.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

In the first 2 years of building my business, it took me a long time to gain traction and there were many times where I nearly threw in the towel and said to myself, “Enough is enough.” I wasn’t scoring any clients and I was trying so hard and grinding every single day. It made me feel very demotivated to know that all of my hard work was not bearing any solid results. I started to question my skills, whether I was capable of success and whether I actually deserved success.

I am very glad that I didn’t quit because a few months later, I went on to be interviewed on one of the most popular channels on national television (eNCA) in South Africa as well as “The Afternoon Express Show” which is also a very popular show in South Africa. Going from someone who could not order pizza on the phone to being on national television was something that seemed impossible to me.

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

I bounced back by having faith that my work would eventually pay off. I decided to get advice from others in business to see what I could do differently to increase my chances of succeeding in my business and gaining more exposure for my brand.

Despite not seeing any solid results, which might seem naïve — but I trusted in journey that this would eventually lead to something. I knew that this was my passion because I get so much satisfaction and joy from serving others. I do feel it was this bigger vision that was much bigger than myself that kept me going and trusting the process.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Don’t underestimate the role of your ‘health’ in your success journey: I feel like a lot of us take our health for granted. I do believe it’s the most underrated secret to success. I live with epilepsy, and I feel like it’s because of this condition that I don’t take my health for granted. The less sleep I have and the more burnt out I am, I increase the chances of myself having a seizure. The author Arianna Huffington speaks about health a lot in her public talks and her books. There was something from her book that really stood out to me and I feel like it encapsulates the important role of your ‘health’ in your journey to success. She explains that, “Somewhere along the line, we abandoned the question and shifted our attention to how much money we can make, how big a house we can buy, and how high we can climb up the career ladder. Over time our society’s notion of success has been reduced to money and power. In fact, at this point, success, money and power have practically become synonymous in the minds of many. If we don’t redefine what success is, the price we pay in terms of our health and well-being will continue to rise.” It’s time for us to have another look at how we define success. When you’re an entrepreneur, it is extremely vital that you take care of your health (both physical and mental health). If you are going to bring the most value to your clients/customers, you need to be able to bring value to yourself first. This value starts with taking care of your health and well-being.
  2. Cultivate a bulletproof mindset: Something that I have spoken about in a speech that I did for the Ernst & Young Toastmasters club was about “Junk food thoughts VS First class thoughts.” A negative mindset can be compared to eating junk food on a daily basis. Junk food is really good, I’m not going to lie. But eating it consistently leads to extreme weight gain and it bogs you down. We sometimes get lost in the amazing taste and ease of eating junk food that we become addicted and lose sight of its negative effect on our inner body functions. This leads to that junk food comfort zone. The same thing can be said about “Junk Food Thoughts.” It’s always a quick fix to think of things in a negative way. We find ourselves in a process of complaining about all of the things in our lives that aren’t going well. We vent but never take responsibility for the artefacts of our lives. Giving the power to other influences to determine our well-being and then w succumb to the comfort zone of problems but no solutions. Just like an addiction, this can be very difficult to shake off and we may not realize it immediately, but this sets us back mentally therefore impacting our actions and success. It’s therefore time to replace these “junk food thoughts” with “first class thoughts.” First class thoughts shift your mindset from a fixed one to a growth one. It’s like putting on new lenses where everything become clearer. You can see things for what they are and you are better able to formulate solutions, rather than focusing on the problems. First class thoughts are self-empowering thoughts that give you clarity to see the positive in the negative with 20/20 vision and help you become the best version of yourself. They re-ignite that fire within you every single time without fail.
  3. Have a strong WHY: Just like what I said above, your WHY is truly everything. It has to be rooted deep within you. Your WHY is equivalent to your purpose. It is the foundation of your business. When the hard gets hard which it will when you’re an entrepreneur, this WHY needs to be strong enough to carry you through these times. So if that WHY is based on gaining monetary value, you are not going to get very far when building your business. There was a woman named Danielle LaPorte that I watched a few years ago on YouTube and she spoke about the importance of “Setting goals that fill your soul.” I thought this was a very interesting take on setting goals. She says that a lot of us tend to set goals that are very surface level and it’s because of this that we don’t end up achieving our goals. She said that it’s time to rethink the way we set goals and attach our emotions to these goals. And in my view, I see the whole concept of “Setting goals with soul” as something that is rooted within your WHY. The more connected your goals are to your WHY, the more likely it is that you will accomplish them.
  4. Keep a smile file/pick-me-up file of your wins: You are going to experience plenty of rejection and low moments on your journey as an entrepreneur and this is why it’s important to always revisit your achievements to remind yourself how far you have come and to keep you going. The only time I ever tell someone to look back is to see and acknowledge how far they have come. A smile file is filled with not only all of your achievements, but great letters, messages, and testimonials you have received from clients, friends and family that bring a smile to your face every time you read them. I usually keep track of these achievements in a journal app on my phone and I save the wonderful messages I receive from people in an album on my phone to always revisit it when I’m feeling low. A smile file/pick-me-up file therefore does exactly what its name suggests — it brings a smile to your face and picks you up.
  5. Let go of perfectionism and lean into progress: Perfection is something that can be considered subjective. Everyone has their own vision of what ‘perfect’ looks like. There is a significant relationship between perfectionism and procrastination. We sometimes may feel that we need to have all of our ducks in a row before we even decide to jump in and take action. This is one of the main reasons why we procrastinate a lot. Doing things as to what we deem “perfect” stems from a fear of what other people may say about us or our work. No matter who you are, what you do, how you look, how you talk, someone will always have something to say about you, even if you’re a full ray of sunshine. It does not have to be perfect in order for you to start and take action. Just start. You will learn along the way on your journey as an entrepreneur. Enjoy the journey of being a beginner. Progress eats perfectionism for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

I see resilience as the ability to quickly bounce back from difficult situations and to continue going even in the face of adversity.

The characteristics/traits that I feel resilient people possess are:

  • A deep understanding of who they are (self-awareness).
  • Keeping calm under very stressful situations.
  • Having empathy not only for others, but also for themselves. (Being your own best friend)
  • Patience (it’s important to remember that things won’t happen overnight and building anything including resiliency comes through patience).
  • Seeing things from the mindset of you either WIN or you LEARN.
  • Having the ability to keep motivated despite tough times.
  • Having a solutions focused mindset and not a victim mentality.
  • Tenacity

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

Growing up, I used to be stuck in my own comfort zone and I was afraid to do public speaking. I had low confidence in my early teen years. Deep down, I knew that this lack of confidence and being too afraid to get out of my comfort zone was holding me back from building my resiliency. I guess I could say it was the fear of criticism from others and looking inadequate. However, I knew that I had to open myself up to new experiences to build resiliency.

Growing up, I was very afraid to speak to strangers and even order pizza on the phone. I knew that this lack of confidence and being shy all the time was holding me back from the dreams I wanted to achieve. So, I joined a class in high school called “Model United Nations” (MUN). This class was all about debating like you were in the United Nations and collaborating with other nations to draw up resolutions to real world issues. I didn’t do really well in the beginning and I used to get so much anxiety when I had to defend my point of view in front of the class. However, my dreams of wanting to be successful were much larger than those anxieties.

I eventually got really good at it and I got picked in my senior year of high school to part of the top 12 students in the MUN class to represent my school overseas in England. In England, I ended up winning the “Highly Commendable Delegate” award (a very prestigious MUN award), which I never thought in my life could ever happen to me.

I do believe that this experience set the stage for me to keep going and started building my resiliency to overcome many things.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

Honestly, I struggle to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations. However, I try to think of solutions as to how to shift my mind to something more positive.

I find that journaling has helped me through difficult situations. I see it as a way to just dump all of my thoughts on paper and as a release. Journaling is also great because it doesn’t judge your thoughts.

If you also look at situations as merely lessons and not losses or failures, you will see the world in a different way. I do believe that everything happens for a reason and these difficult situations may not make any sense when they are happening at that moment in time, but it becomes clearer as to why it happened a few years down the line. You realize that if a particular difficult experience didn’t occur, you wouldn’t be the person that you are today.

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

A positive attitude and personality are contagious and it’s something that can be transferred to your clients and your team. Just like how they say that a smile is contagious.

A leader’s positive attitude has a domino effect on everything. When you have a positive attitude, you function from a place of a solutions-based mindset and you are able to effectively empower others. You literally become a beacon of hope and light for your clients and team. It’s like you’re the anchor that holds everyone together.

As a result, you are capable of creating a community a powerful community which gives others an optimistic perspective on how they view challenges. Your team will feel like they are contributing to something bigger than themselves when a leader has a positive attitude.

A leader who also has a positive attitude is also able to help others see skills in themselves that they never thought existed within them. That leader ignites that fire within others to move them to action and to serve others.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

One of my favorite quotes is this:

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

-Nelson Mandela

This is quote that has carried me through many different experiences in my life, especially when it came to getting out of my comfort zone and opening myself up to new experiences that ultimately helped me grow as a person.

I am a motivational speaker and every time I get up on the stage to speak in public, I still get nervous. Nobody believes me when I say this, but it’s absolutely true. It’s just that through doing public speaking many times, I have learnt how to control these fears and nerves. I just simply view doing speeches in public as merely a conversation that I’m having with my audience, as if I’m talking to a friend.

How can our readers further follow you online?

Website: www.ohyesitsyumi.com

Instagram: @yumiuniverse (https://www.instagram.com/yumiuniverse/)

Facebook: (Oh Yes It’s Yumi) https://www.facebook.com/YumiUniverse/

LinkedIn: (Yumna Aysen) https://www.linkedin.com/in/yumna-aysen-12a34010b/

YouTube: (Oh Yes It’s Yumi) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnyQCoocEz32ljWFu6683lQ

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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