By now you know that I’m passionate about helping people become the best versions of themselves. As you may have noticed, I started a series of discussion on self-awareness (follow me on Twitter) two weeks ago that I shared across multiple social media platforms (follow my Facebook and maybe I should do videos on these topics-let me know your thoughts on this idea.) The response has been overwhelming. It’s exciting to read everyone’s private and public responses. What a treasure. Send me an email to be added to my email list.
As I continue to share and discuss various soft skills to work on, I hope you’re taking notes on what to do to improve and work on to hone your soft skills, too. We’re on this journey together—you’re not alone. Believe you me, I am not just preaching to you, I also practice what I preach. Those that know me or have seen me in action can attest to how self-aware, self-managed I am, and my social-awareness and management skill in on par. In my world, everyone is important. I am present in my every interaction, think through my statements, and control my behavior in every situation. I aim for positive impact even in the worst of situations. I honed these skills over time. And, NO I have not mastered it all—because it’s a continual process.
Leadership is not about the position or title one has, it’s about the impact one makes on the lives of others—but the build up to leadership starts with self.
I’ll tell you what I do on a daily basis in the continual process honing my soft skills, and most importantly, communicating properly as a result of honing these skills. All of these soft skills lead to becoming the best communicator that you can become.
1) I engage in honest self-reflection.
We live in a world that seriously gases us up about nothing and everything. It’s important to me that I take the time to eliminate some of these distractions and focus on my strengths, weaknesses, and any unresolved issues that are impacting my progress. As I reflect, I write down my self-reflection feedback I am giving myself. I also ask for feedback from those that love me—including my three years old niece— as it will help with my continual progress of working on myself. What you don’t see, others do.
2) I work every day on maximizing on my strength.
I take what I jotted down about myself during my self-reflection time and then improve on building my strengths. The process of self-development doesn't have to be negative, in fact, it should amplify your unique gifts so that you can share them with the world.
3) I work on my weaknesses as much as I do my strength.
It is critical to address my weaknesses with the same level of energy as I do my strength. The way I address my weakness is I call on my mentors. Recently, I went through a month of melt down. I was down, stressed and overwhelmed by what is not happening, and I needed to just air it out. I am privileged and lucky to have some of the world’s influencers as my mentors. I WhatsApp-ed few of them to work through my most pressing issues in an engaging way. My mentors are my therapist and life coaching. I know that how to maximize on my strengths, but I also know that if I don’t address my weaknesses, tangible continual progress will be jeopardized, and I may not experience the deepest fulfillment that I deserve as a person.
4) I am in therapy.
I know you just said, “NuNu is in therapy?” Lol. Yes, I am. This is where most people with unresolved issues fall short. You have to believe in allowing others to help you.
I am in two types of therapy—yoga therapy and sitting on a coach with a professional therapy. There's a difference between the two. Yoga therapy allows me to be centered and focus on myself, my wellness and finding my Zen. Yoya therapy helps me with remaining calm, think through any situation I may be in and respond rationally with reasoning –I know what part of my brain to tap into for peace in hostile circumstances. Similarly, I talk to a professional therapist once a month about self-development. This process allows me to be vulnerable in front of another person who can assess my vulnerability and guide me through it.
I’ve able to navigate through all of my funks and continue to maximum on self-growth by using these two methods of therapy. If you're serious about self-improvement, then you need to figure out what mechanisms will work for you and commit to it. Growth, self-awareness and development is a holistic process—find what is organic and authentic to you.
5) I say this to anyone willing to listen—practice meditation.
Every morning I get out of bed, I kneel down and pray; then, I meditate for 10-15 minutes. Maybe because I am a yogist I believe in the power of mediation but, I promise you will see the difference meditation will make in your life. The 10-15 minutes of silence a day will transform how you engage with the world and most importantly, yourself. Meditate—it’s medicinal.
6) I work out (yoga, running), eat healthy (you know I am a vegan), and I read—a lot- on everything.
As I mentioned step 4, self-awareness, development and growth is a holistic process, so I don't just focus my strength, weaknesses and issue I may have that are unresolved. I also pay keen attention to how I feel within my body, mind, and spiritual practice for the maximum outcome on my continual process to progress in life.
I am not a nutritionist so I cannot recommend what you should do; however, I recommend experimenting to find what works for you in terms of a healthy lifestyle and work out. Hiring a trainer and a nutritionist is always an option if you can afford it. I did everything on my own through various trials and errors. Not only do I try to eat healthy, but I also feed my mind intellectually. I read everything from articles, journals, research papers to books on everything of interest—I love reading because self-education is the best education. Plus, the mind is a tool that need to be feed so it can function at the highest level—reading is one way to ensure of it.
7) Practice philanthropy.
In the continual process of self-awareness, self-development and growth, none of these stages should make you selfish. Fortunately, I learned to take control of my life early on. As I improved, I learned to transform my relationships and becoming a better friend, sister, partner, and professional.
I am always one of those people who is invested in genuine experiences no matter what it is. I want to experience genuine happiness, develop authentic confidence, and be the best possible version of myself, then start the never-ending journey of self-growth. In my self-growth, giving back through philanthropy was extremely important to me. Whether it is a local charity or one that is focused on working on societal issue in Ethiopia, I engaged in a genuine way which reciprocated by rewarding me with genuine happiness. I know I am not the only one that wants to see the world change so do something that will change the life on another while on your continual journey to self-awareness, development and growth. I know that like a flower, when I bloom, I will attract others with my radiance and inspire your desire to reach the sun, too.
Advice: Stop being average and start becoming the change you'd like to see.