Shadé Zahrai: Confidence for High Performers, How to Unlock the Best Version of You | E238

Shadé Zahrai: Confidence for High Performers, How to Unlock the Best Version of You | E238

Shadé Zahrai: Confidence for High Performers, How to Unlock the Best Version of You | E238

In March 2020, Shadé Zahrai and her husband were planning to turn their company performance training side business into a full-time endeavor and relocate overseas. Then, a week before their flights, the pandemic struck and they wound up in lockdown. So Shadé got scrappy, pivoting her business and experimenting with something completely new to her: TikTok. Shadé now has millions of followers on social media, and she and her husband and business partner have taken their leadership consulting business global. In today’s episode, Shadé Zahrai will tell us how to overcome some common entrepreneurial “mind pits” and face our inner critics.


Shadé Zahrai is a social media influencer, expert speaker, TEDx Speaker, and entrepreneur. She is known as a leadership strategist who posts content about performance psychology, and for her ability to translate the latest in neuroscience and psychology research into practical and actionable strategies. She is also the co-founder and director of Influenceo Global, which helps companies elevate engagement and performance during times of change.


In this episode, Hala and Shadé will discuss:

 – Turning a side hustle into a multi-million-dollar business

– How TikTok can be a game changer

– Finding a champion as a mentor

– The importance of career multipliers

– Making a good split-second first impression

– The common “mind pits” entrepreneurs face

– How to overcome our inner critics

– Coping with imposter syndrome

– How to exude more confidence at work

– Why a power nap is better than coffee

– And other topics…


Shadé Zahrai is a social media influencer, expert speaker, TEDx Speaker, and entrepreneur. She is known as a leadership strategist who posts content about performance psychology, and for her ability to translate the latest in neuroscience and psychology research into practical and actionable strategies. She first came to prominence on TikTok in recent years and now has more than 1.6 million followers (and 1.2 million on Instagram).


She is also the co-founder and director of Influenceo Global, which helps companies elevate engagement and performance during times of change by providing their leaders and teams with actionable, science-based, and commercially-sound strategies to enhance people-centric cultures.


Resources Mentioned:

Shadé’s Career Training Courses:

 Diagnose your “Mind Pits” here:


LinkedIn Secrets Masterclass, Have Job Security For Life:

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[00:00:00] Hala Taha: Yeah, fam, we have a wonderful episode in store for you today. Not only is my guest an expert in human behavior and performance psychology, but she's also built a large and influential business on the back of her extraordinary success on TikTok and other social media platforms. Her name is Sade Zari, and she's originally from Sydney, Australia.

Sade has an inspiring backstory like a lot of us. She had her business heavily disrupted by the pandemic and found herself having to dig deep to regain her footing and find a new way forward. She wound up pivoting her business and began experimenting with something she's never done before. TikTok videos.

Sade now has millions of followers on social media, and she and her husband and business partner have taken their leadership consulting business global, working with Fortune 500 clients all over the world.  Shaday is an expert on psychology of high performance for employees and entrepreneurs, which is exactly our focus.

For today's episode. We'll learn how to overcome common entrepreneurial mind pits. Our five evil inner critics and imposter syndrome to unlock our full potential. Sade, welcome to Young and Profiting podcast. 

[00:02:42] Shadé Zahrai: Thank you, Hala. It's such a delight to 

be here. 

[00:02:45] Hala Taha: I am super excited for this interview, and when I was doing my research, I found out that you have a really interesting backstory.

Your success was a long time in the making. You bounced around after college. You worked in law, you worked in business banking. So can you start off with a little bit about your career journey, what you dabbled in, and how you ended up figuring out what you wanted out of your professional life? 

[00:03:07] Shadé Zahrai: Yeah, it was a really interesting and very journey, that's for sure.

I think the best ones always are when you're figuring out your way as you go. So I went to college, I studied psychology and law. I always thought I wanted to be a psychologist. When I was in law school, though, I was pushed down the route of commercial law because everyone around me just seemed so driven.

So I, I spent the first four years of my career in a commercial law firm, and it was just the worst fit for me. I'm totally non-confrontational. I don't enjoy that kind of work, and I found myself in this environment where I almost felt sick about going to the office every single day. So I knew it wasn't for me.

I had so much self-doubt and imposter syndrome as well to the point that I would hide behind my cubicle so people didn't know I was there, couldn't give me tasks 'cause I was convinced I would fail and I wouldn't know what to do. Not a good fit. Decided to move into the banking and finance space, expecting that a new start would mean I would leave the self-doubt behind me, but it just came right along, like a bad smell, couldn't get rid of it.

And it stuck with me for many, many years. And so through that journey though, I spent seven years in that environment. I had a lot of exposure. I worked in the strategy team. I worked in retail distribution sales. What I discovered though was that the thing that really lit my fire had nothing to do with my day job and everything to do with these moments of connection I would have with people who would ask for my help unrelated to, again, my job.

But they'd come and say, Shaday, I've got a presentation coming up. Can you help me prepare? Or I wanna apply for this role, can you help me prepare? I'd never positioned myself as the go-to coach within the company, but people just started seeking me out because I loved it so much. And so that for me was that inner kindling of a sign that I need to get out and do more of that.

Finding ways to directly help people outside of an organization. So then, this is now after 10 years of being in the corporate space, took me a really long time. I discovered I needed to leave, or I decided I was going to leave probably seven years in, and then it took me three years to develop the confidence and the self-belief to make the transition.

Now I'm, I'm going ahead in the story, but I think it's a really interesting piece that got me to where I am now. So feel free to stop me at any point. So again, 10 years corporate. My husband and I had decided, okay, we're leaving. We're going to relocate. We were in Australia at that time. We were moving to Southeast Asia to be closer to the rest of the world and closer to some of the clients that we had.

We also had plans to really expand our business. We were dabbling in it when I was an employee, but this was it. We were going all in. So I leave. I have a week before the flight that's taking us to Southeast Asia. Our new home. That was March 20th, 2020 is when I leave my corporate job. The flight is seven days.

From then. In that seven days, I mean, we'd sold our couch, we'd packed most of our things, and then the pandemic takes hold. Covid to 19 is everywhere. International restrictions hit and we're not allowed to leave the country, so our flight is canceled. We still have no couch. Thankfully, we didn't sell the bed in the fridge, but we were then left there thinking, what are we meant to do?

We just had this wonderful plan to go and start a new life to expand the business, and every single client engagement had been canceled or postponed. So now we're left almost twiddling our thumbs. Had no idea how to reach people. This is when I had the idea of thinking, okay, well what does our business do?

We help people. At that time, our business was essentially a leadership firm specializing in positive leadership, empowering teams, working with organizations, developing change readiness in people we're like, okay, well we can't go to the companies because we're not able to fly and everyone's in lockdown, but how do we still reach people?

So we're like, Hmm, maybe we can get on social media. Now, back then, that was a foreign thing to me, absolutely foreign to my husband, and I thought, let me try TikTok. Everyone was talking about it. It was this new thing, and now my husband, Faisal was saying, he's my business partner. He was saying, this is for kids.

This is for 15 year olds who are dancing and singing. Don't go on there. It might be a little bit embarrassing for you, but I thought, well, this is low risk. No one knows me there. Let me give it a shot. So I recorded 40 pieces of video content. On confidence, self-belief, managing workplace challenges, gratitude, mental health and wellbeing.

Positive psychology, 40 pieces. I scripted them in a day, recorded them. The next day in a row, I just changed my hair and outfit, which meant I had 40 days worth of content and I couldn't back down. So then from the next day, I start posting every single day. And now the reason why I did it that way is because I know that if something doesn't work out for me, if I don't see traction in a couple of days, I assume, well, hey, I gave it a shot.

It's not for me, and then I give up. But this way I had 40 days and I could not back down. And it was the best thing I could have done because on day 21, prior to day 21, there was no traction, no engagement whatsoever. But day 21, something happened. One of the videos caught the attention of the algorithm and it went viral.

Within four weeks, we had 75,000 followers. Within a number of months it was over 200,000 followers. And we thought we are actually connecting with people. And it all started from the 40 videos. And from a business perspective, of course there's the fulfillment of reaching people and helping people. But from a business perspective, we started then having companies all around the world, fortune five hundreds, finding me on TikTok and reaching out for a webinar for their teams.

So then we had JP Morgan, Switzerland and Microsoft UK who found me on this platform that we thought was for kids. And then that's how we had our initial entry point into these companies. And it has since taken our business completely global. 'cause now short form content is such a core part of what we do.

[00:08:37] Hala Taha: That's amazing. Thank you for sharing that story. And I'm gonna dig into TikTok a little bit and your strategy on social media and building your personal brand. And it's amazing and very inspiring that you were able to pivot during the pandemic. Totally.

Change your client acquisition strategy basically, and attract all these Fortune 500 companies to work with you. But I do wanna dig into. How you became an entrepreneur because so many people who listen to my podcast right now are young. They're in corporate jobs, they have side hustles. They wanna become an entrepreneur.

So my question to you is, was entrepreneurship natural for you or was that a hard thing for you to adapt to like being in corporate for 10 years? Was it hard for you to actually work for yourself and work for yourself? Let go of the safety net of a corporate 

job? This is such a great question and something I often think about because you know, like that analogy, there's, you know, baby elephant and they'll chain it up when it's a baby and then it learns that it cannot go beyond a certain distance.

[00:09:34] Shadé Zahrai: And then when that baby elephant is an adult, it doesn't have changed anymore. It just has a little piece of rope tight around its leg and it's not even attached to anything. But that elephant has become so ingrained with that belief that it cannot move, that it doesn't try. Same principle with corporate, 

I was very good.

At fitting a mold, being what everyone wanted me to be, being the yes person doing what I was told. And I did it really well and I excelled in my career because of it. But of course, in doing that, I then took that with me. This need for validation, this need to always feel like I'm working. I haven't been able to shake it.

So it's funny that it's been however many years since I've left, I still take that with me. 

I haven't done myself either. But the idea is you're desensitizing your body and desensitizing that reaction to remind yourself that, Hey, it's okay. I've got this. So you're almost overriding this natural biological instinct that you have with control, and it's remarkable. The benefits are remarkable, as you know.

The same thing was for me when it came to speaking. I needed to put myself in that position enough times that I no longer reacted to those butterflies in my stomach. As though I was about to vomit and I started to think, well, actually no, this gives me energy that allows me to project further. This gives me the care factor that I need to do a really good job.

So it allowed me to redefine it, but I had to do it. And that's why for me, doing the free things upfront was really great because the standard was much lower in terms of what people were expecting and what I was expecting of myself. It was free. So I started small, did them for free, built it up. Same thing, applied with video.

So when I came to doing video at that time, I was still comfortable to be on stage. I'd done it enough times that I didn't have that fear. Video is totally different. For some reason. For me, I couldn't cross that bridge to just feel comfortable with it. I think it's because you record it and then you watch it back and you're so vulnerable.

I also knew that when you post a video online, so if we move into the psychology space when we look, yeah, I'd love to technician research and the psychology research, 

we make a first impression about someone in. Milliseconds so quickly, and it's based on how that person looks, their demeanor, even the initial tone of their voice, their body language, all of these things.

they're making a judgment about whether they like us through warmth and whether they respect us through I like this person? Do I trust this person? do I respect this person? Do I believe what they're saying? Do I believe that they're capable and competent?

[00:11:59] Shadé Zahrai: when people meet us for the first time, they're making a judgment about whether they like us

in. Milliseconds so quickly, and it's based on how that person looks, their demeanor, even the initial tone of their voice, their body language, all of these things.

And typically we judge people on two things when we first meet them. Warmth, do I like this person? Do I trust this person? And then secondarily, competence, do I respect this person? Do I believe what they're saying? Do I believe that they're capable and competent?

through warmth and whether they respect us through competence.

And competence is demonstrated through confidence. How confident do you look? How confident do you sound? 

we make a first impression about someone in. Milliseconds so quickly, and it's based on how that person looks, their demeanor, even the initial tone of their voice, their body language, all of these things.

And typically we judge people on two things when we first meet them. Warmth, do I like this person? Do I trust this person? And then secondarily, competence, do I respect this person? Do I believe what they're saying? Do I believe that they're capable and competent?

So we make these assessments. Now, when you are sharing static posts, it's much easier to demonstrate competence because it's words on a page.

The warmth factor might come through in how relatable you are in your wording, but it's a very different level to when you're putting a video out because people are seeing you, they're seeing your face, hearing your voice, making these assessments about your micro expressions, and then making an assessment as to whether they like you or not, and whether they respect you or not.

It happens very quickly. And so of course on the one side it gives video so much power because people really quickly know whether they like you or not. So the people that choose to follow, they're in it for the long haul. They're, they're, you know, loyal fans, not all of them. There's always, I think, 5% of people who follow because they just wanna troll or hate all love to them.

They're going through their own challenges, their, but generally that's what we find happening.

So I was at that turning point where I needed to get comfortable on video. I just did it before I did the 40 videos. I'd started creating just a few short videos for LinkedIn, really short, helping employees, mainly within the work environment.

How can they navigate work from home? How can they navigate challenges with their teams, et cetera. I did maybe three of them, and they were not very good. Like they were really not very good. That's completely objectively not very good, bad quality set up. I had a little microphone. The lighting was okay, but yeah, not very good.

But then I recorded these 40 videos. I just put myself in a position where I said, look, Whenever we start something new, it's going to be a little shitty and that's okay. Embrace the shitty because then you have all this room to grow from shitty. It's actually better sometimes to start low because then you can only go up from here.

One of the things I've found since many years now down the track, is sometimes I'll create a really great piece of content. Hala let me know if you've experienced this really beautiful piece of content, you share it and you think, how am I gonna top that? And I will hold off for a couple of days rather than posting regularly.

'cause I'm thinking, well, I've just posted something beautiful. How do I mean anyway, these things, these stories that we tell ourselves, but for me, just getting comfortable with it required me to actually do it and then detach myself from the 

[00:15:15] Shadé Zahrai: I think there's always this transition point when you're going from where you are now and all the people that know you, where you are to where you wanna be, and it's almost like the people that know you now are actually not the people that you necessarily want in your community in terms of who you wanna be because they're in a different world making that transition's really hard.

[00:15:34] Shadé Zahrai: We were coming across a lot of people, And we were hearing this common frustration that they were underperforming.

And we wanted to figure out what is it that differentiates those who were super high performing and really happy from those who feel like they're underperforming. And we recognize that there are some cognitive differences. 

and fundamentally, it comes down to how people 

approach their goals. There's a lot to it, but I'm gonna start just with the how people approach their goals piece. 

So we discovered these mind pits, which people resonate with.

They've either been in one or been in all of them. and a lot of people who are lurking on social media, they're in this space. How I imagine a lot of people who follow in your community are also in this space.

They have these amazing goals. They want to run these amazing businesses and have these followings on social media and do all these great things, and they're researching and consuming and telling themselves that they will feel ready at some point, but they're not taking action. So they're stuck right at the beginning.

We call it failure to launch. And when we look at decades worth of research, there's one very common overarching theme. What do you think it is? Perfection. Perfection. And it's overthinking. It's believing that you must be perfect, otherwise people will judge you. People will criticize you.

What if I fail? What will that do to me? This overthinking that is fueled by perfection leads to complete stagnation. Now, when we think about the brain, the brain is wired to magnify what we focus on. It's an evolutionary survival mechanism that we have, which is designed to keep us alive. Negativity, bias.

However, when it comes to. Our goals and what we wanna achieve. If we listen to that voice in our head, it will convince us that, well, we might fail. If risk is too high, don't do it. And so we wait, we hold back. So this is failure to launch. Now, if anyone listening is in failure to launch, there's one really simple and it's almost so simple, it's almost counterintuitive, really simple approach that comes from the research on goals.

Peter Golder is the expert, the researcher, psychologist, who's looked into this, and it's really simple. Those who are able to take action on their goals, they do three things, which is captured in something called a goal intention. They just specify when they're going to get started, where they're going to do it, and what they're going to do.

And they usually have a phrase of AT in, I will. So they actually set themselves a goal. And then you must take action. Don't let perfect get in the way of good enough for now. Remember, embrace the shitty. Good enough for now. Doesn't mean that's where it's always going to be. That's you getting started.

That's mind fit number one. Failure to launch. And I know I've been in this, sometimes I have wanted to do some things for so long and I keep convincing myself, well, not yet. Not yet. I think one of the greatest antidotes to growth is not yet.

It's good that has the word yet in it because growth mindset, it means it may come, but not yet is you giving yourself an out. So find something and just do it. Mind pit one. Failure to launch. Now, mind pit two is a really interesting one. We discovered this initially, I was having an interaction with this gentleman.

This was back in Australia, and he was a highly talented young man. He was one year from finishing his PhD research. So he'd spent I think three or four years doing rigorous research and experiencing the world of academia. But then he came to me for some guidance and was coaching him, and he said that he was gonna drop out.

And then he also shared that he'd half finished his masters, his second master's, which was an M B A to pursue the PhD. So he hadn't finished that either. And it seemed like he was just not able to see things through. He wasn't getting anywhere with all these part completed commitments. And he was treading water.

So he was exhausting himself without going anywhere. And this is the second mind pit. We call it treading water. This is where people have so many goals and they're so excitable that they will start something and then get bored and then try something else and then go somewhere else and sign up for a business mastermind and never finish it and get a course and maybe do one lesson and 50 million self-help books and they've read one chapter.

It's this kind of behavior of too many things that you wanna do, that you don't take action. Have you ever been in this one?

[00:19:33] Hala Taha: I don't fall into the first two buckets. I fall into the last one. Oh, got it. 

[00:19:37] Shadé Zahrai: Okay. That one's coming. That's coming. So this one, it's driven by self-doubt where you're questioning, is this the right thing for me?

Should I be doing this? Maybe I should do that. You also, you know, boredom comes when you've been doing something for a while. The initial dopamine hit tends to wane, and so you think, well this is not as exciting as I thought it would be. Let me try something else. And then, Hey, that's really exciting initially, because new is always exciting.

Yay, dopamine hit and then it fades. So you never commit 100%. Now, a really interesting thing, this gentleman I was speaking to, he did end up. Quitting his PhD. He dropped out. I don't know how someone does that after four years, but he did. And he started a charity working with underprivileged youth. And he's still doing that five years later.

And he is extremely fulfilled and he's found his purpose. So what we discovered is that when a lot of people are in this pit, it's actually not that you can't commit, it's just that you're doing the wrong things and you are doing too many things. You need to just ask yourself, what is the most important thing for me to do right now?

And so a really simple approach here is to remind yourself of the meaning of what you're doing and make sure that it aligns with who you wanna be. And there's two quick tips I wanna share here. The first one is in 1987, there were these two researchers, Cher and Wagner, and they proposed a way to understand how we interpret and think about our actions.

And so basically there's a range. So we have a low level identification where we focus on the how of an action, the mechanism. So Hala, right now, we're sitting and talking. That's the low level mechanism. The high level is where you emphasize the why of the action. It's the purpose, the goal of the action.

So it's empowering entrepreneurs with tools to improve and transform their lives. That's the why it's so important. We know this, right? We need to tap into the why in order to feel that motivation, but also to make sure that what we're doing is the right thing. So I encourage anyone who might be in this bucket or in this category hone into the high level, meaning there's always a low level, meaning what's the high level meaning?

And then the second, very, very quick tip is some people in this state, because they don't have the motivation, the moment something challenging comes their way, they crumble and they just say, oh, not for me. I'm gonna try something else. And so we encourage you to do something called a pre-mortem. A pre-mortem is a concept in the project management world.

It's also called inversion. It's a really simple technique. You proactively think about all the things that could go wrong, all the obstacles that could get in your way. And then you troubleshoot before they happen. What will you do? You develop something called an implementation intention. It's your coping plan.

If then, now fascinatingly the research from Peter Gitz or tells us if you develop an implementation intention, you're going to be three times more likely to achieve your goal simply by having your if then plan. So if I start to lose motivation, then I will remind myself of my purpose and then reach out to my mentor.

If something else, then I'll do something else. Really simple. 

[00:22:42] Hala Taha: Let me ask you one follow-up question about this one. 'cause I think treading water is actually really, really dangerous for people's careers. I have a lot of friends that fall into this bucket and what happens is that they never become very successful or make a lot of money because they don't have the discipline to focus and just get good at something, even if it's temporary.

Even if you like work at something for four years and then you decide to quit, that's okay. But if you never actually, I. Get anything done, you just end up just going in circles, going in circles, and really never actually creating a career for yourself and even experiences because you don't get far enough to really get skills.

So I just wanna call out that if you feel like you're following in this bucket, you need to understand that focus is so important to actually grow skills and make money later on. And I think that finding how to have that discipline, finding your why, finding your purpose, and really sticking to something, even if you don't necessarily like it for a little bit, just to gain the skills is really important

[00:23:39] Shadé Zahrai: Totally. There was this beautiful quote, I can't remember who said it, but it's more, is lost through indecision than the wrong decision. Sometimes you just need to make a decision, commit to it. And even if, as you say, even if after a number of years you realize, Hey, it doesn't light my fire anymore. You still had that journey of growth.

You've still learned new skills, you've skills stacked, as you'd say, right? You've developed those career multipliers because you chose to take that path. 

[00:24:02] Hala Taha: I love that. Okay, number three.

[00:24:03] Shadé Zahrai: Okay, number three. So this is the one hala that you are in, and I am in it, and I think a lot of people are in it. It's the inability to be still.

You keep pushing without giving yourself a break. You feel guilty when you stop working. You reach a goal, get to that destination, and then you immediately input the next one into your G P Ss, right? It's never enough for you. So it's not that you have a discipline problem at all. You have iron discipline.

You're just not able to see that actually your work and you are not one and the same, that there is a distinction between what you're producing and your self-worth. We call it destination obsession. You're addicted to achievement. It's also the reason why a lot of people will get to the end of their day, busy workday, they're in bed, they know they should be sleeping, but actually they're lying there scrolling on their devices.

It's called revenge bedtime, procrastination. And the reason why we do it when we have really busy daytime lives, And a lot of that is self-imposed. We might be bringing on a lot of that to ourselves. That moment right before bed is the only moment of personal control that we have. And we know that the sooner that we sleep, the sooner tomorrow arrives and then we have to get back to doing it all again.

So we wanna try and hold onto that as long as we can. And then we sleep later because we're on social media. So revenge, bedtime, procrastination, this is also the realm of productivity, guilt. You stop working hala, do you feel guilty when you actually stop working? 

[00:25:27] Hala Taha: Yeah, I've gotten better at it, but yes, for sure.

I, for a long time I couldn't even not work weekends 'cause I'd feel guilty about it. 

[00:25:35] Shadé Zahrai: Were you like that when you were an employee or only when you became an entrepreneur? 

[00:25:39] Hala Taha: Well, but more so when I was an entrepreneur.

[00:25:40] Shadé Zahrai: Really Interesting. I felt exactly the same thing. And for me, a big part of it is when I worked in the corporate space, you know, you work and then you get your salary, it's, it goes hand in hand.

So work and money come together when you're an entrepreneur. It doesn't necessarily go like that. You can design your work in such a way that it's not time for money. I mean, that's what you wanna do, right? It's not time for money. You don't have to be working ridiculous hours. But a lot of us do it because in our brain we have this belief that if I'm making money, then I must be working and if I make more money than I just must work more.

It's almost, it's gone the other way and it's very confusing for us and it's one of these things that drives this productivity orientation. So in this position, the best thing you can do if you're here and Hala, I'd love to ask you what you've done. 'cause you said you're getting better at it. Actually, before I even share my tip, what have you done that has really been effective for you?

[00:26:35] Hala Taha: I think that I understood that I needed to temporarily put everything into my business for about four years, where I just really worked 16 hour days, worked through every weekend. I. I still cared about my relationships, but I deprioritized that and really prioritized my career. And then there came a certain point where I achieved a level of success and I was able to train more team members.

I have a big team where I just felt like, okay, like weekends are off limits now. And I just started setting these boundaries. Still work really late oftentimes, but I give myself the opportunity to have like no meeting Wednesdays. And then sometimes I can go like, get a facial or do get my nails done, or do whatever I want.

I go on vacations all the time now. So it's just, I just basically realized that that sacrifice was temporary and I no longer needed to do that anymore. And you know, there's just different phases of your life. I think it's important to sacrifice at some point to get to where you wanna go, but you can't do that forever.

Uh, it's not healthy. 

[00:27:34] Shadé Zahrai: Absolutely. And it's beautiful that you have created a life now that gives you the freedom you knew that you needed to put in the four years and then. Unlike a lot of people who would get to the end of the four years and think, well, I just, I wanna just keep going because I was able to do it and maybe I can take my business to even, even higher level.

And it's this myth again, that we're living where we think we must just always be connected and always on. But you've created that boundary, which is so important. And that's essentially when it comes to this pit, this mind pit, this cognitive space that we're stuck in. There's no magic pill that's gonna make it go away other than setting a boundary with yourself.

Because people in this pit are really good at getting things done right. They're very good at getting things done. And so, because we make time for what we prioritize, we actually need to prioritize the breaks, prioritize the weekends off, the days off to go and get the facial or whatever that is, and then make them meaningful.

So again, if we look at that high level, low level, meaning the low level is I'm taking a day off work. The high level meaning is I'm taking this day to rejuvenate, to become my best self, to build up my internal stores of energy so I can be my best for my team to lead my business and go harder. So it's having that the meaning behind your breaks and then even just starting really small, going for a walk, disconnecting from tech.

So I think we are so connected to our devices and it's just getting worse. I mean, with ai it's a wonderful thing, but it, I think also it's going to make us even more tethered. Hopefully we'll get to a point where technology actually does alleviate a lot of the daily grind. Currently. It's done a lot to help it, but it's also, again, made us completely connected.

I was having a conversation with Professor Pierce Steele, who's one of the foremost researchers in the realm of procrastination, and he said this beautiful line, he said, we're amusing ourselves to death on social media with all of these extra things that we're occupying ourselves with. And I completely agree, and I think we're also killing our creativity.

By working so hard for so long, taking these breaks helps. I mean, how do you feel after you have your no meetings or your no work Wednesdays, or you know, the days where you go and and invest in yourself? How do you feel when you come back? 

[00:29:43] Hala Taha: Totally re-energized completely. And you as an entrepreneur, especially if you have employees, you're responsible for the energy of the company.

So before when I was just working, working, working, working like that made everybody anxious, you know? And now just more calm, understanding, relaxed. And I think that that improves the energy management of the company overall, too. 

[00:30:03] Shadé Zahrai: Completely does. And there are flow on effects to performance and engagement.

And it's interesting when we look at, again, a lot of the psychology around the effect of a leader. There's something called trait affective presence, which I call, well, I mean the researchers called it like a psychological vibe. It's essentially how people feel when they're in your presence, but also when they're just thinking about you.

And you can be someone who they feel energized by when they're around and when they're thinking of or de-energized by. And so as a leader, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, it's so important that you do what you need to do to be that source of positive energy. Because again, as you said, emotions are contagious.

If you're feeling anxious, if you're working so hard, people are gonna feel it no matter how much you try and hide it. So I just wanna quickly mention for anyone listening, if you are really interested to learn a little bit more about these mind pits and do a little self-assessment to determine which mind pit you might be stuck in, I have created a special resource, which you can [email protected] slash mind pits.

So it's S H A D E Z A H R A pits, which is M I N D P I T S. And then you'll be able to figure out which one you're in. Although you probably know Hala, you knew I knew which one I was definitely in. 

[00:31:14] Hala Taha: Yeah, if you guys want that quiz, I'll stick it in the show notes for you to make it really, really easy.

So let's move on to inner critic. You say that inner critics are basically a sub personality that some of us develop. They're basically demons to us and they shine a spotlight on our weaknesses. So let's go through these quickfire style. I'm gonna list them off. You tell me what it is, and then let's talk about afterwards how we can overcome them.

So the first one is the classic judge.

[00:31:41] Shadé Zahrai: The classic judge is that voice in your head that judges you for what you did, what you didn't do, what you should have done. You can't do anything right by the classic judge. So the default critical voice, classic judge, the victim. The victim is the voice in our heads that leads us to feel completely powerless.

Who am I to do anything differently? Who am I to make a change? You're focusing on things outside of your control. The victim also leads you not to take any responsibility for anything generally. You can't identify that you have a victim because it won't let you, but other people in your life will think, oh, yes, okay, that I can see that in you.

So it's one of those that has a double, double edged. You don't notice it in yourself, but other people do. The protector. The protector, we call it the, yeah, the misguided protector. It's role is to try and keep you safe from harm. Now, the harm that it's perceiving is the risk of criticism or judgment or failure.

It highlights all the risks. And the thing is, when you listen to the protector, it does keep you safe, but you're also stuck because it paralyzes you from taking action. It magnifies everything that could go wrong to try and prevent you from putting yourself in a position where you might experience some kind of pain or rejection.

So it's well-intentioned, but misguided. The neglect, theor is the one that convinces you that you are not worthy of care. Your needs don't need to be met. You don't deserve to set a boundary. You need to make sure everyone else is happy with you, otherwise you're worthless. So it, it leads you to neglect your needs in preference of everyone else's.

You're a constant giver. 

[00:33:21] Hala Taha: And the last one is the ringmaster. 

[00:33:24] Shadé Zahrai: The ringmaster is the one that drives our destination obsession, that third mind pit. It's the one that pushes us and tells us we have not done enough. We don't deserve a break. It pushes us relentlessly to just keep going. 

[00:33:36] Hala Taha: Okay. And then how would we, instead of having an inner demon, start to develop an inner coach and overcome all of these inner critics?

[00:33:44] Shadé Zahrai: So the first thing to do is become aware that we have these critical voices. My PhD research is looking at self-talk as a construct. And when you think about self-talk, it's the voice in your head, the thoughts that you have. There's a spectrum. So on one side we have self-regulatory thoughts like, oh, maybe you should go to the gym tomorrow because you haven't gone for the last three days.

It's guiding you. It's not criticizing you or judging you. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the critical voice, which says, you better go to the gym tomorrow because you're lazy and fat. It's judging, it's criticizing. You need to recognize that these inner critical voices, we call them inner deceivers.

I had a TEDx talk about this early last year, and it ended up being the top 10 most watched TEDx of the year. So people really resonate. The inner critical voice, it's there to try and help us. It's well intentioned. It's just completely misguided. So acknowledge that you have this part of yourself, but then remind yourself.

You don't have to obey it. You can listen to it because if you try and deny it, we know what happens when you try to avoid your thoughts. They just pop back in and come up at inconvenient times, like when you're trying to get to sleep or at 3:00 AM when you wake up and it's reminding you of all the things you've done wrong, it's there.

Acknowledge it, but don't obey it. Flip your thinking around and say, okay, what is this trying to protect me from? Is there any real harm? Then what can I do instead? What resources do I have available to me to help me? So Hala, in your case, you needed Heather, Heather Monaghan, who was your client at the time, to give you the push to get out.

That's one way that you then stop listening to these voices that you would've had in your mind. For me, I needed Faisal. So for some people it might be, I'm gonna seek someone who believes in me, to remind me when I'm hearing these voices that, Hey, I am of value, I am worthy. It might be okay, I'm going to start really small.

So there's very little risk of anything really going wrong. And then just gearing yourself to action. So become aware of it. Acknowledge that you don't have to obey it, and then gear yourself to towards action. Because these critics will often prevent you from taking the right action. They take you down the wrong path.

So then ask yourself, what is the right action here? What do I need to do? And then find a way to do it. 

[00:35:49] Hala Taha: Great advice. And I know that the ringmaster also has to do with imposter syndrome because it basically reminds you that you're a fraud, you're undeserving of success. So I'd love to move on to the topic of imposter syndrome.

We've all heard of this term, but how would you specifically define it? 

[00:36:06] Shadé Zahrai: So imposter syndrome is that voice in your head that convinces you that you are a fraud, you are undeserving of success and leads you to attribute your success to others. Luck or timing. And the important part about imposter syndrome is that you have to have a track record of success.

So if you don't have a track record of success and you have these voices, then it's not considered imposter syndrome. That's probably just inner criticism. But if you have a track record of success and there's something in you telling you you don't deserve to be where you are 'cause you didn't earn it, that's imposter syndrome.

Now, really interestingly with imposter syndrome, when we look at a. How it was initially discovered. So in the seventies there were studies that were done. Initially it was just with women. It was in a population of women, and they found that 70% of them experienced this imposter feeling. Now, the researchers back then described it as an imposter phenomenon, not imposter syndrome, just an a phenomenon of feeling like an imposter.

Somewhere along the way, this feeling was made to be a syndrome, which which is not. It's obviously, we know it's not medically correct. It was pathologized turned into a syndrome and now it becomes this really negative thing that a lot of people will use as a crutch to prevent them from taking action. I can't do that because I have imposter syndrome.

I can't say anything in that meeting. I have imposter syndrome. So it becomes an excuse that people will use to prevent them from taking action. What I always say when it comes to imposter syndrome is a really simple, beautiful reframe is the moment that you start to think, I don't deserve to be here.

Instantly flip your mindset to what an incredible opportunity I have to learn regardless or not of whether I believe I deserve to be here or not. I am here. I have a ticket to the party, so I'm not not going to go to the party. I'm gonna go to the party and have the time of my life and learn as much as I can from these people I'm with.

I experienced this feeling of being an imposter when I'm in the academic community because I'm now in the PhD program. I'm learning, I'm in that learning phase, working with people who have been in the industry for 30 years. They are absolute experts in their specific area of research. It's very easy for me to think, well, who am I don't belong here.

And I remind myself, this is amazing. I can learn from these people. So simple reframe a big part of it is just how we're approaching it and the narrative that we're telling ourselves.

[00:38:25] Hala Taha: I love that. And I know that you also experienced imposter syndrome when you were in your law career. So what advice would you give to Young s Shaday right now?

[00:38:37] Shadé Zahrai: The advice I would give is actually advice that was given to me when I moved into the banking and finance space. It is 

stop fixating on everything. You don't know how to do. Everything that you don't know yet, and everything that you don't believe you're good at. Stop doing that. Shift your focus to actually what you bring.

What are the qualities that you bring? And if you don't know how to do, you know, back then there were a lot of things I didn't know how to do. You know, basic case research and all of these things, but there were qualities I brought, like my growth mindset, my curiosity, my desire to learn and meet people and understand.

I brought that with me and I needed to remind myself of that because it's those qualities that are transferable regardless of what industry you're in, regardless of what you're doing. So even if you feel like an imposter, you can still bring those qualities and then learn what you need to learn until you feel like you belong there.

That's the advice I would've 

[00:39:30] Hala Taha: given myself. I know that you say that self-love is an antidote to imposter syndrome. So what is self-love? Exactly. 

[00:39:38] Shadé Zahrai: So I like to think of it as self-acceptance. And self-acceptance means I accept who I am, I accept my inherent worthiness, and if someone else doesn't agree with me or doesn't approve of me, that is not a reflection of who I am as a person.

I don't need to take that to heart. So when it comes to imposter syndrome, we are doubting our worthiness. I am not worthy to be here, and so we need to remind ourselves, actually, I am as a person. I am just inherently worthy regardless of where I am. Really interestingly, just on this, when we look at the mind pits or when we look at where people generally get stuck, it's predominantly for one of four reasons, and these four things that I'll take you through very quickly.

They converge to create something called our core self-evaluations, which is how we see ourself, the core of who we are, our self-image. And what researchers have done over the last 50 years, social scientists from all over the world have explored what's really going on and identified these four things, and the way that I describe them is like this.

The first one is, if you are finding it challenging in life, if you're not taking action, if you're stuck in a mind pit, the first reason is that you don't accept yourself. So you have a, a low self-esteem. You don't fundamentally accept that you are worthy or you deserve success, and so you'll hold yourself back.

If it's not that, it's that you fundamentally don't believe that you have what it takes in terms of your capabilities. I don't know how to do this. I won't be able to achieve the goal, and that's to do with self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is that belief that you have what it takes to achieve your goals. If it's not that.

The third one is that you have what's called an external locus of control. You're focusing on things that you have no control over and that's preventing you from taking action. That's why you're experiencing the challenge. The fourth one is that you are unable to manage your emotions. So you're either so filled with anxiety about what the outcome would be if you take action or you're just not able to manage the feelings of overwhelm that you get when you're thinking about all your goals.

Generally, it comes down to one of these four things, and it all comes down to how we see ourselves. So I'd say those four things actually come in because you can have self-love, you can have self-acceptance, but if you are really struggling emotionally, it's going to get in the way. You're going to feel like an imposter, and then that's going to derail you because you'll have that anxiety influx, the cortisol will run, you won't be able to think and it'll impact your performance.

So I always say these are the four antidotes or the four laws of confidence, if you like. Right. Self-acceptance, self-efficacy. Believe in your capabilities, focus on what's within your control and take steps to manage your emotional state. The best piece of advice I could give, 

[00:42:18] Hala Taha: it's great. So you mentioned confidence, so let's move into that direction. 

How do you think we can project more confidence at work? What are your top tips?

[00:42:26] Shadé Zahrai: So with confidence at work, it's such a big topic. And I remember talking about it a lot because I picked up on this when I was in the workplace. It seemed like those who were confident were assumed to be better at their jobs and they would often be the ones to get promoted and to accelerate their career trajectory because they exuded confidence.

They weren't necessarily more competent than other people, but they were seen. And so there's this correlation between confidence and competence. So when it comes to how we look more confident, 'cause the fact is, you know, when we think about what I said earlier, that when people meet us for the first time, they're making a judgment about whether they like us through warmth and whether they respect us through competence.

And competence is demonstrated through confidence. How confident do you look? How confident do you sound? 

So really simple. Uh, the very first technique or very simple, uh, piece of advice I'd give or guidance. 

What's your posture? We spend so long looking down at our devices that we're developing, all of us are developing this slight hunch.

Which is not helpful for confidence. Also, really interestingly, there was this wonderful research that was done with Amy Cuddy's team, and they found that power posing had some challenges in terms of the P value, but this other research was found to be quite robust. What they did is they put people in a room and they either had a phone to look at or an iPad or a computer screen, big one.

So if you think about the postures they were taking on, people on the phone were hunched over, the iPad was sort of more neutral, and the computer screen, they had a more expansive posture. They found that people who were sitting behind the computer screen ended up taking action more than the other two groups, and it's actually entirely because of the posture, not because of what they were doing.

So your posture not only impacts how others see you, but how you feel. So that's the first one. The second one, which I find really interesting is, you know, when you're around someone and they're just walking really slowly, they're kind of dawling, and then you see someone else and they know where they're going.

They have a mission, they are getting there. I mean, who looks more confident? The faster person. Yeah, the faster person. So long as they're not knocking people over and looking ridiculous. Generally when you're walking, if you wanna exude more confidence, have a purpose and walk with purpose as opposed to sort of dawling around.

So that, that was really interesting. There's some work that's done on looking at biological cues and how people walk and how that converts into perceived confidence, and they found that walking slightly faster can really help. And then smiling. Really simple. Smiling conveys confidence because if you lack confidence, your body will tell you not to smile.

So if you see someone not smiling, the brain automatically goes, oh, they're not telling the truth. Or something's up there. When I used to be in the dance world, I used to teach, and when I was teaching, if I were teaching in front of, let's say I was teaching with other world champions or again, imposter syndrome, because I wasn't one, but I was in that environment, I would always smile.

I would just. Adopt a huge smile, even if I wasn't feeling it, and I would start to feel that confident trickle into the rest of my body because of how people would respond to me. So smiling is really powerful. 

[00:45:34] Hala Taha: Really great tips. And I know that a lot of people don't just struggle with confidence, especially introverts.

They struggle with showing their smarts and confidence at work. So can you talk to us about how we can actually seem smarter if we're all probably smart in our own way, but a lot of us don't know how to exude this smartness to other people. So what are the things that we can do? 

[00:45:56] Shadé Zahrai: There’s a few tips. I'll give you three.

I think the first one though, prefacing at all, is to remind everybody that you, we don't live in a world yet where true merit is acknowledged and recognized. It's actually based on how you look and the relationships you have and all these other things. I always encourage people to yearn for the day when we live in a world where people are acknowledged for what they bring.

But in any case, until we get there, very simple tips. The first one to. Exude more confidence, especially if you're an introvert. And that competence factor, you gotta be speaking up in meetings. And this is really difficult for introverts. I am an introvert. In meetings, I would struggle so much. If you're an introvert, you might feel this way, even before I would raise my hand.

So the moment my brain had the signal of, oh, I have an idea, or I have a question, hadn't even done anything with my body, but my entire body would start to sabotage, my heart would pump, my throat would constrict, and I hadn't done anything yet. So I had this whole thing going on inside of me, and yet no one would know it.

So as an introvert, really important to speak up because you need to be visible. And in meetings, that's when people are seeing who is engaged. And unfortunately, visibility is linked with perceptions of engagement. So simply see if there is a way that you can share something right at the beginning of the meeting.

You might even get in touch with the person beforehand and say, I have something I'd like to share. Can you as the host, can you pass over to me or put me in the agenda? That's really easy. You can share something relevant to the meeting, it can be a interesting insight that you've read, an article you came across, you wanna let everyone know about whatever it is.

Share something at the beginning and then try and share something right at the end. Doesn't even have to be a value. It can just be, that was a great meeting, everyone. Looking forward to the next one. There's something called the primacy and recency effect in psychology, where we're more likely to remember something that happens at the beginning and the end of a session.

So if you're speaking at the beginning and the end, even if you don't say much in the middle, people are more likely to remember you. So that's one of them. The next one is, if you really wanna elevate your competence, this is something that not enough people do, you want to capture and document. There's two ways you can document.

Document whenever someone gives you a task. So we all know what it's like. Whether you are a leader in a company or you're an entrepreneur. You give someone in your team a task and it's due in a week, and then you forget about it. And then they send you an email and like, here's the thing, and you can't even remember what you asked them to do.

So you have to go in there. And so what you can do proactively, if you are that person who was given that task, you send an update maybe halfway through the week, hi, quick update on what's going on. Here's what you ask me to do. Remind the person they will thank you for it. Here's what you ask me to do.

Here is where I'm up to. Here are the roadblocks I've faced and how I've overcome them. And if I had more time, this is what I would do differently. Or this is the help that I need from you. So you can update the person. And then when it's due, you do the same thing. Here's what you asked me to do. Here's what I did.

Here are the challenges that I came across. Here's what I would do differently if I could do it again. You're being really proactive. Whether or not that person reads it, you're getting into the habit of capturing a progress report for yourself. You have it documented because how many times have you received something from someone and you say, well, that's actually not what I asked you to do.

Or you deliver something to someone and they say, that's not what you asked me to do. And you're thinking, yes it is. I've got it written in my notes. When you document it and send them an email, it's there. It's written, it's evidence. So that's the first one. The second one is, every Friday incorporate something called a weekly win.

And this is specifically if you're a team member, whether you're working in a, you know, in a company, a big one or a small one. But send a weekly win email on a Friday to your manager and just let them know, this is what I have achieved this week. This is how I contributed to the team, and these are my plans for next week.

It can be very short, a couple of bullets for each of them, but you are reminding that person of the contribution that you're making without you physically having to say anything. And this is also wonderful when it comes to visibility because that person's going to be across what you're doing. Now if you're a business owner and an introvert, I mean, Hala, I'd love your perspective.

My perspective is I tell people. If I'm gonna be the quietest person in the room, 'cause I'm an introvert. I, I tell people, Hey everyone, I'm an introvert. You might not hear from me much, but I'm still processing. And I might reach out to some of you afterwards to ask some follow up questions. People actually don't mind when you're really open and honest.

[00:50:20] Hala Taha: I'm like extroverted if anything, like I have a problem, like not speaking up. And that would always be my negative feedback is that you talk too much in meetings. So I have the opposite issue. If anything, I try my best to help introverts and call on them proactively. We do things like daily updates every day on Slack and huddles every morning and things like this.

So there's little things that we can do to make sure, especially because I've got teammates in, in countries like the Philippines and they as a culture really struggle with like speaking up at work and stuff like that. So I really try to help them through that process. That's beautiful. All right. We are winding down here.

As we close out the interview, curious to understand if there's any high performance hacks that we didn't cover that you feel like might be especially important for my audience to hear. 

[00:51:10] Shadé Zahrai: One of the ones I love is the incredible power of something which has been found to be even more effective than a shot of coffee.

Can you guess what it is? Any ideas? Sleep. It's sleep, but it's naps. It's actually taking naps. Naps, yeah. I mean, sleep's super important as well, but in terms of during the day sleep, taking these short naps, meaning 15 minutes, the research is very, very clear. 15 to 20 minutes maximum. Beyond that, you start to enter cycles of sleep, and that's actually detrimental.

Having a little nap earlier in the day is better for creativity. Later in the day is more physically restorative. 15 minutes, set your alarm on your phone and just close your eyes. It's incredible what this can do for your energy. So that's one of them. The other one is the power of walking. Especially when it comes to creativity.

So we know that walking can help with focus, with reducing procrastination and increasing your energy when you come back in after you've been outside and you're, the important thing with walking though, and I've made this mistake, don't take your device. And if you do, don't read emails while you're walking.

That just default. You know it. It destroys the entire benefit. Actually. Look at nature around you. Look at the trees, look at the clouds. It's called soft fascination, and it has these beautiful restorative powers in the brain. But the other thing is, there was a study in 2014 from a, I was a Stanford researcher, and what she found was that when people went out for a walk and looked at nature around them and then came back in, they had more creativity.

Their levels of creativity were significantly higher than those who were inside. And it actually persisted for a long time. Once they were back in and working. So if you've hit a creative block, which we all do, if you've hit that point of diminishing returns where you're just exhausted or you're procrastinating, just get outside for a walk.

It's remarkably simple, but the research absolutely confirms. The science confirms it is going to be so beneficial for you. 

[00:53:04] Hala Taha: That's great. Naps and walks. Yes. I had Daniel Pink on the show and he taught us about something called The Pacino. Oh, I love that. Have you heard of that? I haven't heard it, but I love it.

You drink coffee and then you take a 15 or 20 minute nap and then like you get the boost from the caffeine. Caffeine kicks in in 15, 20 minutes, plus you get the boost from the nap and he calls it a Pacino. 

[00:53:25] Shadé Zahrai: That's brilliant. I love it. It's the double whammy. 

[00:53:27] Hala Taha: That's fantastic. So I hear you have a new book coming out.

Can you tell us about that and then hopefully we can bring you back on the show when that's out. 

[00:53:34] Shadé Zahrai: Oh, well, thanks for asking. It's still a long way away. We've only just signed our global book deal. We're really excited about it. It's going to be looking at a lot of the research from the PhD. So looking at these four qualities I mentioned, looking at the mind pits and then going into detail around how people can really get themselves unstuck.

It's not gonna be published until 2025, so a long way away. But I'll definitely reconnect with you then, and who knows where you'll be as well. All the exciting things that are happening in your world. I mean, maybe by then we'll be reading your book too. I'm looking forward to that. 

[00:54:03] Hala Taha: Thank you. Alright, so we end the interview with two questions that we always ask all of our guests.

The first one is, what is one actionable thing our young and profits can do to become more profitable tomorrow? 

[00:54:14] Shadé Zahrai: This is beautiful. So in terms of profit, I think the first thing is you need to define what that looks like for you. And of course we can talk about money, but I'm not gonna talk about money.

For me profiting is how do you live a more fulfilling life where you are constantly growing? So the one thing you can do today, the biggest or the greatest piece of advice I can give you is create your to be list. What this means is write down a list of things that you aspire to be. So that you're super clear on that, to be generous, to be loving, to be kind, to be someone who challenges the status quo, to be someone who makes a difference and has an impact.

Write this down. And then every decision that you make, make sure it aligns with that to be list. It becomes your filter system, and this is how you can make sure you're living a profitable life that is aligned with greater fulfillment and the person that you aspire to be. 

[00:55:01] Hala Taha: And what is your secret to profiting in life?

And you already know this, but profiting doesn't have to be just money. 

[00:55:07] Shadé Zahrai: My secret to profiting in life would be to be grateful for every step of the way, every learning, every challenging situation you have, every moment of suffering. Because suffering is what makes us stronger. When we can change our perspective on suffering, this is what gives us that beautiful quality of being human.

And it's the hardest thing to be appreciative and grateful during times of suffering. But if you can acknowledge how it's shaping you into a stronger and more refined version of you, then nothing is too much trouble. And there is always time. 

[00:55:38] Hala Taha: That's fantastic advice. Sade, it was so wonderful to have you on the show.

Where can everybody learn more about you and everything that you do? 

[00:55:45] Shadé Zahrai: I would say come onto social media, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube. Actually, I do have a career training that might be helpful for anyone who is in the career space. If you just go sade, you'll find it there. Please reach out and I'd love to hear if anyone really resonated with something in this beautiful conversation with Hala, let me know.

It's always lovely to see what people connected with. 

[00:56:05] Hala Taha: Awesome. Well, you're super impressive. You dropped so much knowledge bombs in this interview. I feel like people learned a lot and were truly inspired by your story. So thank you so much for coming on the show.

[00:56:15] Shadé Zahrai: Thank you. Hala had so much fun. I really appreciate being here. 

[00:56:23] Hala Taha: Sade is a brilliant woman. I love it when I meet women that come on the podcast and they exude confidence and beauty and smarts, and she's just such a great role model. It's no wonder she blew up on TikTok so quickly. She's magnetic and engaging and really, really smart. So kudos to Sade. She's really crushing it right now, and I really came away with a lot of helpful insights into how our minds work and how we can harness our minds more effectively.

Let's start out with how entrepreneurs can handle what s Shaday calls mind pits, or cognitive traps that can keep us from achieving our goals. She breaks these down into three types. First is a failure to launch. Some people struggle to just get off the runway. The main culprit here is believing that you must be perfect.

This is understandable because our brains are wired to focus on what others think of us, but when it comes to our goals and what we wanna achieve, Sometimes we have to ignore that voice in our head and take a risk. And to help you do this, Sade says that you need to take action on your goals. This means doing three things.

Focus on when you're gonna get started, where you're going to do it, and what you're going to do. The second mind pit is what Sade calls treading water. This happens when people have so many goals and projects that they ultimately can't finish anything. To address this, you can start by stopping and asking yourself.

What is the most important thing for me to do right now? Another technique is called inversion. You proactively think about all the things that could go wrong and then you troubleshoot before they happen. The third and final mind pit is the inability to be still. So many of us entrepreneurs push and push and push without allowing ourselves to take a proper break.

Maybe you feel guilty if you're not always working. Maybe you're just obsessed with your destination or addicted to achievement. Whatever the reason, you need to stop and set a boundary with yourself. Prioritize your breaks and your downtime. Make them meaningful. Finally, a few other tips Sade shared that I really loved.

Find a mentor who's also your champion, someone who sees the path that you can follow, and then advocates for you to get them on that path. Also, and I think this was my favorite tip of the conversation, is treating your stack of skills like a luggage lock. One dial is just way too easy to crack. Give yourself some more dials.

Make it harder to deny you, or for AI to replace you. And lastly, try a 15 minute power nap. It can be better than coffee, or better yet, drink a cup of coffee and then take a 15 minute nap and have yourself a nap. Pacino, thank you for joining us on this episode of Young and Profiting Podcast. If you listen, learned and profited from this episode, and you think others would benefit from this content too.

Please share it with your friends and family and drop us a five star review on Apple Podcast. You can find all of our podcast episodes on YouTube and you can connect with me on Instagram at yap with Hala or LinkedIn. Just search for my name. It's Hala Taha. I do wanna take a moment to recognize our YAP team for all of their remarkable efforts behind the scenes.

Your dedication makes all the difference. Thank you so much. This is your host, Hala Taha, a k a, the podcast princess signing off. 

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