Embrace your passions and a positive mindset to stand out

Welcome back to Leader Talk! In this episode, we spoke to the incredible Ambreen Nadeem, a bestselling author, keynote speaker and founder of Psychology Talks, among other notable roles.

With a master’s degree in industrial psychology, Ambreen has always been passionate about understanding human behaviour and helping others gain insights into how their mind can lead to a successful life. Ambreen is actively spreading awareness and helping people deal with mental health issues through her counselling, blogs, podcasts and live shows called Psychology Talks.

In this chat we spoke about following your passion, how to say no, and trusting your intuition.

Want to learn more? You can read or listen to our chat with Ambreen Nadeem on YouTube, Spotify, Listen Notes, or Player FM. It’s also available anywhere you listen to your favourite podcasts via Buzzsprout.

Authored by Ambreen Nadeem, a bestselling author, keynote speaker and founder of Psychology Talks, among other notable roles.

Many business owners struggle with disconnecting from work and taking well-deserved breaks. They feel the need to say yes to every job and client. But being busy all the time and not giving yourself a break probably means you’re not focusing on what’s really important and is actually hindering the success of yourself and your business. As an industrial psychologist, I’ve always been intrigued by the human mind, and its emotional responses and patterns. Why do we think and behave this way? How can we change our mindsets so we can lead our most fulfilling lives?

Changing your mindset
My journey towards self-discovery and professional fulfilment has been a rollercoaster. Growing up in Pakistan, my opportunities as a psychologist were limited. But I believe it was my unwavering passion for my work that eventually led me to stand out from the crowd and achieve some of my goals. Just as I reached the peak of my career, life threw me an unexpected curveball. My husband relocated to Saudi Arabia, compelling me to join him and leave my career behind.

This transition taught me a lot. Amidst the depression I felt about having to start over and go through the struggles again, I realised I needed to do it for my family. That’s when I decided I was going to take charge of my own projects, have flexibility, and avoid the limitations of the corporate world – I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey.

Throughout my journey, I also developed a profound passion for mental health. There were specific times when I suffered severe depression and suicidal thoughts. My journey out of this depression didn’t happen overnight. There was no epiphany. It took a long time, and I had constant conversations with myself and really had to work towards realising that our mindset holds the key to our well-being and we have the power to control it.

I remember one time when I believed that my circumstances were insurmountable, I saw a trail of ants, and they were each carrying heavy loads. When faced with an obstacle in their path, they didn’t just give up, they simply changed their direction. They took a longer route, but they adapted to their situation and reached their destination. In my time of doubt, I started thinking maybe I could change my route too. As I gradually embraced the idea that my life could be transformed by shifting my mindset, my depression started to fade. It’s true that changing our perception can change what we experience.

It’s a fact backed by science. Just like everything in the universe, thoughts are energy, capable of creating changes in our body and external environment. Positive thoughts create new neural pathways in our brains, altering our physiological state. Neuroplasticity, as it’s called, shows the profound impact thoughts have on our bodies and well-being.

Our thoughts also have the power to change our external environment through something called the law of attraction, supported by quantum physics. Our thoughts and energy frequencies create entanglement, attracting specific events into our lives. By being conscious creators of our thoughts, we manifest positive occurrences and become the architects of our own miracles. By changing our thought patterns and embracing a positive mindset, we can unlock the potential for a fulfilling and joyful life.

Trusting your intuition
Our mind is a powerful tool that has the potential to help us achieve anything we want. However, it’s important to know how to use our minds effectively. Without control, we become a slave to our minds, limiting our potential. Our minds are designed to keep us safe and comfortable, which can sometimes hold us back from taking risks.

Fear plays a big role in our mindset. There are two types of fear: legitimate and illegitimate. Legitimate fear warns us of potential danger, like when we’re standing on a tall building and don’t want to fall. Illegitimate fear, on the other hand, arises when our minds perceive new ventures, such as starting a business, as dangerous when they’re actually not. Recognising that this fear is just a result of being outside our comfort zone is important in taking control of our minds and embracing the unknown.

When our minds raise red flags or warning signs about potential risks, we should see them as a sign to equip ourselves with the necessary skills and knowledge. Not everyone is naturally brave, but we all have an intuition that helps us make decisions. Sometimes, our rational thoughts may tell us to avoid risks, but our intuition urges us to take them. Trusting our intuition in such times can lead to unconventional yet successful choices.

Saying no
As entrepreneurs, saying no can feel like going against our natural instincts. When I first embarked on my entrepreneurial journey, I was constantly seeking more projects to earn more money and expand my network. But I soon realised that this was taking a toll on my personal life and the quality of my work.

Taking on too much does an injustice to yourself, your projects, your family, and your clients. When we get too busy, it’s a sign that we need to step back and reassess. Sometimes, we need to take a break, disconnect from the hustle, and spend time alone to reconnect with ourselves. This self-reflection helps us set the right priorities and understand what truly matters.

Society pushes us towards perfection, but it’s an impossible goal that only brings stress. We need to question whether material possessions, status and money are really our highest priority or if our sense of true fulfilment, health and happiness comes first.

As an entrepreneur, no one will love your business as passionately as you do. But you can build a team that comes pretty close so that you don’t have to carry the burden by yourself and can say no instead. Delegating tasks and building a successful team involves connecting with team members on an empathetic level and understanding their needs and motivations. Leading with empathy and empowerment ensures your team is as dedicated to success as you are.

Follow your passion and stand out
If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’re not doing yourself any favours. As I’ve always believed and seen, by following your passion, you can stand out. When you align with what you’re truly meant to do, you naturally excel and emit positive energy that brings success.

Think of a musician passionately singing a song. Their love and connection to the music resonate with others, creating a powerful experience. So not only will embracing your passion empower you, but it will also positively influence those around you, and they’ll gravitate towards you. So, it’s important to understand what you really want and avoid sacrificing your happiness.

Unfortunately, many people struggle to find their passion because they get so caught up in their busy lives and neglect their own desires and preferences. They feel pressured to do things they don’t truly like, whether it’s liking the same music everyone else likes or working in a job they think will impress others. They unknowingly drain their own happiness. This disconnect from their true selves can lead to serious consequences, even for those who seem the most successful. To avoid this, take time for self-reflection and connect with your personal goals and dreams.

Surprisingly, only a small number of people truly understand their purpose, while most follow society’s expectations. Those who manage to discover their true passion are the ones who stand out from the crowd. These individuals consistently perform better because they operate at their best level, aligned with what they’re truly meant to do.

Finding your passion means breaking free from societal pressures and making choices based on your values and desires. True fulfilment comes from connecting with yourself and understanding what matters to you. Trust your intuition, even when it goes against logic. Intuition is that subtle yet consistent voice inside you that guides you toward your true path.

In a world that glorifies the hustle, business owners must regularly disconnect and prioritise what truly matters to them. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries, embrace change, and cultivate positive thoughts. Trust your intuition, step out of your comfort zone, and learn to say no. This is how you will find your passion and end up standing out from the crowd as a business owner. It’s not just about success but finding true fulfilment.

What steps will you take today to lead your most fulfilling life?