Welcome to another Women Crushing It Wednesday, where we sit down with a woman in our community and celebrate how she is crushing it! This #WomanCrushingItWednesday we’re talking with Sapna Aggarwal, a certified ICF Professional Development Coach and owner of “I Choose Bold.”
Learn more about Sapna by visiting her website.
Tell us about yourself! What motivates you to support professionals in the unique ways that you do?
Becoming a mindset coach has been a long journey of knowledge + experience. It has helped me draw upon my background in neurolinguistics, creative arts, language learning, neuroscience, business development and ancient wisdom. As I draw upon these various baskets of knowledge and my own life experience, I am listening and seeking to understand the woman who unfolds her story of trials, tribulations, accomplishments and dreams.
“I Choose Bold” is the name of your coaching and consulting practice. Where do you start in helping women discover their “BOLD”? How would you help support women to choose confidence over self-doubt?
I am intrigued by people, especially women. How they navigate their lives at various stages of their evolution of self. I look at it from a point of view of an artist. Women choose their canvas, their materials, their preferred colors and textures. They create their masterpiece and during different times of their lives they step back and look at their creation.
When you give yourself permission to start living and creating from that unique space, you discover the you within you. You create your own rules that work for you for success, partnerships, relationships, friendships, self-love by getting better acquainted with you and paying attention to your choices.
I Choose Bold was born from that intimate connection and conversation you have with your inner self. That’s where self confidence is a natural state because it works for YOU. When you belong to you first, you feel grounded within your roots. There will be turbulence, but the deeper the roots, the deeper the trust and the more comfortable you are with you. Acceptance of self stems from freedom and connection to that truth that has likely been hidden for a very long time. What I am doing is facilitating conversations back with you as we walk you back home.
As a Mindset Mastery Coach who utilizes neuroscience in your work, how can our readers become more conscious of negative habits or patterns that might hold us back, switching to more intentional and deliberate actions that can benefit us in the long term?
Becoming conscious is a process of becoming mindful [that] what is happening right now is being created by you. When you are paying attention to the language you are using and the actions that are being driven by those feelings, you will realize how you are creating patterns that are automated.
Subconscious mind is the iceberg below the surface that’s running the show 95% of the time. Conscious mind is only 5% and that’s why interrupting certain habits is more challenging than others. It is a practice, and it takes an investment of mental energy. Once you recognize the patterns, you now are pointing the flashlight in the right direction. Then we start asking the reasons behind the fears, the doubts, the self-sabotage, the imposter syndrome, etc.
Mentally rehearse for the life you want to create and ask yourself why. Note these down. This is not a quick one and done process, but a continuous daily practice that reveals what has been covered up by years of external conditioning and distractions.
For women who have had to take time off to care for kids or family members, their life can become focused on caring of others, not themselves. How can women in this situation reclaim a stronger sense of their professional selves?
I work with mothers who have been focused on others for years. The practice of filling your cup every morning for YOU and what runneth over is for others; That’s how you start. Give yourself space back into your own life. Prioritize yourself. Your focus has been on giving care to others and it is time to use the time and energy to nourish, connect and update your preferences and identity of yourself.
Reclaiming a stronger sense of your professional self starts with getting to know your current values, beliefs, and taking an inventory of the present you. Things may have changed a lot since the last time you took an inventory of self.
What is the number one thing you see stopping women from starting their own businesses or making a major career change? What advice would you have?
The fear of failing or not knowing enough. We don’t realize that our skills are transferrable and applicable to different industries. A major career change requires a self-inventory, a reflection of what is not working, what is missing, and writing it down.
Even if you don’t have a roadmap, get clear on what is it that you want. You can ask for a professional to help you gain some clarity around the steps but start by getting clear with yourself.
Pay attention to your pain points, they are a message that something needs to change. Then look for ways you can put it into action- even if it’s small baby steps. Maybe it’s volunteer work, a side-hustle, joining a virtual community, buying an online course or a book. Explore and allow yourself to be immersed in that world either through research or volunteering.
Take action just to try it out, not to get it right. That will give you a lot of feedback and as you learn, do, learn, do, your inner critic subsides because it is mainly steeped in fear. What it doesn’t know, it rejects. When you find out more info, leaning into small actions and letting yourself learn by doing will subside some of the nervousness around a major career change.
Why is transparency so important in leadership? Does female wisdom and intuition play a role in this?
Transparency in self is of utmost important. As you lead yourself, which I refer to as self-leadership, honoring yourself will become a priority and a standard. Your intuition is always there but, if you haven’t been using it, it is a muscle that needs to be reactivated. My clients often hear me say that you have to turn down the volume on the outside in order to turn up the volume on the inside. That’s female wisdom and intuition- the inner guide and inner coach.
When you are working with yourself in this honest and open manner, you also appreciate that value being reflected in your workplace. Transparency allows for both sides of the table to feel like they belong and are working on this mission together.