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A Conversation With...

A conversation with Sobiya Jawaid - Leadership & Confidence Coach, Mother and the first Hijab wearing female to represent England at the European Kickboxing Championships...

Tell us about yourself and what you do

As a professional coach, I help people connect to their purpose and vision in life in order to unleash their full potential. I’m passionate about serving people powerfully to create a positive impact in their personal and professional life and find it incredibly rewarding when I help people do this.

From a young age, I always felt I had a higher calling - I just didn’t know what that was. I had a yearning, and I was searching - I sincerely believe if you seek you shall find. That was the case for me. 

Today, I run my coaching business online working with a broad range of clients including men and women of different ethnicities and backgrounds to achieve breakthrough results; helping them to lead a life of clarity, resilience and purpose.

What led you to this passion? Tell us more about your story

As I reflect back, I recognise that I was very focused and aimed high; I went through university and graduated in Biology, qualified as a Science Teacher while simultaneously pursuing my passion for kickboxing.  I achieved a Black Belt in the martial art and fought in a national competition where I qualified to represent England at the European Championship.  With the support of my family especially my father, I became the first hijab wearing Muslim female to represent England at the European Championship in Germany, where I won Silver. I also qualified for the world championship in Florida, but I decided to focus on my professional teaching career. 

I got married and started a family, but sadly, life took a drastic turn when I lost two significant members of my family. This experience of death so close to me was something I never imagined; it was an incredibly dark time and I started to do a lot of soul searching. Outwardly, I had it all - a family, house, car and career, but from within, I felt hollow and I was struggling. Although there was support available, I knew I had to make significant changes from within.    

I discovered a newfound strength in my faith.  A strength that was born out of those challenges. I was also intrigued by coaching, self-help and psychology which led me to attend a two day coaching course.  Those two days transformed my life forever and it was at that point I made the intention to become a Coach and help others transform their lives. 

I invested in myself, trained with a leading coaching academy, qualified with a distinction, and resigned from my teaching job after 15 years in the profession. 

Which hurdles did you personally face and how did you overcome them?

In the early days of my coaching business, I set my ambitions and goals high.  I wanted to work with leaders and people who were the ‘movers and shakers’ in business; men and women from all backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths.  However, I had a really strong limiting belief - that being a woman of colour, from an ethnic minority, wearing a headscarf; I would not be able to reach those goals - the outside noise had impacted me. In my mind, there were far too many obstacles in my path to success. 

"I had a really strong limiting belief - that being a woman of colour, from an ethnic minority, wearing a headscarf; I would not be able to reach those goals - the outside noise had impacted me."

I shared this limiting belief with my own Business Coach. I believe in the power of coaching and I always invest in my own coaches.  They push and challenge me to unleash my potential so I can be the best version of myself.  He asked me a few questions and as I answered them, there was an ‘aha moment’, a shift in my perspective where I suddenly saw things thorough a different lens. From that day on, I have NEVER looked back. 

What motivates you in life?

The thought of getting to the end of my life and knowing, with my hand on my heart, that I have done my absolute best.  Perfection doesn’t exist, but excellence does.   

What do you think is the biggest reason people fail or give up in pursuing their passion?

There are a number of factors, but the fundamental reason is FEAR.  Fear of failing.  Fear of not being ‘good enough.’ Fear of judgement from others. Fear of losing family, friends and loved ones whilst pursuing their passion. Fear is massive!  When fear is managed, potential is unleashed which sets an incredible trajectory.   

''Your uniqueness is your superpower. There is no one on this planet that has exactly the same experiences and strengths as you. Get the right support and accountability so you make consistent progress.''

What's a great habit you've picked up over the years that's really helped you, both professionally and personally?

Taking time out for myself to slow down, reflect and recuperate.  As a business owner, mother and wife, it is very easy to go from one role to another or simultaneously juggle them all.  Taking time to stop, reflect and become intentional about what I am doing, enables me to show up in a mindful and present way.  I am able to then have quality interactions and connections with those around me. 

"Perfection doesn’t exist, but excellence does. Take time to stop, reflect and be intentional"   

What one thing has helped you manage your time effectively?

Creating a routine and boundaries. This enables me to manage my time effectively and be efficient. 

My work is flexible; I can work from anywhere in the world as I run my business online.  But this also poses challenges because I can work anytime and anywhere.  Creating boundaries and routines helps me.

I work for a fixed number of hours and after that, my time is reserved for me, family and other commitments. 

What does modesty mean to you?

For me, modesty has a spiritual and physical dimension to it. I believe it is important for both men and women and enables us to navigate through life and interact with one another in an honourable and respectful way. 

What's your favourite piece from Aab?

It’s winter and I love to layer up to keep warm, so at the moment it is the Two in One Cardy. 

Where can people find you online?

I always invite people to have a conversation with me and experience the coaching space. You can reach me directly on any of these social media platforms by messaging me. 

You can find and reach Sobiya online at:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/empowerandexcel/

https://www.instagram.com/empowerandexcelcoaching/

https://www.facebook.com/sobiyajaw