“You know we are always told – “be who you are.” The truth is we don’t know who we are! We view ourselves in a certain way, but that might not be what other people see in us. At least I can say for myself that I didn’t even know my core beliefs. I was not aware of my strengths or weaknesses. But things are very different now.
Earlier this year, I had completed my B.com and was really confused about what I should do next. This brought me to SoaringEagles, and during the short career counselling session, Sonali Ma’am really managed to give me an idea about what would work for my personality and interests. I was blown away by the empathy and clarity I encountered here. So I decided to come back and do a longer programme called LEAP.
I just loved the first module about self-awareness! Jogeshwari Ma’am, who was conducting the sessions, did a whole lot of activities with me and it brought forth a lot of unexpected feelings and realisations. With the help of the module, I realised that one of my biggest problems was that I was too focused on achieving my goals and didn’t really take time to build relationships and rapport.
In the sessions, we also explored our motivations and core belief, and I realised that some of my strong beliefs are stopping me from growing emotionally. For example – I live with my mother and grandmother. My father works abroad, and my grandfather passed away a few years ago. I always saw him being very fixed in his likes and dislikes. I still remember an incident from when I was young when a simple disagreement over opinions made him cut off contact with his old friend. I always thought that’s how it should be – if you believe in something then everyone else must too!
Jogeshwari Ma’am challenged these inner beliefs, and I now realise that some of my aggressive behaviour with my friends was due to my inflexibility and inability to even consider the other person’s opinion.
I used to think that keeping a tight rein on my emotions was a positive trait. I had been told at home that we don’t share problems with outsiders. Over time, this ensured that I stopped sharing my real thoughts and challenges with my friends. Spontaneous events made me uneasy and I started shying away from friends.
This programme has helped me find out that I have some great qualities – I am ambitious, self-disciplined, imaginative and curious and creative! However, I also realised that I was oversensitive and overcritical. Understanding myself has finally helped me make sense of my past behaviour and reactions.
The biggest surprise was that I discovered that I am an extrovert! I always thought of myself as an introvert but now I realize that it is not true at all. I love talking, adventure and learning and all this while I was being held back by my beliefs.
Before I used to be afraid of what people will say or think about me. Now I truly don’t care. I approach my friends more openly and with confidence, and it has changed my relationships with them.
The course is still ongoing, but it has already changed my life!
The positive change in me is also impacting people around me. Recently, we celebrated Vishu. Every year, my mother used to say that we don’t have anything to celebrate as my Dad is away. When he comes, we can celebrate. But this year I said nothing doing – we will celebrate it. This is the meaning of life – we have to celebrate. I have never seen my grandmother so happy! She made eight curries! We called our relatives over to our home. One of our relatives is bedridden so we visited her and she was so moved by the gesture. We even visited an ashram nearby. We’ve lived near this ashram for 10 years but we never visited the place. There were 120 people there – young children and also old people. They were all so happy to see us and interact with us. I’m so happy that my insistence on celebrating Vishu brought joy to so many people.
Emotional intelligence is not taught in school, but it should be! It is so important to be aware of what we are doing and why we are doing it. We hear this all the time – be yourself, have faith in yourself and so on. But HOW do you do all this? We need to be given some tools or knowledge to do it! And this is what I got at SoaringEagles – I can now analyse myself and understand why I am reacting or behaving in a certain way. I know how the people around me are reacting to me. I know myself now, and I am no longer clueless about what is happening to me.”
Divya Nair is a bright 21-year old lady who is currently pursuing her CA Foundation. She is doing the Lakshya Employability Acceleration Programme (LEAP) which helps young adults discover themselves and their career interests and pursue them successfully by becoming more confident and purpose-driven individuals.
SoaringEagles turned 4 recently and we were thinking back on our journey so far. The personal stories of our participants just bubbled forth. Over the years we have interacted with thousands of people across all age groups, personalities, and professions – and we would like to think that we have left behind something positive that impacts them for decades to come.
The reason why Divya’s experience resonates so much with us is that we have continuously seen people walk in with career problems and leave with a deeper understanding of who they are and how they can use this knowledge to be happier in life – not just succeed at work but in all spheres of their life.