In the Details with Amina AlTai
What would it feel like to let go of the mindset that we have to grind hard to find success?
What would it look like to achieve next-level success with peace and joy?
(Heyyyy! Listen, if you don’t know, now you know! I’m so excited about this new partnership with SUCCESS magazine! I’ve been talking with ah-maaaa-zing people about all of the small changes we can make that unlock major transformations and major growth! These conversations have been filling my cup in a big way, so come on over and join us!)
Amina is a holistic leadership & mindset coach, and guys, let me tell you, this conversation was overflowing with so much incredible wisdom. Amina is truly a light in this world, and she’s helping people find purpose in their work without falling into the hustle-and-grind trap.
One of the things I absolutely love about her (and something makes her a soul sister) is that she’s honest and transparent about her own challenges. And you know I admire a person who speaks their own truth and teaches from their own experiences.
In fact, she told me, “One thing that’s really important to share is that we’re always becoming—because I think that sometimes people will look at coaches, or people that are a few years ahead, and think that they have ‘arrived.’ I’m always becoming.”
She sees her career path as “an upward spiral.”
(Hold up for a sec. I just want to pause and let you soak up that phrase. So good, right?!)
Like me, Amina started her career working in corporate America but realized that wasn’t the right place for her. After working on an initiative that supported female entrepreneurs, she knew that was the space where she wanted to devote herself, so she left her corporate job to co-found her own agency.
But she admits that she brought a lot of unhealthy beliefs, habits, and traits to that job, and in spite of pursuing her passion, she was burning herself out by failing to set boundaries, putting everyone else’s needs ahead of her own, and falling into patterns driven by people pleasing.
Then she had what she calls a “stop moment.”
She got a call from her doctors; she’d developed two autoimmune disorders, and if she didn’t drop everything and go to the hospital immediately, she was only days away from her organs starting to shut down.
I mean, listening to her share this part of her story, my gut dropped. Can you imagine getting that call? So terrifying, right?
Amina told me that while that moment was indeed dramatic and scary, it was also an incredible gift—she had no choice but to find a new way of being and moving through the world.
In fact, she says that learning to feel contradictory emotions has been one of the most profound lessons she’s learned over time. Here’s how she put it:
“[Challenges] can be both difficult and uncomfortable and the most generous gift. We can feel like, ‘This is terrible, and this is unfair, and it can support our evolution. … I think there was a time in my life when I was like, ‘Oh, it’s either one or the other. It’s either wonderful or it’s terrible.’ It can be both, and the contrast allows us to refine the vision.”
YES! “The contrast allows us to refine the vision!”
So Amina went back to school to study coaching, mindfulness, and wellness so that she could learn how to teach others the skills she wished she’d had in her toolkit during those challenging times. Today she coaches entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders pursue their purpose by leveraging their own unique gifts while maintaining health practices and boundaries
So what does it take to grow toward your goals without burning yourself out?
Here are three big takeaways from my conversation with Amina:
Lots of times we know we need to make changes, but we get stuck in the overwhelm of overhauling our entire lives at once. We either find ourselves frozen—and unable to move forward with any changes—or we end up taking a leap that sends us into a panic state where we’re unable to make healthy choices. Amina says that we need to give up the idea that we have to abandon everything we need in order to make a shift.
Start by doing what she calls “fear sorting” (oh man, I told you she’s full of gems, didn’t I?). Ask yourself, “Is this fear real? Or is this fear false evidence? If it’s real, is it likely to happen?”
Then start to test your new approach in small ways—like talking about it on social media or sharing it with your close circle. That will allow you to gather feedback and data about the change, refine your plans, and try again. Remember, it’s never about winning or losing; it’s always about winning or learning. You just need to stay committed to moving forward.
In fact, Amina shared her own experience: When she went back to school, she also stepped back into corporate work for a time. That allowed her the cushion of a steady income and insurance while she worked out the details and built her business on the side. She stayed open to learning on the journey so that she could be in flow and find the right path forward.
Develop a morning routine.
I asked Amina to share one habit that helped her on her own journey, and she said that developing a consistent morning routine was a game changer in her own life.
(Mine too! If you’ve been here for awhile you know that I’m a huge advocate of finding tools to start our days in a mindful way.)
Amina says that her morning routine is time when she focuses on nurturing herself so that she can show up as her best when she steps out into the world. Mornings work best for her—she likes the chance to use movement and meditation to bring herself into the day. She thinks it’s a good time of day for many other busy women; mornings can be the time before the rest of our families are awake, when we have some control over our time and can “pour into ourselves before we pour into others.”
But she was also clear that what’s most important is finding a time and a pattern that’s most supportive for you. If mornings don’t suit you, the most important thing is to not beat yourself up about it. Look at your daily rhythm and try to find regular pockets of time that you can carve out for your nurturing yourself on a daily basis.
When you embrace your own schedule and personal flow, you’ll be more likely to show up for yourself regularly during that time. And you won’t waste time or energy beating yourself up for not fitting someone else’s pattern.
Take inventory of your “tolerations.”
Guys, this one is a game-changer. Amina told me that when she’s working with a client who is feeling overwhelmed, she listens for three things: Do they have the support they need? Do they have a structure in place that supports them? What “tolerations” are they accepting in their life?
She says that last question is a good first step for anyone looking to reduce their sense of overwhelm. Look at what you’re currently tolerating in your life that you shouldn’t be. Maybe you’re not being supported by the people around you, maybe you’re underearning or accepting less than you’re worth, maybe the people close to you aren’t lifting you up. Those “tolerations” will start to wear you down.
Once you’ve identified some things you want to stop allowing into your life, push one step further and ask yourself, “What’s one thing I could shift today?” Remember, it’s about taking small steps on a regular basis to support your growth.
Consistently making those small pivots when you recognize something that you want to change will move you incrementally closer to your goals while letting you stay in flow.
Seriously, there was so. Much. Goodness in our conversation, including why Amina says listening to her body gives her the signals she needs to alert her when she’s stepped out of alignment with her own wellness and goals, and why starting a nourishment journal is a great way to get clear on what’s blocking you from pursuing your purpose and identify steps you can take to continue growing.
You can listen to my full conversation with Amina here:
P.S. If all of that wasn’t enough to send you running to listen to everything Amina shared, she’s also gifted listeners with a free copy of her Authentic Passion and Purpose Worksheet! (The code is in the show notes here!)