1 reason why you will not achieve your Goals OR Resolutions?

Mindshift in Goal Setting

It is the 3rd month of the New Year, how far are you in your New Year’s  goals and resolutions? Did you achieve any goals yet? Did you start and felt back into your old habits or got distracted by your daily life?

Are you feeling less enthusiasm to achieving your goals than when we started?

Do you have a list of goals that you want to achieve, your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Risk taking and time relevant), and precise.

Soon enough June will pass by as it happens every year and you still didn’t achieve most of the list, and we put it up till next year’s resolution

Sounds familiar? You are not alone

The biggest percentage of people will NOT achieve their SMART goals no matter how much good intentions they have, no matter how motivated they start ever year, no matter how bad they want it to work.

We all live in a word full of distractions that are calling for our attention every second; so we become reactive creatures rather than pro-active.  We deal with the aftermath and not with the root of the issues we deal, just with the symptoms so they keep coming back; like taking Advil for a headache, so it goes away for a while then comes back even worst. Why? Because we never checked what caused the headache in the first place was it blood pressure, vision, toothache, stress or even a tumor?

We just react and our reactions end up shaping who we are; our reactions can get us close or away from our goals depending on how we look at things

No matter how well prepared we think we are, life will always throw us some curve balls which some might be very hard to handle.  We need to realize that we have NO control over them.  The sooner we realize that the better as they will happen.

At the same time we need to realize that we have a 100% control on how we react to these circumstances.  We control our long term response, how we treat ourselves and others as well what we do to move forward

We are the master of our universe, we have choices we can go down with every blow we get throughout our life as there is no escape from turmoil, sadness, health scares, or even death of loved ones; we can’t deny that they will happen we can’t burry our heads in the sands.  But, we also can’t just let the sails drift to where the wind takes us and become victims, we have control on how we steer the ropes that connect those sails

Setting goals the right precise way will not shield us from the difficulties that might face us, I am not saying that life is doom and gloom but life wasn’t meant to be all rosy; the more we are prepared for this the better equipped we are at achieving our goals no matter what happens being proactive and not just reactive and while we can’t predict what might happen but having the mind to overcome obstacles and barriers learning from them and moving forward is being proactive

Being proactive is having a mindset of confronting anything that comes our way, yes there will be some down time, yes there will be some anxiety and depression we are humans after all, but the name of the game is to know how to get up, dust ourselves up and start the next step no matter how small it is, just taking that first step

That mindset requires a mind shift and this is the most difficult issue we night face as a psychological barrier – not shifting your mindset is the biggest reason why you will not achieve your goals

The mind shift is the knowledge that you will face struggle in life, and that you chose to face that struggle and be willing to go through pain sometimes to get to the other side where you will be a Victor and not a Victim

The answer of why people do not achieve their goals and why I know that many people will not achieve their New Year’s resolution is that they are unwilling to fight some battles to get to their destination, they want the easy way out, short cuts and it doesn’t work that way.  We all have to pay our dues and have the mind set to be OK with paying them there is no escaping from this

Complaining and whining about the difficulties of life puts you in a reactive mode to falter under the weight of life circumstances, so let me ask you this when was the last time this mind set helped you to advance, grow or even be happy?

When we are proactive we are ready to face the world and welcome challenges that will take us to the next level for example if you are planning to work out know that there will be rain, that your body will ache, that your knees will hurt, one morning you won’t find your keys or your favorite workout shorts, your children will get the flu.  Putting all that in consideration you are better prepared to achieve your goals, you can prepare your workout cloth or gym back the night before, have your keys in the same place every night, know that body aches will go away eventually and when you push through that you are at a higher level in achieving your goals; that is how athletes do it, they hurt too but they are prepared to face the music and push the envelope to the next level

Be careful of the little voices in your head and what are they telling you: Just give up it is OK you still have time? Or they tell you yes I am hurting but I am closer to my goals to being happy and fulfilled?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi

You have a CHOICE get stuck and stagnate in your mind set of having no control or have a mindset to face challenges and move forward.  How you interpret obstacles in your life is your critical key to achieve or not achieve your goals

Are you going to give up when you face the first challenge that life throws at you and live ever after a victim or you will go through the challenges as a victor

Welcome life with the good and bad, be grateful, savor the good moments and take inventory they will help you in your dry spells.  Have the will to face challenges, change your mindset to being proactive this will maximize your chances to achieve your goals

Share with me the goals you achieved and how- Please share your thoughts

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Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh

Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist

Sahar Consulting, LLC

Reinvent Yourself To Greatness (Product of Sahar Consulting, LLC)

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Motivation using the Pain & Pleasure Principle

Motivation through Pain & pleasure principleNow that I have blogged about Purpose and Passion – I am sharing with you what you are supposed to do with them? How you can put them to work for you?

You can actually turn your Purpose and Passion into business that can bring in money, if this is what you seek, or can bring you joy and fulfillment if you are seeking to volunteer your time, or will enlighten your path on what you want to leave behind as a legacy, or can help you become the best you can ever be no matter if what you are seeking is small or big (who is judging?)

Pain vs Pleasure Principle

Secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure, instead of having pain and pleasure use you. Anthony Robbins

Everything we do in life is based on 2 main emotional states which I call the 2 “P”s principle

So I just want you to close your eyes for a second and think why is it that you do what you do every moment and out for one of two reasons period:

  • Avoid or decrease PAIN
  • Bring in or increase PLEASURE

Research shows that people, you and me will do anything to avoid or decrease pain even more that we seek pleasure,  it is embedded in us as human beings since the caveman age where pain – at that time – meant harm that could have been fatal so it was important to decrease the pain and stay alive than seeking pleasure

In modern life the Pleasure-Pain principle was first brought to life by Sigmund Freud in modern psychoanalysis although Aristotle noted the significance in his ‘Rhetoric’, more than 300 years BC.

In the process of turning your passion and purpose in life to business or a legacy that you want to leave behind; you need to seek first;

  • Who are the people you are trying to help or your target market?
  • What are their pains and/ or their pleasure to be able to connect your passion and purpose to theirs?

This is the only way you can actually create an effective communication system where they will listen or even seek you and what you offer

We are born with a pleasure principle that seeks immediate gratification of needs, for which our bodies reward us with feelings of pleasure that are created by a continuous message between the neural synapses that travel to the brain to release the “Happy hormones” like Serotonin and Dopamine that makes us even happier, it is the reward we get.

On the other site, the pain principle says that while seeking pleasure people will also seek to avoid pain

It all connects, you need to find the beginning of the thread then everything else is history


Human motivation is created through the pain-pleasure principle, understanding this principle will help you adjust your levels of motivation at will as you work towards the attainment of your goals and objectives.

Knowing this not only will help you define your goals but will also propel your knowledge on how to help your target market by defining their pain and pleasure points catering to their very needs which is fundamentally the basics of marketing and branding

The individual levels of motivation depend on how much pain and pleasure a person associates with achieving or not achieving their goals and dreams.

Pain levels are short or long term, same as with pleasure short or long term pleasures.  What you need to know that there is no pleasure without at least a little bit of pain, and it  shouldn’t deter anyone from their journey especially if there is enough long-term pleasure associated with achieving the goals.

To clarify this – for example: I help Women that are stuck in their lives or their careers by reinventing themselves to regain control of their lives by letting them feel how much short and long term pain is costing them to be stagnant versus the pleasure of living a happy life while honoring themselves and everyone else around them

Final thoughts: You can use your passion and purpose to build your business using the Pain – Pleasure principles in 2 ways

  • To find your own motivation to decrease your pain in being unfulfilled, unhappy, feeling stuck, or frustrated or increasing the pleasure in living a fulfilled life, positive environment and achieving success
  • Build your business marketing and branding plan around the pain and pleasure principle in your target market to motivate them to decide to take an action to buy your products or services

Can you share with me what are your pains? Short term or long term? What are you trying to change? And where do you feel stuck?

A new Year is almost here DO NOT spend another year spinning your wheels, where next year same time you are still in status quo just more miserable

There is so much to life than desperation (pain) you are destined to live an amazing life. Start TODAY!

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Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh

Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist

Sahar Consulting, LLC

Reinvent Yourself To Greatness (Product of Sahar Consulting, LLC)

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How to find your Purpose and Passion?

Find Your Purpose & Passion

Many confuse passion and purpose, they are not one and the same; you find your purpose and you follow your passion.

Purpose is the beginning of a self-discovery journey, it acts as an anchor for passion. The purpose is like the engine of a car, and the passion is the ignition key.  The engine will not fire up without the ignition; and the ignition will have nothing to start up without the engine. Heart is the focal point of purpose not the mind nor the ego.

  • Purpose: Is the “WHY” you exist
  • Passion: is the “WHAT” are the compelling feelings behind your dreams

They have to co-exist, purpose is the foundation of achieving your dreams, and passion is what ignites it.

  • Purpose

Purpose is living your life from the inside out, it might have nothing to do with what you do for work.  It is not about how you fit in the society to please anyone, it is not waiting approval from others – that is not your purpose in life.  It is about being honest with yourself and be authentic. It is the force that compels you to move forward based on your own values.

Your purpose is your inner-calling that starts with an intuition, it is that little voice that speaks to you, that many times you try to muffle due to fear or due to self-doubts.

Most of the time many start on an education path, or start a career based on what others told them they should do or pursue.

Growing up my parents (with the best intentions in their hearts) made me feel that the best I can achieve in life is to be a Medical Doctor so everything I did in my life since childhood was directing me towards that goal, only to feel totally disoriented and miserable after I got my degree.  Just to find out that Medicine was not my inner calling, it was not what made me happy but it made my parents happy and proud.

Take a good deep look at your life right now:

  • Are you where you want to be?
  • Do you feel satisfied?
  • Do you feel fulfilled?
  • Are you achieving your dreams even small steps at a time?

You need to be honest with yourself, it is your life, your happiness and your fulfillment.  It is not easy and it might not happen overnight (some recognize their purpose early on in life), it is not all joy and fun it is actually scary and difficult at times, that is why most people live their whole lives without ever knowing their true purpose.  Sad but true.

If any of your answers is “no“, then you need to start actively look for yourpurpose

To uncover your purpose, you need to start getting comfortable in uncomfortable settings, in different ways of thinking, in trusting your intuition and to learn how to listen to your heart getting out of your comfort zone.  At times you will not get any answers and it is perfectly all right. It could a struggle at times and it could be ambiguous- as they say “No risk No gain”.

The first step to start finding your purpose in life is to look at these 3 following cues:

  1. What is the legacy you want to be remembered by?
  2. Are you there yet? How close or far are you?
  3. What is your next step to take to get you closer to your purpose?

This is part of my new product due to be released before the end of the year:Reinvent Yourself to Greatness- Detox your mind and Declutter your life

Next Post – Part 2- we will discuss “What is Passion?”

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Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh

Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist

Sahar Consulting, LLC

Reinvent Yourself To Greatness (Product of Sahar Consulting, LLC)

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I help women& men stuck in their lives, unemployed individuals, individuals in a job they hate, or in transition, struggling with figuring out what to do next, spinning their wheels in the same place; to show them how regain control of their lives, conquer their fears by moving out of their comfort zones that results in a journey of discovery to define their purpose & passion and become the person that achieves both happiness and success in their lives.

What is your Definition of Success?

How to OWN success and not be owned by it?

“Own YOUR Success – Do NOT be owned by it”

Success…What is your definition of success?

I always ask the participants in my training about their definition of success, I still get amazed by some of the answers I get.

We all want to achieve success, in reality each of us has a different meaning of success that we need to understand before setting our goals designed to make us happy

For some, it is the career achievement, for some it is being the first member of the family to finish college, for some it is buying a house, or it is executing the business idea they always had, for others it is having a family and the list goes on.

Personally, at different stages of my life success meant different things, now what it means to me is having a great family, cherish my husband, love my dogs, live in the house I love, drive the car I want and have more business that I can wish for to have the financial stability for now and the future while being in peace with myself and maintaining as much as possible the elusive work-life balance. Is that too much to ask?

I have to admit that when I started the business, success for me was to grow the business fast so I put 18 hours/day – 7 days a week sacrificing a lot. It created a lot of issues at home and within the family I was blinded by it, and couldn’t see anything except the business success. I consider myself lucky that in due time I turned the process around and made the shift that kept my family together and came back to the roots of my non-negotiable values which top item is family.

I see and coach a lot of career minded people or business owners that will give away anything just to be successful, their definition of success becomes tight to their title, position, how much they make, where do they live, what car they drive and how much is their bank balance. They become defined by all the exterior superficial factors (though important shouldn’t be the only measure of success) that our current society looks at as a sign of success

I have met some people that are extremely successful professionally or in their business that are miserable or at least not content or satisfied inside as they based everything on the external factors wrongly relating status with happiness.

Hence this post, success is great we all should work towards success and own it being careful not to be owned by our success and there is a huge difference

Most people that get consumed by success or by their search of success become unhappy, obsessed and unlikely to be happy and satisfied by what they have. As soon as they reach a goal they go for the next one, then the next one and so on.

We make choices in life based on our priorities so before embarking on our success adventure we need to make conscious choices to know what means the most to us and not get swayed by what others or what society deems as success. Basically owning our success and not become slaves to it

We feel that the more successful we are the more we get to live the way we want, afford to buy and own things, spend our time the way we want in summary be free to do whatever we want to do- simple right? Is it ever that simple?

It is so easy to fall hostage to our success

These are 11 tips to own our success and not be owned by it

  1. The starting point is to know your own definition of success by being honest with yourself, not through someone else interpretation of success, not through what society considers success rather what it means to you personally
  2. Have a purpose: Know why you are doing what you are doing, what is the reason you are going through all that effort and commitment – without knowing where you are going you will never reach any destination, and you will be going in circles
  3. Goal settings: Establishing what we want to achieve, dividing the big goals to smaller ones. Visualizing what success not only looks like but also feels like. Start with the end in mind (Steven Covey) and keep focusing on the end goal and celebrating small wins
  4. Priorities: The priorities are not only about goal setting but also priorities that we value most in life: our family, our children, our education, our career, our homes, happiness, helping others, inner peace.
  5. Find your work life balance: All work no fun is stressful, stress creates tension, and tension creates anxiety that can create unhappiness. It is important to have hobbies, to do fun things, spend time with your loved ones etc…It will never be a 50/50 but at least have some balance in our lives
  6. Support system: Surround ourselves with people that have the same values as we do, as well as surrounding ourselves with people that genuinely care about us and love us that can also hold us accountable for our actions
  7. Gratitude: Be grateful to everything we have, and everything that happens to us good and bad, appreciate the lessons we learn from failures as well from success and be grateful for the people that support us throughout our journey
  8. Know how to appreciate what you have: Appreciating what we have, people around us is the second step after being grateful. Letting people we cherish know how much we appreciate them and why; is crucial to our relationships that are the essence of life. Stop and smell the roses
  9. Know when enough is enough: Amassing the treasures of the world is not necessarily a success story or a formula for happiness. We each have different levels to “what is enough is enough” knowing then when it comes to family and love “Enough is never enough”
  10. Reach out to others, offer a helping hand, volunteer, mentor, coach, help someone out of a bad situation, give money… Have a giving attitude, give, give, give then give some more without expecting anything in return creates inner satisfaction and happiness
  11. Have empathy and be kind not only to others but to yourself first and foremost

In conclusion, the more freedom I have, the more I spend my time as I want and feel like; the more successful I feel.

It is very easy to lose ourselves in achieving success, where every step takes us deeper where we can forget to go back to the shore to enjoy the beauty around us.

OWN your success and wear it with pride; do not become owned by your success. Ask yourself what does success mean to you, there are no right or wrong answers, it is personal you just need to be honest with yourself.

Let me know if you have any more tips to add to these 11 points

Let OUR differences make a difference in the world

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Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh

Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist

Sahar Consulting, LLC

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I help corporations and organizations create/ increase their employee engagement through Diversity, Inclusion, effective communication & Cross- Cultural leadership practices that result in everyone feeling appreciated, valued and respected for who they are; elevating morale and harmony hence increasing their productivity which translates to more revenues.

Let me help you Invest in your number ONE asset: Your employees

How to overcome your Fear of Rejection?

How to overcome your Fear of Rejection?

overcome self limiting beliefs

We all have many self-limiting beliefs that stops us in our tracks self-sabotaging ourselves.  How many times you wanted to do something or get something but couldn’t bring yourself to ask for it or couldn’t even utter the words to request what you need?

I learned something in life; you don’t ask, you don’t get.  I remember when I first started my business, I just wanted to learn where to start and how, I was overwhelmed, and scared.  I approached a consultant that had a thriving business, introduced myself and the whole spiel of my branding statement, she looked at me and said I know who you are (I have been active on Social Media), then I asked her if I could shadow her for a couple of weeks.

She looked at me and said: Actually next week I am starting a new account and I need help, what about if you work with me and I will pay you? My jaw just dropped, and this was my first gig ever.  Since then, that consultant is one of my best friends.

Since it worked I kept repeating this; I would just ask for what I wanted and surprisingly enough most of the time I get a “YES”, and that is how I landed most of my accounts.  We expect that others know what we do, that somehow they have a crystal bowl through which they can see our services and products; well they do not till we engage them, only then they can connect you and your services with their needs, refer you, or keep you in their minds till they need next week, next month or even next year.

Through my consulting and coaching, I found out that most people do not ask for what they want, as human beings we are scared to ask for things especially for things that we really need and want, we are afraid to ask for love, respect, money, or work.

Why? Because we are afraid that we will be turned down, the “fear of rejection” or “fear of ridicule”, “fear of failure”, or even “fear of success”.

That simple word of two letters “NO” can actually derail us for a while when we hear it, we take that “NO” very personally, “NO” most of the time has nothing to do with who you are as a person, or might have nothing to do with your talent or skills, it could be just that the circumstances at this moment are not suitable.

Fear of rejection is part of the negative thoughts that all of us have in our little heads, it is part of the self-limiting beliefs that can sometimes imprison ourselves in.

As human beings, our brain is geared on looking at the negative side of things, look at what we do not have rather than what we have which is actually a lot.

In my first training sessions, I would look at the evaluation forms at the end of every session, I would obsess with the ones that had 4 or 3 even if it was one single response rather than looking at the majority of 5 stars (Highest score) I received. I would freak out and will drive myself crazy sometimes for days, till I learned to switch it around.  I had to realize that no matter what, not everyone will like or love me, and that was OK.

The reason we fear rejection and let that self-limiting belief control us, is that we all just want to be liked, we want to fit in, even at the expense of our own happiness, even if we have to endure something unpleasant or that we do not like.

Beliefs organize the world for you, they form your perceptions and your perceptions is the base of you taking decisions, right or wrong, good or bad.  Beliefs are your go-to enabling you to understand and interpret the world around you.

What you believe becomes your reality (though it is not really reality, but it is to you), so we tend to then perceive and experience them as being true. We rarely question our beliefs, which is why they tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies.

As long as you don’t challenge your beliefs that shape your perceptions that shape decision making that shape your actions subconsciously, nothing will change and you seal your own fate with your own hands.

Sometimes we wait to gather up our courage to ask for what we want; by then it is too late and the opportunity have already vanished.  In this life there are two kinds of people:

  • Those that wait for the opportunity to knock their doors – those might wait their whole life and get nothing; and
  • Those that go and knock on the opportunity’s doors and make it happen

The biggest obstacle between “US” and reaching our full potential is “US” so we need to get out of our own way

To go for what you want, always think about what is the worst that can happen? If you get a “NO” – you will be at the same position you are in right now, and it is not that bad.

The only difference when you ask for what you want is that you have a 50-50 chance to get it, you do not ask, you do not get.  Do not be like that person that keeps praying and waits to win the lotto ticket but never bother to buy one

What we project is what we get, our brain and mind respond subconsciously to what we feel or think, the way we feel sends signals to our nerve cells or neurons which communicate with the areas of the brain responsible for secreting substances that are responsible for us feeling great or… not.

If you start thinking negatively then the stress hormones get released and you go on stress mode and you might panic, you reactions might not be well reasoned and somehow you end up not getting what you wanted; so you translate it as failure or rejection when you actually have set yourself up for failure.

Most of our self-limiting beliefs and fears start early in our childhood mainly through our parents and the way we grew up or it can be culturally related.  We do whatever we can to protect ourselves and feel safe and secure, to obtain our parents love and approval, and since these beliefs worked before, we replicate them later on in life to please other people when we grow up like friends, coworkers, boss, or spouses

Do these beliefs really work? Do they make us happy?

We have the power to change our beliefs, it starts with the way we talk to ourselves, what we allow ourselves to believe, and we hold both the lock and the key.  We can create a new way of thoughts by choosing to do so and then taking action.

We can start by visiting what stories we repeat in our heads that stand between us and between what we want, how are they preventing us from fulfilling our potential, did these thoughts start in our childhood?

There is no magic pill you can take to change overnight, you just need to start doing things that you are not comfortable with.  If you keep doing things the way you have always done them, you will always get the same results.

You need to work it for it to work, not giving up at the first obstacle or rejection.

Now think for a moment about this: would let anyone speak to you the way your inner negative voice talks to you? Would you like?

If you saw a friend going through the same situation where they are standing on their own way – what would you do?

Now think about small things that you can do to start changing those self-limiting beliefs at your own pace one step at a time – Again a reminder, In order for anything tow work you need to work

It is normal to feel awkward, bad or even discouraged when you get a “NO”. Everything that is worth t in life takes perseverance and resilience, starting by fighting our inner critic and self-limiting belief.

I found out through the years, that I have succeeded in business because of:

  1. My tenacity, I do not give up, even if I get a “NO” the first time, I do not lose hope I keep trying till I get a “Yes”; that doesn’t mean that I am pushy it just I keep it under the radar till the right timing presents itself
  2. I am not afraid to ask for what I want, I always think what is the worst that can happen at least I have a 50% chance to get what I want especially if I am passionate about it
  3. I believe in myself and what I am asking for, even if I do not have all the tools at the time, I know I will find a way to make it happen.
  4. I do not make excuses for myself and I do not allow my brain to talk negative to me even if it tries. I hold the remote control in my hand and I change the channel, it is a conscious choice that I make
  5. I continually work on “Building personal strength”, “Building a better life”, and making no excuses

You don’t ask, you don’t get, Make Sure that Your Worst Enemy Isn’t You

I will be writing more posts about the different self-limiting beliefs that actually lead to our self-sabotage as a leader, as a team member, and as a simplehuman being.

If you have some thoughts to add, please include them in the comment box.  Till next time

Connect with me on:LinkedIN | Blog | YouTube | Twitter | G+ | Facebook |Pinterest

Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh

Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist

Sahar Consulting, LLC

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I help corporations and organizations create/ increase their employee engagement through Diversity, Inclusion, effective communication & Cross- Cultural leadership practices that result in everyone feeling appreciated, valued and respected for who they are; elevating morale and harmony hence increasing their productivity which translates to more revenues. 

Let me help you Invest in your number ONE asset: Your employees

My new product “Reinvent Yourself to Greatness” investing in yourself is due in the fall.  For inquiries: Check Reinvent Yourself to Greatness 

Women Leadership: Break the Glass Ceiling!

Women Leadership: Break the Glass Ceiling!

Women Leadership

Women leadership is not defined by numbers and statistics that demonstrates  how women are lacking in numbers in the C-Suite, as executives, and as Board members etc. this is known fact that has been discussed over and over. These facts are listed as data in the US department of Labor

Glass Ceiling” has been discussed over and over from the point of being an anomaly in our society, an invisible obstacle most of the time without any resolution or even hope for solutions. The term “Glass Ceiling” dubbed by the Wall Street Journal depicting limitations faced by women and minorities to advance into senior positions in corporate organizations (we are only discussing factors affecting women in this post)

I personally look at the issue in a totally different way, there might be a “Glass Ceiling” for women, as it does exist for minorities, this “Glass Ceiling” didn’t stop a lot of women to achieve success. I do not believe in “Glass Ceiling”. It is a self-imposed obstacle that we put in our own way to have an excuse why we do not or cannot reach our full potential.

I am not discounting the barriers that exist in the way of women’s careers, I am not advocating that they have not been discriminating against; what I am saying is the “personification” of the Glass Ceiling is giving it a bigger size obstacle that it can ever be

This might sound controversial, I will try to share my thoughts on the reasons why it exists and how we can overcome this obstacle like any other barrier in our life, it takes work, commitment, and dedication

There is no shortage of educated women, women are at more than 57% of the students on college campuses (2009) and comprise around 60% of master’s degree recipients as well as doctoral degrees awarded to more women than man, The workforce is estimated to be a fifty- fifty by now, obviously not reflected in the number of women in the C-suite, executives, and Board members

So let us look at the origin of the so called “Glass Ceiling” for women

As women, women advocates and women supporters; it is time that we tackle this issue and stop making excuses for not being in Executive positions because of the “Glass Ceiling”; the fact that there are women in senior leadership positions, some in industries that are stereotypically male dominated indicates that the barriers can be broken.

I have been blessed to be surrounded by exceptional women that each one of them has broken not only the Glass Ceiling but the sound barrier and achieved greatness on their own. As a group of women we believe that we can achieve any goal we set our mind to, by working hard, commitment, dedication, finding resources, sacrifices, and helping each other.  We do not need to become “one of the boys” to be a good leader, we are not “Good female leaders” we are simply “Good leaders”

So let us delve into the roots of the issue, alleviating the symptoms with a band aid never works as it keeps returning, but treating the roots will make sure that it never returns.

Here are some barriers that generally face women leadership (probably not an inclusive list and might not apply in every case)

  • Bias: Unconscious Bias against women, we have seen this even in the political elections where commentators turned to value the female candidates on how they looked, their age, their hair, their clothes, to even the shade of their lipsticks, where they never commented on the color of the tie or what clothing style a man candidate wears.
  • Organizational Structure: Women are excluded from consideration in most activities that will lead to advancement as succession leadership planning, internship or mentorship programs, training and development programs as well as apprenticeship programs.
  • Gender Stereotypes: Where women are mostly dismissed as a leader because she has a family. She is seen as a liability if she cares for children or older parents.  They perceive that women with families are unable to concentrate, spend longer hours or even be able to travel so they discount her even before considering her for the position, versus considering a male candidate under the same circumstances without even betting an eye.
  • Legal: Discrimination cases are hard to prove, and needs a lot of financial backup, there is inconsistent enforcement of Equal Opportunity Employment laws, and poor collection and distribution of reports and statistics that showcase the problems. Most of the time the victim is guilty till proven innocent.
  • Outdated succession planning or lack of them; and career development systems
  • Lack of mentorships and sponsorships of females into leadership positions. There is a difference between a sponsor and a mentor.  Women needs both:
  • Mentors: That can guide, offer advice and support, not expecting anything or very little in return
  • Sponsors: Are more invested in their protégés, they believe in them, offer guidance and a lot of feedback, they become the voice of their protégés. They expect a lot in return as their protégés are an extension of their brands, and reputation
  • “All Boys” culture organizations’ cultures: Women are seen as outsiders that do not fit in the picture as we have always done it that way and it works (even if it is broken)
  • Women not having a seat on the table: The general perception of women especially minority women do not stand up for themselves, do not ask for what they want and need, they do not want to stir the calm water so they avoid conflicts and start believing in Glass Ceiling that no matter what they do nothing will change. Rosa Parks alone changed the face of history in the 1960’s.  The journey of a hundred miles start with one step
  • Women fear of success: Yes fear of success. Some women are conditioned to believe that the road to success involves risks such as disrupting the harmony at home with the family, or getting hopes up that can lead to disappointment.
  • Women self-limiting beliefs: Fears, excuses like I do not have tine-resources- or connections, self-doubts like they will never be able to achieve anything ever, that they are losers, not self-worthy, that they do not deserve success, or that they will be judged or ridiculed. They are not comfortable to fight for what they want, competition is bad and will create enemies, basically not capable to step up of their comfort zones

As we can see obstacles and barriers are generated or exist on both sides:

  • Society, and organizations
  • Women

To advance and solve the issue both factors: Change in organizational cultures and women, women advocates and supporters need to so their parts together it is not the responsibility of only one side but both sides have to be accountable to get results:

  1. Organizations’ Cultures
  • Change the culture of organizations: Change management is never an easy task, it involves resistance and a lot of efforts. That is why top executive leadership need to champion these efforts, as culture change trickles from the top down.
  • Offer flexibility at the workplace for parents; and elderly care-takers especially women- fortunately now with the change of laws, the four generations at the workplace more organizations are offering a flex schedule
  • Offer leadership training, and career development programs that are not bias towards male leaders
  • Have proper succession plans, including the proper assessments for female leaders, career development and training
  • Offer proper coaching, mentoring and sponsoring for promising female leaders
  • Revise work practices to help women advance to senior positions instead of hindering them like using ERG groups, giving women in the organization a seat on the table to pioneer these efforts
  • Monitor the selection process of people for high visibility projects that can enhance a career
  • Offer incentive education reimbursement for masters and doctorates programs for women
  • Have zero tolerance for stereotyping and discrimination against women – strong HR policies and departments are a great asset.
  • Have proper progressive performance evaluations and constructive feedback. Tie managers and supervisors performance evaluations’ and promotability to the efforts spent in coaching, training and advancing women

2.  Women role to advance themselves:

  • Reinvent themselves both internally by overcoming fears and other limiting beliefs like imposter syndrome, fear of failure or success, fear of ridicule; and externally through self-branding to project their brands, skills, confidence and assertiveness. There are so many free resources today due to the different associations, technology and the internet
  • Start getting serious about their destiny knowing that they are the only ones that can make it happen so take the bull by the horns.
  • Empower each other by forming and joining ERG and affinity groups to have a voice and fight the barriers or bias they might experience.
  • Engage with the organizations in effective initiatives to change the organizations cultural barriers.
  • Get rid of the “Glass Ceiling” excuse or as a fate defining issue, or fall under the self-fulfilling prophecy to justify why they are not advancing. Acting as a victim is debilitating, we become what we believe
  • Strategize a plan for their career: Study what is needed to advance, get the required qualifications as education or certification or mentoring, and simply go for it, do not wait for anyone to take your hand
  • Stand for themselves and speak-up; prevent others from assuming or trying to perceive their styles, competencies and abilities
  • Ask for feedback from managers or superiors, colleagues that they trust; take their comments into consideration as we are what we do – our actions, verbal and nonverbal communications and behaviors affect how we are perceived. Never get defensive
  • Ask for help, seek coaching in areas identified as vulnerable
  • Knowing that it will not be easy, or comfortable, they will need to adapt to many changes along the way, get out of their comfort ones but who said life was easy? Look at career as being an adventure along the life journey
  • Verbalize and ask for what they want, if you do not ask you do not get
  • Most importantly believe in themselves, only when you believe it you see it

There are differences in women and men leadership styles and this is the beauty of Diversity. Women do not need to be seen as aggressive, commanding, cut throat kind of leader with a capital “B” to be seen as a good leader actually it does take away from her efficiency, Being feminine with communication and nurturing skills have been proven to be a great leadership style.  Men do not need to wear dresses on the other side to be effective

I personally have gone through all the stages of self-doubt, fears, feeling kike I am not worthy, or who am I to fight better people before me were defeated, how can I stand a chance being an immigrant women minority with an accent?

I asked for help, seeked mentors and sponsors, I kept working and pushing the limits, going from one level to the other, nothing feels better than the euphoria feeling that you are making your own destiny reinventing yourself along the way, nothing is ever sweeter than success.

I hope you will join me in empowering women to reinvent themselves to be the best they can be to make this world a better world

If you have more ideas please share them in the comments

Till next time

Connect with me on:LinkedIN | Blog | YouTube | Twitter | G+ | Facebook |Pinterest

Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh

Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist

Sahar Consulting, LLC

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I help corporations and organizations create/ increase their employee engagement through Diversity, Inclusion, effective communication & Cross- Cultural leadership practices that result in everyone feeling appreciated, valued and respected for who they are; elevating morale and harmony hence increasing their productivity which translates to more revenues. 

16 tips to Set and Achieve your GOALS

Goal Setting, Achieving goalsWe just started the second half of the year, could you believe that six months already passed? How far have you gotten in achieving your goals? If you are like me you would look at your yearly vision board and see what goals you reached this year and which one to extend to next year or just remove.

Achieving goals requires CHANGE, as human beings once we are pushed out of our comfort zone, we panic. We start thinking about all the reasons why we can’t do it, all the excuses why we will never achieve what we set up to do like: I am too busy, I do not have enough support or I do not have enough connections, or I do not have enough love in my life, or I do not have the right credentials, and the list goes on.

When I started setting goals many many years ago, I had to change my way of thinking about setting goals, I realized that I had to start feeling a bit comfortable with the uncomfortable, embrace who I am and what I have as skills and talents, be kind to myself before being kind to anyone else, accept myself before moving forward.

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts using your resources, know what your obstacles are, what are your distractions, strong and weak points.


First close your eyes and try to dream and see yourself where you want to be? Whatever we focus on, we see, whatever we fear we draw near, and you can’t hit the target that you don’t see. This is a powerful concept with significant implications for both your personal and organizational lives. What we see is deeply influenced by what we expect, we are what we THINK we are.

Dreaming is fun, creativity is free to flow, all dreams are attainable but are not a final step, and it all starts with a plan. Someone said the difference between a dream and achieving a goal is timeline and accountability. Everybody dreams only few make their dreams a reality. Dreams become a reality when they solidify into a vision that takes on a life on its own.

Start with the basics, there is actually a process and blank spaces to fill to start setting your goals. They start by having a Vision and a mission statements

  • Vision Statement: inspires you, inform others what you will accomplish in the future. It answers the question WHY. It is emotional, define your core values and apply them. It is called “Vision” as it is associated with something you could actually see
  • Mission statement: Describes what you do, where you are going, How different are you, where you are headed. It answers the WHAT and the HOW, it defines the purpose

Then take a deep look at yourself: Are you a procrastinator meaning you always postpone things that need to be done to later; either because you do not know where to start, or you are scared, or you are overwhelmed?

Do you live a “Victim” life and suffer from “Victimitis”, or the “Why me syndrome”, or it will never happen to me syndrome?

Do you waste your time on tangents that do not add any value to your day or yourself? Do you believe in yourself and your skills? Are you kind to yourself?Are you accepting of whatever comes your way?

What are the higher steps you need to climb to unlock your full potential? What are the “buts & ifs” that you need to eliminate from your scenarios? What mindsets might you need to change to stay ahead?

Ask Yourself:

  • To be happy, what should I be doing that I am not doing now? And what am I doing now that I should let go? What does personal happiness means to me and to me alone?
  • What does success means to me and me alone? How can I be a success in one area of my life while being a well-rounded person with a wide range of interests and knowledge having a work-life balance throwing in time for self, growing and spirituality
  • What are the limiting thoughts that occupy my mind?
  • What compromises I need to do to achieve the levels of happiness and success that I am seeking?

Once you finish with the above, you already broke your first obstacle, it is a progressive process. Then think about your goals in a S.M.A.R.T. way:

Everyone’s definition of success is different, define yours and do not get sucked into other people’s dreams or definitions of success. Emotionally charged goals immersed in your passion are the best motivators, and reason for your commitment and dedication. You need to take responsibility of your life- Make yourself accountable, for all events either unforeseen or uncontrollable.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are the blueprints of the objectives along with the steps you will take to achieve your stated goals.

  • Specific: Provides a distinct picture of the goal and clear guidance on actions to increase success. Answer the questions – Who, What, Where, When, Which, Why. You need to have details and specifics, just having general goals will not work for example it is better to say I need to lose 20 pounds than saying I want to lose weight
  • Measurable: What you can’t measure you can’t control. In the example above losing a certain number or pounds like 3 pounds a month is a measure
  • Achievable: Challenging goals initiate better performance as long as they are achievable in the same example 3 pounds in a month is achievable 20 pounds in a month is not and will result in a person giving up
  • Relevant: Goals have to make sense to you and you alone if not you will have no commitment or dedication to achieve them
  • Time-Oriented: You have to have a time limit if not you can try achieving your goals all your life. In the same example: Losing 20 pounds in 6 months

How do I set my goals to achieve them?

  1. First you must dream! Dream of everything you ever wanted throughout your life.
  2. There are no limits, let your imagination go wild. Ask yourself, “What would I attempt to do, if I knew I could not fail?” “What would I want for my life if I knew I could have it?”
  3. Make your goals inspirational so that it continuously motivate you
  4. Unlock Your Potential and creativity; you have more that you know you have, take Charge of Your Life, be accountable for your actions, and create Your Own Future. Affirm that you can do it or you will find a way to do it
  5. Be very clear on your goals. Clarify Your Values, determine Your True Goals and decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose
  6. Use Present tense not future to get a sense of achievement, and personalize them with “I for example say: “I am a great speaker” instead of “I” will be a great speaker” the difference has a tremendous effect on your subconscious and how your body and mind reacts to the power of words
  7. BELIEVE, BELIEVE, then BELIEVE that you ARE accomplishing your goals. Use the power of affirmations (positive thoughts) that have been mixed with emotions and faith. Faith is the unshakable belief knowing that you know what you need to know that will take you to the next level and you have all the skills and talents needed. Analyze Your Beliefs, Start at The Beginning and Eliminate Obstacles
  8. Brainstorm, you can do it with other people too. Get around the right people, let go of the toxic people in your life that just whine, complain and spew negativity
  9. Write your ideas down on paper and decide which ones are the most important to you. (Remember that 97% of the population will not write their goals out. You are different, you are in the 3% of the successful population! Write them out. Do it now.)
  10. Review what you have written down on paper.
  11. Now it is time to define your dream precisely. Which of these goals are most important to you, and why? Use the SMART method
  12. On a fresh piece of paper, write down one goal at a time. Tackle the big picture then divide it into smaller achievable challenging goals with a realisticdeadline.
  13. Manage your time well, do not procrastinate, do something and review your goals every day. Measure your progress
  1. Visualize Your Goals Continually. I personally believe in the power of Vision Boards. Have Faith and persist.
  2. Evaluate your progress based on your measurables making changes if needed to your action plan. Review your goals daily. Never lose sight.
  3. Celebrate and Reward yourself. Most of the people always forget to reward and celebrate their wins. Celebrate your smallest victories even with a scented candle.

May all your Dreams come true – Make them come true- YOU CAN!

Let OUR differences make a difference in the world



Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh
Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist, Sahar Consulting, LLC
p:818 861 9434 | w:http://www.saharconsulting.com | a:Home of the D.I.A.L.O.G. Programs “Diversity And Inclusion for Leadership Organizational Growth”