Self Leadership

Hello All

I hope you are having a great week, if you have been following me for a while you will recall that one of my goals this year is to read 40 books that are somehow related to personal development and financial planning. At some point there I thought this was a bit out of reach but I now believe I will be able to achieve this goal. At this point I am on book number 26 meaning I only have to read 14 more books for the rest of the year no biggie.

One of the books I recently read was all about self leadership a term that I haven’t really come across. The full title of the book is ” Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager” …Increasing effectiveness through situational self leadership… discover the magic of no excuses (Ken Blanchard, Susan Fowler, Lawrence Hawkins). I am more in tune with the term self responsibility because I really believe we could all take a bit more responsibility for our lives. Self leadership is kinda similar although the focus was more about encouraging us to be our own leaders in our careers. What i loved about this book is that it was such an easy read, I couldn’t put it down I was done reading it in a day. A parable that talks through the process a young advertising goes through in realizing that he has to take responsibility in his own personal growth. Meaning he has to ask and seek out the training he needs to fulfill tasks that are unfamiliar to him. How many times do you go through life blaming circumstances or others for your own shortcomings. There is nothing wrong with not knowing something the problems begin when you decide to become a victim of the circumstances instead of the victor. Honesty is key if your boss gives you a task that you are unfamiliar with be honest enough to seek out clarification and training if need be… it will save you time and heart ache in the long run.

Self leadership means stepping up to the plate doing the deep work and assessing where you are and where you want to be in terms of your work goals, but it can also apply to your overall life goals. Have you honestly sat down and done a life assessment of where you are in terms of your life goals. Self leadership requires you to take the time to do such things. I do not want to speak for everyone but for the longest time my life was leading me and not the other way around. I want to lead my life… I want to be the leader of my career, my finances , my health etc… I want to do thing on my terms and in my time and self leadership makes me realize that this is all possible. I want to share a few quotes that really resonated with me from the book just to see how this concept can apply in your life.

Empowerment Is Something Someone Gives You. Self Leadership Is What You Do To make It Work”

I will let this sink in for a minute because that statement gave me chills, when you are empowered to do something do you do everything to make it work or do you find reasons and excuses about why you cant do it.

Ultimately, Its In Your Best Interest To Accept Responsibility For Getting What You Need To Succeed in The Work Place”

You are the best judge of where you are in the skills spectrum, what skills do you need to develop further to get the job done and to move beyond where you currently are.

An Assumed Constraint Is a Belief You Have, Based on Past Experience, That Limits Your Current And Future Experiences” That is me with excel , for the longest time I had this belief that I could never understand excel because it was way too complex, this is me with a PhD in epidemiology… we all have these assumed constraints. The key is taking ownership and acknowledging that these constraints are not helping us at all.

I could go on and own transcribing more nuggets from the book but i thin you will get more value from the book by reading it your self. I borrowed my copy from the library but you can get it from amazon here.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that you will consider self leadership in your own life. Sign up to receive more blog alerts as I publish them

With Love and Gratitude

Dr Fatsani Dogani

Fear

Hi Everyone

I would like to tackle the concept of fea, because whether we like it or not we face fear all the time. Some of us have become really good at recognizing it and facing it whilst others still struggle with fear.

Fear shows up whenever we are trying to better ourselves whether it be starting a new job, starting a new business, learning a new skill or trying to achieve new goals. Best believe fear will show up and it usually shows up as self doubt and negative self talk. We hate failure and when ever we are trying out something new we cant help but fear failure. No one likes to fail but at times this is sometimes the only path towards success. It would be amiss for me to say that you will always be successful in the endeavors that you decide to take on. I can say with certainty that you will definitely learn from trying how else would you know if what you are attempting will work out you have to think it through and try it out.

When faced with fear, acknowledge the feeling. Yes I am trying something new, yeah I am scared I might fail but so what. Will people laugh at me, maybe ….but who cares. This is something you are doing for you and not them. Do you truly believe that people spend that much time thinking about you? If they do then bohoo to them there is so much I know I would personally be doing with my free time than spend it talking about what so and so is doing, bu that is just me. I get scared, but I always feel out the fear and ask myself clarification questions.

1) Why I’m I scared?

2) What would it take to get over the fear?

3) Sowhat if I fail, what’s the worst that

could happen?

4) What do I have to learn to get the confidence to try it out?

5) Let’s say I tried and I succeeded, what would that mean for me?

6) What could I potentially learn either way?

7) How could I step it out so that the first step I need to take isnt as overwhelming as the big goal?

8) Who else has done this?

9) How did they do it?

10) If I came up with this goal it means that I can do it….I just have to work at doing it…then I would start to list out all the reasons why I can take on whatever it is that my mind has birthed in me.

Fear will always be there….look back at all the things you have been able to master and overcome…give yourself a pat on the back …you know what it it to overcome fear.

With love and gratitude

Dr Fatsani Dogani

Goals

Hello Everyone

This is not the first time I have written about goals and it wont be the last either. As I sit here writing about goals I ask myself why do they matter. Why do we need goals ? It is a philosophical question but I believe if you are on a journey of self discovery and living life to your full potential these are the types of questions you have to ask yourself. Would it not be weird if we all went around our day to day with no purpose, goals or intention. If we had no creative thoughts that we could follow through. I feel like life without goals and purpose would be rather strange so I feel goals are a necessary part of this thing called life.

I also believe that goals shouldn’t just be for the beginning of the year when we all whip out our notebooks and start jotting down our new years resolutions which we forget by the end of January. I feel goals should be ongoing and they should be revisited regularly. I was cleaning up the other day and I came across some old journals of mine, in them I had the grandest of goals, admittedly I have been able to achieve some of them but there are a lot others that I never followed through on, mainly because once I wrote them down I never bothered to put a plan into action as to how I could make them achievable. This year I tried a different strategy in addressing my goals and it is actually paying off. As the year has progressed I have also been reading and learning from others on how they address their goals and I have been in cooperating these into my own life. For starters I set myself the goal of improving my health and I had achievable goals set out for myself for where I was at.

I knew committing to something like 6 days of exercise a week was way beyond my reach and it would have made me a liar and failure, so I seriously looked at my life and commitments and opted for something that I knew I could achieve and that was exercise three times a week. This made it easier for me to make exercise part of my weekly routine. I had some weeks where 3 weeks was all I could manage and some great weeks where I was able to exercise 5 to 6 times a week. I then also started challenging myself and went completely outside my comfort zone and started running. I had always told myself I hated running and my body used to respond to this ongoing message reacting to the environment every time I would attempt walking or running outside. I would literally itch and scratch and come out in hives. I had convinced myself that I was allergic to running outside and also that I hated running. I actually just hated the fact that running made me feel so unfit.

I would step outside attempt to run and my heart would feel like it was about to burst out of my chest. This was not a feeling I enjoyed and so I never bothered trying until my sister started her running journey and actually run a half marathon. This had me revisit my running fear. I figured I could give it a try and I started off by walking to test out my itchiness. Then one day I just decided to run around our neighborhood lake and I surprised myself by not collapsing. My hurt did not burn as much and I realized that my weekly exercise regime had actually helped be develop my exercise endurance. I was able to recover quickly and control my breathing. As time progressed so did my running to the point where I made running a 5 k a goal of mine. I am happy to share that this past Saturday I run my first ever 5 K and I am here to share it as an encouragement to others.

My purpose in sharing this story is to show you that you can revisit and revamp your goals at anytime. They do not have to be written down once, you can have monthly and weekly reviews of where you are, how you are doing, where you need to slow down, where you need to seek help, and give yourself the congratulations you need to for maintaining and winning at those goals. That is where I am where my health goals are, I am celebrating a small win, I never once saw myself as a runner, but that is where I can now celebrate myself. I have decided to approach my life with a growth mindset. I will look at set backs as learning moments. That is not to say I will not say no to things I have no business trying, but I am willing to take on more challenges head on with the knowledge that if I win I win and if I fail, I will at least have learned something.

With Love and Gratitude

Fatsani Dogani

Time Investment

This weekend my sister came to visit me from out of State and the bonus was she came with her kids and hubby. She is really my best friend whom I have known since I was 9 years old…over time the lines between friendship and family have become blurred and she is now someone I consider my sister, we have literally grown up together.

We had a very hectic weekend, she arrived with her family on friday. We took opportunity of the precious time together to do as much as we could but the time just didn’t seem to be enough. That’s when I started reflecting on where I am investing my time and how that makes me feel. I find when I have a deep connection with someone time flies and I can be my authentic self without feeling the pressure of what topics to speak about. I am a teacher by nature in that I like to share what I know and this might at times be taken the wrong way by some. Those that get me, get me and they have no judgement or pre conceived ideas about where I am coming from or who I think I am. So I feel in some crowds I have to dim my light and just listen and observe, which I am actually okay with. This is not a ccomplaint just an observation.

I felt that this weekend went pretty well and way too fast, I was free to talk about my dreams, aspirations, and future plans without feeling judged or that I was over sharing. I felt that the time I have invested in nurturing my sisterhood and friendship becomes all worth while when I can see the positive feelings it brings to my spirit. I had the best time but still felt that the time wasnt long enough. One thing that I have learned is that I need to invest the time nurturing the relationships that matter to me. How do you ensure that you are nurturing the right relationships?

Stress

Hello All

Hope you are all doing great. I attended a conference this past weekend and the key note speaker had a very interesting topic. Her talk was titled ” Make Stress Work for You” I must say it was rather insightful. I am glad it was the first talk of the whole day because I was dealing with my own personal stress. Self imposed of course but I dealt better after listening to her talk and I actually learned something about myself. Let me put things into perspective.

I decided to incorporate family time with this conference… it was a 2 day conference and both days were early starts so I figured it would be great to get a nearby hotel and have the kids and hubby come along as well. Having the great friends that I have I was offered to be picked up from my hotel to be driven to the conference meaning that the hubby had the opportunity to sleep in with the kids. Long story short I left my phone in my friends car and didnt have it with me for the whole first day of the conference.

I realised straight away as soon as I sat down at the conference that I didn’t have my phone, the first thing I did was look for the phone in my purse and it wasnt there. You can imagine my panic and stress. I tried to think about where I could have left the phone. I borrowed my friends phone and called the hotel to find out if I had left it by their coffee bar. I knew I left the hotel room with it…when they told me that the phone hadn’t been handed in and that it wasnt at the coffee bar I was hoping it would be in my friends car but I had no way of knowing. Needless to say my stress levels were on the high side. I decided to make the most of it…how would I cope without my phone with me the whole day.

The stress talk definitely did help. I decided to make the most of it…not having my phone with me meant that I could be truly engaged and participate fully, and guess what I actually survived and nothing bad happened. What a realization…the world did not stand still…my heart kept beating…the world kept going. I leaned that a bit of a break from the phone is actually a good thing and I was stressing myself over nothing. Have you become a slave to your phone and does the lack of quick access cause you to have stress? Try taking a break from your phone and see that the world continues. Although I have gone a bit off tangent I just wanted to share that brief experience now onto the Stress talk.

I learned that stress can actually be used to work for us this is shared fully in this Ted talk by Kelly McGonigal who was the keynote speaker who can be seen in this you tube video https://youtu.be/RcGyVTAoXEU

Listening to her talk taught me that there are different ways to cope with stress.

1. Rise to the challenge

2.Reach out to others

3. Learn and grow

I used all 3 coping mechanisms…I rose to the challenge by asking myself what’s the worst that could happen? , and the answer to that was nothing. I reached out to others by sharing the fact that I had lost my phone and I benefited from the social support, and lastly I learned and grew. I learned that lousing my phone albeit temporarily was not the end of the world and there are worse things that could happen. I was surprisingly calm and collected throughout the day and I will be honest I was still excited when I found my phone in my friends car exactly where I had unintentionally dropped it 7 hours earlier.

How are you embracing your stress? Stress when handled a certain way can actually show you that you have a meaningful life.

With Love and Gratitude

Dr Fatsani Dogani

Budgeting

I have been avoiding talking about this for a while because let’s be honest it is not the most interesting topic to be talking about. As much as you might cringe at the thought of the word it is actually something all smart women should be doing.

I am unashamedly sharing my story to encourage like minded women to proactively plan for their futures and part of that involves being smart with your money and being smart means having a budget. I need a budget because I need to start paying attention to where my money is going. I have been doing a lot of reflecting recently and came to the realization that I wasn’t fully living to my full potential and I wasn’t really living life to its fullest. I took a hard look at myself and my life and saw that I make enough money to really enjoy the life I keep dreaming about but most of that money is going to service debt for things that really do not bring me that much joy.

Experiences bring me joy and these experiences usually come in the form of traveling and doing fun things with the family. I don’t get to travel as much as I would like to because of the money factor and this is because most of the money coming in is busy going out to pay for consumer debt such as credit cards , car loans and the all so awesome student loan. So this got me thinking and reflecting. What would our household income be like if we weren’t having to pay out to other people and boy did I like the figures and that was the beginning of the debt repayment journey.

I have learned that to be all in on something you have to learn from others, I mean why reinvent the wheel. I started off with a simple google search with the key words paying off debt. Who would have known there is a whole community of people out there that have already achieved what we are trying to achieve and I have been reading a lot of blogs and watched a lot of videos and I continue to submerge myself in reading as much as I can and learning about what steps have worked for those that have been able to kick debt to the curb. Key to success is having a budget or as others like to call it a spending plan. A spending plan is where you make a decision to be intentional with your spending, you basically make a plan on how your money will be spent.  There is no one size fits all where this is concerned because people are different in the way they think. I generally had a rough idea of what was coming in and what was going out but never really sat down to plan appropriately.

The hubby and I sat down and had a hearty conversation about our finances and we both decided that it was time we started paying more attention. Based on my research the best way of ensuring success is to make sure you are both on the same page. We attended a budgeting class at our local church and the facilitator showed us the envelop method. This is where you allocate funds into different envelopes according to the different categories of your spending. You could allocate based on rent/mortgage groceries, transportation, clothing, tithing/charity, entertainment… you get the general idea. The envelop system is based on the principal that once you run out of funds in that category you are done and you have to wait till the next allocation date… when you next get paid. Other people use multiple debit card accounts to separate out how they spend and save their money it really depends on your preference. A good starting point if you are starting from zero is to look back your last 2 to 3 months spending habits as a starting point. Figure out what you spent where and see if there are areas you can start to cut down on. We have cut down on our eating out so that we can put more  money towards travel and credit card pay down. Budgeting is a personal thing based on what you consider to be important to you. It shouldn’t cause you any stress. There are so many apps, blogs, vlogs, and websites that are dedicated to educating the likes of you and me that it will be easy for you to search around and see what woks for you.

I am looking forward to next year because I think it will be a great starting point… I will start with the end in mind by planning a year ahead as I feel that will make it easier to then work backwards this will especially be useful when planning spending towards travel, clothes etc. For simplicity sake if I want to save $1000 towards travel each year I would divide the $1000 by 12=  $83 which I would round off to $85 and that will be allocation towards travel for each month. I would then do the same for each category. I feel that will remove the overwhelm and it will keep things manageable on a month by month basis. I find trying this out now would be a bit more tricky so we are just mainly focusing on our spending patterns as a data gathering process to help shape our future budget so for now we are tweaking and perfecting it on month to month process. We are using the debt snowball method to pay off our credit card balances and I am excited to share that we have cleared 3 that had small amounts totaling $1500. Slow but steady wins the game. So if you are on the fence about starting budgeting I would recommend you just start by paying attention to what you are spending on. Take the commitment to write down each and every transaction and then review it and do the math to guide you on how you would allocate your monthly income into the different spending categories. All I know is you have to find what would work for you.

With love and gratitude

Dr Fatsani Dogani

Parenting

Last week I shared that I was struggling with coming up with topics to write on the blog and asked for some topics that you would be interested in. The one topic that was requested was parenting. So here I am sharing about parenting, I know that we all ask ourselves whether we are doing a good job at parenting and whether we are failing as parents, well I know I do. I have 3 wonderful children and I would like to believe that raising them has given me some sort of experience in terms of what parenting involves. I have made my mistakes and I continue to make mistakes but I realize that parenting is to be seen as a learning process. Our kids are unique and what works for one might not necessarily work for the rest, all you can do is go with your gut and do what you feel is best for your child.

My childhood growing up was so different to the childhood my kids have. A no from my parents usually meant a no, with these modern kids a no sometimes turns into a debate. Just yesterday my 11 year old daughter was asking me for a cell phone. We have held out for so long but now she sees her friends getting cell phones and she wants to also get one. Our reasons for not letting her have one are many, with all the cyber bullying going around, not to mention the screen addiction issues we keep hearing about I would rather not let her have one. The need for communication comes in but for her it doesn’t really apply, for one she is home schooled, and secondly she goes to Taekwando and Gymnastics and we usually know where she is most of the time. I might have been convinced if she was in regular school where communication would be an issue. Besides her older brother got his first phone at age 12 and it was a flip phone at that, he used to walk to and from School so we felt that him having a phone was at least justified. I have a feeling this phone story will continue. Parenting requires flexibility in how you approach different situations , you might have to be strict one minute and understanding the next. We lay pretty solid ground rules and we expect the kids to adhere to the rules. My kids ages are rather spread out, my oldest is 19 and he just moved out his sister is 11 and the last born is 9. I would like to believe that our parenting skills have gotten better over the years but we also had to learn quickly that each child was different and required a different approach with discipline. My daughter only has to hear something once and we can be assured she will not repeat the mistake. My younger son on the other hand will try and push the envelope to see how far he can go. I have been called to the principles many a times about him. My oldest son on the other hand has also given us our fair share of grey hairs but I think it is part of the growing process.

The challenges I have faced with my oldest have somehow prepared me for my younger two. I have learned through my own parenting mistakes that you have to allow your kids to fail because these failures provide the best learning opportunities than you can ever hope to provide as a parent. We coddle our kids so much that we do not realize we are actually hurting them. Our kids need to learn certain life skills because we wont always be there to bail them out. Simple things like doing laundry, doing the dishes , and taking out the trash should be taught to our kids at a young age. I had a wake-up call when I asked my son to got to the post office to send a letter for me and he had no clue how to do that. At first I was disappointed in him because I felt like that was something he should know how to do, but then I realized that it was my own fault. How did I expect him to know what to do at the post office if I had never showed him what to do. This goes back to so many other things as well, should we be getting mad at our kids when they do things that we have never had a discussion about. Is it right to assume that they should know unspoken rules and laws when they have never actually had any conversations about those rules you expect them to know. I have realized that communication and laying out expectations from the onset can go a great way to avoiding most of the parental conflicts we tend to have with our kids. If you dont want your kids to be on their electronics the whole time, come up with the ground rules about when you will be OK with them to be on the electronics, only on weekends, for an hour during school days after homework is done, the key is you are the parent you can set the ground rules.

Understandably ours is a different ball game to the parenting our parents had to do. I grew up during the time of no cell phones, no electronic gadgets, and also what appeared a safe time to live. It might be we never heard of all the scary things that people do or it might actually be that there were no bad people around. I remember the time we would play till the street lights came on, we would walk for miles to go to friends houses and bed time meant bedtime. We never answered back to our parents and they just seemed to have it so easy. I find I have a lot of conversations with my kids explaining why things have to be the way I say they should be. To counter this I have started making them read a lot of personal development books to help themselves. I am pushing the whole self responsibility agenda where discipline is concerned. I am convinced that they will become better kids and citizens by realizing that their future is in their own hands , they have to take responsibility for their behaviors but it is my job to encourage and mold them to the best of my abilities. I am currently reading a book titled “Rich Kids: How to raise our children to be happy and successful in Life” and it is a gem of a book and I would recommend this for all parents. I wish I had this when my oldest was still at home , but I am glad I have it as a reference as I continue to grow my other 2 kids.

If anything remember that you are doing a great job as parents, keep it up.

With Love and gratitude

Dr Fatsani Dogani