After seven years in the corporate world where Zarina Tariq specialized in Marketing and Market Research for the FMCG sector; Zarina Tariq stumbled upon coaching and found her road to Damascus. Coaching helped her reclaim her power from thoughts, feelings and emotions which bogged her down. It renewed her mindset and more specifically her outlook towards herself and the world at large.
Today, Zarina Tariq is herself an Empowerment Coach who is helping others reclaim their power. She facilitates her clients via 1:1 Coaching Programs and operates with three fundamentals: Peace, Purpose and Passion. Discover more about Zarina Tariq and her intriguing journey in this engaging interview with Storiyaan.
Questions and answers
What would you say is the USP (unique selling point) of your coaching business?
There are 2 unique things about my coaching practice:
- My journey. I can relate to my clients because I have been there, really! Moreover, with my corporate experience I can support my clients in work-related concerns as well, be it tackling burn-out, conflict at the workplace or confidence building in a work-setting.
- Secondly and most importantly, I LOVE my work. My coaching practice is the sweet spot where my purpose and passion overlap. I strongly believe that when purpose & passion meet, that’s truly where the magic happens.
The pandemic has resulted in devastating losses for millions. How did you manage to keep yourself optimistic during this time?
There are a few things that worked for me during this trying time. I stayed mindful of the thoughts & activities I engaged in. Before engaging in an activity or thought process, I would ask myself whether it serves me or not. I planned my days in a way where I catered to my physical, emotional, and mental health, while moving forward towards goals that excite me. When I would feel down, I would approach my challenging emotions in a non-judgmental and compassionate manner via contemplation or journaling. What also greatly helped was engaging in mood-boosters to uplift my spirits such as listening to music, breathing exercises or yoga.
A lot of people have been rendered disillusioned in the aftermath of the lockdown. What would be your message for them?
- It’s okay to feel challenging emotions. Don’t run away or distract yourself from them, instead approach them to release them with more ease.
- Be flexible. If you can no longer go to the gym for exercise, create an at-home practice. If you can’t meet family or friends, set up a group Zoom call. Basically, the options are endless, it’s just a matter of being open to them during ever-changing circumstances.
- Lastly, prioritize self-care! And remember, self-care doesn’t only mean luxurious spa days, but also sleeping on time, hydrating, eating healthy & the list goes on. Find what works for you & invest time and energy into it every single day. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
You mentioned that you were once a person who was at the mercy of your emotions and thoughts. How did you embark upon the journey of regulating them?
The beginning of my journey to regulating my emotions started when I got introduced to the coaching world. Working with a coach, both as a client & a student, brought about a drastic shift in my mindset.
The 2 most important things I learnt were: 1. There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ emotion. Emotions are merely our minds and bodies sending us signals. Once we reframe our relationship with challenging emotions, it gets simpler to tackle them. 2. We are not necessarily responsible for our 1st thought, we are, however for our 2nd thought & action. True empowerment lies in choosing how to respond.
Little by little, I started reclaiming my power from the disempowering thoughts & beliefs I had about myself that felt like second nature to me. I realized that I had the power all along to regulate my emotions & thoughts and tackle them in a healthy manner, it was just about accessing this ability with consistency to build & strengthen the new neural pathways I was forming.
Your coaching program hinges on facilitating your clients with 3 fundamentals - peace, passion and purpose. How do you draw a connection between these aspects when it comes to a client who is unaware of and deprived of all three?
Peace is the first one to tackle in such cases, which involves a lot of work on mindset. This is because the mindset with which we approach our purpose & passion is crucial. Peace focuses on establishing a relationship with yourself, building self-awareness & letting go of that which doesn’t serve you. I explain it as filling your cup because you can’t possibly pour into all the important domains of your life from an empty one.
How did you realize your calling for empowerment coaching after having worked in the corporate sector for more than 6 years and how did you make up your mind to move ahead from that life?
I was dissatisfied with my corporate job, but it was difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that what may be a great opportunity for some, may not necessarily be for others. Towards the end of my stint in the corporate world, I got introduced to the coaching world and started working with a coach. I started seeing the world through a fresh lens and finally took my happiness into my own hands. Once I experienced the shifts in my mindset, my life and relationships I dug a little deeper & struck gold! I found my passion and opportunities started to open up around me. It took courage to take the plunge. While fears and doubts did crop up in my mind, I did it anyway. I told myself I would never know unless I experience it. Looking back now, I am so glad I took the plunge, because it’s given me the opportunity to live my passion.
What was the first sign that made you believe that the journey of unburdening yourself had begun and what turned out to be your greatest motivation during this metamorphosis?
The very first sign was how my relationship with myself changed, I went from not having a relationship with myself to developing and fostering compassion for myself. I started to notice a shift in my approach towards my responses & behaviors. In this shift, I started to question my belief that I could not change & discovered the beauty of choice and accountability.
Can you tell us a bit about your Coaching sessions and how do you customize them to suit your clients’ purposes?
1:1 coaching with me is a combination of dialogue, learning, techniques & homework over 1-3 month long journeys. The style I adopt is customized to the individual I am coaching. I draw from modalities of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness & Coaching. Customization hinges on my clients’ challenges, goals, pace, mindset, progress & preferences. There are hundreds of techniques I can use, finding the right one which will make the most impact with the client is where the true art of customization lies. Having said that, I do ensure that we have open & transparent flow of communication with each other through the coaching journey to make live tweaks in case needed.
What are some of the initial challenges that came your way when you first started your journey as an empowerment coach?
My challenges were mainly to do with my mindset. Rather than taking them as ‘challenges’, I took them as opportunities to grow. Fear of failure, judgment of others & self-doubt were some of the barriers I faced which got heightened when I was putting myself out there on social media to grow my business. In such moments, I would take a step back and coach myself as I would a client. I made sure I approached my business from a space of freedom vs. fear. This is why I love what I do; it doesn’t only help others but gives me the tools to continue working on myself as well.
What are some of the preliminary things that one should practice to begin one’s journey towards self-love. Do you think the popular ideas of working out & skincare effective in this journey?
I think it depends on where one is in terms of the relationship with themselves. At times we don’t have a relationship at all, let alone having a relationship of love. In situations like this, it is important to be compassionate & non-judgmental towards yourself and acknowledge your emotions & thoughts. Only once this is done, can one find their inner guiding voice. Self-love is a journey of uncovering & letting go of any beliefs you may have about yourself which are limiting you & making you forget the fact that you are limitless! Everyone’s way of doing this is different and all are equally valid. Though the one thing common across is making small, sustainable changes & rebuilding trust within yourself little by little as you go along.
When it comes to popular ideas, I would say one shouldn’t do them because they are popular, but because they resonate with them. For example, for me working out and yoga came naturally as I have always loved movement. Figuring out what genuinely works for us is key to an effective journey.
1.Your current read – How To Do The Work by Dr. Nicole LePera
2.Your favorite way to blow off steam – Great music & a run!
3.Your greatest achievement – Reclaiming my power & paying it forward as an Empowerment Coach to my amazing clients
4.Your biggest life lesson – The only barrier to change is the belief that you cannot
5.One book that you go back to for motivation – Rather than going to books, I go back to my ‘why’.