As a woman who’s lived all around the world, Layla Saad has authority when she says humanity’s differences are superficial and our core dreams, fears and hopes are all the same. She uses this knowledge in her work as a life coach for entrepreneurial women, guiding them in their pursuit to create careers they are passionate about, and teaching them to trust in their powers of intuition.
But Layla didn’t start off this way. In fact she earned a degree in law and was quickly hired by one of the largest corporations in the world. For all intents and purposes, she was on her way to living the corporate dream…but something didn’t feel right.
Like many of us, she found herself at a crossroad, but unlike most, she courageously chose the path less traveled and it really has made all the difference.
Layla’s own story is living proof that you can break away from what is expected and build a successful career doing what you intuitively know is right for you.
Q – When you work with women entrepreneurs you always tell them to follow their own intuition – their inner guide. What advice would you have for someone who doesn’t have a strong intuitive sense? What if they don’t believe they have an inner voice or simply can’t hear it?
A – I truly believe that our intuition, our inner guide, can help us to make the decisions and take actions that are in our highest interest. And that’s why it is super important that women entrepreneurs learn how to get in touch with that part of themselves.
It exists in each one of us, however it is sometimes the case that women forget how to listen to that voice, how to tune in to it. There are a number of things we can do to help us tune back in and hear our own guidance:
1) Hearing that inner voice requires us to get quiet within. To turn down the volume on the internal chatter of fear and self-doubt so that the calm voice of wisdom can emerge. I call this ‘slowing down to tune in’.
Instead of rushing around all the time on the hamster-wheel of trying and doing, we have to allow space for BEING. We can do this through journaling, meditating, spending time in solitude, etc. A life coach can also be really useful in helping women to tune in to that voice of the higher self. The more we allow ourselves quiet and reflective time, the more space we allow for our intuitive voice to come forth.
2) Surround yourself with friends and mentors who value the power of intuition AND who encourage you to trust yourself for your own answers. Sometimes women like to turn to others for advice on what to do because they are afraid of ‘getting it wrong’.
But when we do that we instantly block our own ability to hear our own feelings on what we feel we should do. Friends and mentors who encourage us to listen to our own voice instead of telling us what to do are invaluable because they can teach us how to trust ourselves.
3) Realize that our feelings are our guide posts to our inner guide. Anytime we are making a decision or taking action, our feelings will tell us if we are heading in the right or wrong direction. Decisions which make us feel physically expansive generally tell us we are heading in the right direction. Decisions which make us feel physically contracted are often our intuition’s way of telling us we’re off track.
Q – As a teenager and young woman you bounced between living in the UK and Qatar. Do you believe these multi-cultural experiences have shaped the way you view human nature? Have you found similarities among people that seem to be universal regardless of their cultural background?
A – I am very lucky to have had experiences growing up and living in different countries including Wales, Tanzania, England and for the last 15 years – Qatar. My parents are East African and Arab, and I am a British citizen – but I truly feel like a citizen of the world. I definitely feel that these experiences have shaped the way I view human nature.
What I have found is that people are people no matter what their culture, religion or skin colour. We all go through the same kinds of struggles such as fear, self-doubt and self-sabotage.
And we also all have the same potential to overcome those challenges and make the most of our lives. We all have the ability to choose our thoughts, our beliefs and our behaviours. And that to me is a wonderfully empowering understanding to have.
Q – Looking back, what’s the biggest fear or personal challenge you’ve overcome that has allowed you to follow your own dreams rather than a “safe” career path such as law?
A – The biggest fear I have overcome in choosing to become a heart-centered solopreneur instead of following a career in the corporate world is the fear that I did not have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. For a long time I was terribly afraid of failing, of being imperfect and of getting it wrong.
Thankfully, through the personal development work I have done over the years I have learnt how to tap into my own authentic confidence and how to stop tripping myself up with limiting behaviours such as perfectionism and negative self-talk.
Bio: My name is Layla Saad and I’m a Business + Life Strategist.
I help new coaches + soulful entrepreneurs create the Confidence, Clarity and Connection to Self needed to break free from your 9-5 and create a heart-centered business and life.