#Fabulous Veils#The Secrets behind the Scenes# Secret 18

Would you allow yourself to be happy without being perfect? I did, and this was another secret which enabled me to make my dream come true.

In order to beat my relentless trials to be perfect I read a book called ‘Be happy without being perfect’ which I highly recommend for perfectionists. The 5 following steps will allow you to defeat this mental thief:
1- Change your mindset.
Only GOD is perfect. All human beings have flows and this is a secret behind their beauty. It’s an evidence that they are humans.

2- Reflect on the impact of perfectionism on your past.
Think of the many times you didn’t take actions and the many chances you turned down because you thought the outcome won’t be perfect. Why befriending perfectionism? He’s limiting you.

3- Study the examples of successful people.
Observe their simple beginnings. They weren’t perfect. Any work of art, any product, any project they produced still have areas for improvement. Nothing in life is perfect so why chasing an illusion?

4- Aim for progress.
Replace your unrealistic goal of ‘being perfect’ with a realist one of ‘doing progress’. Put serious effort to do things properly. Ask for feedback from your family, friends and people who have dreams like yours. Consider their feedback and develop.

5- Stop being selfish.
Playing little and not chasing your dreams is a selfish act. You were given gifts to use them for the best of others. Waiting to be perfect and depriving people from what you can share with them is negatively affecting them and the world.

Change your lens, change your life. Perfectionism is a robber, is mental disease. You will make big things the moment you win your battle over him.

It All Starts with You..

If you were to capture a picture of yourself right now and observe it, what would you see? What would your facial expressions look like. If the picture was a video which recorded your self-talk, what would it be recording? In short, how do you feel right now and what was your inner voice telling you in this particular moment?

‘The leader who had no title’ is one of the statements I hear over and over again from the world great leader Robin Sharma. In his books and videos he encourages people to act like leaders, leading their own lives and acting like Picasso in their vocations.

Working as an Educational leader for a full decade, Stephen R. Covey’s and Robin Sharma’s books had taught me profound life lessons. Elyse Nelson’s words greatly express one of those lessons: “Leadership is about the decisions you make, and the actions that you take each day.” Each day. Tough part. And that’s what Covey insisted on. We can’t be leaders in one area of our lives and failing in others. Our life must be a complete whole. This is what authenticity is about.

My journey in leading myself wasn’t an easy one. It was harsh. It started with guilt, shame and self-judgment. I was too hard on myself and expected from it to be perfect ALL the time. I scolded myself and blamed it for every single detail. I did that for so long till I reached a dead end. I lost my voice for stress and suffered from chronic back pain. The pain kept increasing till one day I felt unable to continue such a miserable life. I sought help and a compassionate Life Coach taught me to see myself and my life from a different angle. I started to practice self-love and here I am, four years later, showing up as a leader ‘each day’ as Nelson advocated.

Leading my life on daily basis required from me further readings and several practices. I comprehended that the way we start our days sets the tone of the rest of its hours. Devoting few minutes at the beginning to breath well, to mediate or to drink a cup of fresh orange juice had magnificent effects. Buying myself flowers on weekly basis and having them on my desk at work reminded me that I am a leader; leading my life. Loving myself. Playing no victim. Taking ownership of my happiness. And by practicing simple and affordable self-love actions my relation with myself changed and I started to befriend myself which was a turning point. I watched the way I talked to myself, paid attention to my negative words and apologised to myself sometimes. Gradually my self-talk became gentle and kind and I embraced myself the way I was, with the things I used to reject in my outer and inner self.

Observing my life lately I found out that accepting myself was the starting point that made me find the peace and fulfilment I was looking for. I became a LEADER.
“Leadership isn’t a title. It’s a behaviour. Live it,” Robin Sharma

#Fabulous Veils#The Secrets behind the Scenes# Secret 17

#Fabulous Veils#The Secrets behind the Scenes# Secret 17

Problems aren’t problems. Problems are problems only when we give them this meaning and look at them this way. Along my journey I faced many obstacles while writing my novel. However, following the steps below enabled me to reach my dream. The steps were:

1- Changing my perception. Looking at problems as challenges. Changing the way I looked at problems and the way I called them made me take them easier and deal with them with courage.

2- Calming down. Taking a deep breath and searching for solutions on the internet or in books. Asking for the help of my family and friends. Instead of wasting my time complaining and playing the victim, I decided to ask for help and ended up having 54 persons helping me in my novel.

3- Reflecting on the obstacles and how I managed to overcome them. For me the main lesson I learned was to ask for help, instead of panicking or wasting time and energy. This made me develop a strategy to face problems.

4- Feeling more confident. Putting problems into perspective made me see myself on top of my challenges which wasn’t the case at the beginning.

5- Feeling excited while expecting obstacles. By reframing the meaning of ‘Problems’ I started to call them ‘Challenges’, which meant for me growth and evolution.

6- Taking an overview on the whole experience. Studying how challenges changed me on all aspect whether mentally, spiritually, emotionally. How I became a stronger and better person.

Problems are opportunities in disguise. They were sent to you and you in particular to help you grow and develop. Grab them, put them into perspective and start dealing with them as if they were riddles.

Why Do People Give-up on their Dreams?

Misconceptions. ‘Be a candle to light people’s lives.’ What happens to candles? They burn out and dissolve offering no more light. While candles differ in the survival period, they all end up by vanishing. Why having to be candle, sacrificing oneself to matter in people’s lives. Why not being a sun or a moon? Why not being a light bulb? What’s the metaphor of the candle. The answer is misconception.

I grew up to believe that the non-working mother is better than the working one. The first, by logic, had more time for her family and was devoted. I was raised that the good wife suppresses her feelings and denies her needs to allow a smooth sailing for the boat of marriage. I was conditioned that girls were created to get married, obey husbands and raise children and that the female who doesn’t complete this cycle will live in constant agony and will be considered incomplete.

“You have to keep your cup full,” claimed Oprah Winfrey. Which cup and why? Why do we have to keep our cup full?, I wondered. The cup is the cup of oneself, of self-love. To lighten up others’ lives, females need to be happy and feel fulfilled. And how is that supposed to happen if they were raised to believe that they are candles, created to be burnt out for others to flourish?

Reflecting on my journey of chasing my dream I wished I had the ability to climb a mountain and stand on its top and scream out loud. I dreamt to have my voice reaching every single female on our planet earth. Urging her to reexamine her beliefs and chase her dreams. Sharing with her my story and showing her how standing for my dream filled my cup and affected the lives of the people I dealt with in all my circles, not only my closest one, but all.

Giving up on our dreams for others is the ‘selfish’ act. The selfish act practiced by us towards ourselves and by others towards us. Expecting from us to be candles is a clear evidence that they don’t love us, but only love themselves.

Standing for our dreams, from my perspective, is a selfless act. It’s an action of love for our community and our world. We were created for a reason and a purpose and living our lives as candles doesn’t demonstrate our heroism. It proves how we were brainwashed since our childhood. While living for our dreams is the heroic act; it requires commitment, persistence, courage and self-discipline.

A mother who chases her dreams inspires her children to dream big and exhibit courage. The key is in balancing between priorities and putting first things first. Not in denying oneself, but in embracing oneself fully and unconditionally.

#FabulousVeilsNovel#Book Review

“The lives of these three women as related by Iman are strikingly different yet all are linked by the common themes of love and hope… Rose Quartz (the pink crystal in the picture) is a powerful symbol of the love and strength demonstrated by these women who face discrimination and gender inequalities on a daily basis.
A thoroughly good read and important book.”

#Fabulous Veils#The Secrets behind the Scenes# Secret 16 (part 2)

The 7 following steps were the strategy I used in making my dream come true:

4- Work harder during vacations and holidays.
Working passionately on your dream is fun and that’s the main objectives from holidays. To have fun. Instead of getting lazy during vacations, I used to work for 3 hours daily on my dream.

5- Prioritise your actions.
Some actions need to be taken before others. In my case, attending writing courses was my top priority, while searching for publishing houses came later on my list.

6- Block a part of your day for your dream without affecting your personal life.
In holidays people tend to sleep more and get lazy. Use this for your best. Wake up early and work while your family members and friends are asleep. Let this thought fuels you; you’re working on your dream while they are immersed in theirs.

7- Postpone harder tasks to yearly vacations.
While some actions on your list might take few minutes like making a call or surfing the web others might require long hours. Learning to market and to network were two of the most challenging tasks I encountered along my journey. Delaying them to my annual vacation helped me to take my time to read, learn and comprehend what needed to be done. Though working during vacation, I was less stressed knowing that I don’t have to go to work while already struggling with tasks related to my dream. In addition, I knew that I had to work on hard tasks for few hours while the rest of the day would be spent in outings and relaxation.

Remember Stephen R. Covey’s quote, “To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know” and take it easy. Your dream started to be realised the moment you decided to read and/or watch this series.

Follow Your Dreams

My journey in details… a new me was born!

Women of Egypt Mag

Thursday January 18, 2016
By: Iman Refaat


“All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”  ~ Walt Disney.

It was a matter of courage, the lack of it, to be precise, that held me back from pursuing my dream. I wanted to write a novel in English, but neither my French education nor my degree in Mass Communication matched up to this dream. My inner voice, my worst enemy, interrupted every fantasy I had to become a novelist, continuously reminding me that I neither had the knowledge, the capability nor the skill to become one. I also considered myself a super busy person. Working as a full time educator, a wife and a mother of two teens with little help at home, I was juggling many balls and trying hard to keep my balance.

16105973_1289785827726775_6349391940480317843_nOne day I read a Facebook post that said, “What’s the…

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