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"You Are Enough"

Do you need inspiration? 

We love a success story at Hopscotch.  This is the story of Shaheen, a Business Analyst and long time member of the Hopscotch community who came along to one of our recent Career Clinics and met with the wonderful health & wellness coach, Heidi Jones, who was hosting.  

Inspired by Heidi's words and her proactive approach to getting yourself back on track, Shaheen decided to join Heidi's 90 day programme shortly afterwards in order to help her health, outlook and job hunting capabilities.  This interview, led by Heidi, is her experience of what led to that decision and the results she's experienced, demonstrating the incredible power of making connections and networking.



Heidi: Hello Shaheen! Tell us a little about yourself and how have the past 3 months for been for you?


Shaheen: Hello! I am Shaheen, a mother of delightful 2-year old from Soulful Cape Town. I have 12 years of diverse experience as a Business Analyst and Product Manager and am currently focused on aligning my life goals and transitioning back into the corporate world.  


Four years ago, I moved to Dubai and spent a year working for a Digital Technology Consultancy until I had to take a career break when my daughter, Nurah was born. Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with an auto immune condition known as Hashimotos Hypothyroidism and constantly felt overwhelmed with motherhood, health issues, financial concerns, and later the challenge of trying to return to work. Fast forward to 3 months ago, I found myself pre-diabetic, battling with weight issues and other not so glorious Hashimotos symptoms. I’ve had an amazing family, supportive husband, wonderful and conscious friends and feel grateful for all the blessings in my life.  


I felt unfulfilled as I had lost touch with myself and the things that brought me joy. I no longer felt relevant and my self-esteem was at an all-time low after not having worked for 2 years and not being considered for many of job applications. 


H: What attracted and bought you to attend Career Clinic 6 Wellness breakfast with Heidi Jones?


S: I’m a huge fan of UAE career platforms that are supportive of moms and offer flexible working options. Sadly, this is not a prevalent theme amongst many organizations and most recruitment agencies. I found the event to be motivational, encouraging and relevant. It was also the perfect place to connect with other women experiencing similar life and work challenges.  


I had not heard of Heidi prior to Career Clinic, but the event indicated that the session would be interactive and help set and achieve goals. At this point, I wasn’t even clear on what my goals were but there was a free session with a health coach to be won and I was hopeful!  Rhian Lindley, who herself has suffered from Hashimotos and recently made an extraordinary change to her life had indicated on social media that she would also be a guest speaker at the event, touching on self-confidence and self-esteem. I needed enlightenment, inspiration and a transformation and the event seemed like my divine intervention. 


H: What was the impact of attending the workshop? 


S: Heidi kept us engaged with interactive activities such as the ‘Circle of Life’ exercise that involved rating various areas of our lives. Joy and satisfaction was missing from a few of my areas. What stood out for me was Heidi’s confidence and how she exuded a serene and jovial presence. Guest speaker Rhian made an equally empowering impression, “You are enough.” Every single woman resonated within our cores and wanted nothing more than to believe it.  


The workshop cemented the admission that I needed but I felt far from equipped to walk the path alone. After the workshop, I spoke to Heidi enquired further about coaching programs and mostly to put any reservations at bay. As I spoke to her, I broke down to my own surprise and embarrassment. with how honest I was being. Heidi seemed to understand where I was coming from and encouraged me to sign up for her program. To be honest, I didn’t have the budget to afford the program but I ended up cancelling an upcoming birthday family staycation that we had both been looking forward to.  A few more adjustments and I was gifted the Heidi Jones 90 Day Coaching Program.  


H: You signed up to Heidi Jones 90 Day Health Coaching program, what were you expecting to achieve/ gain from this program? 


S: I had not been part of any formal coaching program before and had no idea what to expect. I expressed my hesitation to Heidi and she encouraged me to watch her testimonials. I liked her approach of a questionnaire followed by a discussion to determine if you get accepted into the program or not. Not everybody is coachable, apparently.  The discussion gave Heidi insight into which group you were best suited to join, based on your individual goals.  I was skeptical as I couldn’t see myself sharing my most intimate challenges with strangers, let alone a group of ladies that wasn’t married and didn’t have kids. Would they even understand my challenges and how would we motivate each other? More surprising was that the group would only meet every two weeks.      


Before signing up, I must’ve asked Heidi about ten times if she sincerely believed I could benefit from the program. How would I possibly meet my goals with this seemingly relaxed 90 day approach (sorry Heidi!)?  I was doubtful whether much could change in 90 days but was prepared to give the coaching a fair chance.  At best, I was hoped for a boost in self-confidence so that the significant money invested would not be a waste - I didn’t need anything to knock my self-esteem down further.

H: What did you learn about yourself/ wellness/ career goals? 


S: When I started the program, one of my top three goals were to make a career comeback and be financially independent.  More importantly I needed to make myself a priority, get my health on track, be in a positive state of mind and rediscover my confidence. Thus, goal planning and goal setting was centered on my health and wellbeing for the 90-day program.   


I learnt that I expected too much of myself and was always striving to be perfect. Mostly, I learnt that failing was better than not trying. I became committed, accountable and even started feeling a bit confident.  Everyone that knew me noticed the positive and physical changes. I only realized the impact of the changes when people became motivated by me. Even my husband, a self-sustainable island or so he’d like to think, became motivated. Negative self-talk no longer had a place in my life and was replaced with positive affirmations. In a short period of time, with Heidi’s guidance, my incredibly encouraging Wonder Warriors coaching group, supportive husband and mom, managed to make significant changes to my health. 

I am no longer pre-diabetic. I lost 3.5 kg’s and am at my lowest weight since a year ago. I believe that I am strong beyond measure, very capable and that the right kind of effort never goes unrewarded. As for my career, my next focus is to use the tools and knowledge gained to kick off my own personal 90-day program!


H: What has been the biggest take-away for you having completed the 90-day program? 


S: The biggest take-away for me has undoubtedly been the shift to a growth mindset.  I’ve changed from an “I don’t think I can do it” approach to an “I can do it even if I don’t have it all figured out yet” approach and this has been liberating.  I no longer feel overwhelmed and have reconnected with myself and started find bliss in more areas of my circle of life.  I still have a long road ahead but I put in the effort and regularly nurture my confidence.  I don’t critique myself harshly anymore and I certainly don’t see myself as a failure.  I’ll never be perfect but I am indeed enough.


H: What message would you like to share with the members of Hopscotch? 

S: As women and moms, we tend to priorities our families and others without them realizing the daily sacrifices and effort involved.  It’s almost expected of us. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t underestimate the difference the right person or people can make. Wanting something badly doesn’t result in a change if you are not taking relevant action.  I spent the last year feeling stuck and reached what I thought was my lowest point, patiently waited for an epiphany to kick me into gear. It’s so important to reflect on what is important to you and what you want to achieve, both personally and professionally. Spend at least a few minutes every day trying to navigate towards that.   


If you have the means, I would recommend signing up with a health coach. You will be taught tools to prioritize and manage your life, how to invest the required effort and maintain the journey even after the program is complete. Going into the program I doubted the difference 90 days could make and the difference was phenomenal.  Everything about me changed – my mindset, priorities, influence and so much more. You will be able to recognize opportunities when they appear and make the best of them. You don’t have to have all the answers, you just need to believe that you deserve the best and trust that your efforts will be rewarded.


H: What’s next for you/ your wellness/ your career? 


S: I’m really excited about the future and am also proudly working towards auto immune remission, which I am confident I will achieve by next year Insha allah. I’m going to be continuing with my health regime as it has been working well for me and I don’t find it to be too restrictive or unachievable. 

In the past few months I’ve been looking to return to work, I felt like companies dismissed the notion of hiring me after I had a career break. In some interviews, I even felt like I was unsuccessful due to having a young toddler which perhaps made me seem less committed or inflexible. I would think that made me more committed and upon reflection, I realized I wouldn’t want to work for a company that was not compassionate and supportive of moms raising the leaders of tomorrow. 


With health coaching, you also learn goal progression so once you’ve achieved or mastered a goal, you move on to other and possibly bigger goals. During the coaching program, I had progressed to setting goals for myself that I never would have dreamed of achieving just a few short months ago.  I know I would be an advantage to any organization and will be intently focusing on returning to work in the next few months.  However, in the event this doesn’t materialize, I have plans to embark on an entrepreneurial journey – something I would not have considered previously. 

Heidi offers a free 1-2-1 initial health coaching consultation upon completion of her coaching questionnaire. If you would like to learn more about 1-2-1 coaching or Heidi's next series of group coaching starting in September, please click here and complete the short questionnaire: 



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