Q&A with the creators of the Get Unstuck! Career Workshops
Mums@Work recently met up with Dina Bsharat and Valeria Miller, the duo behind the Get Unstuck Workshops. The taster workshop we hosted in May 2019 was a big success and helped our mums get focused, set goals, and create action steps that bring results.
Let’s find out a little bit more about them.
How did the idea for the "Get Unstuck Workshops" come about?
We were both stuck between wanting more from our life and being afraid of doing something about it, and felt like a ping-pong ball, going back and forth in between these two feelings.
That was us. Two corporate marketing professionals who didn’t know where to go and how to get there, facing personal challenges in transitioning our careers as professional coaches. Fast forward a couple of years later and we’re helping individuals and groups get unstuck, and successfully navigate their own career and life transitions, the same way we did for ourselves.
We (Valerie & Dina) are certified, Co-Active coaches, trained by CTI, met during our coaching certification while we were living a world apart, Dina in Dubai, Valerie in the USA. We spent a year in training, developing as coaches, celebrating our ups and downs, and helping each other through our personal challenges along the way. After a year of keeping a strong connection across the world, Valerie ended up moving to Dubai last year, getting in touch with the only person she knew in the city - Dina. We finally met face to face and started to discuss our plan to bring our skills to the Dubai community.
What can we expect from your workshops?
We got to work to answer this question: How do we get unstuck? And that's what our workshops are all about. We design workshops that help anyone that may be in a transitional period of their lives and is feeling stuck in-between. The work aims to uncover what's really going on and develop an action plan that people can take away, to start making real changes in their lives.
It’s not like shaving your legs, it’s more like having laser hair removal - it’s going to take a few sessions over a period of time and a commitment. In other words, getting unstuck and moving forward is a marathon and not a sprint.
Can you simplify the process?
Here we try to simplify the process by breaking it down into 5 questions to ask yourself.
Where am I now?
It’s important to acknowledge what your starting point is because it will be a lot easier to move forward if you know where you are starting from. It’s also a chance, to be honest with yourself about your situation and what you would like to change about it. A great tool to use in this step is the Wheel of Life, that will give you an overall view of the different areas of your life. It’s a pie chart that is broken into 8 different sections that each represent an area of your life: family, love, career, money, spirituality, friends, fun, and health. You will need to rate each of these areas from 0-10 (0 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest). Once you’ve completed the wheel, what is there that you notice right away? Perhaps you’ve now got a better idea of what you’d like to focus on.
Who am I now?
Michelle Obama says in her book, Becoming, “Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child-What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.” That’s been one of the greatest lessons for us, that we are ever-evolving and growing, which means we are constantly having to shuffle and balance who we are. So who are you now? Answering this question can start with outlining what is important to you right now, what are your current values and write them down. Then prioritize them. Try rating yourself from 0-10 for each value (as in, how much of this value is present in your current life?). Once you’re done, take a moment to notice the overall picture.
What do I want?
Now that you have your values and you know what’s important to you, you can use them to define your goals. How can you have more of what you now know is important to you? This can simply be “I want more (security) in my life” or “I want to prioritize my health for the next week/month”.
What do I need to do?
Literally, what specific action are you going to take? Breaking down your goals into specific action points is important to make them more achievable. For example, instead of the action being “I’m going to send an email”, plug in the details so that it’s “I’m going to write an email to the team outlining the details on our meeting by Wednesday afternoon, and then text my coach to let them know that I’ve done it.” Or instead of “I’m going to work on a network plan”, make it more tangible like “I’m going to identify 3 people and set coffee dates with them by next week”. This is more powerful.
What’s in my way?
Think of this as a salsa dance, balancing the back and forth and flow of life. What this means is that there’s going to be setbacks, life is going to happen and you’ll need to learn to salsa your way through, even if it means taking a step back sometimes. We all know that our world needs more compassion but where we really need to start is with ourselves. Especially when things don’t go according to plan.
A small note about encountering fear. Fear’s job is to keep you in your comfort zone and keep you still. You’ll have to get to know what it is that you’re afraid of. For example, what is the worst-case scenario if things don’t work out? Keep digging into the fear and ask “if the worst case scenario happens then that means that…” and so on, until you’re able to understand the fear inside out.
Thank you for the advice. Is there anything you've personally learned along the way?
Another tip one of our coaches taught us: Give yourself at least one fact that you know, 100%, is going to happen in the future. Can anyone do that? No, we can never be certain of the future, so it’s our job to also notice where we’re making it up and making it true. We often think, feel, and make choices based on these future fears that keep us stuck where we are. And that means we’ve failed before we even started.
Even though this is a simplified process, it does not take away from the time and effort it takes to make a change. Simple does not equal easy and it’s ultimately up to you to take the first step. Our advice to getting started? Don’t commit to the entire plan, just commit to step 1 and see where it lands you.