Ashna Dhanuka, Life & Confidence Coach recently got candid with NewsX for an exclusive conversation in a special show, NewsX India A-List. Ashna shared her journey and process of becoming a life coach, what a life coach really is and how one should treat themselves when faced with challenges and adversity.

Speaking about what exactly is a life coach, Ashna said, “We all have a potential inside us, a little nudge, direction and support is all we need. We are in a part of life where we know ourselves since we’re living with ourselves and nobody knows us better than us. A life coach is someone who is, professionally trained to help you maximize your potential and help you reach your goal. The role of a life coach is to help you reach the desired outcome or goal. The coach doesn’t fix you; people get confused between the coach, therapist and counsellor. The coach is someone who doesn’t fix you, but tells you that you’re not broken in the first place”.

Referring to the people who need a life coach and on identifying such people, Ashna said, “People have clear plans and vision, but they don’t have direction. Some people revolve around limited beliefs, fears, lack of self-confidence and these are the kind of people who need a life coach. A life coach is not someone to be ashamed of because they’re your friend, someone who listens to you, guides you and shows you the right direction. Most importantly, the life coach keeps all the matter confidential”.

Speaking about mental health, the taboo related to it and the hardships faced in joining this profession, Ashna said, “Life throws a lot challenge each day, out of the stones thrown at me, I found diamonds. I realized that challenges are not something that should paralyze, challenges are something through which you should discover yourself and who you are, exactly. This process made me discover myself and I had an uninvited guest- fear aunty. She creeped inside my head in such a way, that she became a permanent resident inside my head and I kept on revolving around fear. I realized that if this kept happening then I might get anxiety or depression so, I decided to go to the root and become friends with the fear. My fear of rejection and judgement was something that did not let me move forward. As women, we face a lot of challenges and these should not stop us. As humans we all have a personal calling, which is as unique as our fingerprints”.

Talking about facing difficulties in society or sectors which are predominated by men and are changing, Ashna said, “Women are all-rounders by default, men are not answerable to the various questions thrown at women on a daily basis. I faced a lot of judgement like ‘She’s not good at it’, ‘how can she become a life coach at such a young age’. I faced a lot of criticism and what was expected from me was to please and satisfy everybody. In the process of doing everything, maybe some people will not like us, we may be too loud or too soft for somebody, too edgy or too rude for some, so if you keep your edges rounds, you’ll miss out on them. I feel that know your worth, do what is correct for you and master what you’re good at and then the universe is open to you. No success story is achieved at a go, a lot of hard work, determination and consistency is needed. I felt sometimes that I should quit, it’s not my job but today I feel that because I loved myself during my struggling days, today the world is open to me”.

Speaking about enduring failures and rising from them, Ashna said, “I urge people to understand that success and failure are not opposite to each other, they’re a part of each other and go hand in hand. If we don’t fail, we don’t realize what we’re lacking or what can be improved upon in life. Knowing your worth is very important, what we do is try to duplicate or be like someone else. We don’t try to take our abilities and capabilities to move forward, this is our biggest mistake. Failure and success are a part of each other and we have to gracefully handle each”.

Talking about her e-book, ‘Your Imperfection Has Power’, Ashna said, “I realized very late that being imperfect is wonderful. During the process of becoming a life coach, I realized that being imperfect has a lot of power. You have to enjoy the messy, imperfect, beautiful journey of life in your way. So, in my book, I tell people about self-confidence and people-pleasing, you should not go and please people. Apologize for your mistakes and unintentionally hurting somebody, apologize for not being ethical and all of this is okay but don’t apologize for who you are. Know your worth because without it, nobody can you feel inferior without your consent. Approve of yourself and know your worth is what my e-book talks about in an elaborate way. I encourage everyone to get an e-book and you’ll know about my journey, lack of confidence, shyness and fear of judgement. One thing I’ll say is that defaming is something which is done by people who know you and they see how well you’re doing and want to stop that progress. Now I realize that negativity and haters are like taxes, the more money we make, the more taxes we pay so, the more lovers, followers and support we get from the universe, the amount of negativity we have to face”.