The Founders of MINDSHIFT NINJA: Part Two
Spotlight: Ayla Khosroshahi, MA, ACC
Ten questions, in ten minutes, with a MINDSHIFT NINJA:
What is your driving force – what pushes you to do what you do?
Curiosity. It’s where my creativity meets my intuition, and allows me to learn and play at the same time.
How does your background, education, or experiences empower you as a MINDSHIFT NINJA?
In all my endeavors, I have always been interested in the human element. From my academic pursuits to my work experiences, whether I’m in a board meeting or working with inmates, I am interested in how we live, how we can live better, and how we can make more meaningful connections. I’m interested in learning when we can forgive ourselves, and where we can challenge ourselves.
“Optimal living isn’t something you buy, it’s a mindset that must be trained. My experiences have taught me that it can be applied anywhere.”
What is your super MINDSHIFT NINJA power?
I’m hyper solution-focused. My first instinct is: how can we solve it. I’m not interested in what you didn’t do or what went wrong. I’m interested in how we can move ahead. I’m interested in what is working, what is going right, what we will try next, and how we will support (each other) in the next step forward. Within teams or with individuals this can be incredibly empowering.
What makes you a successful brain-based coach? What’s your “secret sauce?”
Trust. You can’t work harder than your client. You can support them, but you can’t do the job for them. It’s irresponsible and disempowering. Part of our relationship is that I believe you can think better, and therefore do better – so I have to give you the time and space to do that. I believe that you can show up as your best self – so I have to trust that you will. Trust is vital. As the saying goes: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. The unspoken component to this saying is trust. You have to trust that he can and will learn to catch the fish. Trust is essential to the relationship.
What’s an underestimated, yet powerful tool you use?
Baby steps. Or as I say “baby steps, but beautiful ones.” We forget that things don’t have to be huge to make an impact. Sometimes one small step will entice amazing positive change.
Silence also matters. I’ve learned that holding the space (in silence) is just as important if not more than asking the right questions. Silence is also an underestimated super tool.
Do you have a favourite type of client? Or is there someone you like to work with?
Creatives. Innovators. Dreamers. I love working with people who are open to learning, and change – this doesn’t mean they know what to do, it just means they are willing to try. This can be anyone ready to show up, and ready to work!
What makes for a successful MINDSHIFT NINJA?
Personal accountability and self-awareness are essential. Being mindful of who you bring to the table and how you show up is critical to this journey. You need that mindfulness and honesty to gain the clarity and insights to advance.
What do you do beyond MINDSHIFT NINJA?
I like to say: I create, therefore I am. I am always looking for opportunities to learn, to create, and to experience new things. Something’s always brewing; a new project, travel plans, an excuse to throw a party (laugh). I travel (a lot), I write, and take photographs – some of this I capture on my personal site iamayla.com.
What do you do when you need to MINDSHIFT?
Stop, drop, and breathe (laugh). Then I usually go for a walk. I walk in order to work through challenges, to search for ideas, to prepare for presentations, to get my blood moving, to clear my head, and to generate new perspectives.
What is your biggest MINDSHIFT lesson so far?
Showing up as your best self is possible even when you think it’s not. It’s within you, and the more you access it, the easier it is to retrieve.
Bonus question, we have to ask, what is it like working with your brother?
It makes it personal, not business (sorry Mr. Corleone). Yashar is both everything I am and everything I am not. We hold the same core principles – creating a solid foundation – yet we are different enough to balance each other out. We have built a relationship grounded in trust and accountability. We show up for each other and make each other show up. It’s an integral recipe. It ensures we are free enough to take a chance (even if we mess up), supported enough to try again if we do, and yet challenged enough to always try to be our best.
Did you read last month’s spotlight with Dr. Yashar Khosroshahi, ND?