Creative Status: Episode 28: Rizwan Javaid: The Creative Path from Struggle to Strength

If you’re chronically struggling, you need a different view of REALITY ?

Some people can spend years and years of their lives caught in a negative spiral of unreal thoughts that causes them to HOLD BACK and HESITATE.

Holding back and hesitating always leads to STRUGGLE as the world moves around us but we hold onto the same ideas, thoughts, and beliefs in our head (that caused us to hold back and hesitate in the first place).

This is ALWAYS a product of some unreal emotional and social conditioning that’s caused us to internalise unreal ideas about ourselves, the world, and reality.

These thoughts and beliefs just end up putting an EXTRA LAYER of friction between ourselves and taking action and – depending on how deeply entrenched these thoughts and beliefs are – we can spend most of our time BATTLING OURSELVES instead of living a real life.

We can get therapy, talk about our problems, or develop a self-care routine but eventually we have to listen to our intuition, take inspired ACTION and get out into the world in our REALNESS…this takes a leap of faith and INNER STRENGTH but once we find it there’s no turning back.

In this episode of Creative Status, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rizwan Javaid, the host of the Unleash Your Mindset podcast and the author of the Low Fidelity Newsletter. Rizwan shared his personal journey of self-discovery and growth, highlighting his journey from somebody who struggled with self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and other internal barriers to becoming somebody with mental strength and REALNESS who no longer holds back from life or his potential.

Throughout our conversation, Rizwan discussed the creative path of making the unconscious conscious and creating oneself. He shared his own experiences and the changes he made in his life to become more real and achieve better results. He shares actionable strategies and tips to help you overcome inner struggles and unleash your creative potential.

Some things we covered in this conversation:

  • Rizwan’s personal journey of self-discovery and growthOvercoming self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and other internal barriers
  • The creative path of making the unconscious conscious and creating oneselfActionable strategies for unleashing your creative potential
  • Rizwan’s insights on how to achieve better results by being more authenticOvercoming limiting beliefs, fear, and doubt to achieve success
  • The importance of developing a resilient mindset to achieve personal and professional growth
  • The power of vulnerability and self-reflection in personal transformation
  • Loads more!

Whether you’re an artist, entrepreneur, designer or simply just a human being looking to grow personally and professionally, this episode offers valuable insights on how to overcome the barriers holding you back and achieve the success you desire.

Tune in to discover how to unleash your mindset and realise your full potential with insightful lessons based on real experience and inspired action.

Listen using the player above or go to any podcast platform!

(Scroll down if you want to  read the show transcript)

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Show Transcript:


Oli Anderson: Oh hi there, Oli Anderson here, welcome to Creative Status.

As you can tell, I’m losing my voice, so this is going to be the least rambling introduction I have ever done in my entire life. Today’s episode of Creative Status is an interview with Rizwan Javaid.

Rizwan is a super cool guy, he has a podcast called Unleash Your Mindset which is really good if you’re into these kind of things that we talk about over here. He has a newsletter called Low Fidelity where he shares all his insights about his own personal growth journey and how he’s gone from a person who used to kind of struggle with all kinds of emotional things and negative thoughts and self-leaning beliefs.

I know Rizwan really well, I’ve worked with him over the last year or so. I have seen how by applying the things that he talks about in this interview that’s about to come up, he’s gone from being quite reserved and holding back to being somebody that is putting himself out there, there’s a lot more fearless, a lot more real, he’s getting better results from himself, from his relationships, from life as a whole.

In this interview he talks about that journey and the transformation that he went through, the changes that he made and some of the things that you can do in your own life if you want to stop holding back and you want to get a better grasp of your own mindset so you can be more real, more creative and get out there and live the life that you know you can be living. So Rizwan thank you so much for everything and for coming on here and doing this podcast interview even though I threw some total curveballs at you, just for a change.

Everybody else thank you so much for listening and I really hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I enjoyed asking Rizwan all these questions.

Here we go, thanks a bunch, boom.


Oli Anderson: Oh hi there Rizwan, thank you so much for joining me today on this episode of Creative Status. We’re basically going to be exploring based on pre-chat and some of the things we’ve talked about previously, exploring the kind of mindset transformation that people can go through as they become more real, they become more creative. Before we get into all that stuff, do you feel like just introducing yourself and letting people know what you’re all about but also telling people what you kind of want to get from this conversation?

Rizwan Javaid: Yeah, hi Oli, thank you first of all for inviting me onto your show and just to give you a little bit of background about me, I am a UX designer by day but I also have, I write a newsletter and have a podcast called Low Fidelity and with it my goal is to help people who may be going through inner struggles and to help them find ways to move past those so that they can reach their potential and so that is my experience as well. I have gone through some inner struggles, through recent years and now having worked on those with the help of Oli- of course and I have been able to move past them, I mean they’re still there but they’re not as loud in my head and they don’t want to prevent me from showing up and doing my best work so that’s a little bit about me.

Oli Anderson: That’s awesome, so one thing that I really love about your podcast is that you bring in so much of your personal experience and the kind of practical lessons that you’ve learned from going through what it is that you kind of took yourself through, you didn’t just go through things, you kind of took yourself through this process. So what I’m interested in is learning about some of the mechanics of that journey that you went through so if you were just going to describe this journey in a kind of big picture view, just to give an overview of it, where did you start would you say and where have you found yourself now in comparison?

Rizwan Javaid: So where I started was I was blocked, I had all these dreams and goals to write and to create a podcast, to create videos and share my ideas with the world but then I would take one step And then all of a sudden, whether it was imposter syndrome or doubt or fear, you know, something would come up in my head and I would abandon whatever I was doing.

And so whether it’s writing a newsletter or, you know, showing up, you know, not having the confidence to show up at work, you know, all those things would just get in the way and I would go back to starting from scratch and I would fall down into this, you know, like you could consider it a downward spiral and I would go down and then, you know, once I hit bottom, then I would slowly work my way back up and then all of a sudden, you know, something would get into my head, some story, and then I would go back down.

So this cycle kept going on and on until, you know, we worked together and I was able to work on those experiences, those inner struggles that I was experiencing and tackle those one by one and realize, you know, just, you know, have strategies in place to tackle them.

And now I have gotten a little bit of a hold on them and I can see them as they come up, but now I don’t let those get in the way so I can show up as who I am, how I want to show up. It has helped me start writing more on a consistent basis and share my ideas and not be afraid and not just, you know, work towards my creative vision that I have of helping others as well.

Oli Anderson: Wow, so in a way, this kind of negative downward spiral that you kept finding yourself in is something that you managed to, I suppose, break the cycle of. You have taken yourself away from those old patterns and the old way of seeing yourself and the old way of thinking. And now you are able to kind of move towards your potential without these things holding you back. But what were the things that you changed specifically?

Like if you were going to, you know, well, you do help other people do this with the low fidelity newsletters and the podcast and all that kind of stuff. But what are some of the building blocks? Are they kind of practical things that you actually implemented and changed to be able to kind of break that cycle?

Rizwan Javaid: Yeah, so for me, it all starts with becoming aware of these thoughts, feelings, emotions as they come up. And so I also started meditating a few years ago, right when the pandemic hit. And that that practice helped me understand that my thoughts are not who I am, or they don’t need to control me. I don’t need to follow every thought that comes into my mind. And that’s easier than done, because we’re, you know, we’ve been in our heads for however long we’ve been alive. So that practice is just, it’s just ingrained in us.

But there is another way where we can see thoughts as, you know, just as they are, they will come and then they will go. And we don’t need to identify with them. They don’t need to define us. If we have a negative thought, we can take a pause and let it let that move and still show up like we want to. So I think awareness was a big step in this, in my transformation.

Oli: Like I see it in the, in the same way, I think awareness is always the first step. And it’s exactly what you just said. So I always think that most of these problems that people are dealing with, in relation to their levels of self acceptance or holding back and hesitating from doing the things they need to do, it’s almost always an identity problem. And they’ve picked up some view of themselves, some image of themselves, which is fixed, which is limited, which blocks their view of opportunities in the world and all that kind of stuff.

And where ultimately, their underlying emotional stuff, usually shame, is just causing them to judge themselves and then to project that out into the world and have the world reflect judgment back at them. Does any of that fit into your experience and what you went through?

Rizwan: Oh yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, just the challenges that I’ve gone through in my life, and I can, I can see, you know, these big pivotal moments that happened and how they led up to me, which showed up as hiding, hiding from, you know, from the world, hiding from my family, friends, hiding, you know, who I am, from myself, even to be able to survive. So, you know, it helped me get through those challenging times, but because those have become the habits now of hiding, I started doing that everywhere. So I would not open up, I would not share my thoughts, share my ideas, I would hold back. And that limited me, both at work and then even in my personal relationship.

And even within, in my family, I was just keeping things to myself. And once I started identifying, you know, these, becoming aware of these behaviors, I actually started journaling and writing every morning. And that helped me, again, take those thoughts that I was having of hiding or, or, you know, not showing up and how I was behaving, and look at those, and start to come up with, look at those objectively and see, you know, what I needed to do to overcome them. So, yeah, meditation and journaling, those two, I think were pivotal exercises to help me in this, tackle these inner struggles.

Oli: I think what you just said about hiding from yourself without necessarily being aware of that until you started doing some of these practices, is so important, because I think so many people, they bring unnecessary friction and frustration and misery and confusion to their lives, by feeling, for some reason, that they need to hide from themselves.

And some people never wake up to that. So, obviously, you’re, you know, you’re blessed that you were able to do the work, to be able to bring yourself back to life. But in relation to, you know, some of the wider issues of this podcast and the creative process, Because I feel like what I’m learning is the creative process is the same thing that you just described, which is that we may be hiding parts of ourselves from ourselves to different degrees of severity. But as we go through these creative journeys of riding through uncertainty as we literally create something like write a book or make videos or even if it’s just something that raises our awareness like meditation or a yoga session in my case, all of those things are ultimately about making the unconscious conscious, the things we’re not aware of, conscious and showing us who we really are.

And then when we’ve been through that process, that’s when we can start to be more real and to get better results and to stop hiding and to see all of these illusions and this bullshit and nonsense that we may have been conditioned with. So maybe I’ve been a bit dramatic, but do you think we could say that this journey you’ve been on has been a creative process in that sense? And actually what you’ve been creating by doing this work is yourself, the real version of you.

Rizwan:  Yeah, I think looking back at it, it is a creative process because finding ways to overcome the challenges that I was experiencing with new ways and new ideas, I think that is a creative process. And now I’m in this mindset that to not let the inner voice block my creative ideas or creative vision or any thoughts that I have to express them and not to get out of my own way basically because that’s what has caused a lot of this friction within me. And now that I can open up and share more of my thoughts and trust my intuition, trust my creative creativity and ideas that I have to help others. So basically getting out of my own way and using creativity and trusting it and my intuition and the thoughts that I have instead of blocking them, just letting them out and letting them be known in the world.

Oli: Wow, I really love how you’ve brought up this word trust a few times just there with your answer to the question because ultimately this creative process that we’re talking about and this kind of transformation that you’ve been through and that you’re talking about of stepping out of our own way and riding through uncertainty and all of the things that we have to do and all of the terrain we have to traverse as part of that journey. We can’t actually do it without finding some way of trusting ourselves or trusting life.

And obviously if we have this voice in our head, the inner critique or the imposter syndrome thing, whatever it is, that is going to be a lot harder. So how do you think you managed to trust the process that we’re talking about?

Like how, what are some of the things that you did? What are some of the strategies that you might have implemented? What are some of the uncertainties or obstacles that you might have had to trust your way through?

So that’s a long-winded question, but basically how did you find the trust to get from where you were to where you are now?

Rizwan: I think it was, the big part was getting the help of a coach, getting your help to validate or check my thoughts and to not fall into the old patterns. So it was good to have an external voice to check the inner voice. So I think that was a big, big part of it because otherwise it’s just so easy to fall into what the inner voice keeps telling me, telling us. And the other part was actually taking action on what I wanted to do. So we work on the inner challenges, the inner mental stuff, but it’s also important to take action and taking small action and seeing good results is, it feeds back into itself.

It’s a good cycle to give you confidence. And so as we identified, say for example, the podcast, once I was able to identify what I needed to do, the next step that I needed to do, such as find a guest for the podcast, and I was able to do that, that gave me more confidence to go to the next step and invite them for a talk. And once I was able to do that, I got more confidence.

So just with anything, you know, that’s what I wanted to do. But when you take action and you see good results, you get gain confidence. Or if you don’t, then you adjust and you find another way to approach it. But then the key thing is to take action. And I think doing that helped me get out of my head, get out of those thoughts and see what I’m capable of instead of assuming or imagining or wondering. I can actually take action and see.

So see exactly what is going to happen. So I think that was a key is getting out of my head and doing what I wanted to do. What I said I wanted to do and making progress in there, creating that loop. And I’m an experiential learner. So I need to do things to learn. And so I think that matched how I learned things anyway. So yeah, I think that was the key.

Oli: Wow. So basically then there were two things that helped you trust. One is the getting some external support. I suppose in the earlier stages for many people that is essential because people, they have a tendency to be so locked in their heads that they just need that external objective view, let’s say. But then eventually you did get to a stage where you didn’t necessarily need the external support because you got to a stage where you just did it.

It’s like you’re riding a bike without the stabilizers. And so you can go out there and just do the things that you needed to do and take action. And of course, if you take an action that gives you evidence, like you said, that all of these assumptions and all of these negative things that this inner critic people have to deal with is saying are not founded in any kind of reality. Another thing maybe that has helped you based on what you’ve kind of said was being able to start listening to your intuition and to kind of act on that instead of hesitating and letting the inner voice kind of tell you that your intuition was wrong or that you need to be more rational or more logical or whatever kind of things it might be saying. How does the intuition thing feed into the action thing, would you say? So one thing that I’ve found, like personally and just from working with people is sometimes with the action thing, we can end up just taking action for the sake of taking action. And sometimes that can end up kind of exacerbate in the problem because the actions that we take are not really anything to do with our true values or our true intentions or you know, we become a human doing basically instead of a human being.

And so if we can bring intuition into the equation with all the other things you mentioned like trust and so on and so forth, then we can take inspired action which almost always I’ve found gets even better results and causes this inner critic to kind of step back and dissolve away even more. So what do you think about all that?

Rizwan: Yeah, absolutely. I think intuition is a big part of this process and for me it started off by understanding my values. What do I want? What am I comfortable with? Where do I want to go?

Or how do I want to show up? And what is important for me? So thinking about the values that are important to me, I think that was a big exercise and you know, exercise and self-discovery of turning the lens within. And I was so used to never doing that and never thinking about what I wanted, what is within me, what are my likes, dislikes, it was all focused outward. So I think that was a big step as well to start exploring what do I want, what is important for me. And so I did this exercise of, I think it was James Clair where you identify your five top personal values and core values. So I did, went through that exercise and it took some time with it and usually the same five would come up.

They do change every now and then but the core are the same. So I think that helped, you know, those values connect with the intuition. So when I want to do something and it’s not aligned with my values, then the intuition kind of gives me a warning that this is not something that I’m interested in or something that will help me.

But when there is a match there, I feel like that’s what helps the intuition give me the right signal that this is something that I need to move towards, you know, say for example, because creativity is a core value for me. And so any activity that helps me be more creative or help me improve my creativity and express myself through that, then the intuition supports me and guides me towards that.

Oli: That’s amazing. And so ultimately what we’re saying is like intuition is a kind of inner compass. And if you can find a way to stop externalizing everything like you said and to stop this inner voice that people have from distorting the signal, then it’s almost as though your intuition and this inner compass is always going to give you the feedback and information that you need to make the next obvious step in your life. Is that how you found it? Like it kind of works like that?

Rizwan: Yeah, exactly. I think the intuition is that inner compass that can help us in the decisions we make and the things we want to pursue. But I think the key is to make space for it, to open up to it, to have some quiet time or time just with yourself to be able to listen to that intuition, to listen to that voice.

Because if you’re always outwardly focused and go-go-go and everything, then the intuition is so subtle that you may miss it and you may focus on other things besides your intuition. So yeah, I think there’s just giving it the importance it needs by making space for it and listening to it and listening to the subtle cues that it provides. I think that’s a practice that I’ve started just now and I think that’s something that can be really powerful in helping us go to where we want to go.

Oli: Wow, that is incredibly powerful and actually in terms of the the journey that we’re describing that you’ve been on. So you went from point A to point B, and at point A you were kind of externalizing everything, you were holding back, you had all these negative thoughts and so on going on in your inner experience. And then you managed to go through this process of ultimately stopping those things from distorting your relationship with this inner guidance and so this inner compass that we all have. And so ultimately, by stepping out of your own way, you made space for this intuition, as you just described it, and now you’re becoming, you have become, sorry, a lot more real.

And this is obviously something that I’m super interested in because I’m always talking about being real or unreal and blah, blah, blah. But do you think the main thing that you did to make space for the intuition was just to basically get your sense of identity out of the way.

Obviously you still have a sense of self, but I mean the ideas of Rizwan Javed and what it means to be you, you basically got rid of all that stuff so that you could just allow something that was real to just emerge and speak for itself without having to be encapsulated in ideas and thoughts and all that stuff. I don’t know if that’s too abstract, but do you get what I mean?

Rizwan: Yeah, no, I think I’m getting what you’re getting towards. By knowing myself more, I was able to break free from what I thought expectation is, for example, as a designer, instead of going for the ideal designer or the perfect designer, that picture that I have in my mind, which also caused a lot of inner struggle to going inside and knowing what I want, what are my thoughts and respecting my thoughts and sharing them and opening up the channel from within.

I think that helped me break free from always focusing on perfection or the perfect designer, perfect dad or perfect spouse. All those perfect images of being perfect broke away and I was able to be myself and not worry about how others would perceive me.

Oli: Wow. Why do you think so many people are struggling with these kind of things? And so they have imposter syndrome or they’re people pleases or all these different kind of labels we can give people that are struggling, but where do you think most of this comes from?

Rizwan: That’s a great question. And I actually had both of those labels when I started out. So the wounds are fresh. But I think it starts from the beginning from our childhood, the experiences that we go through, the struggles we go through, the people, our family, our parents, our culture, society, all those things add up. I think culture has a big, heavy hand in it.

Depending on where you’re from, culture could be just all-encompassing and so directive and so controlling of who you need to be, who you should be and all those things. And that could be a whole other episode, but I think those experiences, experiences that we go through add up to all these, you know, what we say, layers that we take on. And as we move into a new phase of our life, sometimes those habits, those behaviors, those thoughts are just hard to let go of because we’ve known them for so long.

Those are our comfort zone, but it takes time, effort, you know, help from an external voice to get, move past those so you can bring your true self out.

Oli: Hmmm. The other thing as well is, like you were saying about values, most people for whatever reason, or not most people, but a lot of people, first of all, they don’t know what their values are, but then secondly, the values that they do think they have, they pick up from the culture that they’re in. So even their values are kind of these externalized, outsourced things that we just kind of pick up through osmosis.

Do you think there’s, this is a curveball kind of question, but do you think there’s human values that the majority of us share when we’ve been real, based on what you’ve learned? So for example, maybe creativity is a value that we all have when we’ve been real, I think, but if there was a list of however many, like what do you think would be on there?

Rizwan: Yeah, I think we all share, you know, in our common, in our humanity, we share the same challenges, the same similar experiences, similar thoughts and struggles.

So, you know, that’s definitely what we have in common. Sorry, I lost my train of thought.

Oli: It’s okay, I totally put you on the spot with that curveball question. So, what I’m trying to dig into is just, So ultimately, we talked about this kind of journey that people go through from point A to point B. And at point A, they kind of unreal, you know, however that shows up for them.

But normally when we’ve been unreal, we kind of locked inside our minds, we’re fragmented, we’re disconnected from our emotions, we’re holding back and hesitating, we’re not expressing ourselves, etc, etc. And that basically involves a certain set of values, if you think about it. So for example, maybe we’re valuing being perfect, just as a simple example.

And so that causes us to hold back from doing the things we really want to say and express, because we’re worried it’s not going to be perfect enough or whatever. But then on the other end of the extreme, when we’ve been real, you know, we’re more spontaneous, because we’re not hesitating, we’re more active instead of passive, we’re more able to kind of be outcome independent to have an abundance mindset instead of a scarcity mindset to go with the flow, to ultimately experience life instead of just living it in the abstract or filtering everything through identity and ideas. And so I guess what I’m trying to just spitball on, let’s say, is what values might we be able to translate into action at that level of realness at the point B?

Rizwan: I think the values would be… Let’s see.

Oli:  So you’ve already mentioned, like, creativity, or maybe we can frame it in terms of your experience. So what values do you allow yourself to have now that maybe when you was stuck at point A, kind of hesitating and holding back a bit, you didn’t know that you had?

Rizwan: So the values that that now I focus on are respecting my thoughts and respecting respecting other people’s thoughts, but also respecting my thoughts, they’re just at the same level. So before there was an imbalance before I was outwardly focused, so I was paying more attention to what other people thought felt and needed, and not so much for myself.

So now I’m back at the same level. And so that’s a big part. And creativity, that’s a big value that we have this inner voice or inner creative expression that we can bring out, whatever form that is, to not block it, but to promote, help it come out whatever way it wants to show up. So whether it’s intuition, whether it’s our ideas, or, you know, going with the flow, or not resisting what is within us to come out. So I think, you know, self discovery is a big value for me now is to listen to what I’m thinking, what I’m doing, and to be able to check myself when these thoughts come back in, as they usually do, that now I have this space to be able to not listen to them and still do what I wanted to do.

So not get blocked and still show up as I want to end. You know, the results have been pretty amazing that I’ve seen both at my work in my work and at home. And even others have noticed it that, you know, there’s a there’s a big change in how I’m showing up, which has helped me tremendously.

Oli: I think that what you just said about kind of self respect, ultimately really sums up this transformation. And I think a lot of people that are holding back and hesitating and ETC that are stuck at this point A, one of the reasons that they’re stuck there is because for whatever reason, because of culture or their childhood or any other external thing, that has basically caused them to believe that accepting themselves and respecting themselves is somehow wrong. But actually, I believe that is always nonsense, because when you’ve been real, well, obviously, the only thing you can do with reality is accept it. So you have to accept yourself. And you’re of course going to respect yourself as well with healthy boundaries and all that kind of stuff.

Because you’re going to be saying no to the unreal stuff. And so, you know, we’ve covered a lot as we’ve kind of picked this journey to pieces. But could we summarize the transformation that this creative process of kind of rebuilding yourself has involved? Could we summarize that as just been that like it’s a journey of learning to respect yourself again?

Rizwan: Yeah, I think absolutely. That’s the ultimate direction that we want to be moving towards is self discovery to learn what’s within us, because that’s what we can control, what we can share and share with the world. And that’s how we can make this life interesting and even amazing is to bring what’s within us outside and not keep that back from the world.

Because, you know, we’re unique, we’re individual. And if we don’t share our gifts with the world, then, you know, then, you know, it’s only going to hurt us and nobody else. So I think that’s the that’s the big mission in life is to, you know, go on that journey to learn more about ourselves.

Oli: And actually, the irony of all this is that when you go on that journey and you you know read self-awareness and you see what’s really inside you your true values and your true intentions and all this kind of thing well actually the end result of that process is that you have more to give to the world it’s this idea that you you can’t pour from an empty cup and so as you’ve gone through this process and you’ve kind of stops getting in your own way and you’ve stopped writing off your own ideas and you know the things that you can share with the world have you found that you know you’ve been able to give more you’ve been more expressive of something real and that’s allowed you to give something true to people or do you see what I’m saying.

Rizwan: Yeah, absolutely, I think when now that you know before I was in this mindset of scarcity mindset where everything was you know everything was a competition it was win or lose and you know I need to get mine and you know that type of mentality caused a lot of suffering – you know, at work, at home and once I let go of that to learn more about myself and to share what I could bring to my work to at home I was able to take on the more abundant more of the abundance mindset where I can share more with others.

And it’s not going to take away from me I can help others I can you know I can be happy for other the success other people have and not think that not see it as a negative on myself and and so you know knowing that I have so much to give because I’ve opened up that path opened up the the intuition and the creative creative voice that’s within me has helped me you know just share more and get past a lot of those struggles that I would go go through daily.

Oli:  I think that’s one of the most important things people learn when they on this journey so when they stuck at point A and you know they’re kind of locked inside themselves and they’ve been a bit passive and everything they almost always have a scarcity mindset like in fact you you have to have a scarcity mindset to be stuck there and so as you increase awareness in the way that you’re talking about and you become aware of  yourself and the world but also how reality is just so abundant then it makes it so much easier to give and express the real you.

Aand so that abundance is you know one of the most important things you can work on I think have you got any practical kind of insights into how people could do that so if they currently stuck in a scarcity mindset what can they do to kind of start moving towards abundance in the way that you’re talking about.

Rizwan: So I found that you know just being grateful for what you have is you know that’s a big way to start moving towards an abundance mindset so just you know a lot of times I remember I would focus on what I didn’t have what others have and what I don’t have and you know getting into that story and you know that causes a lot of a lot of challenges a lot of grief so thinking about what is good in my life even if it’s just once a day to stop and to to see look around and realize just how you know how good we have it we can there’s always something we can be appreciative of a grateful for in our life and so I think that practice will help kind of undo a lot of those comparison thoughts of comparison or I’m not good and they have more than me or you know all those things that come up I think so yeah great gratitude and be grateful for what we have I think that’s a big big step.

Oli: Yeah. You know what that is so important and like I found it to be true my own life and it reminds me of something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently which is that basically in life whatever we focus on grows that’s what we end up getting and so when you were at this you know lower point previously where you know you had a scarcity mindset and you were holding back and all that kind of stuff your thoughts just kept you focusing on all those negative things and if you focus on negative things you get more and more negative things and that’s how these downward spirals open up and then as we start to become aware or we practice becoming aware with you know gratitude journals or whatever gratitude practice we do we start to focus on the good things and that’s when the good things start growing and that’s how we open up a positive spiral did you find that to be the case in your life so basically as you shift your focus things just kind of almost automatically get better for some weird way weird reason?

Rizwan:  I think that’s exactly it you know what you focus on you know what they say you create your own reality and you know if you’re focused on the negative you’re going to see negative if you focused on good and being grateful you’re going to bring more of that to your mind and and get away from the negative thoughts that come up. So even distracting yourself from those negative thoughts is helpful. So for example, I go running, that’s a tool I have for when I become too negative or when I’m too distracted. I can use that as a tool to go clear my head and not focus on the negative sides of things. And instead, you know, change my thought patterns to something more positive.

Oli: Like those kind of things, it’s a kind of pattern interrupts. Like for me, I do yoga or I go hiking in the hills and stuff like that. Do you think you can take that to a slightly deeper level? And even though, you know, doing those activities is a distraction from the negative thoughts, they can also remind you of who you really are. So maybe I’m getting too romantic again, but when I’m doing a yoga session, when I’m in the hills and I’m really deep into it, I automatically step out of my own way. So I’m not just filtering everything through my idea about myself. There’s actually no idea about myself in those moments.

I’m just completely present. And I always think that that’s the real me. That when I feel like that, that’s the real me. And that is the feeling I try and bring into the rest of my life. So even though you’re using it as a distraction, do you think it’s actually just showing you who you are when you are being real?

Rizwan: Yeah. Yeah, I think the reason why I go running is to reconnect with myself and reconnect with nature. And so I think, you know, I’ve drawn to that activity because it’s more in line with who I am and it’s closer to me. So I think even though it’s a distraction, you know, I’m drawn to it because I can be myself. I can, like you said, you know, I can show up as myself and not have those thoughts as well. So yeah, I think there’s some connection there.

Oli: Hmm. Like actually, the distraction is all of the negative thoughts and all of the, you know, false things in the world, like let’s just say, I don’t know, the media and all the negativity and all, you know, all these things, that is the distraction. And the real stuff is the true values that are deep down there inside you is the creativity, it’s the flow. It’s who you are when you’re in those moments. So we’ve been talking longer than I thought that we had been talking.

I always do this is my trademark thing to do. But anyway, we’ve covered so much. So we’ve covered this journey that you’ve been on. We covered some of the practical things that you did to kind of break out of these, you know, negative tendencies and these downward spirals and everything.

Have you got any final words of wisdom to sum this all up? And can you also tell people where they can find you and they can listen to your podcast and all those kind of things?

Rizwan: Sure. So I would recommend, you know, just the overall theme is to take some time to get in touch with yourself to learn about yourself, what you like, what you dislike, and turn the lens inwards. I’ve been reading this book. I’ve been going through this book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. And that is a great book to help you do just that, to go through these exercises, prompts, writing prompts and to reconnect with yourself. If you haven’t done that in a long time, it’s refreshing to see just how much there is within you that you can share with the world and, you know, have that conversation with yourself.

I think that is key to a lot of the inner struggles that we have. So yeah, I would recommend that to anybody who is looking to find ways to improve. You can find me on LinkedIn. You can find me on Twitter.

But you can also go to is where I write. And that’s my newsletter on Substack. And I also have the podcast, which is called Unleash Your Mindset.

And you can find that on Spotify and Apple, Apple Podcasts. So yeah, those are the places to find me. And I’m always up for a conversation and sharing my thoughts and my experiences if anybody needs any kind of help or support.

Oli: Well, Rizwan, I’ll share all those links and everything in the show notes. But thank you so much for coming on here and sharing your journey and the insights that you learned along the way. It’s been a really awesome conversation. So thank you so much.

Rizwan: Yeah, thank you. Thank you for having me. I always have a great conversation with you. It’s insightful and I learn new things. And I really appreciate you sharing the message of being real and showing up for yourself. And so thank you for all the work that you’re doing too.

Oli: Rizwan, thank you so much.

Rizwan: Thanks.

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