Sheena Shah is a Life Coach, serial business owner, female entrepreneur and qualified RTT and Mindfulness practitioner, who after working for 15 years as an Optometrist, has changed direction driven by her personal struggles of severe anxiety, and mental health challenges that nearly saw her take her own life. Sheena is now focused on helping others who have been suffering silently in the same way she did, having turned her life around from not being able to leave the house, to appearing on national television and radio and running two successful businesses alongside being a busy mum.
As part of her mission to help others overcome barriers in their lives, Sheena blends delivering therapy and coaching to women in business and in corporate settings with organisations such as; Siemens, with running mindfulness and meditation sessions in schools to help further her goal of tackling mental health challenges using a ‘prevention before cure’ approach in both the workplace and across educational settings.
She also runs a successful vegan treats and nutritional coaching business as part of her wider mission to help her clients commit to wellbeing in the broader sense. Read on to find out more about how Sheena got started and her tips for success.
“I have always been passionate about psychology and had a keen interest in the power of the mind; my upbringing guided me into Optometry, down a ‘secure’ path, and a ‘proper’ job.
Always an anxious child, I felt like I was in my own little bubble for many years. Moving school a lot in my preteen years only exasperated this, as I found it hard to fit in, always the newbie. Unaware the anxiety was ‘a thing’ at this point, as mental health was not something discussed at the time, I suffered in silence with feelings that I didn’t really understand. I can now see that throughout my life I suffered with severe anxiety, but did not recognise what it was, instead I just felt different to others, silenced by a culture that did not openly talk about feelings.
Things escalated when i moved again to University, alongside my ex-boyfriend as we had planned this path together. Together in a new city, now with a severely deteriorated toxic relationship, I felt trapped, but yet clung to the narcissistic relationship non-the-less. At this point my emotions were overwhelming and I considered taking my own life – but thankfully identified at this point that I was suffering from anxiety and depression and meeting my future husband is what helped me come through it.
Therapy provided temporary relief for me and I explored Cognitive Behaviour Therapy but the impact didn’t last for long, and it felt like putting a plaster over a deeper problem, so it was at this point I researched more into how I could feel complete, fulfilled and worthy.
Having delved into the world of personal development, I decided to retrain as a life coach, and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, in a bid to learn new techniques. I loved coaching, but something still wasn’t right, and on reflection I recognise now that my lack of self-worth meant that I couldn’t fully commit to my business to make it succeed.
After the birth of my second daughter, my anxiety continued to worsen and I realised I needed to change to be a better role model for my children: I was constantly crying and feeling like I was a terrible mum. I struggled to leave the house with them on my own, I felt overwhelmed and trapped. I believe my life truly changed when I embraced meditation and mindfulness, I became a new person, and with that gained the self-worth needed to succeed in my business.
After embracing mindfulness and meditation, I stopped worrying about achieving external goals and started to look more inwardly – this changed my life. I began with changing my nutrition, and found that eating more healthily helped increase energy and boosted a positive mindset, enabling me to cope better with anxiety and the demands of being a mum. I set up a vegan, healthy treat company as a bit of a hobby – which I now run as a successful business today (Pure & Raw Goodies) that sits alongside my coaching work, supporting clients with nutritional guidance alongside providing healthy snacks and treats.
I am now on a mission to help all individuals struggling with stress, anxiety, confidence and low self esteem through RTT, Coaching and Mindfulness whether that be; workshops, 1:1 sessions or via the work I do in both businesses and in schools.
What has worked well about your business?
Honesty – sharing my story has helped my clients massively. Through Inspiring Success I loves working to help women particularly overcome Imposter Syndrome, comparisonitus and anxiety and helping them see that they don’t need to suffer in silence, and that they needn’t waste years of their lives suffering – my message is that they can in fact transform their mindset quickly thanks to some of the powerful tools I practice.
Last year, I started to make my first appearances on BBC radio, followed by TV – something which is stark contrast to the “anxiety-ridden wreck” who couldn’t leave the house alone in previous years. Keen to share what I have learnt, and to empower and inspire others.
I also run ‘Perfectly Imperfect You’ – an online community of individuals who are encouraged to celebrate the highs and joys of life, but also embrace the struggles, and low points – the days where things go wrong too.
How do you fit in work with the family?
My children are 6 and 8, my working life I fit in when they are at school and I also see clients in the evening when they go to sleep. The promise I made myself when setting up my work was that it wouldn’t impact my time with the kids.
Additionally, mindfulness and meditation are now a key part of my daily life not just professional, but also personally and within my family too.
What impact do you want to have?
My work drives me because of my genuine passion for helping individuals break free from their anxiety and stress -as I now know it IS possible, and it needn’t take a lifetime to do. 1 in 4 adults suffer with a mental health condition, and 1 in 10 children have a diagnosable mental health condition, these stats are constantly on the rise. With my own children being 6 and 8, and the world around them changing so quickly, I want to help anyone I can, with a prevention before cure approach.
I have a genuine passion in helping individuals break free from anxiety and stress. It truly breaks my heart knowing there are people out there feeling so alone and not knowing how to change, I want to be there for them, I know what it is like. I would sit locked in my bedroom crying because I didn’t know what was wrong with me, with my husband on the other side of the room telling me it would be ok, I did that for so long, and now, with the right support, I’ve changed my life. Now I’m running two businesses, public speaking, am a mum of 2, an optometrist, and have a whole new lease of life…sometimes even I think gosh how far I have come!”