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Conversations with the Inspiring Kahila Hedayatzadeh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kahila Hedayatzadeh.

Kahila, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The decision to become a therapist came during one of the most devastating and heartbreaking times in my life; a situation I never imagined would be a part of my journey.

I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in psychology in the early 2000s and started in the Real Estate field shortly after. I was in the field for several years and never really fell in love with the work because it was not aligned with my mission and purpose.

In March 2010, as I was contemplating leaving Real Estate to pursue my purpose, my life changed in a dramatic manner. My hero, my mom, was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. The diagnosis was extremely devastating for all of us. As a result, I immediately left my career in Real Estate and became a full-time caregiver. Her cancer diagnosis was very aggressive, and although she was able to achieve remission three times in the five-year battle, she lost her life to cancer in 2014. Losing her has changed me in ways I never thought possible.

During the time I was caring for her, I chose to go back to graduate school and received my degree in Counseling Psychology. Although my professional experience has been grand, I believe that my personal experience of triumphs, wins, and losses have helped me become a more empathic, and well-rounded therapist and coach.

Over a year ago, I stepped away from the traditional field of psychology and created my own online coaching practice in order to reach more women, and help them live through their strengths rather than the old, repetitive stories, beliefs, and negative self-talk. My clients consist of women in all walks of life, including those with a cancer diagnosis.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The journey of creating my online practice has been anything but easy. As the traditional clinical psychologist profession stands, the client source is mainly generated through the use of insurance benefits, meaning I didn’t have to do much of marketing or exposure online.

Starting my own practice meant that I wasn’t going to take insurance benefits anymore because I didn’t like the idea of diagnosing my clients with a disorder when it didn’t fit. So, I was forced to leave my comfort zone and put myself out there in order to be discovered by the right clients.

I started from the ground up; by creating a website, social media pages, educating myself about marketing, listening to podcasts, watching an endless amount of YouTube videos, investing in programs, and attending networking events. However, one of the biggest changes for me was having to create a new mindset around exposing myself on social media platforms.

I think this applies to anyone who has ever tried to start a new business adventure… trusting the process and learning how to be patient is no joke. And through lots of tears, positive self-talk, and the unwavering belief in my work and mission I made it through.

My advice for anyone starting the journey of creating a new path for yourself is knowing your why, and never, ever losing sight of your end goal. Do not listen to naysayers (including your own fears). And continue to believe in all that you are and all that you are capable of becoming. It’s all worth it.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
As I mentioned earlier, I am a trained psychotherapist. While practicing traditional therapy I used modalities such as positive psychology, solution-focused therapy, as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

I’ve worked with children and adolescent facing tremendous emotional pain, including abuse, and suicidal ideations. As well as adults in the acute hospital setting with a dual diagnosis. Lastly, I worked with individuals diagnosed with terminal illnesses, in which we worked together to redefine the meaning of quality of life on an individual basis.

Although I loved my work, a little voice inside kept telling me that there’s more… I need to do more. So, I finally took the risk and started my own breakthrough coaching practice online in order to reach more women across the world.

As a multicultural woman, I have broken many traditional norms and broken through barriers and painful life situations. All those situations taught me valuable lessons that I could not have learned otherwise. Those lessons aren’t mine to keep, and therefore, I work with other women to showcase their strengths, and their own capacity to live a fulfilled life.

I help women to learn how to master their lives. Mastering your life means mastering your emotions, thoughts, self-love, relationships, mindset, physical health and fitness, career, money, family, friends, fun and joy, contribution, and spiritual meaning and growth – every part of your life.

What sets me apart is my heart’s desire to truly leave this world a better place than before. It’s the belief that women do not have to suffer through mental and emotional pain. It’s the belief that no matter what, no matter the triumphs, all of us have the power to overcome the pain and to discover a stronger, and more loving version of ourselves. What sets me apart is that I don’t believe in giving up no matter what, even if I have to cry through it.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
The answer to this question is twofold…
Here’s my controversial opinion… I think woman are the biggest barrier. Let me explain… as women, we’ve been told how to act, how to be, how to live, and how to think for generations and generations. With that said, I think one of the biggest barriers in leadership is that women have the limited belief that they aren’t capable or deserving of holding a position that a man holds. So, that’s a mindset shift which needs to change in every single woman in order for societal change to take place.

Speaking of society, I am not oblivious to the fact that it will take time, and lots of hard work to create a more diverse and inclusive world where women are not only leaders in a male-dominated industry but are also paid their worth.


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Image Credit:
Alina Mendoza

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