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Building a powerful mindset & creating the best habits to achieve your goals & dreams with Nayaba

Updated: Apr 19, 2023


Woman of Substance magazine cover
Introduction by Efuwa Tomety, Photographs by Mo Sesay

She took the plunge to earn her life coaching certification at a season in her life when she felt she had checked all the boxes society expects of a woman in her late 20s; the beautiful home, family, second degree, and an accomplished career track, but at the end of it all she was left feeling unfulfilled and burnt out. She decided it was time to take back her personal power and do life on her own terms. Becoming a Life coach was the beginning of her journey back to herself.


Our mind is where everything in this world has been conceived. Everything we are and do begins in the mind. The mind is also a battlefield. There is always a tug of war even when we are sure about something.

Nayaba has chosen to lean into her calling of helping women build and improve their mindsets to get out of their own way. Today, we learn more about Nayaba as well as have a chat about building a powerful mindset and creating the best habits to achieve our goals and dreams.

Sit back and relax with your favourite beverage and join in on this open and honest conversation.


Who is Nayaba?

I love that question because I don’t think I get asked it enough.

I am going to start with my purpose because I’m being intentional with starting with my purpose verse all the hats I wear. So my purpose is to uplift and empower women and I do that by helping them get out of their own way and remove their personal roadblocks so that they can live or create the life that they want. That’s my why and my gift.

I am also blessed to be a mother and a wife, a career woman and more recently an owner of a business, my coaching and consulting business which is how I live out my why and my gift.


What brought you into the life and idea of coaching?

I was searching to fill a void that I had. Based off the world’s standards, I had checked off those “boxes”. You know all the boxes that they say we should have in career and personal life but I still felt like there was a void. I was very blessed. I wasn’t coming from a place where I was not grateful for all the things that I had in front of me but I still wanted more for myself.

In life sometimes you reach a point where you hit rock bottom, or something has happened where you can’t keep doing the same things.I needed different results. I had a couple of experiences that brought me to a point where I knew I had to switch it up. I was no longer on the path that I thought I was supposed to be on, I was no longer having the joy that I wanted on a daily basis.

So I started doing the inner work, changing my mindset and I was fortunate enough to cross the path of another life coach who I began working with and she really helped me redefine my vision for myself and recreate a new vision for my next season. Working with her, not only in my own personal journey, also showed me a way in which I could step into my own personal gift. I knew my gift was around helping women and building up people, that’s how I’ve shown up in all aspects of my life since I was in high school. Before that, as a family member and as a friend, I’ve always served that role as mediator, as a help, as a great listener but life happens and you don’t know how to step into that. Working with a life coach gave me an opportunity to say, wow, this is the way I can do that.

That was when I decided to become a Life Coach and get certified.


What makes you different from other life coaches?

There are many life coaches and the goal of a life coach is to guide you to your own answers. And with that, I think the main difference between me and another person is my own personal story. My brand, who I am and what I represent. Because as a life coach we are coaching out of our own life experiences. I’m not consulting you, I’m not giving you the answer. I am coaching you based off my own experiences and giving you the road map so that you can arrive at that place that you want faster than I did.

My mission as a life coach is to really make your load a little lighter and hopefully when you see me, you see not only where you are but where you can be. You are able to relate to my story and know that if she can get through it, so can I. It is also trusting me to get through that journey, understanding my values, being attracted to my energy, my vibe and my belief system. That’s what you are attracted to; my person. So that’s what makes me different from the next life coach because you can’t clone that.

Right now my soulmate client is centred around women. Millennial women to be more specific.

"Our minds always default to a pattern of thinking when you are idle or when you are about to do something. This is why it is important to solidify your mindset because it is at the core of everything that you do."

What is the problem you are most presented with by your clients?

Depending on where they are in their own personal journey. A lot of the work I do is around mindset. A lot of the times, we get stuck because we are stuck in a mental space of not believing in ourselves and of having fear which make us feel like we can’t make the next move because we are afraid of the outcome. Another issue I find is where our value and worth is so tied to an outcome that we are scared to make a decision.

So I start by understanding their belief system and really diving deeper and unpacking why they have that belief. Who told you, or what experience did you have that has made you feel that you are not worthy or not enough, or why you need to play small and seek the approval of others.

There is also that underlying issue that needs to be looked at and then we move to a place where we begin to re-imagine what the ideal place looks like for you. If we could step into the badass version of you, what does that look like and let’s start shaping a positive belief system around that version of you.

If you feel like you are not worthy of a job that you are currently in, okay let’s replace that, why do you feel you are not worthy of that job or are under qualified and let’s replace that with a positive believe system and then we start there. We start creating the habits so that you can anchor yourself in that belief system and release yourself from your previous one.

How do we begin the reparation of our minds?

Our minds always default to a pattern of thinking when you are idle or when you are about to do something. This is why it is important to solidify your mindset because it is at the core of everything that you do.

If you feel like you will fail, your mind is telling you don’t do it because your mind is always on survival mode, you know it’s trying to protect you. It will keep you from doing the things that move you out of your comfort zone. So how do we now reshape your thinking around fear, around self doubt and not feeling worthy so that you have something different you are telling yourself so that your mind can support you and you can take action.

So in my mindset bootcamp, we look at the big picture. How to start changing your mindset and it’s through things like what you focus on, what you are feeding your mind, what you are telling yourself and your physical movement as well. So those are the 3 main areas we pull from during the course so that you move from a place where you are not stuck by your thoughts but rather empowered by them.


What is the difference between having a Life Coach and a Therapist?

From my understanding, a life coach is someone that guides you to answers that you already have. You already have the tools and abilities to grow and move yourself to where you want to be.

A therapist is usually working with you to either diagnose or from a clinical standpoint, understand what issues you are dealing with and they have different frameworks that they use to get you from where you are to a point of healing a certain area.

There is not a thin line, I think it is very different . A coach does not have the credentials to diagnose or give you any form of prescription or medical advice, it is more of guidance.

Looking into someone’s situation as a third person, what is your opinion on the issues you are presented with?

When you are experiencing something, whether it’s heavy or light to someone else, to you, it’s like the biggest thing that you are carrying at that point so I definitely take it the same way even looking at it from an objective view. I understand that what you are carrying is heavy and my role is to support you in understanding that we can look at it in a different way so it doesn’t feel as heavy.

The beautiful part of it is them having an aha! moment once you give them the tools and they do the work, that "wow! I could’ve been out of this place a long time ago." That is why I love coaching because you are helping someone get to that point and it really does take an objective person. Someone outside of your day-to-day to be able to look at that thing objectively and give you a way to navigate it.


The term "Imposter Syndrome" has been a common topic lately. Many people believe that this is stopping them from living the life that they want. Can you define Imposter Syndrome?

So, it’s real. Everyone I think at some point in their life has experienced Imposter syndrome. And that’s really self doubt. Feeling like you are a fraud in whatever you are doing. So it could be at work, in your own family life, It is feeling like you don’t belong or your are not worthy of the place that you are in. That is imposter syndrome and I think we’ve all experienced this at different points in time.

“It is reminding yourself of who you are, what you have accomplished and why you deserve to be in the room that you are in.”

I tell my clients that it happens to everyone. When I have done my research around it, even Maya Angelou experienced imposter syndrome, and look at her with all her accomplishments. She had moments of self doubt that she wasn’t good enough.

Even in my experience from working with interns, to executives and high ranking officials. Everyone has felt that they are not worthy or has sought validation or approval from other people at a point. So it’s something that happens to everyone no matter where you are in your experiences or how old you are. When a person can see that and understand that it’s not just them, I think that it is comforting and it also helps to de-escalate how big it is in their mind and then 2. I like to tell my clients, create that bad ass jar. This is that jar that represents who you are aspiring to be and all your accomplishments, all the things you’ve overcome, all the things that you’ve patted your back for or have been recognised for because at the end of the day, that is what conquers self doubt.

It is reminding yourself of who you are, what you have accomplished and why you deserve to be in the room that you are in.

So anytime you feel the negative voices in your head, that’s when you have to pull out from your bad ass jar and say, I am worthy or i didn’t get that promotion but I applied again and I got it the second time, or that presentation I did at work, I did a really good job and I got recognised by my boss. Remind yourself of all these things you have done and that will calm you down and make you realise that yes, I do deserve to be in this room, to get that job or get that promotion or start my new business. I am worthy of it all.


“When we allow ourselves to know that how we come is enough, in terms of our person, abilities, mindset and level of intelligence. When we believe that it is enough in that specific window in time, then we are no longer feeling like we need to step in that higher person that we think they want us to be.

What is the root cause of Imposter Syndrome?

Apart from self doubt, it is also confidence. It’s a blend of those two. It’s either you don’t feel confident in your abilities, maybe you don’t feel like you are qualified. You don’t believe that despite you technical ability and skills, that you are actually really good. It all boils down to your belief in yourself.

So often we are trying to fill in bigger shoes or in our mind, we think we are expected to perform at xyz level. No! they brought you in based on your competence at that very time and moment.

When we allow ourselves to know that how we come is enough at that specific window in time, in terms of your person, abilities, mindset and your level of intelligence, then you are no longer feeling like you need to step in that higher person that you think they want you to be. You can then release yourself from that pressure and keep doing what you already know and you gain the confidence to say yea I am good.


How do we conquer Imposter Syndrome?

To conquer imposter syndrome means:

1. Knowing that everyone experiences it no matter what stage of life they are in or how far they’ve gone in life and

2. You remind yourself of what you’ve done so that you realise that you’ve done a lot and you’re deserving.


What advice do you have for those trying to start their own businesses but suffer from imposter syndrome?

I would say, keep your vision close to you as to why. It is always important for you to be anchored in your why you are doing what you are doing especially when you are starting something new.

“Your “why?” is your skin in the game."

Your “why?” represents what that thing you are about to do will do for you. How you will redefine the way you currently do life, how it will change the options for the the next generation that follows you to do life.”

So when you understand your “why?”, when times get rough where you feel like oh can I really do this?, Can I transition into this space that maybe no one in your family has ever done before?, Keep yourself anchored to your why. If you do that, that will be the driving force that will allow you to move forward past that initial discomfort of feeling like you don’t belong in a space. You do belong in this space because you understand what this space is going to give you in the end.


“It starts with redefining your relationship with failure and the unlearning that you are not tied to the outcome of that experience and rather looking at it like who am I going to be after this experience, I am going to be a better version of myself and keeping your eye more on that and less on the idea of this possibly not working out.”

How do we conquer the fear of failure?

The thing with fear is, we will always experience fear and doubting ourselves, that’s why it’s important to work on your state of focus. We are so often faced with choices. Am I going to choose self doubt today or am I going to choose confidence today? Where am I going to focus my energy?


With failure, I always start with, let’s look at your relationship with failure. How do you view failure? That is the most important place to start. You can look at it through the lenses of either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

With a fixed mindset, you feel like you are constrained by your belief. You feel like you can only do so much based on your own abilities but with a growth mindset your belief is that, with my hard work, with my efforts, discipline and consistency, I can actually move the dial forward and achieve whatever I want to achieve. So with failure, do you see failure as the end (e.g. omg if I fail the world is coming to an end, I am no longer me as people know it, they are going to see me as incompetent etc) or as the beginning? (e.g. the beginning of learning more about yourself, the beginning of finding a better way to do what you were trying to do or the beginning of trying to build resilience in your ability to fail but yet keep moving forward).


It starts with redefining your relationship with failure and the unlearning that you are not tied to the outcome of that experience and rather looking at it like who am I going to be after this experience, I am going to be a better version of myself and keeping your eye more on that and less on the idea of this possibly not working out.

When you look at it from that perspective and you look at it like who you are going to become along the way, the person your are going to evolve into and the character you are going to build, then you are more confident to begin to take action towards what you are trying to do.

"At the beginning vulnerability is like fear, self doubt, feeling like you are not worthy of something and on the other side it is also the birth place of joy, being more confident and your authentic self. "

Failing is also tied to vulnerability. Renee Brown, author of Daring Greatly, talks about vulnerability being a space where you are able to show up as your authentic self, being able to do the things that are most important to you emotionally, bare, open and your true self.

This is so hard for people to do because of the fear of what someone else will think.

That is vulnerability, being able to to be your authentic self despite what someone else is going to think or say about you.


I love how she explains vulnerability also as a place of duality. At the beginning, vulnerability is like fear, self doubt, feeling like you are not worthy of something and on the other side it is also the birth place of joy, being more confident and your authentic self. Understand that your higher self is on the other side. So when you are able to push past the beginning phase where we are all very very familiar with, on the other side, it is a beautiful level of yourself that people so rarely get to experience because you are so stuck in the approval or opinions of others.

So what does vulnerability look like for you? Is it being able to get into another relationship even though you’ve had your heartbroken twice? Is it applying for a job that you didn’t get after applying a couple of times or is it starting your own business when everyone around you is doing 9-5s? That’s vulnerability. It is you being able to show up and live life as you so define it despite what other people think of you.

"Your mind will create certain patterns, like a loop system or a track you have on replay. If your track on replay is positive thinking and affirming yourself, that is what your mind will default to. But if the track you have on replay is always talking down to yourself, or thinking about what everyone is going to say about you, that is what your mind will default to."

Why do we find it so difficult to push past being vulnerable?

It is very interesting how our mind typically defaults to our inner critic of all those negative voices in our mind. So it is the unlearning and retraining of our mind so that it doesn’t do that. That is the whole thing about working on your mindset. As a scientist I am still doing my research to understand why the mind is that way but what I do know is that it can be unlearnt.

Your mind will create certain patterns, like a loop system or a track you have on replay. If your track on replay is positive thinking and affirming yourself, that is what your mind will default to. But if the track you have on replay is always talking down to yourself, or thinking about what everyone is going to say about you, that is what your mind will default to. So it is up to us how we are training our minds to default to things that will empower us as opposed to making us feel stuck.

What do you do when you feel unfulfilled?

A lot of us go through points in our lives where we feel like we are no longer on the path that we thought we would be on. With that, it is not something that you can answer in a day or correct in a day. So start with the first thing that brought you joy. Go back to that thing you felt you were doing before you lost yourself. The thing that made you feel lighter and made you feel like more in alignment with yourself. Start there and by engaging with that, you will begin to find other things that bring you joy. You will start to redefine it like “in my current season, these are the things that I want to do, this is the space that I want to be in, this is the time that I want to carve out so I can do this thing because I know that it fills up my cup.”


“A lot of people feel like “omg, I’ve got to find my purpose” and they think it is so big and when you think it is so big, it is unattainable"

But when you start small with just the things that you know you can do and you do that and you begin exploring more, it will start to reveal itself to you and you will start to put more shape and form into that thing you want to do that will bring you joy and make you feel like you are back in the centre of your own world.


Another thing is that we have so many examples out there. You are no longer bound by your geographic location. You no longer have to look at just your family members and your close friends as an example. You have your whole world and people to look to study and see how you can bring a little bit of that into your life so that you can start doing the things that actually make you happy.

I think it is so important to fill up your cup before you start taking care of everyone else.

So that is intentionally carving out time to do the things that make you happy and that could just be a hobby now and if you want to make it a job or career one day you can, and if it is just a hobby and a lifestyle, then that is what it is but you have to make time for that.


How do you do this with children who require so much of your attention?

We always have time. We always can make time for the things that are important to us. So first start with just 5-10 minutes of something. It doesn’t have to be an old thing but what can help you in your current season? I have a 4 year old too so is it just having some personal care time? Would that be the beginning of allowing you to reimagine what personal time could look like? Is that just having 5-10 minutes where you are not bothered while enjoying a cup of coffee in silence? Can you at least figure out a way to carve that time out for yourself? And then if you are able to do that, what else could you do?


It’s a matter of allowing yourself to believe that you deserve that and you can do it, and creating the support system to to help you do that. We have time, we just have to look at how we are prioritising the things that we have to do on a daily basis to ensure that what is important to us is at the top of that list. It doesn’t have to be so enormous, it can start small.


I went through a period of time where I was really needed in my household and I had to start waking up at 4:30am/5am so that I could at least get an hour or an hour and a half where I did my morning routine, my meditation, my praying and my journaling. The day is gone when you wake up and you start serving everyone else and you look up and say oh, I’ll do it before I sleep or, oh I’ll do it after work. The reality of it as a single mum or as a mother to your children, you don’t have that time. But if you wake up early or if you make sure you have a structure when your kids go to bed early and you have at least 2 hours before you sleep, then you have those windows so it’s definitely doable. Kids will have to sleep, they have to take naps too so what structure are we putting in place so that we can also have time for ourselves? Choose your optimal time where your brain works the best.

"It is all centred around the goal of making sure that you are not cluttering yourself and your time with busy work but being intentional about moving the dial forward every single day towards your goal."

Talk to us a little bit about consistency and creating consistency around your goals.

I love consistency because it is beautiful to start things but the win in it is the follow through to be very frank and direct.

  1. In order to get to reach your ultimate goal, you have to be consistent with whatever it is you are supposed to do. So when you look at the most highly effective people, celebrities, business people, they all have powerful morning routines and that is something that saved me. In order to move into entrepreneurship, and to even begin to move my love for what I was doing to a business, I had to figure out a window and that was my window, the morning time. Creating a powerful morning routine I think is important around your goals because not only is it carving time to work on the things that are getting you closer to your big vision, it is also setting the tone for the day. You are creating habit through the small things you are doing. Through waking up, drinking your water every morning, making your bed, going through your morning affirmations, your journaling. That repetition may seem so simple but it’s building up the muscle of consistency and it is also setting up the energy that you want for the day.

  2. “Eat the frog” method. That is doing the most important thing first. Whatever action that is needed to get you towards your goal, do it at the start of the day before your day goes by. But I would say that if you are an evening person, put the boundaries in place so that if you are not doing it in the morning, you have the time and the space to do it in the evening.

The goal is making sure that you are not cluttering yourself and your time with busy work but being intentional about moving the dial forward every single day towards your goal.

3. In order to have a powerful morning routine you need a powerful evening routine. So it is making sure that you are being intentional about what you are going to do the next day. What is that one thing that if all hell breaks loose, I need to get done to get me closer to my goal and have I blocked time for that?

A lot of people write things down and decided if it happens it happens but no! What is the window that you have set aside?

Be intentional every single day and try your best. So that could be a 5/10 one day day or 6/10 another day, it could be a 2/10 but at least everyday, you are working towards your goal in some form or fashion.

"no matter where you are in life, you need someone that can serve as that objective ear, as your guide, as your cover to help stretch you or to see things differently"

Do you apply this knowledge in your real life?

Oh yes. Hands down. Yes yes yes and yes. All of this is what brought me to even becoming a Life Coach. Doing the work myself and understanding what worked for me, what didn’t work. Even with my morning routine, not everyone’s morning routine is the same, you have to figure out what works for you.

I had to figure out what affirmations will work for me in my current season, how they spoke life into me and the goals I was trying to achieve. I definitely have to do the work myself and I still do the work every single day. There are still those mindset gremlins that come in but now the beautiful thing is, having the tool belt to pick from. If I am dealing with self doubt or fear, I have the tool belt and the strategies to pull from to be able to calm myself down or work through whatever I am dealing with to get on the other side so I hands down totally use this stuff in my daily life.

Are you usually harder on yourself when you are going through a season where although you have the tools and you know exactly what to do, it’s taking you a little longer than usual.

I still work through things, I still have to go through the process and if I can’t work myself through it, then I think it’s so important to have an inner circle. The people that understand your blind spots, that know your vulnerabilities. I rely heavily on my village when I am going through things that I can’t work through myself. I pick up the phone, I’ll call my accountability partner or my sister coaches and I ask them to coach me through because I know that this is a road block for me.

I believe that no matter where you are in life, you need someone that can serve as that objective ear, as your guide, as your cover to help stretch you to see things differently because we are so often blinded by our own limiting beliefs, biases or mindset. It is important to have that circle that you can lean on.

Know that it is emotionally okay to bare yourself to the people that have earned their right to hear your story and your pain. So in order to get that help, you have to be willing to open yourself up to the right people.

What would you tell younger Nayaba?

I will tell younger Nayaba to be kind to herself, to be more gentle with herself. To give herself more grace. Ultimately just to know that she is enough. That current stage, wherever she is at that very moment, she is enough and her value is not determined by what she does for other people or pleasing others. I would tell her that she will continue to evolve and grow and turn out to be whoever God has destined her to be.

The biggest thing I have learnt this past year is self compassion. That is something that I lacked for myself and therefore couldn’t give it to others.

I realised that I was pushing my standards of perfectionism on other people, I realised that I had seen a sense of peace and calmness in other people in terms of them being able to give themselves compassion and I wanted that. Because I couldn’t give that to myself , there was a level of frustration and envy.


I realised that I could also be kind to myself and give myself grace and that was the biggest breakthrough I have had in my recent adult life.

Thank you Nayaba for having this humble and open chat with us. It has really fed our souls. We hope to chat with you again soon.



Book a free consultation with Nayaba at https://lifecoachnay.as.me/schedule.php and find her on instagram at @lifecoachnay



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