Navigating Overstimulus and Building Resilience in the Workplace with Tasleem Jessani

Dive into a thought-provoking conversation on introversion, shyness, and trauma with host Julianna Yau Yorgan and guest Tasleem Jessani. Learn how understanding your unique traits can lead to transformational change in your leadership journey.

Together, we discussed:

  • The differences between introversion, shyness, and trauma in the workplace.
  • The importance of understanding and respecting individual needs and strengths at work.
  • Insights on overcoming fear and self-judgment to create positive change in the workplace.
  • A simple journaling exercise to increase self-awareness and self-compassion.

Where to find Tas:

Episode Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Daring to Succeed podcast. I’m your host, Julianna Yau Yorgan, and I’m a career and leadership strategist who helps introverts succeed in the workplace by unleashing their introvert superpowers. Today, I’m joined by Tasleem Jessani, a clinical hypnotherapist and leadership coach. She has a wealth of experience coaching female leaders ranging from line managers right up to C-suite and executive leadership. Her background includes over a decade of experience in corporate human resources, as well as her own executive coaching practice. Taslim is also uniquely specializing in using hypnotherapy as one of the tools to help clients create transformational change in how they show up in their leadership roles, as well as for themselves in their lives. Welcome to the podcast, Tess. Thank you.

Tasleem: I’m excited to be here.

Julianna: Me too. So before we get into it, I’ll ask you the same question I ask everyone, even though I know the answer. But do you consider yourself more introverted, extroverted, or a bit of both?

Tasleem: Definitely more introverted. I’ve always resonated more with that, though I can say a bit of both shows up as well. So yeah.

Julianna: Yeah, I hear that a lot with the the bit of both I think for especially for a lot of people who resonate more on the introverted side we’ve kind of learned to be more extroverted as needed. Yeah, that’s fair.

Tasleem: Exactly.

Julianna: Yeah. So when we were preparing for this episode, we got into a really interesting discussion about shyness, introversion, and trauma, and how they’re different and why knowing the difference between them can really help someone move in the right direction. I normally do more of an interview style format for my guests, but since we know each other already, I was thinking maybe we could have more of a conversation about this, if that’s okay with you. Yeah, I’d love that. Yeah. Because if I think back to a lot of the conversations I’ve had with other people on either the podcast or just talking about introversion in general, I find that there are people, especially people who are less introverted, who kind of see introversion and shyness as the same thing. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your thoughts on that.

Tasleem: Absolutely. Yeah. And I like this topic because I can resonate with it so much. You know, someone like myself who has always resonated more with an introvert being an introvert. And like you said, we’ve learned to be more extroverted in certain ways. Part of the reason I’ve also really resonated with being an introvert is because I was quite shy as a child. Now that being said, you know, growing up, you know, I tended to kind of stay to myself. If I’m playing outside, you know, I played on my own. My teachers would say she doesn’t socialize as much with other kids. And I, you know, I learned that I’m just shy. And I’m, you know, when I go up and speak in front of people, I didn’t like to speak in big groups and things like that, or approach people even just to say hello and things. And, um, You know, I find over the years, I’m learning more and more about myself, especially with my work. And as a trained psychic and medium, because of the hypnotherapy work I do, a lot of my skills are the intuition that I use. So I have to be really tuned into my body, but also I have to really resonate and tune into my client’s body and system and what they’re experiencing. And I learned that I’m very open, you know, naturally, just very open. And my as I resonated and built my skills, my psychic skills, it’s, you know, I think there’s also some confusion around when we talk about empaths and things like that, right. And so being a very open child, stimulus was very overwhelming for me. And even as a personal story, when the Lahaina fires in Hawaii, when they were happening, we were just in Lahaina, um, on vacation, like the week before. And when we went there, I actually literally felt like I was suffocating. And I was like, what’s going on? Like, I just feel so uncomfortable here. And as soon as we came home, like this feeling of despair, just washing all over me. And then I find out about these fires and I was like, oh my gosh, that’s exactly what I was feeling. So someone like me, as an example, and there’s so many people in the world like this, right? When stimulus is overwhelming, you know, and you don’t know how to control it or understand what’s going on. And then as a child, there’s all this, what feels like noise around you. If you’re always overwhelmed, um, with information that’s coming to your system, that can also lead to some level of quote unquote shyness, you know, um like a hesitance to go and approach different people or be in large groups or a need to want to go off and have a little bit of quiet time because system needs to reboot so to speak. Um so that’s why I believe like when we are just looking at somebody um and we say oh they’re they just tend to be really shy or they don’t like large groups there may be more going on behind the scenes and the even the introversion of an individual can also just depend on a situation. You know, maybe they’re not comfortable showing emotions in a group, because they’ve learned as a child that emotions are not tolerable, for example. And that can lead somebody to feel very uncomfortable in front of a group. And so is that really, you know, introversion? Or is it that they’re, they’re, you know, poor presenters, for example, not necessarily. So I like every time that we’re looking at things where we’re categorizing or understanding behaviors, that we also just really try to understand the person and how is this maybe label, quote unquote, serving you or helping you to understand more about yourself so you can hone in on your skills, versus boxing people out and saying, well, you’re, for example, an introvert, so this would not be for you, or you must be terrible at networking, because I know some pretty incredible networkers who are introverts.

Julianna: Yeah, I mean there’s just there’s so much to unpack there and I, I want to go back to something you were talking about with the, the overwhelmed the overstimulus, especially in the context of people in the workplace because that is maybe one of the most common I’d say pet peeves of clients I work with is being told they’re not speaking up enough. They need more visibility. You know, why aren’t they interacting more? Why aren’t they answering questions or presenting? their ideas and whether it’s introversion or shyness or I kind of want to explore the overstimulus a little bit because I also resonate with that when I was younger where there was a time in my life that so much information was coming at me and it wasn’t that I couldn’t that it was too much. It was more that I couldn’t process it all quickly enough to actually then translate what was happening in my brain back out verbally. It was just all this information, all these ideas were springing up, and, oh, I don’t want to forget about this, and I really need some time to digest and form out a full thought about something. So maybe outwardly, other people are thinking, oh gosh, Julianne or you or whoever is just sitting there like a stump. But meanwhile, we’ve got this rich, almost overwhelming narrative happening inside that we just can’t get out because it’s not being processed quickly enough for us to actually communicate it to the world.

Tasleem: Absolutely. I really love how you describe that because you know, knowing what I know about you and our friendship over the years, you’re also really quite open to a lot of information. And so, yeah, again, it’s like, there are a number of people I remember when I was in the workplace, where they would sort of be labeled as they’re analytical, or they need time to process. And it almost seemed like a negative, like if you’re not quick on your feet, if you’re not someone who just like says what you need, and you need time to process, you’re actually not like the stronger out of the pack. And I think what’s unfortunate about that is I know for myself being in HR and working with a lot of leadership and being in a lot of strategic meetings, oftentimes those that are quick to speak and loud and more vocal were the ones considered stronger leaders. And I can definitely see in our world that this dynamic is changing a lot more support of the quiet, more like, you know, quiet leader coming forward and the intuitive leader as well, who can really understand the team and the dynamic and bring them together, I can see that coming forward more. And yet, how do you become more visible, if you are not as I’m going to just say loud, maybe as some of the other energies. So I definitely see people struggling with that. And Even to the extent that I have clients who do actually have childhood trauma and trauma is another in its own big subject can have big trauma, little trauma, but some of my clients. They actually need more time to process because they also have a nervous system that reacts really quickly to information because there’s a safety aspect to it. That’s getting triggered from childhood. And sometimes they need time to process and come back with information. And I resonate with that a lot too, because of what I experienced as a child. And so does that mean they’re not a good leader or are they, they don’t have amazing ideas? Does that mean there’s anything wrong? Cause they’re coming back and asking for information. There isn’t anything wrong with it, but sometimes organizations might, might see that as a slowing down, you know, like they’re slowing us down. But also sometimes the individual actually feels so uncomfortable with the fact that they’re asking for more time that they also pull themselves back a little bit naturally, you know, from speaking up and, Hey, I need more information or I need more time because they also don’t want to seem like they’re slowing down the process. So you can see how in a work environment, that dynamic, like that’s why it’s so important. We understand the people behind, you know, who we’re working with. Because sometimes that dynamic is what’s important versus, oh, you’re this way and you’re that way. And okay, I operate like this. You operate like that. Cause we’re dynamic beings. We can’t just be put in a box. We’ll be bored or we’ll be, you know, we will never be stretched or, or used to our full capacity. That makes sense.

Julianna: It really does. And, and I, I found the same with my clients that a lot of them are very apprehensive about asking for what they need to be able to really whether it’s make a decision or come up with a full plan or whatever it is. Even yesterday I was talking to someone who was really struggling with some, uh, we’ll say offside feedback that he got from someone that didn’t know him very well. And even the, the idea of, okay, how do I respond to this in this moment so that I can take it away and process it? is almost the same as what you talked about with how do I ask for the data I need or the time I need to really think through this critical business decision and not come across as slow or holding the pack behind. And the good news is that I find most people who actually ask for what they need aren’t punished for it. There are very few instances where I’ve coached somebody through, OK, well, what if you just asked for an extra date? As long as you actually meet the timeline, what if you did that? And they go out and they’re very pleasantly surprised that people don’t usually even bat an eye. And honestly, if you’re in a work environment where asking for a few extra hours for a big decision is seen as negative, maybe there’s something else going on with that work culture. Because like you said, we need to be able to work together and leverage each other’s strengths, but also respect what our co-workers need to be able to function well.

Tasleem: Yeah, I 100% resonate with that, especially because I find what you and I do so well for our clients is we kind of stretch the opportunity for them to go to a place of what’s the worst thing that can happen, which allows them to even come out of their own. Um, whatever’s going on, maybe they’re going into a little bit of a spin cycle in their minds saying, you know, if I do this, then something terrible is going to happen. And I do think that’s why coaching and these, the tools that we offer are so important for clients because. We literally are in our own heads all the time and within our own heads is all this programming and this, all the things that we learned as a child, I talk too much or I, you know, I’m too demanding or I’m this or I’m that. And we have a very amazing capability of squashing ourselves down because of that voice in our head. So. Coaching is really powerful because you have somebody outside of you who’s in your corner. who’s working with you to empower you to ask those gentle questions, like you just said, you know, like what happens if you just ask for an extra day? And I do agree with you. We’re bang on that. If people are not acceptable, then the work environment, we need to kind of question the work environment or the person we’re dealing with. And I was literally just talking to a client who is sharing the story of how she’s she’s saying like she’s working long hours all the time. She said, I’m just telling them I can’t get it done. Her manager comes to her and says, on the one hand, you shouldn’t work so many hours, but then on the other hand, hey, when do you think I’m going to get this thing back to me? My client is struggling between, I’ll get back to you in a couple of weeks, I’m a bit behind, and with her own worthiness around that, and also with what she is observing. And even I’m observing from the interaction is a little bit of a passive aggressive nature of the manager to make her feel a bit bad about it. And, you know, again, it’s who’s right, who’s wrong. I mean, we could go in circles all day. But what’s important is that that client understands that what she’s asking for is important, and she needs to stay really resilient and strong in it. And you’re right, if the environment’s not supportive of that, that’s the time to ask the questions, is the right environment for you. And even that’s scary. It’s really scary to go there because then people that I’ve worked with I know start to say, well, then I feel like a failure. Well, now we have yet another core belief, core wound, it’s coming from somewhere. And the number of people I’ve worked with who have that core wound, I’m a failure, and it radiates in all the different areas in their life. And so even asking for an extra day extension can feel like I’m failing. I’m just, I’m failing and they don’t know what’s running. It’s subconsciously in the background, you know, like our computer systems and it’s just a program running in the background and we don’t know what’s happening. And until coaching and the work that we do brings that to the surface so people can see it, Oh, fast for an extra day. Like the world’s not going to end. Like I’m still alive. nobody’s in jail. And okay, I may have to deal with a little bit of crap from my boss, excuse me for that using that. But if that’s the case, then okay, I’m resilient enough to handle it. And that’s what we are doing all the time, right? As coaches is helping people build that resilience up again. And when I work with people, I can actually go to that deeper subconscious level with them that where is this fear of failure coming from? Where is this belief pattern? And then we can uproot that, you know, dissolve wherever that got stuck in childhood or in your past. And that allows you to move forward, like, you know, removing a spasm, working with a spasm in your back, in your back or in your neck or something so that you can actually have the mobility to strengthen your body. That’s literally how the hypnotherapy kind of melts into it. So yeah, it’s really interesting, interesting work. And. it’s amazing and so fulfilling to see when people start to move forward. And then you’re like, yeah, you see, like we, sometimes we hold ourselves back and it’s not our fault, but when we can actually empower them, they move forward. It’s so fulfilling to watch that experience.

Julianna: It really is. And I think one of the commonalities with how we work with our clients as well is oftentimes they come to us for one thing and we end up uncovering something else or leading them down a path that might have been a little bit scary to even contemplate going down on their own, but was what they actually needed. Like going back to your example about being worried about asking the question of, is this work environment the right one for me? A lot of the people I work with don’t want to ask that question because they already know the answer. And what they’re afraid of is more, OK, so what what does this mean for my career, for my income, for my family? If I stand face to face with that question and acknowledge that this is not a healthy place for me anymore, what then? Because maybe I can just not talk to anyone and just complain about everything and just work more hours. And I know that it’s safe, I know how to deal with it, even though it’s terrible, rather than coming to terms with the fact that, yes, this isn’t a healthy place for me. This isn’t where I do my best work. It’s not how I’m going to show up well for my family. Now what? And that now what is just terrifying. Rightfully so, but my goodness.

Tasleem: Yeah, exactly. And you’re absolutely right. So working with a person where we don’t go right to that trigger, is so important because eventually we’ll come around to it, but we’ve got to create so much safety when we’re working with them first, so that they can trust that we are actually helping them with their objective. But it’s interesting because we’ve got to work with their conscious mind first, we’ve got to work with what they know to be true, first in their consciousness in their actual daily functioning, which is, I’m struggling to get a promotion or whatever it is. And like you say, as the safety builds, as we start to explore little areas, what if you did this? What if you did that? That’s when we start to uncover the subconscious. It starts to come out and we’ll hear it in these little bits of what I’ll call irrational fears, but they’re not irrational, like not in a bad way. They’re irrational as in, you know, you look at the person and you know, you’re not a failure. Like you can actually look at them and say, you are not a failure, but they, their language speaks to them. complete failure, you know, and that’s when as a coach, it becomes so important with that trust and that ability to like hone in on, wow. Okay. Where’s that coming from? What does that feel like? You know, why, why did, why does it feel like if you did this, you’re going to crash and burn. And you’re right. Some of them they’re supporting families. They’re doing a whole lot of things. And sometimes. you know, we can do a great job as coaches to help them see that you may have a little bit of struggle for a little while, but you will still survive and make it through that shift. But it takes some time to build that trust with them. So yeah, anytime I speak with someone, I feel like their fear holding them back from working with me is literally, what if you change things and I’m not ready for it? Like, I don’t want to quit this job. And so they’re looking at me saying, I like what you’re saying, but I don’t. Yeah. And that’s, that’s okay. Because their subconscious knows I’m saying something that’s resonating for them when it’s the right time people come because they’re like, all right, I’m ready to take those steps. Cause what’s the point if we’re not going to take some bigger risks in our life and, and live and work in the way that we love to do and that we thrive in. Right. Then what’s the point.

Julianna: Yeah.

Tasleem: So, yeah.

Julianna: Yeah, and I’m just kind of aware of the time. So I always love to wrap up with something that our listeners can actually go and implement for themselves, having listened to our conversation. And I’m just wondering for anyone out there who is maybe subconsciously, intuitively aware that there’s something a little bit off about the situation, their situation at work, whether it’s the environment or something internal, they’re not asking for what they need or, or going out there and kind of putting their voice out there the way that they want to. What advice would you give someone or what they can kind of work on on their own?

Tasleem: Yeah. You know, the first thing I do with people is I tell them that if something is upsetting you about work, don’t make it wrong. You know, if you’re if you don’t like that somebody is treating you a certain way or an environment certain way, be very mindful or aware of how you yourself are making it wrong. So for example, I’m just too sensitive, or maybe I need a thicker skin, or maybe I’m just XYZ, whatever it is. So what I tell people to do is a really simple practice, which is get a journal and write down all your complaints. Like you have the world’s best listener listening to you. Like just do it because the one person who needs to listen to all your complaints and validate them is you. And what we have learned over time is to actually invalidate our feelings because invalidating our feelings allows us to push them down a little bit more and then allow this other stuff that makes us unhappy surface. It allows us to put other people before us, for example. So if you do a simple practice and just say, I’m going to allow on this page to be every complaint I have without judgment. And every time you’re judging yourself, write it down, write down where you’re like, Oh, I’m being, I’m being so mean, I’m being so rude, or I’m being so judgmental or whatever, write those down. And then just say, I’m not being any of those things. There’s nothing wrong with me. I have a right to complain. And then take a moment to flip the page and say, if I had an ideal, wonderful situation, how would I have wanted it to go? What would, how would I want other people to respond to me? You know, so if, if you had a bad discussion with your manager is a good example, how would you have liked your manager to respond to you? What would have been a response that would make you feel light and happy? And then taking that and finding ways to bring that into your life right now, where you can do that for yourself. So if you wanted your manager to just give you some space and hear you out for what you’re trying to say, how can you do that more for yourself in your life? What areas of your life are you not doing that for you where you’re not hearing yourself out? And again, this process can be triggering. It can be challenging. but just, you know, I just encourage people to stay patient because subconscious reprogramming takes at least three weeks, a month or so for you to start, start kicking in. But once our subconscious starts to buy into, Oh, I have space to talk about it and I have value and I have worth. And, and even, um, as we start to explore, what would I have liked, we actually naturally will start to bring that into our life more. And the more we do that, the more we will attract more of that in our life. So that’s a very simple practice, which honestly will just start to make you aware of how often you’re judging yourself in a day. And I feel like that opens up a lot of opportunity where people are like, Oh, I could change that in my life. And they can start to come into a place of more compassion, self-compassion. And, uh, yeah, just like, that’s the best word I can use is self-compassion.

Julianna: Yeah. Oh. That’s so amazing, Taz, and such an easy thing for people to implement without having to do any extra stuff to kind of get ready for it.

Tasleem: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Just giving yourself a little bit more space every day will just make you feel like you are allowed to have more space for your feelings every day, right? That’s a really important practice.

Julianna: Oh, so good. Well, if our listeners want to hear more from you, where can they find you?

Tasleem: Yeah, I’m on all the social media platforms. You can find me on Instagram, you can find me on LinkedIn, and you can also find me on Facebook. I also have my website, So yeah, there’s lots of ways to reach out to me. I love receiving DMs from people too. So if you ever want to share your insight with me, I’d love to get a message from you.

Julianna: Awesome. I’ll be sure to put all those links in the show notes so people can find you.

Tasleem: Love it. Yeah. Thank you for having me. I always love our conversations.

Julianna: Me too. Thank you so much for being a guest on our show. Thank you as well. Okay. Bye everyone.

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