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When you think about disruption you may think of big bold movements, innovative processes, and even scientific breakthroughs.
Yet there are disruptions that happen every day for individuals – personally and professionally. From speaking up in a team meeting to asking more questions at your medical appointment, to deciding to start that business.
As studies show, having a clear “purpose” is good for your health and wellbeing, adding years to your life. And, increasingly, people are choosing mission-driven companies above salary. Standing up for what you want and being purpose-driven requires disruption. Yet for many people, they’re not sure where (or how) to start.
Miki Agrawal, a founder of start-ups Thinx, Wild and Tushy and named one of 2018 Fast Company’s “Most Creative People”, has been actively disrupting the business world for fifteen years. Collectively these brands are valued at over $150 million. And collectively they’ve all disrupted an industry or way of thinking.
When asked what advice she’d give for someone wanting to become more “disruptive” her response was to find what is right for you and feels in alignment. Making it clear that disruption is a personal journey and it’s up to you to make it your own.
Her latest book, Disrupt-Her, offers a manifesto for the modern woman to radically challenge the norms.
Tuning in to what’s right for you
Despite her many years of “disruption” Agrawal spoke honestly about the challenges she still experiences personally and professionally, saying that maintaining consistency in all areas of her life and having tough conversations remains a work in progress.
She’s learned that listening to our bodies is critical to get to know what’s right for you.
Agrawal has spent the past two years on her own “healing journey” after being diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid—a condition that can require lifelong medication and at times surgery.
Agrawal chose to challenge the status quo and seek her own education around how to bring her body back into balance—from elimination diets, to clean eating, acupuncture, breathwork, and massage therapy.
She says the experience has been a reminder to be more mindful, to slow down and listen to what her body is telling her. Which in turn also helps you figure out what feels right when it comes to disruption in any area of life.
Getting started with questioning
Agrawal says we’ve lost some of that capacity to be really tuned in and that getting started is all about the questioning process. Once you can question things then you can decide for yourself what’s right or not.
Whether that’s in your personal life or when creating more “global” disruptions. Instead of taking things for granted, or relying on the headlines, we “need to read beyond that” she says.
It’s part of the reason why she’s thrived on creating brands that shake up old ways of thinking. Her latest brand, Tushy, is a great example. Questioning why we’re still wiping with toilet paper when it can cause health issues and is (according to their website) “killing 15 million trees”. Disruption at multiple levels.
Agrawal suggests what stops people from taking action or speaking up is this ability to question things in the first place. “It’s all about taking responsibility for our choices”.
Becoming a warrior gate-keeper
Her main advice for anyone wanting to have their voice heard is to become a “warrior gate-keeper” of your mind.
She says we need to have created space for clearer thinking before we can launch into the questioning mode. Suggesting you do this by noticing the thoughts entering your mind, being able to name all the characters that enter and becoming a gate-keeper by catching the negative ones.
That creates space for yourself to then ask disruptive questions such as: What do I actually want in my life? What are my best skills? When do I get inspired? And, then, you can go take do something about it. That’s where the real sense of purpose and confidence comes from.
May 31, 2019 at 01:34PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs