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“My skin didn't start to change until I changed the energy around me.” - Alicia Keys
It’s not often that you meet a business coach who introduces herself as “conscious.” But once you consider Amina AlTai’s own elevator pitch — helping clients make work a place they “freaking love and feel good about” — or dive into the positive-yet-real social content she shares, it makes total sense.
Whether she’s doing a one-on-one with her clients or spreading her light on Instagram, AlTai is committed to tapping into her unique greatness — and helping others do the same.
Ready to become your best self? We asked AlTai for tips on how to tune into our unique greatness — a process she describes as “the 3 E’s” of “eh”, “excellent”, and “exceptional.”
Let’s be honest: It sucks when something doesn’t click. No matter how much we try, we don’t want to commit any of our precious time to that soul-draining project or task. “This may be space where we’re ‘dialing it in’ or that our brains just don’t fundamentally ‘get’” says AlTai.
You should never feel “eh” about your life — and AlTai gives you full permission to let go to the extent that we can. Even taking the tiniest tasks off your mental “to-do” list — whether it’s racking up career accolades, or cooking every meal from scratch — is super liberating.
“It’s a form of privilege to release things that don’t serve us and stand squarely in the things that do,” she says. “The objective of this exercise is not to release everything overnight, but to stand a little more deeply in ourselves, our authentic desires, and our natural abilities each day. It’s also fun to say ‘eh!’ and make the face when you really, truly have [let go],” she adds, noting that embracing a combination of letting go and even outsourcing tasks can help us level up in the areas we were truly meant to. (We tried it. She’s right.)
You’ve put in the work to be excellent so you can be a quote-unquote expert. Finally, you feel like the MVP of your office — and, damn, it feels really good.
“The excellent space is where we’re practiced, polished, and really proficient,” says AlTai. “To use Malcolm Gladwell’s framework, we’ve clocked our ‘10,000 hours.’”
Excellence might teach us what we’re capable of, but it’s not exactly what we should measure ourselves by. In fact, AlTai says she spent years in “excellent” mode when she worked in marketing. “This is a tricky space to be in because this is where a lot of us end up basically spending our entire careers,” says AlTai. “There’s no shade or shame about that. But pushing for excellence when it’s not innate or sustainable can sometimes lead to burnout.”
You know what feels better than being your office’s rockstar? Building a life and career that gives you purpose.
“The difference between the excellence and the exceptional is our innate abilities,” says AlTai, “These are the areas where we feel the most alive and energized. We often discount them because they come so readily that they can’t also be gifts.”
We’re so quick to minimize these talents and interests right off the bat, but doing so is key to recognizing our worth.
“So many of us have this mentality that we have to push and strive and white knuckle our way through life, when in actuality, we all have gifts,” says AlTai. “Some [of our exceptional qualities] might not be skill-based or represent interpersonal qualities — like being very grounded or a good listener. But guess what? We need people in the world that are unflappable, have deep empathy, and compassion! And we need to teach ourselves to value these things, too.”
So, how do we tap into our “exceptional” while still moving through our daily lives? AlTai recommends we ask ourselves what brings us joy, what do we value, and what do we want to impact. She tells clients there’s “no shade or shame” in making personal decisions around money, leisure, or priorities — we just need to be honest with ourselves.
“There are always ways to get creative,” says Amina. “There are always ways to get on the court with more, if that’s what you really desire.”
What pops to mind when you think of “eh”, “excellent”, and “exceptional”? What are you inspired to do about it?