Geeta Ramakrishnan is an ontological coach, who has authored Amazon’s #1 Bestseller book, ‘The Game of Change’. The book brings together her rich experience of having interacted with & coached people over the past few decades. Her coaching focus has primarily been on change management & assisting people professionally and personally, to help bring to their lives a balance of success & happiness or in other words, help them discover their ‘AHA’ moment.
Geeta Ramakrishnan especially likes to work with people one on one, to pull them out & empower them with ideas that are small & easy to use. All these are science-based researched, ideas, tips, tricks.
Surround yourself with Positivity: Geeta Ramakrishnan
The pandemic was difficult for everyone but it was also special in many ways for her because her grandson was born during the lockdown. “I had a lot of time to introspect, to change some of my lifestyle habits and upgrade my life.” Initially, when the pandemic started people weren’t well aware, there was fear all around, lack of valid information.
Specifically, there was an information explosion that made people anxious. There was a great fall in the economy, with people losing their jobs, “We all had a shift in how we did business or work, it was a total change, but still I found that there were many who could do something different. I could see people who were working in small & normal jobs started selling something & has become a small entrepreneur.”
Geeta Ramakrishnan saw many people being proactive, taking up steps to do something about it rather than just crying over it. The pandemic did take away a lot from many people, and they suffered because of this, but Coach Geeta believes in focusing our attention on the positive side. “I’m amazed at how fast people have innovated, they are not sitting back, they are making money. There are a lot of people who have been affected mentally, but surrounding yourself with upbeat information & positive people helps in getting motivated.”
Inspiration found its way to her from people, and she believed that if they can do it, even she can do it. She spoke to people who used their time to up-skill themselves. “They learned something different in their interest, so they were able to get online jobs. Initially, it was tough but because they took an extra effort to learn something it transformed into better opportunities.”
The Art of Balance in Life: Geeta Ramakrishnan
Geeta Ramakrishnan believes that balance is not an easy act because life always has ups and downs. There are always good & bad things, which happen in life. People are just living in stress. “Our brains are tuned into looking at the negative things. Thinking about what didn’t work, pulls you down instead of motivating you to do something different. It is all about the story you built around yourself. When you start looking at what worked maybe a hundred things did not work, does not matter, don’t dismiss those hundred things that did not work, but start looking at what is helping you. Focus your attention and be grateful and happy about it.”
The veteran coach understands that taking some time and stepping back to give yourself time and motivation is important and there is no correct way of doing this. She looks at mistakes as learning opportunities. In life, one cannot be perfect, it’s about handling stress and situations which did not take place in your favor.
The important thing is how one takes their life forward. One big thing which she learned is perception, “If I meet someone I try and be curious about how they look at life, what are they thinking, and then I expand how I’m looking at life. I may not have to agree with someone every time. Everyone has different ideas but then I’m learning more, which helps keep the balance. You become more adaptable in some ways.”
There is no Age to Change: Geeta Ramakrishnan
Geeta Ramakrishnan feels that when women start getting older they start thinking why do they need to groom themselves, they put on weight, develop diabetes, blood pressure & then even their children will not take care of them, because if you don’t care about yourself, respect yourself others are not going to do it.
“Many start thinking that now I’m 50-60 years old, I cannot change anymore, that is not true. Science says that you can physically change yourself, you can be more fit, you can run a marathon if you want at 80.” That is a big mindset change that people need to have, especially in India is what Coach Geeta feels.
Creating a Difference: Geeta Ramakrishnan
‘THE GAME OF CHANGE’ book by Geeta Ramakrishnan incorporates the study of a perspective that encourages people to stay happier in the face of change. The author believes that the best way to make a difference is by accepting and adapting, without letting go of whom we are & what we want to be. “Suppose for some reason if I’m not able to work, I had restrictions or problems & I have always dreamt of doing a job, but if it’s not going to happen, what is the next best thing then? Maybe if I’m a good cook then I can make good sweets & make a business out of it. Maybe not an office woman but I have become an entrepreneur in the process.”
Geeta Ramakrishnan sees many women will cook what their families like to eat & whatever is the leftover they will eat that, “If I like a dish, I should be able to make it, it’s my house also.”
The ‘Game of Change’ author believes that one can define themselves as to how strong & empowered they are, one doesn’t need to take anyone’s permission to do that. “I’m not saying that you have to go against the society and be a rebel, you can work around whatever you have.” She knows that there may be times that one may have to take steps that their family may or may not like, but eventually they will be proud.
As mothers, we have to be so careful and mindful of what we are teaching our children. “If you feel empowered, you are making your decisions, then the children are learning from you.” Geeta Ramakrishnan speculates that when we are growing up, whether it’s a girl or a boy, our parents, surroundings, relatives are talking to us and we are grasping that information. “If you are a girl you cannot shout, yell, or even laugh or cry too loudly. It is not good manners. And if it’s a boy they will say you shouldn’t cry. These are all very casual statements we all make. But we don’t realize that we are turning the young boys and girls and putting them in slots.”
She believes whether a girl or a boy, give both of them household work depending on their age. “It shouldn’t be like if a girl means you help me in the kitchen & if it’s a boy you repair my computer. We shouldn’t create that bias, they are learning from us & they will grow with it.”
The Concept of Superwoman is a myth: Geeta Ramakrishnan
Many times women think they must do everything for everybody & not for themselves, but sometimes it is okay to say no. “This is my time, I don’t want to do any of this work, maybe the husband or relatives can take care of the kids. I want to go to a movie or coffee with my girlfriends.” She believes women don’t even have to feel guilty about it, they should enjoy that moment.
When you do this to yourself you start feeling happier, & start feeling better. There is a confidence that grows from within you. If you are not happy & always stressed then how are you going to support your family, how are you going to show up in your daily work? You need to have enjoyment in whatever you do. That is how you empower yourself.
As women, I think we do the juggling act more than men because women also take up the responsibility of the house. “We are homemakers, mothers, wives, & then we have social responsibilities, we also have our professional responsibilities where we have to devote quite a lot of our time of the day, so there is always one thing missing, it is like a wheel that if you focus on the ‘A’ then ‘B’ goes down if you focus on ‘B’ then ‘A’ goes down. I have asked so many women that what’s important out of this, they say first it is my profession, family, & then me. But how I look at it is, it should be first me.”
Geeta Ramakrishnan believes that giving yourself some ‘me time’ is very essential, which will make you more grounded, happy, & peaceful. It is okay if women cannot manage everything. “Some women are not good cooks, if I’m not good at housekeeping or cooking then I’ll outsource. I don’t have to feel guilty, maybe I’m good at something else.”
Women are trying to be the best at all these roles & that is what takes a toll.
With changing times, women have more responsibilities on them as compared to two generations back, where women were only responsible for household work. Geeta Ramakrishnan feels that a woman doesn’t have to be a superwoman, she can be strong and empowered. “This whole idea takes a toll on you because this word is used often & you feel you have to be like that, but it is a myth, it only happens in movies.”
Importance of Connecting: Geeta Ramakrishnan
The relationship is all about connection. We as humans are all social beings, & connecting is a very important part of us in our society. During the pandemic when we couldn’t see people face to face, travel, it impacted us so much. “This gave us a good break to realize how important connection, having a relationship is, versus just using gadgets or social media for conversing with people.”
For Geeta Ramakrishnan, connection means having meaningful conversations, meeting people the way they are, “When you are having these healthy conversations, even if it is difficult conservation, it is okay to have one as it helps build connections and you can influence others and sharing helps.”
Developing a Growth Mindset instead of a Fixed Mindset: Geeta Ramakrishnan
“The one thing I tell myself is that, it is perfectly okay to be imperfect, it helps me, it is like my mantra sometimes. I like doing things perfectly, I have a big to-do list, I follow the schedule. I have to deal with OCD sometimes but now I like to take a deep breath & understand that it’s okay if I don’t meet targets, life goes on.” Geeta Ramakrishnan feels that once you are open to such thinking instead of just being structured & stuck up.
People need to be open to how life flows, accepting it & slowly changing. It will motivate you, rather than just thinking about what didn’t work. “Suppose there is a stressful meeting that’s happening, you might not feel motivated there. In the worst-case scenario, if things don’t go well, you could learn from them. That is the attitude I take up, which is a great way to motivate yourself. I tell myself that I’m not perfect and it’s okay, that gives me a vitamin C boost.”
Geeta Ramakrishnan believes age is no bar to change & continues on a quest to constantly keep learning, improving, and updating her skills.