[MVP] Sophia Asghar: Performance Mentality

Pregame MVP Sophia Asghar

Sophia Asghar has the personal mission of improving lives through fitness, nutrition and mindfulness and building businesses to help ensure this mission is achieved.

She has 15 years of experience as a personal trainer, nutrition coach and founder of series of health oriented businesses. Her current company, Wellness Consolidated, is dedicated to getting companies and employees healthier through fitness, food, and fun.

Sophia earned a B.S in Physics and spent over ten years in the corporate world in sales, business development and operations. She has brought together her training as a scientist with experience in a high performance corporate environment to develop innovative worksite wellness cultural and individual change programs that stick. She loves partnering with companies to promote more healthy, productive employees by leveraging the latest scientific research and her experience coaching people to improve their health and well-being through exercise, nutrition, mindfulness and overall lifestyle change.

At Pregame, Sophia leads events that focus on Mindset: how we can shift our perspective to power our personal, professional, and wellness goals.

How do you define wellness?
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. It’s more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth towards greater well-being. It gets us beyond struggling or surviving to thriving, being our best selves and feeling good about our life.

How is wellness connected to professional performance?
Wellness, or well-being, is a measure of how we are feeling and functioning, and how we perceive our lives to be going. Research shows people who feel well perform better than people who feel unwell. The more healthy, energetic and vibrant we are, both inside and out, the higher capacity we have to perform at the tasks in life that are most meaningful to us.

What is 360Performance?
360Performance is a complete, proven approach for alleviating stress, optimizing your lifestyle, freeing up creative energy and elevating your performance. It is a system for preventing burnout, increasing resilience and optimizing wellness. Strengthening your well-being on all fronts leads to more life fulfillment, satisfaction, and happiness.

Why are you passionate about teaching others how to perform better?
It seems I was born driven to pursue self-improvement. I didn’t go up with role models that could show me healthy functioning in life, socially, financially, physically. I had to go figure it out for myself. As a small child, I remember thinking to myself many times, “there’s got to be something better than this.” And when I found those skills, tools or strategies, they gave me such freedom and joy I wanted to help others find them, too.

Who are your wellness gurus?
There are so many amazing people helping us figure out what makes us tick and how to change from within, going way back to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Wellness requires inner shifts to functional mindsets, which involves introspection and reflection.

I have great admiration for ancient and modern philosophers, and contemporary positive psychologists who have been defining what’s above the line when it comes to well-being, beyond getting rid of illness, disease or dysfunction, there’s a whole half of existence being explored since the late 80s that’s really exciting. Researchers like Marty Seligman, Brene Brown, Shawn Achor, Dan Pink, Dan Gilbert, and Carol Dweck, have done a great deal to expose concepts like thriving and flourishing, something to aspire to past getting free of mental or physical ailments.

I also admire those who have helped popularize and spread awareness of meditation and mindfulness, like Deepak Chopra, Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield and Thich That Hanh.

What are the diet or fitness trends that drive you crazy? 
Any fad that singles out “the one best” anything drives me nuts, like superfoods, supplements or fat-burning compounds. They blow out of proportion one great quality as if it’s the silver bullet to fast results, completely ignoring the other thousand things a person does or doesn’t do to support their health. Same thing with exercise styles. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to personal health and well-being. Success with health is about the whole picture of a person’s life, and finding what works for you.

What are the most damaging obstacles between individuals and their wellness goals?
The hardest thing to overcome is attachment to binding beliefs. For instance, if we believe we have to give up all the foods we love to lose weight, we pretty much anti-motivated to takes steps to eating healthier.

Also damaging is the lure of a quick fix: when we try these and they don’t work and/or we can’t maintain them, we feel defeated and the lack of hope and optimism can block us from trying new things or ideas. The principles are simple, the process isn’t easy, but it’s worth it!

What role does mindset play in performance?
Our beliefs fix our mindset, limiting our field of view or they expand our mindset, opening us up to possibility. If we are bound by beliefs that limit or hinder our performance, it’s very difficult to accomplish goals, or even set good ones. This is the experience of being stuck in a rut. An open, functional mindset frees us up to expand beyond past experience or pre-conceived expectations, make better choices and engage more meaningfully.

How can we kick off each day with a winning mindset?
The beautiful thing is, there can be many, many winning mindsets! It might be about your relationship with time, your priorities, yourself, your goals, your life’s purpose, or the other people in your life.

One of the most effective ways to get into the state of open-mindedness is through meditation, which takes us into a state of non-judgmental awareness where we are more connected to ourselves, practice flexing our muscle for letting go of expectations and open to possibility.

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