Making THE RIGHT CHOICE
Her World Malaysia|January - February 2020
There will be times when we are overcome with self-doubt, especially in relationships. Unlike solving a riddle, being in relationship or marriage involves making bold choices and brave decisions. Lorraine Chai talks with Datin Sharifah Shawati, the author of a self-help book on making decisions.
Lorraine Chai

Making decisions is daunting. It’s a process of evaluating options, whereby we would need to identify a problem, gather information and assess the resolutions. The big question is, how many of us are able to make decisions confidently without wavering, especially in the sphere of relationship and marriage?

SMART WOMEN, FOOLISH CHOICES

“What inspired me to write ‘Smart Women, Foolish Choices’ is the stories I’ve heard from the women around me. Some of them were my clients, participants who attended my workshops, even friends and acquaintances,” says author Datin Sharifah Shawati. Identifying with women’s pain, disappointments and failures in managing their relationships, she wanted to share all these accounts with other women who are at the same crossroads, feeling lost and confused. “Through these stories, I hope that readers can be inspired not just by the stories of successful decisions made but also from the missteps. Be it a favourable outcome or a failure, I hope everyone takes something away from the experiences of others,” expressed the author, sincerely. “My hope is for them to know that they are not alone on the battlefield. Sometimes, I just wish that we have more support groups here in our country that women can go to and have a space to voice out their frustrations and sadness.”

Some of the women featured in her book are movers and shakers in their field of work, but when it comes to matters of the heart, feelings and emotions, sometimes even they falter. Smart people make bad choices too. “An individual makes a ‘foolish choice’ when they make a decision without thinking things through. Oftentimes these decisions are driven by emotions and logic is cast aside,” reveals Datin Shawati. You might be thinking: so what makes for a ‘foolish choice’ and what is a ‘right’ decision then? “Staying in an abusive marriage, for example. Everyone knows for a fact that this is not right but you’ll be surprised how many women choose to remain silent. This a foolish decision, we can’t deny that. It’s also not wise to allow yourself to drown in the turmoil of being manipulated by a deceitful man over and over again,” she explains.

Datin Shawati agrees that relationships between human beings is never a walk in the park. “I’ve had my share of experiences in managing relationships – since my teenage years. For all the setbacks I went through I’ve never looked them as ‘downfalls’. They’re valuable lessons that have moulded me to become a wiser person today,” she shares. Now a trained Neuro-Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner, the author, who is also a life-coaching aficionado, explains that she is now comparably better at handling her own thoughts and is able to cope with what lies ahead. “Every woman will have an episode in their lives that is life-changing and I reckon people who read this book will feel that they can relate to the stories shared. The only way to overcome a problem is to accept it as a journey that belongs to you and you alone. Learn from it. It will help equip you for future endeavours,” she adds.

THE JOY OF COACHING

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