February 24, 2017

Inspiring women to find their calling

Anita Ramprasad has overcome challenges to be the best she could possibly be. A corporate executive, Distinguished Toastmaster, fitness enthusiast and life coach, Anita aims to inspire others, especially women.
Anita is FCCA (Fellow of the Associated of Chartered Certified Accountants) of London, England certified and is a Senior Corporate Executive, holding the portfolio of Finance, Administration and Human Resources Manager for the MACORP Group of Companies.

Anita Ramprasad

Anita Ramprasad

Notably, Anita is a Distinguished Toastmaster, which means she had to compete in all of the four levels each of the Communication and Leadership disciplines. Additionally, within the Caribbean Toastmasters community, she currently holds the post of a Division Director, with the responsibility of ensuring success of all Toastmasters Clubs and members in Guyana, Trinidad and Grenada.
“It’s been said those who talk do so just because they have something to say, but those who speak have something to say that others actually want to hear. The true essence of effective communication can be found in that simple line and also the reason I chose to become a Toastmaster. I wanted to master the art of speaking and to become a more effective communicator and leader,” she stated in an interview with Sunday Times Magazine.
She added that as a Toastmaster for about seven years, she has grown “exponentially” in areas of courage and self-confidence, providing feedback, responding to impromptu situations and handling stress. It has also allowed her to represent her country at the Regional Public Speaking Contests.

Speaking at a past Toastmasters' event

Speaking at a past Toastmasters’ event

“I have provided training and given presentations nationally, regionally and internationally. I have also had the honour and privilege of being asked by The Tourism & Hospitality Association of Guyana to be the official host of the very popular Guyana Restaurant Week food and restaurant reviews. So in essence, Toastmasters has transformed my life outside of my comfort zones and has challenged me to step out of the box I had once confined myself in,” she pointed out.
Apart from being a Toastmaster, Anita enjoys being fit and even encourages others to lead such a path. For Anita, fitness is a “way of life, a choice to live a healthy life and is a balance of smart eating and regular exercise”. She believes “when you look good, you feel good about yourself, when you feel good you are much more productive”. The fitness enthusiast mentioned that a fit lifestyle adds to our longevity and can slow down the signs of aging.
“I think even when I am 80, I would probably still be exercising,” she quipped.
Now, Anita is focused on becoming a life coach. She believes this is her true calling and many people she has coached informally have confirmed this.
“I believe everyone has a purpose and value. I want to become a life coach to help people realise their true potential, their real worth, their value and most importantly their purpose, passion and calling in life. I love to make time for people to understand their challenges and to help them overcome them,” she expressed.

A life dedicated to being fit and inspiring others to do so

A life dedicated to being fit and inspiring others to do so

Having endured “many levels of hell”, Anita enjoys “a state of peace” and is “totally in love” with the person she is today.
“I got through my challenges by prayer and having unshakable faith in God. I believe everything in life is temporary, only here for a season and a reason. What gets me through my toughest days is by remembering my current situation is not my final destination, because I believe I was created for great things and that my destiny is not at risk of being stolen by anyone. I have a little saying I love to use when times seem challenging to remind myself that in the end everything will turn out fine, ‘You can’t have rainbows without a little rain and you can’t have joy without a little pain’,” she declared.
Motivated by a passion to help women of all ages, Anita shares eight strategies she has developed, which have also worked for her personally. These are acceptance, know who you are, balance, self-awareness, switch it up, choose your battles, invest in yourself, and let yourself off the hook.
She explains: “Acceptance is knowing that all I am is human, which means I am not perfect and I don’t have to be, I have flaws but I am not flawed, I have experienced failure but I am not a failure, I have made mistakes but these do not define me rather they empower me to constantly improve the quality my life.
“Know who you are: I know who I am but more importantly I know who I am not. I celebrate my strengths and I am aware of my areas of improvement. This makes the impact of others opinions powerless against me because once you accept your flaws; no one can use them against you. This way nothing comes as criticism because the rumours and lies amuse me and the truth doesn’t shock me because I already know myself.
“Balance: I work hard and play equally hard. I allocate enough time for work, family and friends, exercise, prayer, sleep, reading, social and recreational actives. Life is about balance and no single activity should ever consume too much of our time after all a balanced life is a happy life.
“Self-awareness: I never discredit my gut instinct nor do I allow emotions to rule me. Self-awareness, to me, is the perfect alignment of intellect (ruled by our head/brain), emotion (ruled by our heart) and intuition (ruled by our gut). In any situation I am confronted with I take a mental pause to align these 3 areas and I contemplate…How does this affect me, how does it make me feel and how do I want to handle it? This allows me to be in control of my thoughts, feelings and my energy and this is the truest form of empowerment of self.
“Switch it up: I have banished limits and negativity from my life by ‘switching it up’. I turned my am I’s, can I’s, should I’s, will I’s into I am, I can, I shall, I will. My motto, ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me rather it’s who is going to stop me’.
“Choose your battles: Let’s face it not everything in life can be conquered some things we have to learn to accept. Knowing this I do not waste time and energy complaining. If I don’t like something and it can be changed then I change it, if it can’t be changed then I change the way I perceive it. I fight the battles I can win and when it comes to people I know that sometimes being at peace is more important than being right.
“Invest in yourself: Life can take many things from you but the one thing that cannot be stolen is knowledge. I try to read one book per month. This month’s read is ‘Emotional Intelligence’ by Scott Mercer. When you increase your knowledge you immediately increase your worth and remove your own limits.
“Let yourself off the hook: Far too often we are harsh and cruel with ourselves. I tell myself, I don’t always have to be happy, or in a good mood, or have it all figured out, or always look good oh no – I am allowed to have bad days, I am allowed to be hurt and cry, I am allowed to be scared, worried, anxious and unsure, every once in a while. Most importantly I am not afraid to ask for help when I know I need it as I see this as a sign of strength. To me it’s okay to get bent out of shape once in a while after all only when you are stretched can you grow.” (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)