Courage and convictions | Dr. Zina Suissa | TEDxMcGill


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In her talk, Dr. Zina Suissa talks about her experience as a life coach, dealing with struggles of self-doubt and how to overcome them with courage and convictions. Dr. Zina Suissa is a psychologist, Executive Coach, and for many years taught at McGill University at all levels of Management. An Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of courses, she has been honoured with a Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Suissa was also a Faculty member in the Psychology Department at Dawson College. Prior to leaving Dawson College, having been witness to the number of students that have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, she designed a coaching program for students with ADHD.

Dr. Suissa is the founder and President of Resonance Executive and Team Coaching. She is a member of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec (OPQ), the International Coach Federation (ICF), the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), and the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI). Dr. Suissa’s TedxMcGill talk will be focused on Courage and Convictions. She believes that courage inspires us to find our voice and conviction allows us to follow our hearts. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at <br> <h3>Auto Generated Captions</h3>

hello everyone and I asked me to come on
a journey with you do I spend for many
years as a mature student and with
reservations I was raising two kids
who’s very difficult and I didn’t want
to compromise their lives in order for
me to pursue my dreams however my lesson
here was I had to do that for myself
because we have very lives as well I
have tremendous expectations of myself
but as you’ll realize others had
expectations of me
just starting to start up the story my
parents were survivors my father who
isn’t the worst I’m ghetto he managed to
escape my parents managed to escape he
met my mother in Austria and a displaced
calf they got married they went into
Italy your I was born I knew my
childhood there first I forgot one thing
they decided this is how he told me
because they told me very little bit my
childhood and what they have what
happened to them they decided to go to
the land so called of Plenty Canada and
settled in Montreal they thought that
would be the biggest change for them and
good for us
I remember my early childhood ages five
ages six looking into cupboards in my
house and I thought how come we have so
many chance and how come we have so many
rolls of toilet paper like why do we
have so many rolls of toilet paper and
what we have so many suits and what I
started realizing as I got older that my
parents had a wartime mentality and they
put that fear into us so we lived in
constant fear the fear of the what-ifs
what if it happens again I too had my
own fear and vulnerability which turned
into courage and convictions and I know
the theme of this Ted pushing the
envelope and I believe that I push the
envelope in the hope that I would help
others as well my parents
like at 17 I was I was back to school
because my mother had decided that when
I was just joining 16 years old that I
would be leaving the school I was having
some difficulty with math and she
decided and sign me up for secretarial
College I begged I pleaded with her not
to do this to me because my goal and I
always want to do is going to the
helping profession but she was resolute
I was going to Business College and I
thought I did not have a choice but even
not even 16 I didn’t have a choice I
wrote to the principal and I begged him
to speak to my parents not to allow this
to happen to me he never answered the
letter so I went to secretarial College
but I had learned to create intentions
and my intention was that I would be
finished because I realized that they
had these self-paced courses I would
finish the course quickly and I did I
finished the courses in six months
instead of nine I had 17 I was working
at 18 I met my husband who is sitting
here right here I met my husband at 20
we got married and we had two sons was
that enough for me I I don’t know I
don’t know because being married I was
very happy I love my sons tremendously
but I was not happy I felt I was missing
something it took three years in
discussion with my husband going back if
anything back and forth I wanted to go
back to school but I was afraid I was
afraid that I would fail I would not
accept it I wouldn’t women fit in I was
double the age of most of the students
however I’m 36 with two sons ages 8-12
I went back to school I signed up for a
course a program at Concordia University
called family life education and the
director was very astute I think she
caught on to what I was feeling and she
talked to me often and she said to me
you really
good student who should continue study
and could you create for us your
experience as a teacher student for the
last two years and we will publish it in
our graduate graduate book when you
graduate and our yearbooks are you when
you graduate for me that wasn’t true
then it’s just that alone maybe for it
very accomplished I say yes I would do
it and she said to me you really should
continue to school but I had
reservations because my fear always was
is what what happened to me I’m going to
have to my children am i compromising
their lives because of my personal
desire to succeed at 36 I went back and
continued I went into a bachelor’s in
psychology because that’s what I wanted
to do I wanted to help others I went to
Concordia University it took a couple of
years because I went part-time because I
want to make sure sure my kids were okay
and I graduate with a bachelor’s in
psychology but I I didn’t think that’s
just enough just to practice as a
psychologist so I decided to apply to
McGill University my alma mater I’m here
and that’s why this penance is so
important to me I decided to apply to
become a university to counseling
psychology but there doesn’t fear the
fear surfaced again because I had to do
the Graduate Record examination and I
thought I can’t do this
people are telling me horror stories I’m
never going to get through this again
this intention and intention is
value-based the the idea that you can
I passed the GRE and it was accepted
into the masters of counseling
psychology that was great I decided I
would be a psychologist I this was
amazing part of the program and the
master’s in counseling psychology
without giving too much away there was a
supervision and I had to do an
internship the internship was in a
I thought this is great with supervision
I would be starting to be a counseling
psychologist and it worked very well
except towards the end there was a
supervisor that I spoke to and she said
to me what is your future going forward
I said to her I would love to train in
cognitive behavioral therapy
she said to me why would you even want
to do that you know we were way too
logical you’re too much of a thinker and
I said sure what is wrong with that and
she said you were never going to make it
as a psychologist and that blew me away
but I think I have enough success behind
me and I didn’t have those deaths I
thought to myself just be careful what
you say and I tried to read I said what
evidence do you have to make that claim
she walked away
needless to say I graduated with my
master’s in counseling psychology and I
did the program at Montreal General
Hospital in cognitive behavioral therapy
I became specialized in anxiety disorder
panic attacks phobias post-traumatic
stress OCD I also worked with depression
and also with couples I set up a
practice I became a mentor remember the
orders psychologists and I thought this
was amazing from the girl it’s not even
16 years old to become a psychologist
was truly amazing I could not believe it
well it doesn’t end there because once
you have a feeling of success you want
that feeling again I then told my
husband what do you think kids are
getting older what do you think I said
I’d like to do a doctorate and he said
go for it so he’s been my angel my
support always encouraging me and tell
me I can do anything I wanted another
University because I Miguel I went to
university Gloria and I met a thesis
advisor who said who is interested in
the same area I was interested in
because of the life I’d gone through
because of the parenting I’ve had not G
to their fault because what they have
gone through I decided to do a research
in parental beliefs in relation to child
rearing strategies and she was enamored
with ideas she said absolutely if the
university accepts you I accept you and
I was accepted into into the doctorate
at University of Montreal it was a long
ride it took seven years it really took
a long time because it’s rigorous and
was supposed to be under fifty pages I
thought turned into 280 pages but it was
so worth while because I was doing what
I really felt that helped me it was
almost as a catharsis of everything I’d
gone through but I still had a journey
when I graduated with a handshake and
with a handshake
it became doctors Nina Switzer and I
still feel like when I do it I still
feel it but I still had other things I
wanted to do and that’s a joke the
students myself thought about and I
thought to myself I want to teach I had
this yearning to teach to help others
feed-forward help others I approached
the Yale University because I like the
overlap in psychology and business and I
thought there’s no boundaries here why
not we go University offered me a course
in social psychology and an
organizational behavior and then
managing organizational teams I was
teaching and this was wonderful I love
teaching I started to lefty I make me a
therapist but I love teaching at McGill
I became an active professor a
coordinator of courses and then
distinguished teacher and this was to me
like this is the girl that left school
and not 16
look what I’ve done but I did it to give
back because I wanted to always give
back and teach others about the
experience that I once did I went
through I didn’t want them to go through
I don’t I can’t I can’t save the world
but I thought how about if I try to
inspire people I was teaching I was how
to practice and then I thought I’m a
psychologist I’m going to apply to
Dawson College and that worked out very
it took about two years ten I got a post
in I got a post in in psychology I was
in now we’re back to those very excited
so all this to say to both fear it’s
called fear-based
were afraid we’re afraid that we will
not be accepted we’re afraid we won’t
make it but fear is an emotion it’s the
oldest emotion it’s wired into our brain
and the problem is in face
uncertainty our brain overreacts it over
reacts to a certainty with fear and the
only way and what happens with people
they succumb to that fear and they
became instead of changing and myself as
a holder of our growth mindset which I
think I have done what they do is they
succumb to the fear they fall into it
instead of changing their mindset your
mindset is the lens through which you
see the world okay
I like to show you to two slides three
slides sorry courage and conviction so
that’s what Nathan by my talk first of
all on the left side Starck up stream
that which one is afraid of Viktor
Frankl Ramona my favorite authors
message for me he said fear comes true
that which one is afraid of on the right
hand side is convictions you are what
you believe yourself to be Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist my other favorite author
and for me courage inspires us to find
our voice convictions allow us to find
our heart so what makes a courageous
person three things courage passion
risk-taking vulnerability because you’re
feeling right now I feel vulnerable and
stepping out of your comfort zone don’t
be afraid to do that step out of your
comfort zone secondly have conviction
the conviction is the belief that you
can succeed create an intention again
it’s value based that you can do it and
then create the goals to achieve that
attention the third one channel that
courage into commitment you expect the
best of yourself you will have the best
of yourself give it to objectives move
through obstacles with determination and
perseverance and what I’d like to offer
you is one more thing people are afraid
because they think they will forget so
if you’re studying you’re thinking I
can’t do the next course that’s not true
because your subconscious mind is your
memory bank so all the ones private eyes
five experiences resides in our
subconscious the subconscious mind
consists of storing knowledge and values
and beliefs but also required mental
habits thus people can act actions based
on automatic mechanisms that clues your
knowledge your motives your values your
emotions your habits without conscious
thought so if you take anything your way
believe that it’s there in your
repertoire in your subconscious mind
it’s like riding a bike we don’t write
for a year use them it’s alright it’s
like driving a car it’s the same thing
exactly I’m going to lead it with
I believe that courage and convictions
were those stepping stones for me but
everybody can have courage and
convictions fear needs to be empowered
you have to feel empowered even if you
have fear you have to feel optimistic I
know that life is not easy and if we
look around us and listen and sometimes
I don’t even want to listen to the news
the world is very disruptive we live in
a VOCA world volatile uncertain complex
very ambiguous a little bit like my life
however you can make those changes and
when you hear a story which I hope I
convey to you when you hear a story of
an inspiration of somebody that’s done
something to inspire you let that story
be worse

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