Elisabeth Villiger Toufexis: Turn your dreams into your goals

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After a difficult childhood and low self-esteem, Elisabeth studied the mind to use it always in the function of new goals. From having an inferiority complex, she managed to recover her life, becoming today an inspiration for many women. As a happy woman and a successful businesswoman, Elisabeth says that nothing is a failure but a lesson. Elisabeth is the regional director of Global Woman Cyprus, which she has been growing asa very supportive community of women entreprenuers since its launch in October 2019.

You are an NLP practitioner, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. What motivated and inspired you to start helping others?

I had a challenging childhood and had to start fending for myself from a very young age; I started earning money when I was thirteen. It took me a long time to get rid of many hang ups, I had a very low self-esteem and huge inferiority complex. It took me quite a few years to turn my life around in a direction where I wanted to go, and I realised that I would want to pass on my experience and wisdom to people who want to grow. I learned that we can create our life and that it is entirely up to us take charge. I spent a lot of time studying the mind and how it works and that we need to clean up the content of our subconscious mind before we can be in charge. 95% of everything we do is driven by the subconscious mind and many of our beliefs that are stored in there don’t serve us anymore. We all have a set of beliefs that shape our lives but most of our core beliefs were formed when we were children and they don’t serve us anymore.

Many people have dreams, but little knowledge of how to start. Where should one even begin?

A dream will remain a dream unless we turn it into a goal. I am a strong believer in writing dreams and ideas down. That’s when things take form and with a good amount of brainstorming, the magic begins to unfold. Even an idea which may sound stupid at the beginning can turn into something great. It helps to share a dream with friends who are positive and uplifting, not with those who are afraid of everything. More minds create a bigger amount of thoughts and ideas. Ask yourself why you want to realise this dream and once you have your why, the how begins to happen.Opportunities appear and we come across the people we need to get to where we want to go. Have the courage to try and be ready to fail and try again. Don’t call it failure, call it learning.

You have helped many people achieve their goals. Do you have some tips on how people can reach the goals they set?

Tony Robbins says that setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.When we don’t know where we want to go, we are like a sail, blown by the wind wherever it comes from, and we give others the power to decide for us. When we set goals, we set the sail and decide on the direction. Setting a goal pointsus in the direction in which we want to go, and we all want to go towards success.

Goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. which means:

  1. Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  2. Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  3. Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  4. Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  5. Time bound (time-based, time limited).

We need to review and adjust our goals regularly; things don’t always work out according to plan right away.

You have worked with many women and businesses. What is the biggest mistake people make when trying to achieve their goals?

I believe that people give up too easily. They see other people succeed and want to do the same, often copy others and are then surprised why it doesn’t work out. It certainly helps to have a role model, but we have to achieve things in our own unique way. We must never compare ourselves to others and only compete with the person we were yesterday. Success doesn’t happen overnight. We have to be willing to invest time and money, and we have to be ready to learn and grow. It takes years of dedication and commitment to reach the top and of course it always helps to be in the right place at the right time. When we listen to people, we learn new things and are up to date on current and future trends and technologies and it helps to have a wide variety of knowledge that is not only related to our current role.

How important is a healthy mind and a high self-esteem in reaching your goals?

A healthy mind resides in a healthy body; we have to make sure that we don’t only concentrate on our professional career and neglect the other important areas of our life. Maintaining a healthy work life balance is the key to happiness and a healthy mind. We need time to look after our health, and we need “time to smell the roses.” When we become overwhelmed and emotionally drained and are unable to meet constant demands, we are in a state of stress, which affects our immune system and makes us vulnerable to illnesses like colds and inflammation. When we feel whole and complete and live in an elevated state of gratitude and mind body coherence, life can become pretty wonderful.

You are the regional director of the Global Woman Club in Cyprus. How important is having a community and a network in getting results and finding your purpose?

I love being the Director of the Global Woman Club Cyprus because we are a group of like minded, non-judgmental women who support each other and carry each other when there’s a need. Joining a Global Woman Club means becoming part of something bigger and getting many opportunities to connect. Global Woman Clubs empower women locally and connect them globally. Especially now during the Coronavirus crises it has become very obvious how wonderful it is to be connected, and there is such a special atmosphere of global belonging during the Zoom calls with Global Woman Members from all over the world. There are so many courageous and inspiring woman in these clubs. It is obviously more fun to be together in person, and I cannot wait for the next Global Woman Summit which will eventually happen because this situation will end, and we will all be fine.

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Mirela Sula is the CEO and Founder of Global Woman Magazine and Global Woman Club. Mirela has worked in media and education for the last 20 years and has a speaking experience from all around the world. Her background is in psychology and counseling, journalism, teaching, coaching, women’s rights, and media training. Mirela is also the organiser of the Global Woman Summit and Global Woman Awards. She has appeared on Channel 5, London Live TV, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, Sky TV and has also been featured in the 'Evening Standard', 'The Guardian', “Marie Claire” etc. She is best selling author and has helped more than 100 women to publish their books. It was in 2014 Mirela created Migrant Woman Talks, a platform for women to share their stories and experience of life in a new country. By the end of 2019 Mirela had created more than 25 Global Woman Clubs for women all over the world, and she has helped hundreds of women to unlock their potential, start their business and take it Global! Mirela has received many awards for her work, including the ‘Inspirational Award for Women 2015’ for Human Rights, the ‘Best Up-And-Coming Inspirational Influencer’ Award from The Best You, in 2017 and the Universum Donna Award 2017 from the Universum Academy of Switzerland. Mirela is passionate about empowering women worldwide and always stands up for inclusion, diversity, gender balance and supporting the next generation. Her mission is to create a global movement to improve the future for women, by economically empowering each woman.

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