Taj Avaje – Ease & Grace | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Taj is a transformation coach on a mission to energize humans to expand their power and potential in life. As a licensed hypnotherapist, she’s a thought leader in mindset shifts and change dynamics. Her company, Believe You Me, specializes in personal and professional transformations, advocating for people of color to create their own reality.

Taj’s mission is to help clients uncover subconscious limiting beliefs that prevent them from fully showing up for themselves to get everything they truly want in life. But she knows that her belief in them is simply not enough, they have to be willing to do the work.

It’s not easy but it is life-changing!

In our chat today, Taj and I cover a tremendous range of topics! But ultimately, everything comes back to the “ABCs” – Authenticity, Belief, and Clarity.

To learn more about Taj:


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Kevin Stafford 0:02
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast formerly coffee with coaches, possibly someday croissants with coaches, as Taj and I have been talking about, we like our alliteration here I am Kevin. And today I have the great pleasure of speaking with Tasha Vijay. Taj is a transformation coach on a mission to energize humans to expand their power and potential in life as a licensed Hypnotherapist. She’s a thought leader in mindset shifts and change dynamics. Her company, believe you me specializes in personal and professional transformations advocating for people of color to create their own reality. modest goals. Podcast, thank you so much for being here.

Taj Pannell 0:47
Oh, my gosh, Kevin, thank you so much. I feel honored to be here. Very grateful to have a conversation with you. And yes, there are big goals. But that’s a reason there’s a reason for that. very intentional.

Kevin Stafford 0:57
That’s right. That’s right. Let’s, let’s go back to the beginning started to start talking about your superhero origin story. How did you get your start? As a coach? How did you how did you have that moment of realization, maybe that you were sort of were a coach, and then take that realization into starting your own coaching business?

Taj Pannell 1:15
Yes, I love this story. Because the further I go into the coaching business, and just doing the work that I love to do, it unfolds even deeper, like, oh my gosh, like, it goes back further and further and further to how this really started. So as you mentioned, I’m a transformation coach. And really, what that means is that I have been on my own deep and spiritual transformation journey for quite some time now. And I think when I talk about how I got here, it really just started me always questioning like, Is this real life, there was something I always ask myself, this is this real life? Something seems off here. And I’m always on this journey of looking for the secret map for the answers that what I was seeing on my eyes, were not giving me because I just something in my heart did not believe that this was all there was to it. And so I think as I went through my journey of just understanding the nuances of life, and what power that we have is people that we have access to or that we’re not allowed to tap into, depending on what our family dynamic is, or the trauma that I experienced, or, you know, whatever you believe there’s this moment of there is more out there, but how do we get it? Where are those answers? And so I knew I was on my mission was to find the answers. But if I’m on a mission to find the answers, then I have no choice but to give them to other people, like I’m gonna find them so that I can share them. So that no one else has to sit there like crying and a quarter, figuring out like, Is this real life like I had to, like do this, you know, I feel very deeply Clairsentience if you’re into that, it’s just a very deep connection to energy in the world around us and the universe. And so I know how bad that feels. I know how often that feels, to feel less than. And so I feel like I have a very unique approach to helping people feel like their full authentic selves, and they can feel that wholeness. And that’s kind of where it started me Look, looking for the answer to feel my own wholeness and then being like, I have to give this to other people, I can’t let them feel like this anymore.

Kevin Stafford 3:27
That really is the natural like, it is the instinct is the urge, I think it is if you if you’ve truly just like discovered that thing that like where you found that path, you found not only answers, but even better questions like these, and it’s this virtuous cycle that goes forward. There’s like, right, like parallel like pit, like real tight on the same path with that is that immediate and profound. And quite frankly, in my experience, irresistible urge to share that experience with others in and hopefully in some way that will help them in the same way that you were help, you know, and obviously that’s the job of a coach a lot of times is to shape and adapt what they’ve experienced in transformation in their growth. And to be able to share that with someone else sort of in their own personal language, you know, with some slight edge where it’s like, this is what this was like for me. Let’s talk about what this will be like for you. When you discover when I help you discover it. It’s really like it’s so powerful. It’s so enriching. It’s like it’s I always I think in my head I have this visualization of a rising tide because it’s just like that when when you’re engaged with a coach and you have that moment that experience it just you feel you feel the level of everyone around you raise up just a tiny bit. It’s just it’s so lovely.

Taj Pannell 4:35
Oh my gosh, that’s my favorite feeling. I was actually just talking to a client the other day it’s almost addicting. It’s like a drug power when you feel power, and we power has positive and negative connotations to it, right? So when I say the addiction part and power, people automatically think villain like, negative. And that to me is totally unfair because the positive side of power is just as addictive. And when you realize that, you know, you don’t have to play the cards, have you been dealt, you don’t have to stand for, you know, whatever energies in front of you or what people are doing, you don’t have to take that. And that you are allowed to assign your worth and value to your life in any situation that you are. And you’re allowed to go out there and ask people for that. And only, you know, receive that, if that’s what you want. Yeah, so,

Kevin Stafford 5:24
yeah, I mean by, it’s a little bit different. But I mean, you could say that I’m addicted to water. Because if I don’t have it on a regular basis, I’ll feel terrible, my body will start to feel physically ill and then eventually I will die. It’s like, not addicted to water. It’s it is the nourishing element of my existence. And, and I’m just kind of riffing here. So go with me, when you find this new nourishing element of your existence. Once you found it, you don’t want to go back to whatever you were living before this, like dry, always thirsty place, like you want to both continue to drink that water, and you want to share it with other people. It’s just it’s yeah, it’s like,

Taj Pannell 6:06
yeah, totally. And that’s what I love the most about what I do. And I think where my superpowers and my uniqueness and gifts really come in is helping people shift into a bigger version of themselves. But you said about your mind, like, once you see something you can’t unsee it. And that’s all I’m here to do is help people like really, in a very interesting way. Recognize that the things that they’re saying about themselves? Like, what if they just reframed it just a tiny bit, and now it means something totally different? Like, how do you, I’m really gifted at helping people tap into those limiting unconscious beliefs that are not allowing them to see this bigger version of themselves. And just do like, you know, in our conversation, we can blow some things up. And healing is like peeling layers of the onion, it’s a very common expression where you know, get pull back one another, and you got to get to the center of it in order for, you know, not to have an onion anymore, because

Kevin Stafford 7:08
there’ll be tears, there will be tears.

Taj Pannell 7:14
And, man, I’m like, what is it gonna be an example. I guess what I can say, to wrap that up is just once you get to that center, it is so incredibly amazing to know that there is just more out there for you more, whatever you want more, and then you then oh, that’s to say, because it’s really my favorite. But once you get to this end of the onion, and it’s all gone, your world starts to change, your outer reality starts to literally just morph and change and shift to the way you truly really want it to be. And a lot of times people miss that external transformation. Because they’re, you know, focused on they’re very narrow minded into either their career, especially when I work with people with career and feel like Okay, gotta get the job, we got to do this, we got to do that. I had a client the other day, and I had to stop her and say, you are absolutely moving forward. But I want you to recognize what you have created in the place that you are right now. Because things are shifting in your favor already before you even move on those shifting right where you are. And you have to see that you have started to create the magic in your in your life where something that was upsetting you, is now gone. And it’s been so upsetting you for months now, we’ve been working together for a few weeks. And now it’s gone. And I didn’t do anything you did that. You change that because you did this, you did that and did that you’re talking like this, you’re feeling like this, so on and so forth. And then their mind just blows because it’s like I did that

Kevin Stafford 9:00
kind of alongside and told you some things, all the power came from you.

Taj Pannell 9:05
And that moment of people realizing that they’ve they’ve turned on at least one of the power switches that they have inside of them. That’s what I’m here for I live for that. That brings me so much joy.

Kevin Stafford 9:17
And it’s a contagious Joy too. It’s just it’s spreads around it to every every person in your life. And yeah, it’s lovely. Let’s talk about them for a second. Who do you coach and how do you coach them? It’s kind of how I’ve stumbled into talking about it and it’s a little bit more like nuts and bolts II where it’s like if you have some people have very specific targets for their coaching practice. Some people are just like, you know, I’ll take anybody because I can help anybody in any circumstance. And that’s both can be true. Sometimes you’re a little more focused on one than the other. And then also the how do you coach them? Do you have any particular like approaches or techniques do you usually do like one to one coaching where you’re just like right there across from each other? Do you do any like small group coaching where you kind of work with teams, whether it’s in a personal or professional environment? Maybe all the above, like, Who do you use to? Who? And how?

Taj Pannell 10:06
Yes. This is always a tough question because I feel like those people were only I didn’t have any money, I’m really good. There’s no limits to what it is that you want to do. And I guess I do help everyone in my daily life when I you know, talking to people interacting and maintenance stuff. But when it comes to the business, I focus my outreach on people of color. And really what we do is personal professional transformations, because your career is only one part of your life. And in order for me to be able to help you really transform, we have to put that back into the totality of who you are as a human being. And that’s how you’re able to get that moving in a better direction, because you take ownership over it again. So when it comes to the clientele that I work with, it’s easiest for me to lean into the career side, it’s almost like it doesn’t make dollars doesn’t make sense, because the easiest way to talk to someone is say, hey, you know, you spend 40 hours of work 40 hours a week here, if not more, you hate it, like, does that really suit you? Like, why are you doing that, I can help you figure out how this works. But at the end of the day, it all it’s all going to seek and seep into your personal life as well, too. So if you come and you’re like, hey, I a lot of my clients that start with career will move on to the personal side. As a hypnotherapist I have tons of modalities, and then things that I can help with in other areas of your life as well, too. So I say all that to say, I guess I start with career. But I’m always happy to jump in on the personal life as well, too. And how I coach people, I really like to hinge it on three very simple things. I call them the ABCs. I’m talking about all time, but it’s authenticity, belief and clarity. You have to one be absolutely willing to do the work because it’s not easy. Removing the indoctrination that you’ve had for so long, and really starting to believe in the like the totality of yourself. But finding your authenticity for who you are what you want, you know, your belief in yourself, as I said, and the belief that you can accomplish all the things that you came here to do it whether that be like world, each contribution to others, but also creating your own life to be successful and as rich and beautiful and bold as you want it to be. And then clarity, right, you have to have the clarity in order to be able to get the universe on your side, I believe in the universe, and the universal flow of abundance, and how that can help people really begin to create and so the, you have to have the clarity for that, to be able to have the universe kind of step in and create magic for you.

Kevin Stafford 13:07
I feel like it’s you structure that perfectly too, because it really is as basic and foundational as your ABCs. It really is like these, these words like authenticity and believing clarity, they’re all concepts that as you unpack them, they, they they really they they reach into every element of of your human existence. And they are foundational, you can understand that you can get them completely from the beginning. And then you spend the rest of your life building words out of them building a language building a life out of them, you know, I feel like it’s important to get that message through, like right off the top where it’s like, this is this is this is your mother’s milk, this is going to be the foundation of everything. And it’s going to be fantastic. And you’re going to learn something new about this everyday that you didn’t know that yet yesterday, and you’re gonna look back at your yesterday self and be like, How did I not see that?

Taj Pannell 13:54
Well, because you make a good point. That’s the one thing that we aren’t, we don’t do ourselves, right. We’re born into those three foundational things. People tell us who we are. They tell us what to believe. And they tell us where we’re going. And a lot of people most people don’t know that they have to take the time to erase that to rip those pages out of the book. Take one click what it’s worth and then recreate something different. They just go with the flow. They go with what was given to them and I don’t I don’t think that’s fair. Because every every person comes to this earth with such a powerful mission, something amazing that they are here to do. And I want to make sure that I’m my job is to activate and energize as many of those people as I can. And I focus on people of color. Just because society we’ve been oppressed. We’ve been living in the struggle of believing that we do not belong anywhere in the world, just because of the color of their skin. something again that we have no control over. So it’s just like, I want to make sure that all of my black and brown people know that you are just as powerful as anyone I also do see on TV in the office of driving these fancy cars, and you can do what you want to do. It doesn’t have to be that. But I want you to know that you are here for a reason. And I want to do anything I can to help you see the bigger version of yourself.

Kevin Stafford 15:18
Sorry, so I wanted to sit with that for a moment. It’s lovely, lovely. You have, I mean, obviously, you’ve been doing this for a while, and you’re great at it. And so you have a very, you have a very, not just eloquent, but also very, like casually powerful way of speaking about your process and your and your, your coaching approach. And it’s just, I want okay, I’ve already kept you for like we chatted, like for 15 minutes before I hit record, we’re already deep in there. I know, I tried to say I keep these episodes brief. I so badly want to be greedy with you and just keep chatting about all this stuff, because it’s great. But I want to make sure that you talk at least for a couple minutes about where people can find more about you where people can not just find out more about you but connect with you engage with you learn more about you maybe have a conversation and then just go from there. Because I want I want people to have what I’ve just had.

Taj Pannell 16:06
Absolutely. And I’ve gotten time I was blocked off the 30 minutes afterwards if I needed, you know, decompress or meditate or call in a ball and cry. So what’s gonna happen is the time Yes, I would love love, love for everyone to get in touch with me, I am on a few different platforms where where I show up pretty consistently. We talked about this a little bit earlier. But my name is Tasha Vijay, that is the name of my Well, that’s my name as a founder for bleeding me and my entrepreneurial efforts. So I have my website, which is www dot Tasha vijay.com You can go there and find out a little bio about me, but also the way I serve, you know, my community and the different things that I have available from career workshops, or you want to do long term coaching or if you want to do hypnotherapy that’s up there as well. I also have some audios to help understand and shift energy along that way as well too. So that is always one and then I’m on Instagram. J O and now I’ve got all these emails coming in. It’s like opened up. Um, yes, I’m on Instagram at Taj Vijay. I’m also on Twitter. I don’t use it as often. But I try I told you about I and my LinkedIn which is a slightly different because it goes by my surname, my traditional surname, but you can find me on LinkedIn at Taj Bunnell, which will soon very well probably after this chat and Taj illogical for now.

Kevin Stafford 17:43
Lovely, lovely. I find I enjoy various aspects of social media very differently. It’s almost like we were just talking about how you we have different versions of ourselves that kind of present different aspects of the world. So like, I have Twitter, I keep it arm’s length, because it’s like I find it it can be very powerful and can be a very interesting place. It could also just be a toxic cesspool of negativity and, and much, much worse. And so I tend to keep that at arm’s length a little bit, but still find it very powerful. LinkedIn, I’ve it’s just the weirdest thing. Because when I first encountered LinkedIn, like, however many years like, you know, 1015 years ago, whatever, I was just like, oh, look, it’s just a, you know, a resume for, for people who like cell phone holsters, you know, or it’s like, I would just make, make fun of it. And now the joke’s on me, because I love it. It is one of my, it’s probably my favorite place to engage with people, the relationships I’m building up there. It’s, it’s so good. It’s so cool. I can actually not just like have surface relationships, but actually really get to know somebody just on LinkedIn, in a way that feels very meaningful, personally, and professionally, you know?

Taj Pannell 18:46
Absolutely. And, you know, I have a day job. I work in LinkedIn, as well as a talent agent, program manager, and I’ve been there for almost four years now. And so I think one of the most powerful things about it is that there’s so many different features on the platform that you can use to get so many new places in your career, and it just opens up so many opportunities. And I think it’s funny that people were like, Oh, you just get resumes like I was way more than your resume. That’s the last thing that is working for you on LinkedIn. Okay, let me tell you, but it’s been also really fun. We talked about activating and energizing people before, it’s also been fun to energize people to take control of their social presence as a you know, pretend to their professional life in that way. And LinkedIn is the best platform to be able to do that on and having that opportunity to to, I guess also coach people through that I did it with LinkedIn. When it comes to we call it rocker profile, right, like having the best practices for your profile to really get seen. And so like that’s something that I give, I do all the time, right. I do those for free all the time. Have those conversations because it’s powerful and everyone should know. But then there’s also this hour, Elma of how are you energizing yours So how is your energy as a human being showing up as this ad on LinkedIn as a vehicle to be able to create more of what you want, make those connections and have that energy, like you said, we connected on LinkedIn. But that wasn’t because you and I are connected in any type of way, right? That was because you have an amazing energy doing what you do in conversation and coaches, and I have amazing energy and also an amazing friend Roseanne, and so like, that’s how we got here. But people forget to put that energy and that livelihood behind the platform so that all the different connections, all the 8 billion people that are on their million side, don’t take that number out.

710 million right now less than one. They’re not just moving for no reason. They’re moving energy is neither created nor destroyed. Right? It’s always transferred. So

one of my best things I love talking to you about is like how are you putting the energy that you want to show up into this vessel, so that it can continue to attract like energy and go where you need it to go and start working harder for you. Behind the scenes are in the ether, however you want to play?

Kevin Stafford 21:15
Yeah, and it’s just it just takes a little bit of like we were talking about earlier, just like it’s like a slight tweak, there’s a slight change to the way you’re looking at something, the way that you’re showing up for something like the way that I show up in person is different than the way that I show up in zoom. It’s different than the way that I show up on social media, it’s different than the way I show up in text versus, you know, whatever I put up on Instagram, like, it’s still all me showing up. But I’m just I’m learning to adjust it and to engage with the vessel in a way that will best represent who I am, and also opened me up to the kind of connections that we lucked into, I call it luck. But really, it’s luck. And it’s also a product of just doing the work of putting yourself out there and making the adjustments you need getting the help that you that you need reaching out to coaches like you to turn it back around on you to just to learn the relatively little things that can have such a profound effect on every element of your life.

Taj Pannell 22:07
I always say life changes in an instant, a life changing moment does not have to be a big grand thing. It changes in an instant. And if you are willing to release power that happens, incredible, incredible things could come together and changing shift and move like that. And I want people to have more of that access to be able to change their life. If you shift your energy, you can change your life. And my tagline will always be you create your own reality. That’s it full stop, you create your own reality. So take it, leave it do what you want with it. But at the end of the day, you got one life to live? What are you going to do with it? And if it feels hard, how are you going to make it easy?

Kevin Stafford 22:57
That’s another I love it. Okay, I’m gonna let you go out here as I promise, one of my favorite things like lines I’ve come across over the last few years that have really, it’s really something that I like, it’s almost like something I’ll reflect on on a daily basis, is asking myself a question which so many of my new favorite things are asked myself, what would this look like if it were easy? And just and just let that question hang out there. Like whatever it is, I’m engaging with whatever task I’m going through a relationship that I’m in the middle of maybe it’s like, maybe it’s something maybe it’s great, and it’s about to be greater, whatever it happens to be, it’s like, just look like if it were easy. And again, easy is not just like the short path necessarily. It’s like, when I like I like the concept of ease more than the idea of easy because ease can be this incredibly profound like you’re like, you know, you can with ease navigate the ocean, even though the ocean is just as violent waves and currents and everything. But if you find if you find the right light, current and the right like when you get your sales up just right, all of a sudden, it’s just here, you’re cutting through it like butter, and it’s there’s ease there. And so I love sitting with that question, what would this whatever this is look like if it were easy? And then just yeah, some usually usually some answers come real quick when I let myself sit with that.

Taj Pannell 24:14
Oh, absolutely. Well, that’s because your willingness to just you know, here and and knowing that you have all the answers within yourself. And I have a similar saying I say ease and grace. So I always want to do things with ease and grace. Well, once you’ve done that, that’s like a pivotal moment transformation. Because just like all right, well, wow, I figured out how to do this. Maybe Maybe I decided to delegate to someone. Usually when you think like that you talk about resources, just show up. Someone will pop up and be like, Hey, Josh, I will do this for you. Talk about easing. Great. Okay. Thank you getting back to me by next Tuesday. Appreciate that. And so, I love to talk about those moments because those are just like really moments of transformation, just even in that small example. But now I have more leadership, right? I’ve learned that I have a little bit of authority, people are willing to help me. And I think when when I’m talking about perspective shift, I love chatting with people, because they’ll tell me this very small stories. And I can turn back to them, like, the actuality of what’s happening there. And when they sit with that, then they find the power. It’s like, oh, wow, did I really do that? Yes. I like to speak, speak truth to power in such a way to say, You did all that you might not have recognized what was happening in that situation. But all those things have now made you a better version of yourself, even in this small way. But baby steps are always steps towards the next version of you.

Kevin Stafford 25:41
I love I love that you keep saying things then like my brain, like starts to fire off, like on a follow up, like that phrase, truth to power is usually, you know, the individual to an institution is how it’s how it’s often often framed. But then I love truth to power being No, I’m the coach speaking truth to your individual power. And letting it make up like I was like, I really, really like that. I’m gonna, I’m actually gonna spend some time today just kind of sit with that slight but profound shift, and that particular phrase, truth to power. I like that I might name that that might be the name of the episode. I don’t know, I have so many.

Taj Pannell 26:18
I love it. But that’s just when people do expand their power potential in life, but you have to know you have in that has been my gift. And so I am here, as a coach doing anything I can to connect with as many people as I can to help them activate their power and go out there and just do whatever they want to do is everyone’s out here creating a life that they really truly love and enjoy it like, I I can’t even verbalize how amazing the world would be after that. I feel it. It’s so big. Just like Well, everyone, and you know, we have you so many of these things and problems that we have could easily go away with ease and grace, if everyone would just be dedicated to living a life of joy and happiness. You know,

Kevin Stafford 27:00
it’s just that hard. And it’s just that easy. Oh, man, if you’re within the sound of our voice right now, or whenever you come across this episode, find Tajh connect with her she is she is a joy. I tell you, I promise you you already know this. If you’ve listened to this whole episode, you already know you don’t need me to remind you here at the end. But Thomas, thank you so much for talking with me today. And also letting me record some of it. It’s like I would have I would have done this anytime of day or night for absolutely no other reason than the joy of the conversation. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Taj Pannell 27:35
Again, it’s been such a pleasure. I love chatting about it all the time. And you are fantastic hosts had me in stitches this whole time. It has been an amazing conversation with you today.

Kevin Stafford 27:48
And we may have to talk again soon. And we had to do like a part 234 Sometime sometime in the future.

Taj Pannell 27:55
I’m down for it all I’m down for it. I have a very distinct soapbox. I get on it all the time. I’m like, you can be a better version of you. I

promise. That’s why they currently believe you me because I want him to know like, listen, I I’m not out here lying to you. I have no reason to lie to you. Okay. You are an amazing, fantastic person. And I want you to see that and I will do what I can to show you that believe you me.

Kevin Stafford 28:23
Right now the audience can’t see this necessarily, but you’re touching your cheeks a little bit and it’s like it reminded me that I’ve been smiling for so long during this conversation that my cheeks are a little sore. So I think I need to like stop recording. I need to go like do a little cheek massage, maybe relax, maybe go out. Go outside get some fresh air in the in the January, brisk, brisk climate. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you and to the audience. Thank you for listening, although you should I mean, just just go go find more go find more of Tosh. You’re not gonna regret it. And we will talk to you again very soon.

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