Shahroo Izadi, Behavioural Change Specialist and Author of The Last Diet and The Kindness Method, shares her thoughts on self-compassion and positive reframing on the first episode of series three of I am. I have, Happiful's podcast
Sharoo Izadi’s latest book, The Last Diet, was published less than a month ago but already the feedback for it is more than glowing. The difference between her book and the slew of 'new year, new you' offerings is that it focuses on looking inwards, appraising and kindly improving how you talk and treat yourself, rather than prescribing what you should eat, or how you should exercise.
Expanding upon her practise, methods and motivations, Shahroo joined Happiful for the first episode of series three of I am. I have, and shared more about her work as a Behavioural Change Specialist, her mission to help others choose self-compassion and her great admiration for those working in the addiction and recovery space.
Speaking about her route to becoming a Behavioural Change Specialist, Shahroo explained; "I worked in addiction treatment when I came out of University after studying psychology and psychosocial sciences. I got a placement in an addictions centre and started learning about the motivational tools that were used by practitioners in addiction treatment, and by people in long term recovery from addiction, to keep themselves motivated and to sustain the changes that they'd made despite having really ingrained habits."
Shahroo started to apply these tools to her own life and unwanted behaviours and continued to share them with others too. It was a series of conversations she had with Marissa Bate, a journalist who was writing for The Pool, that spurred her on to develop The Kindness Method, and to share her learnings with the widest possible audience to help them address day to day behaviours where change felt neccesary.
Shahroo is keen to talk about kindness and self-compassion when it comes to behavioural change, revealing that she practises what she publishes, every single day. Living with anxiety, and "vulnerability hangovers", she takes time to speak to herself as she would a loved one, or someone else that she cares deeply for.
While she encourages others to adopt this practice too, she’s honest about the fact it is something that takes a little time to get used to, but the effort is worth it; "It was unnatural originally, even for me, and that's why I can totally relate to so many people who come who come to me and struggle when I ask them to do these exercises.
"I think to trust me, if you told me I'd be doing this stuff a few years ago I never would've believed you. But just try it. Just try it in whatever way suits you. I promise you it will help and it just makes you feel better. Feeling more positive just gets stuff done."
Reflecting on the roots of her work, Shahroo shares that she has an unbelievable amount of respect for everyone living and working within recovery and behaviour change for serious and life-changing addictions.
"I feel like all personal development workshops should be delivered by people in recovery. We should be giving them way more money to turn what's happening in the recovery community into tools we use in schools.
"There’s been so little money given and yet so many extraordinary things are delivered around addiction recovery - the creativity of the average key worker, absolutely blows my mind. Even now, when I go into a drug and alcohol service, I come out and I think this is magic. This is absolute magic. These are angels walking the earth and geniuses of personal development."
Listen to Shahroo’s episode of I am. I have now to find out more about her approach and why being kind to yourself can help you on the journey to real and sustained change.