Interview by Vesheshta Thakur; Editing by Anobik Saha
Meet Aashna Narula – a social entrepreneur and healer, trying to change the world, one person at a time, through her coaching institute, Pyschopedia. The institute is meant to deliver lessons in psychology in a manner that makes learning fun, inspiring and all-consuming. She had a hard time finding a good job when she was 23 and instead of getting consumed by self-doubt and negativity, decided to strike out on her own. Read on learn more about Aashna’s story.
Hi Aashna. Thanks for taking out the time to speak with us. Can you please introduce yourself to the readers of Indspire Me?
Psychopedia started when I was 23, as a psychology coaching institute where the idea was not to make coaching boring but full of love for learning. It is first of its kind in town to provide psychology coaching at high school level, undergraduate level, master’s level and UGC level.
We are our students’ mentors, creating an environment which sometimes even schools lack, conducting positive, happy workshops and reaching out to all we could in the hour of need. I started it because as a 23 year old, when I did not get a job, I decided not to sit at home waiting for interview calls and start to doubt myself. So instead I created this opportunity for myself. Coming from a small town called Nahan, always known as “Narula Ji’s” daughter, I wanted to do something on my own, always wanted to be a self-made, independent woman.
Why did you choose the unconventional career path of a therapist?
I wouldn’t like to call myself a therapist.
We still live in an era where we believe that if a person is going to a therapist then there is definitely a problem and that it’s going to be expensive. It will also be time consuming because as a therapist you can only reach out to those who need psychological help. As a therapist, you wait for clients to come in.
I believe that I am a healer who is just trying to heal this world, one person at a time and as a healer I don’t limit myself to adults and children but to animals as well.
What is your greatest strength as a healer?
I believe that I can make a difference by giving unconditional positive regard and empathy to anyone who needs it; accepting everyone as they are, recognising their strengths, that everyone is fighting a battle and needs support without any supplemental judgment.
In your opinion, what subject combination one should take along-side psychology, if the aim is entrepreneurship?
I think that an entrepreneur is someone who can create something that benefits everyone. By being skilled in social entrepreneurship, you can create job opportunities and employment for the underprivileged.
Where do you see Psychopedia five years from now?
I work every day to grow and I think that our everyday growth and challenges make us who we are going to be in a few months, not five years. I don’t want to share with the readers anything I might not be able to achieve but yes achieving and then talking about it makes more sense.
What challenges do you face in terms of teaching and mentoring the multicultural population in Chandigarh?
When I started it 2.5 years back, it seemed a big challenge. How do you make people trust you? How do you make people understand that our vision is unique? How do you make people understand that an individual has more potential than just the degree they hold? How do you stop people from picking up your ideas? How do you stop the negativity when people try to bring you down and your business just because they assume you are blessed?
I have faced all of it and still am. But I am able to overcome them because of our hard work. This journey has been full of struggles and yet full of growth. The journey of “becoming”, the journey of not just surviving but thriving as well.
And now, we are not just using our classroom to teach psychology but to mentor economical weaker children of the society as well.
Recently we have also started an initiative called Little Rogers on the lines of unconditional positive regard where we are mentoring & teaching basics to underprivileged children & in return their parents will be helping us with dog food.
Please share an inspiring message with those readers of Indspire Me, who would like to pursue their own passion in the future.
Please don’t stop dreaming just because you are young. Please don’t stop yourself from igniting your passion because of fear. It’s okay to try and fail and then try again. We are always asked about our role models. So try and become someone else’s role model and not because of the success you attained but because you never gave up. Take the first step. Life is too short to keep wondering if you are capable.
About the Interviewer
Vesheshta Thakur is a student of B.A.(Hons.) at MCM College, Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is a state level basketball player and plans to join the Army in the future. She is a dog lover and loves to travel.
About the Editor
Anobik is passionate about his purposeful work as a digital marketing professional at a U.S.-based leadership tech development start-up. In the past, his intellectual pursuits led him to explore several domains that include working as a graphic designer, freelance writer, proscenium theatre artist and learning French. After work hours, he dedicates time to his lo-fi music production and prepping for the next trek in the Himalayas. His recent trysts with meditation and yoga now take up most of his headspace, pondering over and learning about the boundaries of human potential, breakthroughs in neuroscience and emotional intelligence. His favorite movies are Into the Wild, Frances Ha and Valley Uprising.