Championing Unique Perspectives: Buki Ishola CA
Buki Ishola CA shares her perspective on maintaining mental fitness and how reflection is one of the greatest assets in understanding yourself.
After 15 years as a successful tax accountant, Buki Ishola CA realised she wanted fresh challenges. She always admired people who were passionate about what they did at work, and while she enjoyed the managerial side of her job, she wanted to pursue new interests.
Growing up in the Christian church, Buki turned to bible stories for guidance, and she credits a lot of her positive outlook to the teachings she learned. Buki found that she was inspired to help others like herself see the positives in life and help them create more success by helping with their mental fitness. This inspiration encouraged Buki to become an entrepreneur and start her coaching practice, Citadel Coaching.
Buki now focuses on supporting senior professionals from the African diaspora as an executive and mental fitness coach. She focuses on helping professionals who have come to the West from Africa, just as she did when she was 14. She recognises that CAs and other professionals are under a lot of pressure.
Buki believes that sometimes it's simply about providing support to help someone find their footing so that they’re able to bring their best selves to work. She helps individuals create better career outcomes for themselves by helping them navigate the challenges they face and chart the path to realising their career goals.
Here are her four key tips for maintaining mental wellbeing.
Be present: "A big part of maintaining mental wellbeing is being present to your thoughts and how you're interpreting the world around you. One of the ways that I support people is by helping them to challenge the meanings and interpretations they've given to events. The same event could happen to two people and result in two different reactions, based on how each individual has processed what happened. Once you realise it's not the event, but how you react and process it, things can become more manageable."
Be open to other perspectives: “I encourage people to be open to other perspectives. When we face challenges, our initial perspective could be based on emotions which may not be the accurate or the most helpful perspective to take. It’s important to allow emotions to settle and then review the situation rationally and with objectivity. This could create more clarity and lead to a different perspective. We can get lost in the event because it's our story and sometimes the emotions are strong in the moment. It’s important to learn to take a step back and challenge the perspective we hold especially when they are creating mental stress for us."
Be mindful of your belief systems and expectations: “Another key part of maintaining mental wellbeing is to be mindful of our individual belief systems and expectations. Sometimes our beliefs and expectations are not rooted in reality, which could be a major source of stress. For example, being new to doing something, yet expecting to have your best performance or new to a job but expecting yourself to be all over the details. It’s not realistic and an expectation like that would only create stress. Be kind to yourself by giving yourself time to rise to meet the expectations you hold of yourself."
Be aware of your ‘triggers’: “Personal factors play a role in mental fitness. Know your triggers. When triggered, ask yourself: what triggered me and why is it triggering me? How can I handle it differently next time? By becoming a student of yourself, you can learn and better understand your triggers — this equips you to handle tough situations better. Recognising our patterns, knowing our triggers is really helpful to developing better mental fitness and understanding of ourselves."
Buki asks herself the same questions in reflection, just as she would ask her clients. She leads by example and encourages everyone to utilise the support of colleagues and coaches. Buki also supports organisations and business leaders on inclusion and increasing understanding of the challenges that Black professionals face. Buki also supports organisations and business leaders on inclusion and increasing understanding of the challenges that Black professionals face.
Read more about Buki’s background and career path, including the moments that shaped her philosophies for coaching and mental wellbeing, in her interview in CA magazine.
Read more about topics covering diversity, equality and inclusion within our Championing Unique Perspectives series. Get in touch if you would like to share your story.