I had a coaching session yesterday. I was preparing to meet a friend who said she could introduce me to someone for an opportunity to go on TV. I had serious doubt about myself, so I talked to my coach about it.
She and I worked through some of the thoughts in my mind, and processed through some very strong emotions I had within me.
Near the end, I shared with my coach on this one belief, one I held onto very strongly since I was young:
"Do your best. Hope for the best but expect the worst."
I lived by it since I was in my highschool years.
And I know I believed it because I was very much against feeling disappointed. It was a feeling I constantly have because of my high expectation of myself.
What this belief does, is that it would make me try new things, do my best. I would keep making things happen, BUT it makes me doubt myself, deep down, I refuse to believe that things will happen.
So my coach asked, what if you believe that what you want will happen?
I started crying, because I realized how scared I am of that thought. I mean, can you imagine? You want it so bad and if it doesn’t happen! I’d be so disappointed! But I realized what this belief is really doing is that it holds me back from truly believing in myself.
To explain it in another way, this is the imposter part of me, always believing that I’m just a fraud.
If it happens, it is just a fluke.
Because when things happen, I didn’t actually believe that it was me and my efforts. I didn’t believe that I am actually capable. All of this was just a fluke.
For her to ask me that question, it was like, wait a minute, you mean I am this powerful version of myself? You mean this is real??
And this is the belief process, from not believing to believing, stepping into the next version of myself.
And it’s ok. changes happen from within before it can be seen on the outside. I know it’s still a long road ahead, but I am excited to see all the changes in my life.
If you want to create changes in your life, it all starts with this: What if it’s possible for me too?
It all starts with the awareness that it’s possible, and the willingness to try.
For a while, you may feel like you’re an imposter, but it’s all part of the transformation process.
And if you’re scared, you don’t have to do it alone. If you believe that you’re ready for a change, but have no idea where to start, what you want, or how to get there, I’d love to offer you a free 60-min Jump Start conversation with me.
Even just to have a glimpse of what's possible. What if it's possible?
My favourite band while growing up is the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
I really wanted to blend into the western culture when I came to Canada, so I started watching Much Music to learn more about what’s popular in the music scene.
Under the Bridge was the first music video I watched and fell in love.
I loved the melody of the song, I fell in love with Anthony Kiedis’ voice, and he was really good looking! 🤩
But funniest thing is, I didn’t catch the name of the band and the song title at that time (because I didn’t know how the information was displayed!). So I didn’t find out they’re called the Chili Peppers, and the song’s called Under the Bridge until probably a year later. 🤣😅
Years later, they came out with a song called Deep Kick, and in the lyrics they said, “It’s better to regret something you did, than something you didn’t do”. (Referring to Butthole Surfers song called Sweat Loaf)
That was the motto I lived by, and I actually used that as my high school graduation quote. 🤣🤣🤣
This quote actually holds a lot of meaning for me. Because for a girl who is scared of a lot of things, this quote gave me enough courage to try different things.
And I am glad I’m still living by it.
What about you? Is there a motto you live by?
Since I was young, I’d always wondered what my life purpose is. I kept feeling like I was meant for more, but I felt trapped by my circumstances. Like I wish I could follow and be amongst the people who are “making it”, so that I can find out what makes them successful. But I felt like I was constantly being held back. I was constantly fed the belief that studying hard and getting a job is all there is to life. I wasn’t satisfied. I kept wondering if this is all there is to my life.
After I got married, I started my first business. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or could do at the time.
You know the famous question that all business owners are asked? “What pain point are you solving for your clients?”
I really hated that question! Because to me, it meant I have to be good at something to help others solve their problems! This question made me feel extremely inadequate, because more often than not, I didn’t believe I was good at anything!
But I still went ahead with it, I tapped into my creative side and I learned how to self-publish colouring books and offered calligraphy and engraving services.
Looking back, I believe there was a moment that really propelled me forward. I was hired by a client to engrave a bracelet for her friend, who just started his business. She wanted to gift him an engraved bracelet to encourage him.
I got a chance to speak with her when she came to pick up the bracelet. We started talking about our interests, and she got really excited talking about things that she was interested in! I remembered seeing her eyes lit up! She was so excited about all of these things!
So I asked her, “What about if you give them a try?”
Then I saw her shrink away. And she said, “Oh no, I can’t because…”
And she listed out all these reasons why she couldn’t.
And I remembered my heart screaming!
I truly believe that people should follow what they’re interested in, and do what lights them up! I wanted her to see that she can go ahead with it! But I didn’t know how I could help!
This event really got me.
Because I saw myself in her. I wanted to do more, but felt I couldn’t.
At that time, I was reading Marshawn Evans Daniel’s Believe Bigger. In it, she talked about her conversations with God.
So I also started praying, I said to God, “Please show me how I can help. How do you want me to help these people who think they can’t.”
And then a series of events happened.
First I was learning how to run online shows, and wanted to get better at speaking. So I booked a private session with a speaking coach. She said, “You have no problem with speaking, but you have a mom problem.”
That was when I realized how much impact my mom had on me.
Then as I got more into coaching, I learned how it was actually fear that had been holding me back, but fear is sneaky, it doesn’t show up as fear, it shows up as excuses and blame. And that was why I kept saying that if only I have more time, or more help!
It was through these events that led me down this path of coaching.
Coaching changed the way I treat myself. I learn to love myself more, and I am able to see deep potential within me.
Also, coaching strengthened the relationship I have with my husband.
We are able to communicate with each other better, and we have a deeper understanding and loving relationship with each other.
Coaching changed my world.
So many times, I come across people who feel trapped by their circumstances. They want to do more, but they believe that they have to take care of their kids or family, and they have to work, so they end up casting their dreams and desires off to the side.
And they feel miserable! All because they are not doing what they truly want.
This is where I come in. I want them to rediscover and acknowledge their dreams. I want them to be free to show up as who they are. I want them to have the courage to go after what they want, even when other people are disappointed in them, even when other people leave them. I want them to be able to stand up for themselves, powerfully and gracefully.
Because at the end of the day, if you don’t stand up for yourself, if you don’t go after what you want, no one will do that for you.
That is how I got into coaching. And if you believe that it’s time for you to be yourself and go after what you truly want. Then I would love for you to sign up for a free 60-min Jump Start conversation with me!
It’s never too late! And if you feel guilty because you feel like you're being selfish for giving yourself more time, look at it this way, you’ve been serving others for so long, you’ve always put other people first. You’ve paid your dues. Now it’s time for you!
Have you ever feel like you’re constantly doing things you don’t want to do?
Are you usually concerned about how other people will perceive you?
These are sign of people-pleasing tendencies.
Before I go in depth about people-pleasing, I’d like to share with you how it is developed.
People pleasing comes from how we interact with our parents (or caregivers)
While growing up, we are raised to believe that what other people do will cause us to have certain feelings. They could do things to hurt us, frustrate us, and make us feel powerless against them. (Which is not true, because it’s our thoughts that cause us the different emotions)
So in order to make ourselves feel better, we try to control other people’s actions.
It could come from a bigger power, where we yell, hit, nag, throw tantrums.
Or it could come from a silent power, where we change our behaviours to avoid certain reactions (like make other people angry)
If let’s say the parent is exerting a bigger power over their child, yelling loudly, physically hurting, or ignoring the child.
Because of the child doesn’t want to get hurt or abandoned, this child will alter their behaviours to protect themselves.
What happens is they will go against what they want, to “get on the good side of the parent”.
Through repeated training of this behaviour, this child will start believing that other people behave similarly to their parents.
So they continue this behaviour with other people, going against what they want to get other people to like them or accept them.
People-pleasing tendency is us changing our behaviours, and even denying who we are, to make other people like us, accept us, have good thoughts about us.
This is very important to understand!
I saw first hand how powerful this was when my son was 2 years old.
I remember my husband and I were trying to get him to do something he didn’t want to.
He started crying and screaming. I tried to explain to him that it was a suggestion, and explained why we suggested it, we even told him that he still gets to choose what he wants.
After he finished crying, he was still mad about it, and was still reluctant to the idea.
But he said, “FINE!” And he went ahead to do the thing he didn’t want.
What??? At the moment, I was thinking, “NOOO!! But that’s not what you want! You don’t have to do that now!”
Now for some parents, they may be wondering, what’s wrong that that? My kid is finally listening to me!
But for me, I was horrified because I saw him go against himself to do what I want.
Because for so long, I felt like I had to go against myself to do what my mom wanted!
So deep down, I really didn’t want him to follow what I say! I want him to make a decision based on what he wants and go after that!
I saw how a 2 yo brain has the ability to do this.
I witnessed the creation of people-pleasing tendency.
It’s consolidated through constantly following what your parents say, forgoing your desires, seeking for your parents approvals, to the point where, you no longer trust what you want deep inside. You have to turn to other people for their advice, do what they want, in order to earn their love.
That is why, if you’re a people-pleaser, you are very familiar with the feeling of not able to do what you want, or not able to show up as yourself.
I know this feeling well.
So what can you do about that.
So many of us want to stop people pleasing.
We feel trapped because we feel like we’re always doing things we don’t want, and yet we don’t know how to stop it.
As I mentioned before, when you people-please, it’s because in some way, you don’t want other people to dislike you or think bad thoughts about you.
So if you really want to stop this behaviour, I need you to hear this:
You have to be willing to feel very uncomfortable!
Here's why, because standing up for yourself is going to create A LOT of discomfort!
Are you ready to do this for yourself?
If you are, here are 3 steps to overcome people-pleasing:
1. Admitting to yourself what you really want.
Many times, because we’d been denied our own voices, we don’t even know what we want.
And it can be extremely hard to admit this for ourselves.
By admitting this, sometimes, our brains will tell us things like, “Well, isn’t that kind of selfish?” Or, “Why do you need that?”
But you need to do this first, which is to admit out loud what you want.
2. Find out what you're afraid will happen when you are true to yourself.
When you stop people-pleasing, there will be risks involved.
There is a risk that other people will get mad at you, and call you all sorts of names.
They’ll stop liking you and leaving you.
There is also a risk that you’ll feel guilty, or feel like you’re disappointing others.
So when you imagine standing up for yourself and going after what you want, what are you most afraid of?
3. We process the negative feelings.
Yes, we're scared of the above happening, but really, we're only scared of having the negative feelings.
So we learn to process the negative emotions.
Like the fear of getting hurt.
Or the feeling of guilt.
And even the fear of abandonment.
Once we are willing to face these emotions, then we will be able to have to capacity of standing up for ourselves.
Here’s the thing, maybe you ARE scared that the people you love will leave you.
But there is a price you're paying! You’re abandoning your truth self. You’re burying your desires, your dreams, YOURSELF alive!
Which pain is greater? Is it the pain of abandoning yourself? Or is it the pain of losing others.
Also, if you’re really hiding yourself, are other people really loving who you are? Or just a facade of you?
Here’s the good news!
People-pleasing is trained, which means, you can untrained this part of you.
So what do you really want?
Do you desire going after what you want and be true to yourself?
If you do, then I can help you with that!
I’d love to invite you to a free 60min Jump Start Conversation so we can figure out what exactly it is you want for you, and we can see how we can best work together.
Don’t let yourself have the regret of holding yourself back.
I am a big fan of journaling, and at the same time, I don’t do it consistently.
Here is something I learned, it’s ok, I still love myself! For so long I beat myself up for not being consistent.
I believe some people get scared of starting journaling because
1) they think that they have to write in it everyday, and they don’t know if they can do it, so they don’t start.
And 2) they don’t know what to write, so they don’t start.
If you can’t write in it everyday, it’s not a big deal! Just try to enjoy it when you do! The more you get to enjoy it and not put too much pressure on yourself, the more you'll find yourself journaling.
Nothing to stress about!
As to what to write, I’ll share with you how I do it, so you can pick and choose what works best for you!
Before I share that, why journal?
Let’s talk about what is the main reason why it’s good to journal.
For some people, they believe that journalling means to record the things that have happened in their lives. That was how I saw it before I started coaching.
Now, I use it to get to understand myself more. To see what exactly is in my head. It’s also a way for me to visualize my future self.
So I now use it more as a conversation with myself, to verbalize what's inside my brain so I can get to know myself more, and to build my future character.
How to start
When I sit down to do a “formal” journaling session, I break it down into 5 sections.
1. 5 min gratitude
2. 10 min thought download
3. 5 min unintentional thought model
4. 5 min intentional thought model
5. 5 min love letter from my future self to my present self
1. 5 min gratitude
I start off writing 5 min of things I’m grateful for in my life.
It doesn’t matter what it is, it can be as simple as having clean water to drink and take a bath with. I start listing out everything I am thankful for in my life.
2. 10 min thought download
I would either focus on a topic, like what do I think about how I’m doing in regards to my business, or how my relationship is like with a certain person.
Sometimes I just do a brain dump on why I’m feeling anxious, or whatever is on my mind.
It doesn’t matter what it is, I just write down whatever is in my head.
3. 5 min unintentional thought model
I would pick one sentence from the previous section, and I would see how this thought is creating my current feeling, actions and result in my life.
4. 5 min intentional thought model
I would then choose what result I want to create, or how I want to feel, and work backwards to figure out what thought I need to have.
5. 5 min Love letter from my future self to my present self.
This is the part where I drop into my future self, and ask what loving things she would like to say to the present self.
So that would be how I would write in my journal if I have about 30 min.
Crunch on time?
When I don't have a lot of time, I just ask myself what thoughts am I thinking about right now, and quickly dump it out of my head, and I’d ask myself, how would I like to show up? And what thoughts do I need to think right now
Which will be a very short 5 min journal entry.
If you’re planning to start journaling, and you find yourself stuck because you don’t know what to write about, or you’re concerned about not being able to follow through, I want to share this with you.
I beat myself up over this too, and it made me not want to write in it anymore, because it became a chore in itself! And who wants THAT?
Journalling is just a tool.
And if you think this is the most useful tool for you at the moment, or if you really want to write it at the moment, then go for it.
Otherwise, don’t beat yourself up for it .
Do it because it’s fun!
This happens to me almost every weekend:
My son being on the iPad for 3 hours
Me: “You’d been on it for too long, have to stop now.”
My son: *screaming and crying* “You don’t allow me to do anything!”
Me: “I’d let you watch for the last 3 hours!”
I’d try my best to calmly explain to him and help him deal with his emotions. But really, deep inside I just want to take the iPad away and tell him No More Watching!
And I wonder if I spoil my son too much, or if I’m too strict with him.
Have you ever had this happen before? Have you ever wonder why this is so triggering?
Here’s why; because you have this thought:
“I was never allowed to do that when I was young!”
Maybe your parents were strict, and never allowed you to do anything you wanted.
Maybe they hit you when you cross the line.
When they laid down the rules, that was the law and you had to follow.
There was no talking back at them, or questioning their authority.
So when you kid starts rebelling and testing their boundaries, it can be very triggering!
Because you weren’t allowed to do these things.
Tapping into what I want
Having my son really taught me what it means to tap into one’s desire.
Never did I once rebelled against my mom. Whatever my mom said was the “law”
And as much as it is frustrating to deal with my son when he has his tantrums, I’m actually very proud of him.
Because I want him to tap into what he wants and be able to use his voice to advocate for himself.
So many times, our desires were suppressed. When we want something, we get told No over and over.
We get told that what we want are not reasonable, that they aren’t going to make money, that they’re just a hobby, that they are just a waste of time.
I want my son to be able to admit to himself and be able to say, “this is what I want to do, this is how I’m going to make it work.” Without limits being placed around him.
I want him to be able to explore his own interests, so that his creativity can open up.
I want him to be able to trust what it is he wants, without second guessing himself, and not be persuaded by what other people say.
Which also means, I have to do that for me.
I have to tap into what I want, go after what I want, no matter what other people say about me.
So when I feel triggered now, I know it’s because there was a limit placed around me, and I have to break that.
Which means I have to keep asking myself where I am willing to draw the line, so that I can be comfortable with my son’s exploration and my own acceptance.
If this is something you’d like to explore, try a 30min free coaching session with me.
We can go through that and figure out how far you’re willing to push the limits, both for yourself (so you can learn to be more you), and for your kids.
Since November is National Gratitude Month, I want to dedicate this post to that.
I’m grateful for my husband, for doing so much for our family. Thank you for being the strong support that you are.
I’m grateful for my son, for showing me what it means to fight for the things you want, and for learning to understand other perspectives too.
I’m grateful for all the opportunities that come my way, this includes all the teachers in my life, all the wisdom I’m able to gain, and doors that open for me.
I’m grateful for all the toys, books, clothes and objects that were once in our lives. You have served us well, gave us the joy, protection, entertainment. Now I hope that you find a new home and bring the same to other kids.
I’m grateful for the job that I have, which supports our family, and gives me the means to expand my horizon.
I’m grateful for my parents, who had sacrificed themselves to offer me the security that I needed while growing up.
I’m grateful for my clients, who hold so much power within themselves, and are going after the impossible, to be the best version of themselves.
Last but not least, I’m grateful for myself. For my willingness to expand into a better version of myself everyday. For loving all the parts that I wasn’t fond of, or deemed unacceptable. For unlearning all the things I’d learned before, so I can shed the armour and skin to be more true to myself.
What about you? What are you grateful for?