How often do you find yourself making decisions, not based on what you truly want but on what you feel others expect of you?
Do you keep yourself within a societal or cultural box so you don’t draw attention to yourself or cause confrontations, even when you know it’s not authentically you?
Would you rather fly under the radar and keep playing small than risk judgment or criticism from others?
I see you.
We’ve all been there. And I wish I could tell you that everyone will support you and cheer you on when you step outside your comfort zone and follow your dreams. But that wouldn’t be the truth. What I can tell you is that you are capable of achieving all you could imagine and more, but only if you’re aligned with your purpose – your “why.” And not everyone is going to understand or be on board.
Comfort zone to growth zone
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” While there is some uncertainty around who said this first, this perfectly explains why no growth can take place unless we make changes. If you feel discontentment in your life or feel like something is missing, then something needs to change. The first step is getting out of your comfort zone to enter the growth zone.
Why do we stay in the comfort zone? More often than not, especially as women in the Asian community, we make our decisions based on what others think rather than what is actually right for us. We do what we feel we’re expected to do, based on years of societal and cultural expectations. And we do this to please our family, friends and even strangers, even if it’s not in alignment with who we truly are. You might find yourself thinking, “who am I to do things differently?” or that joy and fulfillment are reserved for a small portion of society who are “different” or “more deserving” than you.
Staying in your comfort zone, putting others first and being a people pleaser provides a level of certainty. You know that people will accept you and you’ll avoid any conflict. But when you’re not living in alignment with who you truly are and trusting your calling to a higher purpose, you will experience deflation, exhaustion and lose your zest for life. You will find yourself just existing rather than experiencing fulfillment and joy. Only when you step into uncertainty and leave your comfort zone will you enter the growth zone and start to embody your true self.
Get clear on what you want
Getting clear on what you want will give you the fuel and energy to propel you toward your dreams and goals, even in the face of the inevitable criticism you will face. What is your soul craving? What do you want from life? Think about where you’d like to be 1, 5 and 10 years in the future if it was entirely up to you and no other opinions mattered. Don’t think about what your family or friends would think. It’s only you.
What truly lights you up and brings you joy? Only when you’re very specific and clear with what you want can you begin to manifest it in your life. If you had everything you wanted, what would it feel like? Tapping into the feeling and letting it fill you up will help you get motivated to start making changes in your life. And this isn’t going to happen overnight. But having this clarity is essential before you move forward so you don’t quickly fall back into old patterns. Because you know it’s worth it to put in the work, and push through the discomfort to find the purpose on the other side.
Living our truth – unapologetically
I want to talk about how this clarity has helped me handle conflicts in my own journey toward fulfillment. If you’ve been keeping up with me, then you’ll know that I recently followed a calling to embark on a nomadic path! I sold my place and quit my corporate job at the beginning of 2022, and I have been traveling since. And now that I’ve been at it for quite a few months, I am noticing certain judgments and triggers in people when they hear about how I’m doing the “nomad lifestyle.”
Often when you hear the word “nomad,” you attach it to van life, staying in hostels and living out of a small backpack. But I’ve chosen to do it MY way. I stay in hotels (4* if I can, and if it has a spa…even better!). I value safety, comfort, convenience, and treating myself once in a while. But many people have questioned my “nomadism” since it’s outside the box of what most people define as a nomad. I’ve even had people tell me, “I’m only kind of doing it” (the nomad life). But ultimately, I’m living in alignment with my purpose and doing what makes ME feel good. I’m doing it for ME, not for anyone else.
You’ll likely face similar scenarios on your journey to live authentically and in alignment, especially if you’ve been suppressed for most of your life. You may shock people with your decisions, and many will voice their opinions on your choices. But these “rules” and “definitions” of what is normal or expected are written from experiences in the past. We are living in the now, and we get to live according to our own definitions. You need to have the confidence, security and trust to call your life whatever you want to, regardless of what others may say (and I know this is easier said than done).
When you undervalue yourself and live a false existence that isn’t your true self you are putting up a magnetic barrier that repels abundant energy. You will never be able to receive abundance until you believe you deserve it, and start to live authentically. I invite you all to OWN IT. Live according to your values and what lights you up. Live in your own truth, and don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re “doing it wrong” because if you’re in alignment with yourself, then you’ll always be doing it right.
You don’t need to do it alone
Although not everyone from your past will be your cheerleader, that doesn’t mean that living your truth means doing it alone. In fact, you might be surprised at how many people are supportive of your motivation to shift your mindset and live in alignment with your purpose.
I know that for years I felt called to travel, but I was fearful of what my parents and family would think. Asian families are very close, and I was worried everyone would think I was a bad daughter and was abandoning my family. But fast-forward to now, and I’m living a fulfilled life full of travel and adventure while maintaining a strong relationship with my parents at the same time!
When you trust your purpose and start embracing who you are, unapologetically, you will send out a different vibration. And this vibration will attract new people into your circle who are also following their intuitive compass and living in alignment. They will become your new support network, who you can learn from and grow with.
And lastly, you’ve got me. Having been through this journey myself, I am here to support you every step of the way. We can create a roadmap together to help you get clear on what you want, and implement tangible steps to get there. No matter what your current barriers are, you can overcome them. As long as you’re committed to your growth and give yourself the permission to just be YOU, regardless of what others may think, you can find fulfillment and achieve your dreams.