You don’t have to look for strength to create your own path somewhere else. You are your own source of power. In this episode, Kat Nieh reminds us that we can fight our internal bullies, look within, and recognize that we have all the answers to live our dream life. Taking chapters 2.1 and 2.2 from her book, she shares the biggest lessons she has learned with regards to seeking guidance and paving your life path. Know how to satisfy your burning desire as Kat shows you the way in this episode.
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[ Episode 12 ] 2.1 You Are Your Own Source + 2.2 It’s Ok To Create Your Own Path
This episode is taken from my book, Dear Workaholics, which you can get through Amazon either as a physical copy if you enjoy physically turning the pages of a book or the digital version so you can carry my book wherever you go.
We are starting part two, which I have called “Looking Within”. The reason why I named it that is because through my journey of finding myself again, I realized the importance of self-reflection and finding the answer from within me.
Here is a personal letter I wrote to start off this part of the book:
Have I told you lately how awesome you are? You can never hear that too often. You’re pretty awesome. You are the kind of awesome that inspires others to be awesome as well. You are changing the role around you in your own way through your own gifts, but you don’t need to hear that from me. It’s always nice to get some outside feedback but no, I’m not the one who needs to remind you of that. The only person in the whole world that you need to hear the words “you’re awesome” from is you.
If you’re unable to tell this to yourself, you won’t be able to truly take it in when you hear it from others. Compliments are beautiful gifts of gratitude, appreciation, and kindness. Graciously accept them and receive the gift. Most importantly, you know yourself the most and you know in fact that there is a whole bunch of awesomeness in there. Don’t let your internal bully tell you otherwise.
It is time, my dear workaholics, to own your awesomeness. It is time to look within and recognize that you have all the answers within you and you have the power to live your dream life. It is that simple. Let your internal bully know that you are no longer available to being down. You are no longer willing to play small and hide yourself. It is time for you first and foremost to show yourself a whole lot of appreciation and compassion because in doing so, you allow your awesomeness to shine.
You’ve got this, my Dear Workaholics, and I will be here to cheer and celebrate with you along the way.
I want to highlight the internal bully part of this letter because without a doubt we all have our own internal bully within us—that is constantly pushing us, putting us down, or injecting insecurity in whatever it is that we are doing or thinking. How does our internal bully come up with the content to put us down? It is composed of all the old judgment and adopted voices that we’ve heard from other people in our past. Yes, all those things that you constantly hear from your internal bully come from some source and your past, either an event or what someone had said to you. It becomes something that your subconscious mind took in and is repeating it back to you. Everyone’s internal bully is different and it knows exactly which buttons to push to get you down. That is only if you choose to listen to your internal bully. The question is do you stand up to your internal bully and say no?Everyone else could tell you what you should do or could do or need to do, but only you know yourself and what's truly right for you. Click To Tweet
Let’s continue with chapter 2.1, which is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned and it is called “You Are Your Own Source.”
“Growing up, I was taught and kept on thinking that the answers were outside of me. Someone else had the answer and I needed to find and ask the right person. And I did. I filled the void of my time working with so much learning. I sought to break myself down to the foundation and build myself back up again. I attended multiple and overlapping personal development courses and programs, eighteen to be exact within twelve months. I hired multiple coaches all at once. I was a workaholic for a startup. I could handle anything. Bring it on. I want it as much information as I can get my hands on. I completely redirected my passion for my job to me.
In this process, I learned so much about myself and have grown into a much better person. The most important lesson in all of it was the one that I truly had to learn. I had all of the answers within me. I needed to take a pause, get quiet and listen. That was quite the challenge as I was so used to running full speed ahead with my noise-canceling headphones on, tuning into one station only, work.
I sought every opportunity possible to help my new foundation grow stronger. At one point, I hired eight coaches to simultaneously work on all aspects of me: mentally, spiritually, physically, with relationships, in business, financially. Did you notice that there aren’t eight categories listed there? I had some overlap, but they give me a variety of perspectives. Have you ever met anyone that was working with eight coaches all at once? I was working just as hard on myself as I had been in my previous career. Once again, I repeated my pattern of spreading myself so thin but honestly, I wasn’t able to fully leverage them in the way I should have. Juggling all those coaches across my schedule was overwhelming but it was a pattern I recognize so well. It felt so good. Not only because it oddly provided a sense of comfort, but I got so much of the wisdom I absolutely needed at that time.
I was embarking on a journey that I felt no one else understood. There weren’t that many people I could talk to about what I was going through. The only problem with what I was doing was that I was looking outside of myself for all the answers. I’m not going to stop taking courses or hiring coaches because I still have so much more to learn. While I feel their advice is invaluable, I’ve learned that I always look within myself for the final say. I know myself better than my coaches, my friends and my family. If I know myself the most, why would I solely depend on an outside source to build my life? That was what I was looking to do when I first left my job but now, I only look outside myself to gather extra knowledge and support in order for me to make the final say and decision.”
That is the end of chapter 2.1.
What I wanted to add to this chapter is that we’ve been trained and it’s probably been ingrained in us to seek guidance from our elders or people who had the experience that we’re seeking to do ourselves. We have been trained to look for and find this outside validation or approval. Especially if you’re insecure or have doubts about something, that need for outside validation becomes so strong.
That’s the lesson I had to learn. I spent a lot of money and a lot of time to come to this understanding that I am my own source. I have the answers within me if I was willing to listen. Tune in to your own thoughts and your own feelings that arise from your heart and your gut. That wisdom is within all of us and no matter how much you search outside of yourselves, you will come to the realization that you had it within you this entire time. You had to be willing to shut out those internal voices for a moment and listen.
Everyone else could tell you what you should do or could do or need to do, but only you know yourself and that’s truly right for you. When I was planning on leaving my job, I definitely had naysayers around me questioning my decision. When I planned to take a year off and not look for another job immediately, I received looks and words of doubt as well. When I decided to put aside my graphic design degree to start something new, that was also met with people who thought it wasn’t a good idea especially since I didn’t know what that’s something new was yet. Ultimately, it’s always about finding the right balance when to listen to others and taking their advice and when to tell them, “No, thanks. I appreciate your concern but I got this.”
Let’s continue on more about that in chapter 2.2 which I’ve called “It’s Okay to Create Your Own Path”.
“In many ways, I’ve always listened to myself, have followed my own path. Even though I did start off with a fairly traditional route of attending college and getting a job, I carved out my own detours and routes that went against the norm for my family. My dad wanted me to major in computer science in college. Even though this was something I could do, my brain didn’t naturally work in this way. It felt forced. I hated sitting in front of my computer and debugging for hours on end.
One thing I did love doing while sitting in front of my computer for hours was designing. Yes, I wanted to be a graphic designer instead. I already knew this in high school and secretly taught myself. Why? Because even though I was artistic (thanks, mom, for passing that onto me), I chose a career direction that my parents didn’t understand. They thought I would become a starving artist.Compliments are beautiful gifts of gratitude, appreciation, and kindness. Graciously accept them and receive the gift. Click To Tweet
Since UC Berkeley didn’t have a graphic design department and my parents couldn’t bear me leaving a prestigious college for art school, we struck a deal. Once I graduated, I could do anything I wanted afterwards. I was good with that compromise as it meant that I’d eventually get what I wanted. I was taking a detour and that was okay as I could still learn and gain something along the way.
I graduated with a legal studies degree. When other people asked me which law school I was going to, to their surprise, I responded with, “I’m going to art school.” I was still insistent and graduating from college just strengthened my resolve. My parents tested my resolve again by making me study abroad in China to broaden my perspective. After completing that condition, I once again insisted on art school. Instead of waiting for them to suggest another alternative, I dragged them to an open house tour of the art school I wanted to go to. They finally gave in after gaining more insight into the field and succumbing to my persistence.
Why was I so strong in my conviction even when I was offered other alternative opportunities to do otherwise? Because I was strong with my intention. I knew what I wanted and I didn’t let go. At that time in my life, I knew the graphic design was right for me. It allowed me to be creative and it was also a financially viable career that I knew I would excel in. I had to push the boundaries of what my parents believed in to get what I wanted. By sticking to your guns, you’re telling and showing the universe and the people around you what you want and what you won’t settle for. You’ll be approached by shiny distractions and challenging obstacles but those are only testing your resolve. If you want it badly enough, you’ll prevail. Trust and hold on to that dream or desire of yours.”
That is the end of chapter 2.2.
One of the key points to the success that the author Napoleon Hill wrote in his book “Think and Grow Rich” he says that you need to have a burning desire, a desire so strong that you believe will happen no matter what. No matter what challenges or failures you face in the process, your burning desire will get you through them until you achieve your goal. You want that burning desire so much that you won’t give up easily. You’ll strengthen your resolve with each challenge. You don’t care what other people think or are even tempted by any alternative opportunities that could distract you from that burning desire. From my chapter, that is what it was for me. Becoming a graphic designer was my burning desire. I wanted to be in that field to be creative but also leverage my technical side of doing it on the computer.
It was amazing what I’ve learned and what I’ve done because of that. Desires are something I talk about frequently in this book. I’ve talked about them in previous episodes and I call them outrageous desires. You’ll learn even more about them in later chapters. My Dear Workaholics, do you have any of these burning desires that Napoleon Hill describes? This burn could be a small kindle right now. It could be a thought. If you feel it more with your intention, it will definitely grow. Give it your attention by thinking about it and dreaming about it. Let your imagination go wild to make your desires so vivid as if it is currently happening to you and you’ve achieved it. I had fun with this. Be like a little kid again and dream.
Until next time, you got this.