You don’t always have to go along with what society and culture tells you to do. You should live your own life and seek out the unknown. In this episode, Kat Nieh reminds us that we can still live happy and fulfilling lives despite going against societal and cultural norms. Taking chapters 2.2 and 2.3 from her book, she shares the biggest revelations in her life with regards to seeking to build a life she truly wanted and following her heart despite what others tell her.
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[EPISODE 13] – 2.3 Even If It’s Against Societal And Cultural Norms
I am sharing with you Chapter 2.3 from my book, Dear Workaholics. Here is Chapter 2.3: Even if it’s against societal or cultural norms. “I pushed my parents’ boundaries again when I left my job. I also transitioned my career into another field that they didn’t understand again. However, something different happened this time around. Not only did I not need their financial support, I also wasn’t seeking their approval either. Why was I so strong in my conviction? Because I knew I had the answer within me. I broke traditional and the social norm and went for what I wanted again. I trusted myself. I had faith and confidence in my own direction. I’m meant to do more in my life even though I didn’t know the whole picture yet. I believe it with my whole being. My graphic design experience was providing me the foundation I needed for the next stage of my life. It wasn’t too late. I was just getting started.
Let’s dive deeper into my latest decision. Leaving my job and taking a year off was a big deal. It was very unusual for me, for my family and for society overall. It’s not common to walk away from a stable, high paying job with great benefits, not to mention leaving stocks on invested as a woman, as an Asian or someone in her mid-30s. Adding to this rarity, I also walked away with intention to seek an unknown new career path. Seriously, who does that? I don’t know anyone else who did. I learned this word, Nefelibata, which is Portuguese for Cloud Walker. It means someone who lives in the cloud of their own imagination or dreams or someone who is unorthodox and lives outside preconceived boxes. I realized that is who I had become. I broke societal and cultural norms to follow my heart and build a life that I truly wanted for myself. Others around me remained at the jobs, got married, bought houses, had kids and lived the life we were all taught we should have. I do want all that but on my own terms and timeline.Thrive by living your dream life and doing what feeds your soul, what makes you happy, and what fulfills you. Click To Tweet
The interesting thing is that I don’t regret any part of it. I am so grateful that my journey had led me on numerous adventures and allowed me to see so much of the world. I took calculated and sometimes impulsive risks to courageously live out of my comfort zone, to travel alone, to go to cities and countries I’ve never seen before and to immerse myself in foreign environments. I didn’t have any role models in my situation. I had to forge my own path. I searched for answers along the way. Essentially, I traveled the world to recover from burnout and to fulfill my outrageous desires purely out of my own determination and strong intentions. From all this external searching, it finally dawned on me that all my answers were within me this entire time. That was a big moment for me.
My inner child had to grapple with the concept, ‘You mean adults don’t always have the answers?’ Searching for the answers elsewhere just showed me the necessity of working on myself internally. I had to change my mindset and how I perceived the world. I had to address and resolve my negative preconceptions and beliefs that are holding me back. I had to cultivate the ability to listen to my own heart and intuition. I had to give myself permission to walk my own path and find my own voice no matter how unorthodox it was. It didn’t matter if anyone else understood why I was doing what I was doing as long as I did it for myself. ‘Kat, how do you start listening? Kat, I’m listening but I’m still so confused.’ I hear you. All this takes practice, patience and the willingness to have an open mind.
There are so many competing theories and voices in your head and outside of it too. Between the voice of societal norms and the voice of childhood lessons learned, the voice of fear, the voice of, ‘See? I told you so,’ and all the other voices unique to you, sometimes it can be hard to cut through the noise to hear the real you. Patience, my Dear Workaholics. Continue on with this book and podcast and I’ll dive into how to fine-tune your listening. Believe me, when you do, you will find your answers. It will always come from within you. It’s okay if it feels lonely and illogical at times. I experienced that as well in all my journey.You have one life to live. Don't waste it living someone else's expectations for you. Click To Tweet
I’ve discovered super supportive friends both old and new. I’ve met many others who have also taken the road less traveled. They all forged their own distinct path to build their dreams. For all those people I’ve met who told me they wish they could do what I did, they gave me their seedlings of hope that I carried with me to keep me going. Through my own perseverance and determination, I can show others that it is absolutely possible and you can be that for others as well.” That is the end of Chapter 2.3.
All those voices I talked about in this chapter, it’s exactly the same content that feeds your inner bully, which gives it the ability to push your buttons or causes you to hold yourself back and play small. The thing is, I don’t want you to hate those voices though and don’t shut them out completely. Sometimes those voices need to be heard. Some of those voices do come up because they care. They want you to survive but I want you to not only just survive but to thrive. Thrive by living your dream life. Thrive by doing what feels your soul, what makes you happy and what fulfills you. You have this one life to live. Don’t waste it living someone else’s expectations for you. Don’t get held up on what society tells you. Don’t let the culture you grew up in limit your dreams. Break free from those chains and step into what you desire out of life. I know we all have responsibilities regardless. That’s part of life as well but know that you can handle those responsibilities and live your dream life.
You have to be willing to imagine a different way of life and a different way of doing things. There are absolutely other people in the world who have done it for sure. Seek to learn from them, mold their learnings and apply them to your life. The thing is, the old pattern of life and what we’ve all been fed to believe in comes from the beliefs of a much older generation where life was really different than what it is now. You have advanced. You have evolved beyond that. There are so much more opportunities nowadays for you to do something new, to take on a different path and carve out your dream life in your own way. You have to be willing to break the mold, break the patterns and break free of your own limiting beliefs. You can do it. You can thrive. You just have to believe in yourself and get started. Until next time, you got this. Sincerely, Kat.