Many of you (us included) are drawn to stories of 'success'; busy women who are able to juggle multiple roles & responsibilities in life and seem to 'have it all together'. Do they?
AWARENESS. ACTION. IMPACT.
We had the privilege of hearing from our inspiring panelists who are tapping on their resourcefulness to explore multiple interests - to be their best selves and live their most fulfilled lives. Yet, just like you, they have their moments of 'self-esteem issues' and limiting beliefs...
More importantly, how do they identify some of the limiting beliefs, shift their mentality, and overcome barriers that may hold them back - to take that leap to the next level?
- Meaghan See, Lawyer by day; Boutique Fitness Instructor at WeBarre & Anthem Indoor Cycling; PUMA Ambassador; The Busy Woman Project Ambassador
- Alex Tran, Head of Marketing Technology & Operations at Grab; Wingsuiter; DJ; Lululemon Ambassador
- Natalie Yeo, Finance Professional; Fitness Influencer (@nattylifts); Under Armour Athlete; BrocnBells.com Ambassador
- Dylan Goddard - Athlete; Head Coach at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar; Reebok Ambassador
- Moderated by: Jaslyn Koh, Founder of The Busy Woman Project and BrocnBells.com; Lululemon Ambassador; Former Investment Banker
Although The Busy Woman Project is women-focused, we are strong believers of including men in our conversations, especially those that are in positions to foster environments for both men AND women to thrive.
Takeaways: Knowledge for Keeps
Balancing two side hustles in addition to your day job as a lawyer, what are self limiting beliefs to you and have you ever doubted yourself?
Post graduating from college in the US, Meaghan continued to be passionate about fitness and placed it as a priority in her lifestyle. "Doing what you love" After coming back to Singapore, she took on a role as a front-of-house at a boutique fitness studio. Upon her family's requests for her to take on a full-time role in the field which she completed her studies in - law - Meaghan was determined to work her non-negotiable loves around her day job...
Self limiting beliefs, to Meaghan, are essentially fears that may be holding you back - but, by discovering & standing firm to what matters to her the most allows her to push past any self-doubts or concerns raised by family, friends, peers.
Knowing what's important to her and the satisfaction & purpose she derives from instructing continues to motivate Meaghan to juggle not just one, but two side hustles.
And, just like any of us who fear standing in front of a crowd, Meaghan felt the same way too. When asked how she felt before publicly teaching in front of a class for the 1st time, she shared her relatable experience of opting for liquid courage (taking a shot before class) and going for it!
On her evening wind-down ritual after a day of busy schedules: "I'm usually so tired so I crash and fall right asleep once I'm tucked in, but I always spend some time listening to music (also for my class playlists) while reading random stuff. Tonight's reading is on derivatives...which should put me right to bed very quickly."
Go for what drives you - what you really feel passionate about.
Take baby steps. Breaking down a big goal into little actions makes the same process seem more achievable.
Getting comfortable being uncomfortable. What is the mindset you possess to keep pushing boundaries?
At first glance, Alex's profile is one that definitely combines a good blend of career, academic & out-of-work personal success. However, his journey has not always been smooth-sailing. Just a couple of years ago, he experienced being broke. Having been put in that position and coming out of those circumstances, Alex is now determined to approach life with greater strength & grit.
The mindset he chose to adopt: "If I came out of that, whatever I'm doing now, I can definitely pull through." A mindset of resilience. The whole concept of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Embracing failure as part and parcel of life i.e. shifting perspectives and learning how to be ok with failure.
When wingsuiting (yes, those "birdman / bat / flying squirrel suits") in mid-air or DJ-ing in front of large crowds, Alex trains his mind to stay calm amidst chaos, to be fully present - the essence of yoga off the mat or moving mindfulness / meditation. This is especially critical - to practice conscious movement - when he's jumping from thousands of feet, as a small tweak of his foot can mean a whole flip when he's up in the air.
In addition to the circumstances Alex lived through, another reason he attributes his 'adrenaline junkie' mindset is to his upbringing & mom - Alex's mom is a professional musician and as a child, he used to accompany his mom on stage.
Having said that, Alex points out that his goals and mindset is also changing with age, where he starts to be more concerned about the sustainability of the activities he takes on, as well as to be aware of the potential impacts they have on his body.
On his evening wind-down ritual after a day of busy schedules: "I track my sleep quality using an app - Sleep Cycle - to make sure I’m optimizing my sleep so I'll do things based off that e.g. not looking at work emails right before I go to bed or reading before I go to bed to take my mind off. Generally, I try to do things for myself - whether that’s watching Netflix or meditating."
- Build your mental strength & resilience. Remind yourself and hold on to the thought that what you seek is within you. Know that your mind is more powerful than you think - the power of the mind!
“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” - Muhammad Ali
- Taking action and realizing you can reach milestones. These small achievements help instil confidence in self.
Stepping out of your comfort zone as a public figure - with your life on social media.
Social media influencers, KOLs (key opinion leaders), fitness / fashion / lifestyle bloggers are often associated with perfect lives. Yet, what's often not discussed is the negative comments, criticisms that an individual faces when he/she puts her life on public display, as well as the courage required.
Natalie's fitness journey is closely interlinked with her partner's, Josh. She started going to the gym with him, trained almost daily, when Josh challenged her and posed this question: "What are you training for?" She later decided to sign up for a bikini bodybuilding competition, where she was requested by the organizers of the contest to create a social media account. At that point in time, it was the first time she was stepping on stage in a bikini to a panel of judges & audience - with her body being scrutinized...
Naturally, insecurities and self-doubts about her body image surrounded her. Nevertheless, through that process and looking at the positives of her experience & journey, Natalie realized how several individuals were actually inspired by her process and engaging her online with questions. With that, she continued her social media profile, hoping to use it as a platform to make a difference & touch others through fitness - showing that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is possible whilst climbing up the corporate ladder in her finance day job.
"Am I good enough?" Even till today, and when presented with the opportunity to be on our panel, Natalie raised this question and struggled with herself & her confidence for a moment - but, she still pushed through and spoke to share her experiences with the audience.
On how she deals with others' judgements, she admits that she was affected by people's opinions at first; but later learnt to accept the fact that people are entitled to their opinions. As long as she knows that she is driven by purpose & inspiring others – "once you look past that, you realize it doesn’t matter."
On her evening wind-down ritual after a day of busy schedules: Nat admits that this sounds counterproductive, but sometimes "I spend the night just "catching up" with everyone's lives via social media, looking at their Instagram stories about what they were up to during the day. Other times, the usual stuff like Netflix."
Nat also sticks to a routine of showering then slathering on moisturizer, turning the room lights to warmer lighting/turning off unnecessary lights, to help her wind down and prepare for bed. She recently stumbled into aromatherapy and is trying out to see how that works for her.
"I also have to be honest, and I hate to say this, but I'm a very bad sleeper! I've a bad habit of thinking about all the things I need to do, even right before bed. But I have been trying to avoid that by keeping a "to-do" list, which kinda helps me keep my mind off thinking about a whole bunch of stuff. I've thought about curling up in bed for about an hour with a good book just before bed, but I really haven't had the time 😂."
Having a strong support system
Mantra: "I can just try." Just be willing to try and be willing to do it.
Consciously & radically accelerating our performance in our own lives!
Dylan is the top CrossFit athlete in Singapore. How does he consistently strive to be at his personal best, and what are the steps he takes to keep reaching new peaks?
In addition to visualizing his end goal of winning & success, this South African brought up the concept of "the flow state" (which can be trained & mastered!) - a concept raised by Steven Kotler in his book, The Rise of Superman. This was likened to being "in the zone"; while you're doing work, writing music, or perhaps, dancing.
According to Dylan, with regards to your workouts, research and science has also shown that lactic acid is actually a form of energy i.e. you can get used to pain, and keep pushing on.
As a Head Coach at his box, Dylan constantly works on his personal development & invests in self to be a role model to his team & clients. When asked what are some of the common limiting beliefs he sees in individuals, they include: insecurities about their bodies & abilities, as well as the fear of getting injured / hurt. In this regard, a lot of his coaching is about understanding the client and building trust - for him to understand their triggers, for them to be comfortable with him, and trust the process.
On his evening wind-down ritual after a day of busy schedules: To be honest, I mostly “Netflix and Chill”, something light hearted that doesn’t take too much brain work normally does the trick."
- Know your why. Establish the reason you’re getting into something. When things get tough, go back to the reason to why you started.
To read more thought pieces on Overcoming Limiting Barriers, click here.
Which actionable step do you find the most useful? Are there other tips you use to take that leap of faith? Share with us! Drop us a note at: [email protected].
Taking Action and Overcoming Limiting Beliefs Preventing You from Investing - with StashAway
Most of us have received a high level of education, but because financial education is hardly taught in schools, so many of us aren't financially literate! ETFs. Equities. Bonds. Diversification. Where should you start?
In comparison to Uganda, which has "the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs in the world, with 90.5% of women borrowing and saving money to start a business."
Financial literacy and having good financial health is especially important for us women because living longer means having to save more for retirement; the gender pay gap results in weaker earning power; having to drop out of the workforce for a variety of reasons including to take care of young kids or aging parents, potentially means zero income during those periods.
In the Asian context, some societal and cultural norms prevail:
- Threading on the conservative end of the spectrum, we have one of the highest savings rates.
- Money talk is frowned upon - "Don't ask, don't tell".
- The man brings home the bacon, and the woman takes care of the home & the family.
(Please don't get too worked up, we've obviously simplified these stereotypes and you may or may not identify with them.)
In most Asian countries, nobody seems to want to discuss money matters and so, you don't feel like it is socially acceptable to ask the questions you want to ask - even to your closest friends & family. With google as the next resort, how should the busy woman navigate the vast amount of information online?
An open dialogue with Rachel and Philipp from StashAway got the community asking questions and discussing how cultural aspects affect how we talk (or not talk about) money matters...
"My partner takes care of the finances." Most of us were brought up in a family where dad was the main/sole breadwinner, and we were taught that you just need to get married and your partner will provide. Don't squirm, whether culturally influenced or not, this is very real. With dual income families/partnerships being the norm nowadays, us women should manage our individual finances and learn how to be financially independent, or at least have some knowledge of what is happening to the family's finances. [email protected]#* happens, you don't want to be in for a rude shock.
Relationship practical goals: Sit down together at least once a year and set your annual goals, budgets, etc. Quarterly check-ins are a healthy practice to help keep the both of you on the same page.
"I have no idea what investing is, and so I just leave my money in a savings account at the bank (or under my pillow)." Jargons and complexities of investment products available are off-putting. However, with inflation rate exceeding the typical interest rates one gets from your savings account - it is probably wise to start thinking about how to make your hard-earned money work for you. You do want to get to those goals you've set for yourself, yes? (Yes, we are talking about those luxury apartments, beach houses, travel vacations, jewellery, etc ;))
What is risk and return? How is this determined by your investment horizon? The amount of time that you can put your money aside, is one of the factors of how much risk you can take! Get familiar with some basic terms and perhaps, you'll find the idea of investing less intimidating!
"What makes a goal, a goal?" We all have plans for the future, whether it is going back to school, starting a family, buying a house, etc. But what differentiates a goal from an idea?
Find out how much your goal will cost, so you can plan and set a budget for your current and future expenses to accommodate your goal. Or, take a reality check and rework your goal.
If you aren't already, start being comfortable talking about money, with your family and your friends. Get advice from trusted sources, or at the very least, find out what people are doing, familiarize yourself with basic terms, so you can also decide for yourself what might be suitable for you in comparison to the different goals and circumstances others might be in.
If no one around you seems to no what they are doing, seek professional help/advice. Get a second opinion if you think they're trying to sell you something that may not be suitable for you.
Overcome your limiting beliefs by gaining knowledge, and make an educated decision. Wouldn't you do the same for your physical health? Start small, and think sustainable.
There are multiple ways to reach your goals. An example would be starting a side hustle to increase the money you can set aside to invest/grow.
Develop a healthy relationship with money, it is neither your enemy nor your goal. Treat it for what it is, a tool for you to explore your passions comfortably and to live the life that you desire!
Would you like to hear more about topics concerning your financial health? Drop us a note at: [email protected].