The conscious movement in Hong Kong is growing among lifestyle expat groups and locals – from zero waste influencer-led movements to eco living platforms to conscious festivals like Green is the New Black and sustainable fashion, beauty brands pop-up, The Conscious Collective.
What does conscious living mean to you? Whether you are looking to positively impact the environment in a sustainable manner, foster supporting communities in developing nations or simply, make conscious decisions, adopt conscious consumption habits & live your most fulfilled lives (and hopefully inspire other people around you to do so), investing in yourself and having a healthy mind and body is critical to leading a conscious lifestyle; and having that belief that you can make a difference. When our cup overflows, we have plenty to give to everyone.
“I’m just one person. How can I make a difference?”
Often times, we struggle with our own personal self-limiting beliefs and weaknesses. Once we consciously or unconsciously label / ‘pigeonhole’ ourselves, this then defines what we and others expect of us – perhaps, providing us with an excuse to stay within our comfort zones…
Our focus today will thus be on building your awareness or consciousness on certain self limiting beliefs or subconscious biases that may be holding you back from reaching your potential - and what YOU can do to push past those boundaries!
AWARENESS. ACTION. IMPACT.
We had the privilege of hearing from our inspiring panelists on self-limiting beliefs - how they push past boundaries, as well as ways to address barriers that may affect you.
- Cam Kui, Cancer Survivor; Corporate Communications at Credit Suisse; Founder & Yoga Instructor at CorpYoga; The Busy Woman Project Ambassador
- Johnny Tieu, Global Ambassador of Spartan Race; Nike Trainer; BrocnBells.com SweatMaster
- Tricia Yap, Founder of Warrior Academy; Director of Fitness at Goji Studios; Former MMA fighter; TEDx Speaker
- Dr. Katie T. Larson, PhD, Growth and Transformation Coach; Founder of GrowthQuests; TEDx Speaker
- 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
What are self limiting beliefs and are you conscious of them?
“I was inspired to start CorpYoga to share a big passion and lifestyle of mine after being diagnosed with cancer. Looking back, from the start of generating the plan to build a community, to actually getting down and creating the brand, I kept the idea very quiet and to myself. Knowing myself, I was conscious of the fact that I can be easily discouraged by people who speak to me about potential red flags of creating a new brand.
The entrepreneurial / side-hustle journey has been and still is pretty emotional. When I was going through tough times such as not having anyone sign up to a class, or having my cold-call emails ignored and ideas rejected, this led to a lot of self-doubt. Was I doing the ‘right’ thing? Do people like me?
I was so concerned about pleasing others; it created a lot of insecurities in my head. Some weeks were so dark that I wanted to just give up and continue my 9-6 corporate job. But I know that it was just myself limiting my own beliefs…”
Growing up as a minority race in South Africa, it was always tough for Cam to think that she was good enough to be in the same class or team as her fellow white classmates. She constantly questioned herself if she was ever going to be as smart or as successful.
What she learnt from all the setbacks and challenges, however, was how to break free from her own limiting beliefs – the thoughts that prevent you from reaching your dreams and successes. The only person who can set your limit is yourself.
Strive for whatever your passion is and follow your calling – aligning what you want to achieve with your purpose helps you stay persistent and focused when faced with challenges; not giving up when times are tough and keep going in the face of rejections & failures.
At the workplace: Don’t be afraid to assert yourself to your boss and draw a boundary that matters to you; Be open in your communication about what you do with your time and what matters to you.
Have a great support system and community – Cam benefitted from having friends, bosses and students who have supported her all the way.
What is your athletic view on reaching goals and constantly getting yourself out of your comfort zone to attain new peaks?
Johnny came from a finance background in New York City and quit his role in search of something more fulfilling for his soul – something that can support and bring positivity to others. He did not have everything figured out…travelled and still maintained very active, then chanced upon a fitness consultant & trainer role in Hong Kong through his networks…and has never looked back!
Today, he’s one of the top trainers in the city and a Global Spartan Race Ambassador, flying around the region to compete in the growing obstacle course racing space. On whether he has ever doubted if he were good enough to compete in the races, Johnny had his own fair share of concerns, but believes in building up one’s confidence through doing something and taking action – taking the small steps. Even if you don’t hit a small goal, acknowledge the attempt and lesson you’ve learnt. Then, work consistently towards your goal and listen to your body. Don’t be complacent and keep at it!
When asked what goes through his mind when he’s pushing for that last set on the air bike, hill sprints, burpees challenge, treadmill… Johnny spaces out and finds quietness amidst the pain. First, he focuses on breathing, breaks his goal down to smaller, achievable steps, then starts counting down. Johnny also adopts a positive mindset, switching his mentality from ‘this sucks’ to one of ‘happiness’; and feels a sense of pleasure& celebrates small achievements when he sees improvements.
Break your goals down to small, little steps; and take action.
Perspectives – switching the way you think and training the way you view challenges.
Practice mindfulness and focusing on breathwork.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable with the work you do.
Tricia went from being a management consultant, to a MMA fighter in the ring, to a business owner & strength coach at Warrior Academy and the Director of Fitness at gym chain Goji Studios (currently, she has a baby on the way!!). She first came to Hong Kong as a partially trailing spouse, later went through a failed marriage and was once at a stage when getting out of bed was enough for the first 3 months after her divorce.
Having experienced failures, challenges, moving across various roles and bouncing back time and time again, Tricia shared some tips on how she steps out of her comfort zones and her journey of recovery, success and redemption after life knocked her down.
She was once told that the Chinese character for crisis is the same as opportunity. Tricia highlights the importance of getting lost, as well as to always look inwards, as success and failure is how YOU define them i.e. you need to be at peace with self and find what’s right or enough for you at that point in time.
Offset your fears & excuses with this 10-min activity. Read more
Define what success and failure means to you.
At the workplace: Make mindful decisions to voice out any concerns or feasibility issues that may not be in alignment with your beliefs / values from the start to your stakeholders.
Freeing yourself from limiting barriers!
Katie told the story of a tiger that grew up amongst a flock of sheep, and believed that it was indeed a sheep. It was only when another tiger brought it to see its reflection in a pond when it was able to let out a loud “ROAR”.
The intention of her story was to show that unconscious words and behavior that we see while growing up – whether via our upbringing within the family or by society – may have resulted in certain conscious or subconscious beliefs and biases which we hold till today. More importantly, to hold that “ROAR” and believe in self; sometimes, what you really need is already within you.
Her personal story was one where she took a leap of courage too. Katie followed her husband to Hong Kong as a trailing spouse and issued her own “ROAR” when she took action and became a children’s book author.
“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage.” – take that leap of faith and do something, which may transform your life.
- Write a letter from your future self to present self – say you are trying to achieve goal x and have already done so in the future, give concrete examples of how you did it .
Read more about Dr. Katie Larson's own struggles and how she is still a work-in-progress in overcoming self-limiting beliefs here.
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].