The Journey Within: Embracing Discomfort For Personal Growth With Kim LeOct 17, 2023
Change is not conscious. Your journey to self-empowerment begins with the courage to embrace discomfort and set meaningful intentions. In this episode, our guest Kim Le dives into personal growth, self-esteem, and harnessing the incredible power that lies within each one of us. She shares her remarkable story of resilience and self-discovery as an immigrant. With her experiences and now coach expertise, Kim covers several values involved in the process of self-discovery and embracing discomfort. She discusses the power of intention and how it can transform your daily life. She explains how consistency, even in small steps, can lead to meaningful personal growth. She expounds on the significance of forgiveness and its role in healing and building self-esteem. And she has so much more in store. Don’t miss this value-packed episode. Tune in now and take the step towards a more fulfilling life of self-empowerment and personal growth.
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The Journey Within: Embracing Discomfort For Personal Growth With Kim Le
In this episode, I am so excited because I have a super special guest and I can no way to introduce this guest. This guest’s name is Kim Le. She’s an executive recruiter and leader in the talent and organization sector and, also, in the human potential sector. Let me tell you about how Kim and I met. In my last corporate job, Kim was known to be a leader when it came to human development and employee development. She was leading an initiative back then.
I fell in love with how much she cares about people and I joined that initiative. I joined her team. She was leading the team that I was in and we connected because we care so much about people. Later on, she and I left that corporation. She then became my coaching client, and I was so honored that she reached out. Now, we are here doing this amazing episode. How are you doing, Kim? Welcome to the show.
I’m doing great, Yanet. Thanks for having me. I’m super excited.
I’m mega excited. For the audience to get to know you a little bit better, who is Kim? Where were you born? What was your upbringing? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Vietnam in a province called Kiên Giang. It is the southernmost tip of Vietnam right next to Cambodia. My family’s rural Village was 30 or 40 miles away from the Cambodian border. I was born there in a rural village and my parents and I immigrated to the US in ‘94. My dad was in the Vietnam War in the South fighting alongside the Americans and eventually got granted amnesty to come over. They wanted a better life. My parents do not have any siblings. We immigrated to Houston to start off and eventually found our way to Bryan–College Station where I grew up most of my life. I went to high school there. I went to Texas A&M and, eventually, moved back to Houston for my consulting job where I met Yanet afterward.
I feel that we have so many things in common. My mom was an immigrant, your parents being an immigrant and also, being an only child. Right before we started working together, you had this dark challenging period in your life. I know all of us go through those periods of uncertainty and darkness in a way. One of the topics that I want to cover is this. How are you able to find yourself?
If I remember well, this is something that you said that always stuck in my mind. One of your main goals in life is self-actualization. No one ever has told me that term before so that’s why I remember it coming from you. Tell me how you got out of that period, how you found yourself more, and how this vision of self-actualization led you to continue growing and evolving from that place.
A couple of years ago, I went through a pretty tough time. My partner at the time and I ended up partying ways after spending six years together. It’s a difficult time and year for us. Through that experience, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. I used that as fuel to try to make things better for myself. It’s because I didn’t have much. I didn’t feel like it could get any worse from where I was.
I don’t think the self-actualization thing came to mind at that moment. It was part of the process. I met you and started to see the vision for my life and planning and executing before it came to life. I’m like, “This is the path of self-actualization.” That year was a tough year, but it was what fueled my desire to start over and start a new chapter in my life. It was such a big pivotal moment in my life where I wanted to reset. I’ve been given this opportunity to essentially start over and, for the first time in my life, I felt excited for my 30s and what was to come. I’m like, “This is my opportunity to start fresh.” That’s what made me reach out to you and do your coaching program.
Kim, I wanted to touch on grieving. I remember when I went from my first corporate job to my second corporate job, which was an aligned decision that made me way happier. There was still a grieving process. There was a transitioning process before you reinvented yourself. How has that been for you? It’s because I know you have transitioned from careers. You transitioned from that relationship. What has helped you during that process of grieving and welcoming a new version of Kim? What has been that for you?
The grieving process is natural in any transition or any change that occurs, but it’s an important part of the process where you are processing all of your emotions, identifying what happened, and how you feel about it. Also, what are you taking away from this situation? How will this change your mind, your actions, and the directory of where you’re going to be headed next?
I see myself as a maximizer. Growing up as an only child with immigrant parents, we didn’t have a lot. We were very poor going up. I didn’t have the same freedom and opportunities as other people around me so I had to make the best of what I had. Going through the grieving process, whether it was changing careers, leaving the relationship, and many other things is just a natural part of life that I have come to embrace and accept. It’s a part of the process of growth. That was important for me to keep in mind that it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to feel all these negative emotions. The most important thing is what you are going to do about it.
When we are in lows, it’s so important to remind ourselves that the lows are temporary. They are going to pass as you continue evolving. That also applies to the highs. Whenever we are in a high, we have to enjoy that because there is going to be a challenge coming up later on. That’s okay. It’s like you say, accepting what life is bringing and doing the best out of that situation.
I remember one analogy used was surfing. You are riding the waves. I think about that all the time because it’s true. It’s exactly what life is. There are always going to be things that come your way that you didn’t anticipate. There are challenges. Life will knock you down, but how do you develop your foundation to where you’re able to manage those emotions and the situation and be able to ride the waves as calmly as you can? It is because it will happen. It’s inevitable.
This was the first time that Kim was getting coached. She didn’t know what coaching was. She didn’t know what to expect. She was like, “This thing is abstract. I don’t know what to expect.” What led you to have the courage to ask for help? It’s because asking for help or support is the biggest revolutionary act of self-worthiness in the journey that we are on because I don’t think there is a desired outcome or destination. We’re always going to be working on our worthiness. What led you to have the courage to reach out?
I had no idea what your type of coaching or any kind of coaching meant. I just knew that it was one method for me to have hands-on help to achieve the thing, the goal, or whatever it is that I’m trying to achieve. It’s much like a fitness trainer or nutritionist. You hire them because you want a certain physical outcome. In this case, I wanted something for my soul and my mind and that part of me that I wanted to reconnect with.
I didn’t know what that would look like, what the process was of coaching, and the outcome. Going back to my childhood, I mentioned I’m a maximizer. My parents are immigrants. I’m first gen. Growing up, I didn’t have the same types of opportunities and chances to learn about society and how to apply to colleges. Also, how to think about your career and all these things. My parents had no idea. I didn’t have any idea.
I very much learned through the school of YouTube and Google. I’m not even joking. I learned how to do my makeup through YouTube videos when I was a teenager. My parents at the time, because they were immigrants, their biggest priority was safety. It was constantly, “How do we keep Kim safe? How do we not let her put herself in a risky situation, going out there, hanging out with friends, and potentially getting kidnapped?” and all these worst-case scenarios.
I felt very much in a cage. I knew that there was more out there to life. I knew that I needed to get out, experience, learn, and explore. It was all through YouTube and Google. Much of my foundation was just figuring it out. Also, having immigrant parents and being an only child, they didn’t speak English. I was the one translating. I was the one with about everything when it came to English for them. I had to figure out everything on my own. I knew that I didn’t have the knowledge, tools, or resources so I always was going out to find help.
That was the benchmark for my upbringing. Going through my twenties, experiencing all these challenges, and my long-term partner and I parting ways, I used it as fuel to be like, “This is one of the biggest things that have happened to me in my life. I want to find a way to maximize the situation for myself.” I’m an executive recruiter. I live on LinkedIn pretty much and I saw your post come up about all these things that resonated with me like reinventing your life. “Are you feeling these certain things? How you can achieve and overcome?” I was curious. I clicked on your website and everything resonated with me. I’m like, “I don’t know what this is about, but I know this is my goal. This is the outcome that I wanted.” That’s why I reached out to you and the rest is history.
That’s amazing. For someone who has never been coached, how would you describe the process of coaching? What was your biggest transformation?
The process of coaching is very similar to what you would expect from a fitness trainer. You hire someone and you spend time together every week. Your goals are set in place and the things that you need to do. In the next session, you will be recapping what you did and what the outcome was. “Let’s talk about it and plan for the next.”
It was a mindset boot camp, but I loved it. There were some challenging calls. I remember there were some calls where I cried because maybe I didn’t finish homework the last time and I felt disappointed in myself. Throughout the entire six months, you have been incredible in how hands-on you are, how focused, and how intentional your guidance has been.
Also, the flexibility. In some ways, they are structured. You have everything planned, but if things come up on my end where I’m not feeling great in one session, you don’t judge me about it. There’s no judgment at all. You’re very supportive. We cannot just focus on what happened and process that. “How does this apply to what I’m trying to do now or the previous week’s homework that you assigned me?” The entire process was incredible. Also, having a friend, a mentor, a coach, or someone who is my advocate, advocating and fighting for me and, also, helping me realize what you see in me and my potential. It was an incredible experience.
That’s so powerful because, in every transformation, there is going to be resistance. If there is no resistance, as you said, there was one call that you were like, “I didn’t finish a thing. I’m the worst.” I’m like, “There is no failure and only feedback. Let’s save it for the next one. What can we do about it?” It’s accepting what is because it’s a journey of acceptance and no judgment because none of us show up the same every single day.
Our best is going to be different every single day, and that is totally okay. It’s powerful because sometimes in the process of coaching because you’re challenging and learning about yourself, there are parts that are not going to feel comfortable. That’s the whole purpose of growth because you’re not used to 1) Prioritizing yourself and 2) Showing up consistently for yourself. I call coaching like it’s this university where you are studying you.
Do you know that in the educational system, we studied everyone else in the world? We studied all the dead people and their contributions which are amazing contributions, don’t get me wrong, but we never learn about the only alive person that is the foundation of everything, which is ourselves. My program is six months. It is six months of focusing on yourself and who you are. What is your desired outcome? Also, going after that and getting results in that area.
One of the most memorable moments in our program was a few weeks into the program, I remember I was at STRIDE. It is a fitness running a treadmill interval class. I was on the treadmill and there was a mirror in front of my treadmill. I’m staring at myself huffing and puffing. I was dying at running. I remember thinking to myself. All of a sudden, there was a shift in the way that I spoke to myself. I started saying things like, “You’ve got this. You can do this. I got you, Kim.”
It was so weird referencing myself in the third person. It was this moment of internal connection that was one of the most beautiful feelings I’ve ever felt about myself before. At that moment, I realized like, “There is something here,” and then I went all in on it. I’m like, “This feels right. This feels good. This is what I want.” I think about that moment a lot. I try to bring myself to connect back and achieve that same sense of alignment with who I am. “I’m my biggest advocate and cheerleader. I got myself,” and all these things.
I learned that how you talk to yourself is incredibly important and so underrated. I remember in my twenties, I used to not be like that. I used to be hard on myself. I beat myself up. I berate myself. I’m like, “You idiot. How would you do something so stupid?” It was all these very negative things, which was contributing to my limiting beliefs. It was a whole cycle. That was one of the first moments where I felt truly connected with myself. It was beautiful.
How you talk to yourself is incredibly important and so underrated.
I remember that call like it was yesterday and, still, when you said that story, I got all the chills. It’s because I remember you saying that it was this feeling that is hard to explain and that you feel so aligned and connected. I still feel that thing in my body when you explained it. That’s beautiful. What was the biggest mindset shift for you in the program? What’s the biggest transformation mindset-wise for you?
There are a couple of things. The mind shift was around belief in myself. That’s what the whole program is about. It’s understanding who you are as a person and what your desires and goals are in life. What is the life that you want to achieve and have for yourself? Knowing who I am as a person and my values, which by the way, I still look at to this day, it’s been crucial in my development journey because everything revolves around it now.
I know myself, my core values, and how I want to show up to other people. If I put myself in a situation where it’s not conducive to that, then I remove myself from the situation. Also, I have the self-respect for myself to do that. It’s belief in myself knowing that life will throw wrenches at you and work will be super hard and tough but being able to navigate and have a belief in myself that I can navigate through all of that.
For example, at work, I’m speaking up more. I am more vocal. I’m taking more risk. I’m able to share my perspective and opinions. I feel like I truly can be authentic to myself. That’s been huge. The other thing is embracing the feeling of being uncomfortable. I have a sticky note right on my monitor that says, “Get used to being uncomfortable.” It’s because that’s how you measure yourself. That’s your growth. If you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you’re never going to be able to achieve the things that you want to achieve. It’s mainly around belief and resiliency because it’s not about what happened to you but what you are going to do about it in the future. How do you course correct? I felt like I had all the tools and resources to navigate through that.
I love that so much because all of us do. I always say we all have the resources we need to succeed within ourselves. This is when I fell in love with coaching back in 2015 when I had my first certification, which was in leadership. Coaching is about guiding individuals on how to think, not telling them what to think. For me, that’s the biggest desired outcome of life. It’s relying on yourself, on your intuition, and on what feels right versus following the path all the time that was carved out for you. It’s you creating the path. You’re creating your reality.
Intention is another big one too. It’s like, “What is your true intention,” versus just operating in autopilot mode. I used to stress eat a lot, and that would be my default. If I was stressed out, I would go get Chick-fil-A. This helps with giving me comfort, but that wasn’t the right answer. That wasn’t conducive to my health. I’m realistically masking something that’s deeper than that.
Now, I am more intentional about what I put in my body. It’s not always perfect. The whole journey is not perfect by any means, but I’m being conscious and intentional about how much food I put in my body, what types of food, as well as being able to show up and nurture my body through fitness and working out. It’s because this is the only vessel that I have for the next several decades and I have to take care of it. I’m worth taking care of. I have value and I have worth. This is becoming my new identity.
That’s beautiful, Kim. Talking about that, I remember one of the biggest things that you wanted to work on was consistency. The first thing we discovered is that you had a limiting belief that you are not consistent. The first thing we did was release that. We let go of that, but as you said, consistency is not about perfection. Consistency is going to be messy. Let’s be honest here. We all go through that. I remember a few months ago that you told me, “Yanet, I haven’t been more consistent in my life. I’m doing amazing.” Tell me, what was your journey from believing that you cannot be consistent to being the most consistent in your life in these last few months?
Before the coaching program, I felt like I was very inconsistent. I would be on the workout train. On January 1st, the New Year, I go to the gym and then fall off after a month or two. It was always that. I’m on and off the train. I would lose 20 pounds, gain it all back up, and lose it again. It was constant. I’m happy to report that in the last several months or so, I’ve been pretty consistent with my workout routines.
On average, I try to do a workout three times a week. Sometimes it’s more. Sometimes it’s less depending on my work situation and whatnot. The biggest thing I’m proud of is that I no longer think about it. If I have it on my calendar and I need to go to a spin class or a running class, I go. It’s so mind-blowing to me because I never thought that was achievable. Now, I just do it.
I used to negotiate with myself so much. I’m like, “It’s cold outside. It’s too hot. I’m going to be too sweaty.” It’s all these silly things, but now, I just go. There was one moment that was a catalyst for that because, in January 2023, I was on a trip with my girlfriends to Cabo. I was a part of your coaching program and I was still tracking how many days I would go work out. I went to the resort gym and I saw this old man who was grinding and crushing it on the indoor bike. At that moment, it clicked for me. I’m like, “I want to be him when I’m his age. That is me. That is what I want.”
That was the singular moment that gave me my why. From then on, I think back to that moment. I’m like, “When I’m 60-plus, I want to be able to do all the things I still enjoy. I want to hike. I want to be mobile. I want to be active and not have to worry about my body crumbling. I want that for my life.” It’s because of anchoring that vision, I’ve been able to go and knowing that I’m one tiny step contributing to the life that I want in the future.
That’s so powerful and I love that you mentioned it. I don’t think about it anymore because, so many times, we get stuck in overthinking and negotiating with ourselves. I know for you that it was a journey because change is not conscious. If change was conscious, people would be like, “I want to go to the gym four times a week,” and they would show up and do it. Change is highly subconscious. With Kim, I utilized a couple of techniques at the subconscious level and, also, strengthening that with repetition and the mindset of letting go of perfection.
Change is not conscious.
Consistency is not perfection. It’s getting back on track whenever you fall off track. You mentioned a key thing at the end. You have to have a vision that propels you to continue moving forward in that direction because if you don’t have a vision and direction, what are you driving towards? What’s your motivation? I love that you mentioned that.
I saw a post you did on intention, and it resonated so deep. It was a great reminder for me too. If you, for example, wanted to meditate every single day and you didn’t have time now, a lot of times, I or other people would be like, “I don’t have time,” and then you don’t do it. You break that promise and you start feeling bad about yourself.
What was inspiring and a good reminder for me in your message was it doesn’t have to be perfect. It is even if you sat there and took four deep breaths and were present during those four deep breaths. Also, have the intention that, “I am meditating. Even if it’s just for four breaths, this is still it. I’m still showing up and making time for myself.”
There have been moments in my journey where I’m like, “I can’t make it out, but I’m still going to do a five-minute stretch instead. Maybe I’ll do 10, 20 squats or whatever it is just so that I showed up and that’s good enough.” Also, you want to be able to build over time, but the intention is so important and I’m glad you put that message out there.
I’m so happy you enjoyed it. I know I’ve repeated these, but the more I see clients struggle with perfectionism, the more of an awakening I have. I’m like, “Four breaths with intention and full presence is way more powerful than ten minutes of meditating when you’re not even present in the meditation.” Necessarily, it is not about time at the beginning. As you said, you want to build up because you want to continue growing, but when you’re starting, we got to start small. We have to start super flexible. Even if we have been doing it for a long time, we’re going to fall off track some days and we’ll get back on. At the end of the day, that’s what’s important.
That’s a good point because that’s another big mindset shift that I’ve changed. I’d love to be consistent and even show up with intention, but it doesn’t happen all the time. It’s not perfect at all. I still struggle in different areas but the most important thing is how do you course correct and get back on track? How do you forgive yourself and still maintain that sense of, “It’s okay. Tomorrow’s a new day. It’s fine. We’ll start over.” That mindset has been very helpful in building my resiliency.
I’ve noticed you have mentioned a couple of times self-respect which goes back to self-worth. I’ve been thinking more of these. The difference between where people are and where they want to be is their level of self-respect and self-worth. Did you see that in yourself?
One of the first things we talked about in our program was making promises to ourselves and how important it is. Also, it ties back to the intentional piece. The more you can keep those promises to yourself and have intention behind them, the more you realize, “This is who I am. I am building a strong core and foundation of who I am and my values. I’m showing up for myself.”
This is very much an internal intrinsic drive to be able to do the things that are conducive to my health, wellness, emotional security, and all these things. I feel like a lot of people give a lot of themselves out, myself included because I was the only child that my parents relied on but you have to realize that you can’t be your best for other people if you don’t show up for yourself. Keeping those small promises to myself and trying to nurture my body and do all these things will inherently, over time, help you realize that you are worth it. You are doing this for yourself and you have value. You respect yourself to not put yourself in certain situations that are not conducive to yourself.
We talked a lot about boundaries and perception is projection. For those who don’t know, it is everything outside of us is a reflection of our inner work and of what’s going on within ourselves because reality is highly subjective. Whatever you feel triggered by, it’s something that this person has touched within yourself. Maybe a wound or something similar.
These term allows you to go from, “This is happening to me,” to an empowered side of, “What can I do about it?” It’s because there is something within myself that I need to understand better. Why is this person bothering me so much? How did that term change your life? Which is hard for some people to internalize because you’re taking responsibility for everything that happens in your life.
I resonate with that deeply. It has helped me understand my trigger points and be more self-aware about why is this causing me this annoying feeling and digging deeper from there. It’s also helped me be more empathetic towards other people and realize we’re all just projecting on each other. We all grew up in different environments with different values, things, and expectations. It’s helped me take a step back and realize the people who may have hurt me in the past are just a reflection of what they’re going through at the time. It’s not personal at all. That’s been huge in learning what projecting even means both for myself and what I received from other people.
People who may have hurt us in the past are just a reflection of what they're going through at the time. It's not really personal at all.
You are incredible, my friend and I’m so amazed at how you have been able to continue applying these concepts and not only that, but taking action. I always tell my clients, “I’m a guide.” We’re spending one hour a week, but what happens after the session, that’s when the action starts happening. I’m so freaking proud of you for all the action you have been taking and the results you have been taking. That’s inspiring.
I wanted to talk also because your story is super inspiring being an immigrant and an only child. I can resonate so much with your story because as children of immigrants, we had to raise ourselves in many ways. I know you mentioned googling and doing YouTube. I can’t think of me in high school going to my mom and saying mom, “I got an A.” She’s like, “Is an A good thing?” She didn’t have an idea about anything.
As children, we have to take a lot of responsibility to raise, lead, and guide ourselves, and in the process, as you compare your journey to other children and other people, you start building resentment because there is part of your childhood that you didn’t get to experience yourself. I wanted to talk about that because I did an IG Live where I got emotional.
I was like, “I’m going to show up vulnerably whatever comes up. Let’s go. This is who I am authentically.” A lot of people resonated with this topic of forgiving our parents. I know during coaching we coach a lot on these and it has been an amazing journey for you. Would you tell us about your journey and transformation?
This is a big one. It’s one of the biggest pillars in my life is my relationship with my parents and it’s been through some stuff. When I grew up, I was an only child. My parents didn’t speak English. Anything that was related to translating for them, reading their mail, and taking them to doctor’s appointments was all me. I remember even as a kid, I was six years old and learning English in kindergarten, I was already starting to translate for my parents at the grocery store, at their doctor’s appointments, and whatnot.
I’ve had that responsibility for a very long time even now. Growing up, again, they are immigrants so their number one priority and value is safety and security. It was always about how to keep Kim safe and not let her have any risk apply to her. Growing up, I felt like I was in a cage. I looked at my friends around me, they were able to go to the movies and hang out for birthdays on the weekends. They just do things and I didn’t get any of that. I didn’t hang out with friends after school or on the weekends.
In fact, I did but I had to lie about it. I’m like, “I’m going to the school organization or club just to be able to hang out with my friends at their parents’ house.” There are things like that that I had to work around. Constantly, I had this desire to break free from my cage. When I was eighteen, this was my senior year in high school. I remember I went through a six-month battle with them to let me move out of the house. I remember thinking like, “I’m not going to take no for an answer. I am legal and I don’t want to be in the situation anymore. I want something different from myself.”
It was a long battle and then I moved down literally a mile down from their apartment, but still, I would I was a free woman and now I can live my life. I spent my early twenties exploring. I did everything under the sun. I tried to maximize fun, enjoyment, and experiences but all the while, my parents were still in the back. I still had responsibilities. I was taking care of them. I was fulfilling my duties and you know helping them manage their life through translating.
I’ve always had this resentment that kept building and building over time of like, “They don’t understand me. They don’t accept me. They don’t know who I am.” It was always a battle between cultures. It’s not only Western versus Eastern but also generational differences as well. There was a lot of resentment there, especially towards my mom who kept referencing that when I was a kid, I would follow her around and always listen to her but now I’m a rebel. I don’t listen to her anymore.
It’s this constant projecting of guilt and shame. There was a lot of bitterness that built up over time. In 2016, I was a couple of years into Accenture. I finally had money to be able to afford a counselor or a therapist. That was my first time. I specifically found a woman in Houston who was around my mom’s age so she knew the generational dynamics and then also, she was Vietnamese. I was very intentional about who I picked.
She helped me manage all of that through that journey, but it wasn’t until your coaching that I was able to make a meaningful impact and started to reframe a lot of my negative thinking. Two things come to mind. One is forgiveness and how incredibly important and valuable it is to your healing and growth journey. I remember there was this one session where we had talked about calling my mom and asking her for forgiveness which at the time by the way, I was like, “WTF. Why would I do that? She’s the one who hurt me.”
I cry and laugh at the same time. My eyes are watery and I’m crying.
I sat there for twenty minutes and I was like, “I want to do this. I don’t want to do this. I do not,” and then I did it. I called my mom. This was out of the blue. This is not normal for us. We have a very set schedule. I call her once a week. It used to be twice a week. It was just a couple of minutes to check in with each other. I remember calling her out of the blue and I was like, “I know that you and I have challenges together. I just want you to know that I am working on it. I know I’ve hurt you. I know I’ve done things that didn’t make you happy, but just know that I am trying to do something about it. I hope you understand and forgive me.”
To be honest, I don’t remember what her response was. I think she was surprised and it was a very pleasant call. It was a pleasant surprise for her and I had an appointment right after that call. I remember driving to my appointment and all of a sudden, all these overwhelming emotions came out. I bawled. It was the most relieving moment that helped put things into perspective for me and why forgiveness was so important.
Forgiveness is not about forgiving the person who hurt you. It’s about releasing those expectations that you had that could fill your emotional bucket and that they failed at that. They didn’t have the tools and resources at the time people to be able to give you what you needed. Also, releasing all that bitterness and resentment to be able to say, “I accept it happened. It’s okay, but now I can do something about it. I can finally start my life fresh and go from there. Also, not have that dictate my life and have me carry around this unnecessary load all this time and be able to release it.”
It’s more for yourself. One of the things that resonated with me was you said my mom is my biggest teacher in life. Truly, one of my biggest mental shifts, too, is so much of this is about how you put things into perspective. I could look at my upbringing, all the things that my mom has said or done to me and projected on me and continue feeling hurt and carry all this resentment, or I could look at it now and it’s like, “I’m glad that happened. I’m glad that I went through all of that because I am now someone that I truly love.”
I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I’m happy where I’m at now in life. If my parents didn’t keep me in a cage all this time, then maybe I wouldn’t be the same person. I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. I look back on that whole journey and that whole experience with gratitude that it happened. I’m able to step back and take things a little bit less personally when my mom does say something that does trigger me which by the way, it happens. It’s not perfect. It’s a lifelong journey. It will never be perfect but I will keep that in mind as I’m going on this journey.
That’s so inspirational. Every time I see you, I end up getting emotional. I got some emotional because I can resonate so much with your story. I went through the same journey with my mom and I was in my second coaching certification. The coach at the moment tells me the same thing I told you. “In this break in ten minutes, call your mom and say, ‘Please forgive me.’” I had never done that in my life. I was so nervous. Even when I was telling her, I’m an emotional person.
I was crying and she was so surprised. She had the same reaction of like, “It’s okay,” because when I think of my mom, Kim, I was telling someone that maybe I’m emotional because I’ve had to balance out. She’s not an emotional person at all. Also, because of everything she had to go through, she had to put a hard shell on herself. Since I was a child, I also learned how to regulate her emotions and mine to be there for her because, in this process of being immigrants, in some way, we have also become the parents to our parents.
We support our parents financially. That’s very common in immigrant communities and it is a big shift. It is a huge process of growth. When I was giving you these during the coaching call, I thought to myself, “Kim is going to freak out. She’s going to be like, ‘What the heck are you telling me, Yanet?” I said to myself, it’s not about me or her. It’s about the transformation she’s going to have whenever she does this. Also, the courage that you need to go through in order to do something so vulnerable like that and also how proud you’re going to feel when you do something that you thought you were not capable of doing. It transforms your life in every way.
It was a moment I’ll never forget. It was truly a transformational moment.
Kim, I enjoyed so much this conversation. You have so many stories to tell. You have so much good advice and transformation. For someone who is looking to live a more fulfilled life and to self-actualize themselves, whatever that might mean for that person, what is the one piece of advice you would give that person as she or he is going through that journey of growth and transformation?
The one thing I would say is to have courage. That is one of my core values that we defined in our journey and our program. I look back to that very often. The three that I have are freedom and independence, authenticity, and courage. Personal growth is important to me, but I believe it is by being productive being courageous and being able to show up for yourself. It’s doing things that put you out of your comfort zone. Start small too. You don’t have to jump head-first into it.
However, being intentional like, “What is the one thing I can do now that is success to me and that I will show that I tried and I got out of my comfort zone?” That used to be on my daily tracker like, “Did you do something out of your comfort zone today?” Also, being able to embrace change, challenges, and being uncomfortable is the starting point of this entire journey because, slowly and surely over time, you start to develop a different sense of who you are, self-esteem, and self-confidence. I can’t stress that enough. It’s embracing being uncomfortable and having the courage to do it.
What is the next thing that you’re embracing to have more courage? What is the next thing you’re dreaming of? You don’t need to give all the details or maybe something that you’re like, “I want to be courageous and do these things, and I’m afraid,” which is totally normal.
The next thing for me is wanting to start a side hustle. It feels weird to say that out loud. I want to start getting into real estate. I have no idea what that entails but I’m going to figure it out. I’m going to go on YouTube. I’m going to go to the school of Google and learn what this even means. Also, being able to build a vision for myself of having some passive income in my future. To be able to build that passive income and wealth so that I can enjoy my later years is something I’m thinking about. I’ll have my core job here, too, but that’s a whole other venture that has been in the back of my mind and something I want to look into. Also, have the courage to start small, research, look into it, and then take the necessary actions to get there.
My friend, you put this out there. I feel there is another energy when you think about it and another one when you say something out loud. You’re like, “I’m doing this.”
It’s real now. It’s out there.
I’m so freaking excited for you. I can tell you that you were my ideal client because you have so many inspiring and uplifting qualities about yourself. Also, on how open-minded you were to the many uncomfortable things that we did during the process. There were many of them which is part of it, but how courageous you are. It doesn’t matter how resilient you were to be able to course correct, step back, and say, “I’m going to start again and I’m going to do better this way.” I admire you so much since the first time I met you. You’re an amazing leader and you’re going to be a badass in real estate. Whenever I have some real estate questions, I’ll call you.
Thanks, Yanet, and the same to you. I am truly so honored to be here on this episode with you and to have you help me on my journey in the last few years. It truly has been life-changing. I can’t thank you enough. Truly, you’re doing so good to the world. I hope that people can look at this episode and know that it is achievable like self-esteem, building confidence, and achieving what you want in life. All of these intrinsic values, motivations, and drivers are completely achievable. Thank you so much, Yanet.
Thank you so much, Kim. I’m so honored that we were able to make this happen. If someone hears your story and they’re like, “I want to reach out to her or ask her more questions,” where can they find you?
I live on LinkedIn now because I recruit. They can find me on LinkedIn. I work at Bespoke Partners. Reach out to me there or they can find me on social like Instagram. I’m an open book and if I could help someone take the first step in either getting coaching with you or whatever it is that helps propel them down this path of growth, I am here for it. I’m more than happy to contribute to that in any way I can.
People, connect with Kim. She’s one that you want to make sure you have your life in some way. Even if you’re just LinkedIn following her, it doesn’t matter. Thank you so much, Kim. Thank you so much to all the readers for this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with your friends and your family members. Let’s continue spreading these feelings and mission and movement of self-empowerment. I’ll see you next episode. Thank you, Kim.
- Kim Le
- LinkedIn – Kim Le
About Kim Le
Kim Le is an executive recruiter and leader in the field of talent organization and human potential.
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