Its my first week in Hong Kong for an elective as part of my final year of medical school. Aside from the many benefits of travelling, one of the main reasons I chose to do an international elective in Hong Kong was to improve my Cantonese.
Today I walked into a Chinese restaurant and asked if they had an English menu (I can’t read Chinese). Nope, nada (why would they). She asked me if I could read Chinese. Embarrassed, I said no. To my surprise, the waitress proceeded to point to different plates that the other patrons had ordered. Eventually I settled on an order: BBQ pork with rice and Hong Kong-style milk tea. Somehow it all worked out. I even asked her to write down the name of the dish for me in Chinese so I could remember it for next time.
Needless to say, I’m very grateful for this harrowing experience. This waitress reminded me that you can always find a solution to a problem. It doesn’t help to hang your head in embarrassment. Let’s motivate each other to own our weaknesses and learn as much as we can. 🙂
It’s a weird phenomenon when we self-sabotage our success. I never though this was a real thing but after experiencing myself choking in the face of supreme confidence, I was floored. Everything went as planned and I knew exactly what to do but when it came time to execute, I froze. How could my body do this to me? What just happened? Was I embarrassed to succeed? Was I afraid to alienate others? Did I not believe I was the type of person that could succeed? Is there something deeper going on here? I hope to find out. This quote by Marianne Williamson is one I’m pondering:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
In the field of psychiatry, a patient with insight is able to recognize and understand one’s own condition (eg. mental illness) and maladaptive behaviour. We know that having insight is highly important in improving change in the behaviour and personality of a patient. A patient with insight may still experience hallucinations and delusions but they know that they are not real or more importantly, not useful. The patient does not respond to these internal stimuli and thus, their power over the patient is gone.
These are similar to the “delusions” (stories) that we all hold but do not serve us. Except, our delusions are less obvious and more socially accepted. What are the self-limiting beliefs that are no longer useful that you are not even aware of? What are the invented assumptions you make everyday that hold you back from being your best self? Are you able to gain insight into them? Will this change your behaviour?
Wouldn’t it be weird if we forgot how to breathe today? Or if we forgot how to walk? Or talk?
Seems almost impossible right? That’s because it almost is. Walking, talking and breathing is second nature to us because we practice it every single day.
Is there something that you want to do but you don’t think you’re up to? You can also do that thing every single day.
Providing value is amazing, but providing the right value is even better.
I’m starting to realize that there are a gazillion ways I can help, but I’m not the best person to do most of them. Instead of spreading myself thin, I need to focus on a few or even one thing that I am uniquely equipped to help with.
I need to invest my time in helping those that will benefit from my unique perspective. I need to give away ideas, so that others can take them and run with them. Because maybe it’s the ones that nobody wants to touch that I should consider investing in if I believe in the value. Maybe thats where I can really help?