Tag Archives: Growth

the Journey of Self – Compassion

I am dedicating year of 2021 to a year of self-journey, a year of looking inward to understand myself better and to grow. This is part 2 of the series.

I used to be my own worst critic. I set really high standards ahead of time and beat myself up when I do not meet them. When that happens, I am usually floored with all the negative emotion – regret, guilt, followed by self-skepticism and shame, which set my mind into a negative spiral. 2020 was a year when starting a new role when working from home completely heightened these feelings. I felt stuck in this cocoon, unhappy and not confident. I suspect these feelings were ignited by my motivation to be perfect, to get it done right at the first try. As I have written in my previous post ‘Keep Iterating’ last year, the perfectionism mindset is something I recognize in myself and have been actively working to change to ‘keep iterating’ mode.

Understanding the ‘why’ behind the emotion is the very step toward changing it. However, what should I do when I am hit with the wave of negative thoughts again? By chance, I stumbled upon a solution by trying meditation. A couple of months ago, I was introduced to take on a 21-day meditating challenge, in which I had to meditate every day for 10 minutes. I had heard of meditation a while before, but still had been a skeptic. Since it was the beginning of the new year, I thought to myself, why not try something new. Thus, I stuck to the challenge and started listening to the podcast. One episode of the podcast is on self-compassion. It was through listening to the podcast that the lightbulb in my head went on! In fact, I was ecstatic when I finally found a way to pinpoint what I had gone through. I realized how demanding and harsh I had been with myself and why I was not happy. This episode has so many nuggets that I want to go back to and share, but I was just happy that I unlocked something new.

Carrying the awareness of showing self compassion is important, but I still find it ‘easier learned than done’. For my next post, I will share what I find to be useful. This is also a good incentive for me to revisit to the podcast. Stay tuned!

Note to blog readers – I was a little ill-prepared to write this post tonight, not exactly sure of my structure. Nevertheless, I committed to the writing process. As a recovering self-critic, I know there are so much more I can do to edit this post and to describe more the emotions I had, but I am still happy to share because the feeling of finally understanding clearly one’s own emotion is worth celebrating.

the Journey of Self – Patience

I am dedicating year of 2021 to a year of self-journey, a year of looking inward to understand myself better and to grow. This is part 1 of the series.

As I am spending a lot of time at home, I have invested more time into decorating my apartment by getting houseplants. I am now a proud plant parent to one peace lily, one baby monstera, one baby calathea, one golden pothos, one snake plant, one blue Hyacinth, and six baby succulents. Since I got most of them (except for snake plant) a couple of weeks ago, I’ve developed a new routine – every day after waking up, the first thing I do is to pay them a visit by the window sills and observe their growth and the soil moisture. I also check on them when I am on calls, when I look out of the windows, when I pace back and forth in the living room thinking through ideas, etc. I often wonder, ‘Did the stem grow by a tiny bit? Is this leaf new? Did the color of the petal become more vibrant? Did I provide it enough water?’ It has become so ingrained in my daily routine because I am eager to let the plants grow and to reap the benefit and excitement of fully grown plants.

When I was looking through old pictures of the snake plant, it dawned on me that it takes time for growth to happen. Over one and half years’ time, my snake plant gets much taller and grows new bulb when I provided it consistent watering. The same principle applies to personal growth. I need to be patient with myself and let growth happen gradually. A lot of things I am interested in pursuing do not happen overnight, such as developing a good reading habit to read 20 books a year, running a faster half marathon race, making wiser personal investment decisions, becoming a better product manager at work and a better writer, etc. What I need to focus on is to put in the work, to not bang my head against the wall if I slack off once in a while (just like no big deal if I forget to water the plant one time), and to trust that in a couple of years I will see the positive changes in myself just like in my snake plant.