From one insecure Asian to (perhaps) another.Nov 15, 2020
Like many others across the globe, I was completely enthralled in the US election and similarly, like many others, I was also completely blown away by Kamala Harris. Or perhaps, I was more blown away by what she represents; a woman of colour in a visible and powerful position.
Whenever I see people like this, I often think, "how did she do it?"
And not in the way of, what school did she go to? And what positions did she interview for? Or how did she network?... But more along the lines of; how did she manage to do this?
How did she overcome that deep sense of not belonging, or not being worthy?
How did she bring herself to speak out when people belittled her?
How did she manage the exhaustion of all the many times that she must have been in white-only rooms?
And in what capacity did she process all of this to think, “I’m ready to be the President of the United States?”
It completely blows my mind.
An audacious move.
In her first speech as Vice President Elect, Harris said, "and what a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country and select a woman as his vice president."
And it’s true, it was a pretty bold strategic move however what I want to ask Harris is “how are you audacious enough to be so visible that Biden would ask you to be his running mate?”
How did she do it?
Did she ever feel like it was all too hard?
And if so, what kind of mindset does she have that can see her taking up space and demanding respect and attention?
Who knew that "mindset" is an actual thing.
As I aged into my 30’s I found out, and began to think a lot more about money mindset. Coming from a culture where discussions about money are seen as distasteful and classless, I grew up never really speaking about money.
Having also chosen my careers out of “love” rather than “need”, I ended up in two fields where discussions about money were further discouraged. Everything in yoga and music therapy always seems to be about passion, service and giving, and so being the person asking for more money makes you feel like the lone, greedy capitalist.
But then I learned about how important it is to actually talk about money, especially as women and doubly-especially as women of colour. I've been learning about the profound role that mindset plays in our ability to increase income and wealth and I’ve been working on changing my relationship with and attitudes towards money, which has of course changed the way money exists in my life.
Much in the same way, I feel that mindset plays a huge role in how we experience the world as Asian Australians. When I watch and listen to Asian diaspora women like Harris in highly visible leadership roles, I sense that perhaps one of their secret ingredients is mindset. Our mindset being, the established attitudes that we hold about a particular something.
And I guess that just like money mindset, our mindset towards ourselves as Asian Australians is also a learnable and trainable skill.
Just like money mindset, we can learn how to bring awareness to our established attitudes around our own identities. Then, we can learn how to talk about these attitudes and subsequently choose which attitudes we wish to carry forward in our lives.
And it's this shift in mindset that I feel can help us to live more audaciously and vibrantly.
Build awareness, then create change.
What do I feel like I deserve?
How much space can I take up in this world?
What is the maximum "success" that I can envision for myself?
These are the kinds of questions that I've been asking myself to change my mindset towards myself as an Asian Australian woman and with time, I think the shifts are slowly taking place.
Back to Kamala.
For now, I could never see myself in such a visible role as Kamala Harris (nor would I want to, or is that just me holding myself back?!), but as silly as this sounds, what I can see myself in is a beautiful white blazer like the one she wore during her first speech as Vice President elect.
And I share this slightly random thought to demonstrate that mindset doesn't just shift overnight. Baby steps and slow, incremental changes are what build to create big shifts in our life... wherever it is that you want to go, remember to take it slow.
Next year, Shapes and Sounds is launching a Club where we'll not only bring you to the forefront of discussions about Asian Australian mental health, but we'll support you to bring awareness to your current mindset and give you the skills to implement changes if and where necessary. All of this work can be challenging and at times, lonely so if you can do it amongst company, why not hey? If this sounds interesting to you, make sure you sign up for the waiting list HERE.
In the meantime, if you'd like to start this journey of learning more about yourself, including your current mindset, you might be interested in our 6-week online Rest and Reflect program which will help you to do exactly that. This is a self-paced, video program and you can find out more about it HERE.
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