• Viet Linh Le

Stay true to yourself even if others want you to be different or even copy your style

"Without thinking and talking, there is no obstacle to get in the way of our enjoyment of the present moment." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Since operating in the Wellbeing space, esp. already before the pandemic, the space has exploded, for many reasons, or because I have been more active, I naturally see more like-minded people. Since leaving my corporate job, I have heard all kinds of reactions - one of them was "There are so many coaches already!", to which I only respond "Luckily so!". If we all only listened to Adele, the world would lack diversity - even though I love Adele, it may be that not everyone resonates with her on a world with 7bn people. (It is also very funny to hear this remark from an employee who is a colleague to thousands of others like them! :-))

So the crowdiness or number of people are not that big of an issue, to me, it is more that, as in every other industry, unfortunately, there are also "bad" players .Players with not the best intentions. Players who pretend they are legitimate players, but follow their own rules. Players who only think of themselves rather than serving others. What I mean is, for example, players who are not qualified, who are not sincere, who are not really understanding what they do (which can be dangerous in the space of Personal Development).

Since starting Vietnam Wellbeing, and this is where the Asian component comes in, I, unfortunately, had to realize that there are also Asians who are frank, direkt, and want to gain intel for their own plans. I don`t where this "copy cat" mentality comes from knowing that Asians tend to fake luxury brand clothes. I often remain surprised whether it is because of my general kindness, such that people think kind people don`t have any boundaries, or whether it is indeed the Asian way to bluntly ask for business intel, while they would be more cautious and polite towards "white" or even non-Asian people.

As a mindfulness practitioner, I got hung up by this, and I realized these thoughts and judgments didn`t serve me, they only pulled me down. At the end, I cannot control other people`s behavior - for which Buddhists would have only compassion -, but only my own reaction and approach to an external event. It wasn`t enough to think that "yes, it could be a compliment if people try to copy you", but I soon realized it was about my old wound from the past.

When I was a typical Asian nerd, I studied hard and sacrificed a lot (no parties, no social life, no circle of close friends). For our family, education was the most important topic and doorway to open up future possibilities (which is true as I can confirm now, so thank you to my parents!). So as a nerd, I worked hard, but I also, unfortunately, being kind and sort of innocent / naive, faced classmates who literally copied my work, while also bullying me. Later on, in a corporate enviroment, it was essential to own your work and make your contribution clear and visible to everyone. While there may be valid reasons for owning and protecting your work (s. the crazy McDonald`s example), I soon realized that I was operating based on fear - fear of being copied, fear of being used, fear of being disrespected, while I thought I was kind and open.

It was time to heal my wound and transform my perspective, esp. with my life`s intention to live with my heart, that is curious, trusting, and creative. It is time to both live what I myself preach and also look at the mirror. I can learn to trust my skills and value - as my intention is to inspire others in their thought process, of course, others may be inspired in their own dreams and plans. Didn`t a quote go something like this: "If you are happy, you inspire others to go their own paths, too"? Isn`t the world better, the more inspired people are out there creating offers to be in service rather than competition? And also haven`t I been inspired by others, too, letting these inspirations flow into my ideas and visions? Lastly, can we not learn from each other, collaborate from each other, or even excel while healthily challenging each other?

With this realization, I intend to be more fully myself (aka Alicia Keys), to stay true to myself, even if others can make it difficult or want to put you back in a box again, so they don`t feel triggered as they don`t give themselves the permission to be themselves. Throughout this process of self-realization / -acutalization, and generally life really, I want to choose love - for myself, my work, and others. #happypride

Lots of love x


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