Did you know I used to get bullied…

For many of my primary school years, I was bullied

Why? For being Asian, not knowing how to speak English, for being the nerdy kid who’d win top of the class alongside my sister EVERY year for 11 years straight… (Except she’d get first and I’d get second – Classic golden child @tnagwaian)

I had no friends so at recess, my parents would drop in so I could have someone to hang out with

This eventually trained me to want to be anything but different. I became a serial people-pleaser and lost my sense of self as I would mould to fit whoever I was with

This lasted for most of my high school years

Until one incident when my friends tried to pressure me into taking some substances, and I realised I had to choose

I had to choose to do something that was blatantly against what I stood for, or, to stand my ground

I realised “What’s the worst that could happen if they don’t like my decision? I could just… Get new friends, right?”

And when I said NO, I felt something I hadn’t felt in a long time. I felt a rush of empowerment and freedom within myself. I was finally liberated from the grasp of external expectations.

This felt so good, that I started to finally allow my authentic truth to come out again

And now, I’m a full-time rebel lol. I do so many things that are contrary to the standardised paradigm, but I’ve never felt more liberated.

Of course, I’m still susceptible to being emotionally affected by others’ judgements. I’m not perfect. But that will always be part of our reality, as we live in an interconnected world with others

So if you are reading this and you feel like you are stuck in a cycle of people pleasing and fear of others’ judgements. I want to tell you that this is not forever

We can always heal and walk forward with new ways of thinking and doing

If this resonated with you, have a listen to this week’s new podcast episode ‘How to stop people pleasing’ below!

Listen here

Speak next week!

~ Trang Nova xo