Reframing my feelings

I saw this video where the person said - isn’t it so easy when you’re giving advice to a friend, like what they should do is so clear and obvious, and yet when it comes to doing it to yourself it’s so hard?

One thing I’ve struggled with, especially in jobs, is classing my own behaviour as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and the ‘bad’ not being bad behaviour at all. It wasn’t until about 2020 (and also the reason why I started Tsrang Label) that I realised I did this, and that the behaviours I would tell my friends to ‘you go, girl!’ that I myself felt extremely guilty for doing. 

I know I need to put in work in reframe them in my mind. I know it comes from a background of people-pleasing, from always wanting to ‘fit in’ with the dominant culture, from parents that wanted to raise an ‘obedient’ girl (a complement in Chinese culture), or in the dominant culture’s words, ‘subservient’ (an insult in Kiwi culture).

And like the above clash, here are the behaviours I struggle with and that I am trying to reframe:

Stubborn into standing my ground/sticking to my opinion

I always feel like when I have a strong opinion, or don’t want to budge on something, that I’m being stubborn and difficult. It makes me feel guilty that I’m acting ‘badly’. 

But I know if I had a friend acting this way, I would tell them that it’s a sign of strength, that you’re sticking to your expertise and being true to your own thoughts and that it’s respected in the Kiwi corporate world.

I feel extremely guilty when I don’t have the same opinion as my bosses. I feel like they think I’m misbehaving because I’m not listening to what they say.

I do know how I’m supposed to reframe this - if you haven’t noticed, the way I describe things makes it sound like I’m in an adult-child relationship. The language I use - misbehaving, acting badly - is like I’m seeing myself as a kid and they’re the adult. I know this comes from the thoughtline that they are ‘the boss of me’, and I need to listen to what they say to get their approval.

Thanks to the extensive counselling I did in 2020, I know I need to change it from an ‘adult - child’ to an ‘adult - adult’ relationship. I need to act like I am the adult, like them.

It frustrates me because I do feel like an adult, and I don’t want my bosses to feel like I’m a kid - but at the core of it, the reason why I feel so guilty for expressing a different opinion is this. But then I also know that having different opinions is what gets respect, and I want respect. 

I just need to remember - this is an adult - adult relationship. Knowing why helps a lot.

‘Rocking the boat’ into bringing up valid points

I struggle with saying what I think is bad news, or objections, when I have doubts or don’t think it’s a good idea. I don’t like rocking the boat, or saying that I’m unhappy when other people are excited about it.

I’ve been learning to trust my taste and opinions more - like above, I used to follow the opinions and the groupthink just because I didn’t want to ‘cause a fuss’, or I didn’t feel important or smart enough to have a valid opinion.

Which, I guess as I’m getting older, I’ve learnt that there rarely is ‘smarter’ people, just louder ones (not saying I’m super smart - just that everyone is on the same level). If I think something is ugly (due to my background in marketing, I’m normally discussing the design of things), I am now beginning to trust my taste and knowledge into believing that it’s a valid opinion.

It’s hard when another person is so in love with the idea but I don’t think it’ll work, but now I am starting to realise that I can’t go along with work that I don’t think is a good idea. People raise concerns all the time. I shouldn’t feel guilty for something that I know is ‘normal’.

Replaceable to worthy

I don’t think I’m irreplaceable, especially in work situations. I think I am a hard worker, and a great coworker and friend, but I don’t think I’m remarkable in any way that there would be massive ‘goodbye’ parties if I moved overseas, or that if I ever left a job they would double my salary to try get me to stay. 

I don’t think it’s a good representation of my self worth when I readily identify with ‘replaceable’ rather than ‘worthy’, 

I feel like it’s held me back in life, when I haven’t done something because I feel like I’m not worthy of receiving it. I don’t deserve a hot boyfriend, I’m not hot enough. I don’t think I should apply for this great role, I don’t have enough experience. They don’t care if I leave, so I can’t ask for more. 

Honestly, I think there is a rabbit hole of issues that makes me feel this way, including how the Chinese, Kiwis and patriarchy agree that a woman feeling confident = entitled, unattractive, bossy. Kiwis hate a tall poppy, and no one likes arrogance. 

But it’s not arrogance to think that I can have something that I want. I write this, and I say this, but it’s like my head can’t convince my subconscious to stop feeling like I’m not worthy of particular things. 


I hope some of you find this relatable in some sort of way. God knows the amount of times I’ve told people they can do it or that they’re doing great, so maybe it’s something we all feel? But at the same time, I know how hard it is to start believing it, I’m not /that/ young and I’m only just beginning the journey.

Are there any behaviours you want to reframe? Let me know down below.

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