UX Nights June 8, 2021

Authenticity at Work

How to truly show up within our workplace

Video Transcript

Steven Wakabayashi: Awesome. Welcome. Welcome. We have a great presentation on authenticity today, and just how to show up at work and just, what are some ways of thinking about different methodologies and principles that help us to get out of our head and into ourselves and to one another. And so with that, I’ll hand it over to Jamie to kick it off.

Jamie Chow: Thanks, Steven.

Well, without further ado, we’ll start our presentation for folks here today. Thanks for joining.

This topic is talking about how to bring your most authentic self to the workplace with pride.

Yeah. We’re going to talk about how to leverage some of your strengths.

So yeah, we all have our strengths that we should strive to leverage and optimize and maximize during our day-to-day work that we do and contribute to this world. And so it’s easier said than done, right?

Bringing your most authentic self can be challenging, but has huge benefits to both your personal and career growth. It can help you provide an anchor to build stronger relationships and in clear lines of communications with your peers and ultimately help you be a better version of yourself.

So this today. It’ll be primarily focused around sharing our experiences on how we managed to bring our most authentic selves to the workplace. Despite some tricky challenges, relationships, or miscommunications or other elements that come in interference with that. But also we will today, we’ll talk about some guiding principles to help with aligning how to bring your most authentic self to the workplace and to your day-to-day work and life.

And so hopefully that will, you’ll walk away with having figured out whether what helps you or what gets in the way of being your best self and get you closer to figuring out who your best self is. So you’ll get a little toolbox of tools to use and refer back to.

Steven Wakabayashi: Next slide.


Jamie Chow: So the first slide that we’re going to talk about is purpose.

So defining and understanding your purpose

and let’s see,

What are your motivations more than just money. And understanding your work’s mission, aligning with that to your personal passions and daily work. Even though some of you may or may not be working right now, but it’s like, you can think about it as in future work. So what kind of future work would you want to be proud of, to be a part of their mission, and how does it really align to your personal passions and your daily work and what you put out into the world and what you want to give to the world. And understanding your work’s mission will help you align with your personal passions and yeah.

Yeah, I think that’s good. But anyways…

Steven Wakabayashi: yeah. And, And with like purpose, you know, we sometimes go into things head first, right. We’re like, we just have to do it. You know, even like when we talk about showing up in the workplace, we sometimes think about just having to show up as just something we have to do, but really it’s about pausing in the beginning, and just taking an inventory of what are you here to do? What are you here to show up to serve? What are you here to accomplish? Is it for you, right? Or is it doing something that you are intending for somebody else? And really it’s about when it comes to work, right? This tricky balance of should I just say what I need to say or do I navigate some interesting situations and asking yourself, who do you want to serve at this particular moment? And we talk about us versus other people, a big mantra that I go back to is how we show up for ourselves is ultimately how we show up for others.

Yeah. How we show up for ourselves is exactly how we show up for others. And so when we can give us this bandwidth and space to understand our purpose. We also give that to others. Yeah. If you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love somebody else?

Such a good Barbara Streisand quote. Okay. Next slide.


Jamie Chow: Next slide is values. And how are we going to hone in on your personal values and your company values? So like Steven mentioned earlier about how do you do an inventory check of your personal values and your align that against your company’s values, or if you’re looking for a job. What are your current values right now in your current stage?

And also what type of companies would you like to work for in the future? Do you care about like healthcare, health tech, finance? Whatever industry and spectrum you want to be represented as, do your research I recommend. And all it really align your values to that company’s core values and do due diligence in your research, not just what they put out in social media, or, you know, talk to people on LinkedIn, reach out, have a coffee chat and actually get like the real, real with people and connect with them on a human level. Not just like what they post out on social media, because that can be deceiving.

And there you can go to the next. Okay. So yeah. So there are yellow lines and warning lines that kind of, if you kind of feel that it makes you feel like the company or project maybe, or that person is going against your values. Such as degrading comments, microaggression, racism, sexism, prejudism, discrimination, whatever you don’t like.

So make sure not brush that off and imagine it’s fine. Maybe you just need the job or you need the ability, whatever it is. It comes back and it brings toxicity into your life and your brain. And it affects your mental and physical health immensely. Probably for a different time of day and different story, but me and Steven both share very kind of like relatable challenges that we’ve had in the workplace with various elements named above.

Steven Wakabayashi: It’s like boundaries. Jamie, it’s just, you gotta set your boundaries. Yeah. And then we call it, I think yellow line is a really good way to call it because it’s like the road, right? There are these lines here. It’s not these physical barriers.

Isn’t it. Isn’t it crazy. We just listen to these like markings on the road. We’re like, okay. You tell me where. Interesting. We like zoom out. Like if aliens were staring at us, like, this is interesting. Anyway.

Jamie Chow: To that point where it’s like accessibility where if people that have no vision, they have, they need a guiding stick and they have the, I forgot what’s it called? But they have bumpy things on the road to say, "No, don’t cross the street. Double check your hearing or ask them for help before you just cross the street. This is danger." So I do appreciate that. So, instead of like red line, that red tape, I like. The warning signs of yellow lines.

Steven Wakabayashi: Yeah, it’s good. So it’s like, okay, we have the yellow lines on the ground.

But what are the bumpy stuff that you can add? So when you start stepping near it, you’re like, oh my gosh. Because sometimes what happens, right? Is you, you know, when people are crossing our boundaries, we first go. Hmm. It must be me overreacting. Does anyone else feel that way?

Sometimes they’re like, I don’t know. It’s just me. No, no, that’s not a big deal. Why am I overreacting? Why? You know. And then all of a sudden, like, you know, two days later, you’re like, what did I do? And so it’s sometimes it’s helping to just set up these guidelines in general in just the very beginning.

Just so that we become aware of it. Might not necessarily have to act on it, where it’s like, you know, I’m a call you out. I don’t know, but it’s just being conscious with what’s happening. And ultimately boundaries are really, really important to put yourself first, self priority. So here’s a tip.

So if you ever find yourself really struggling to set boundaries, it’s usually because in the moment of conflict, we don’t give ourselves grace, we don’t give ourselves love. We don’t give ourselves compassion. We critique ourselves and we go into our like Headspace and we’re like, Ooh, let’s like, try to figure all this out.

And so the advice is next time you start doubting yourself. Pour yourself out love from yourself to you. Because sometimes what we end up doing is we’re changing, right? We’re moving our yellow lights for people, because we actually want them to love us. And we’re like, no, let me move these lines for you.

So then you can love me. Come to me. Embrace me. And you know, it’s just when it comes down to it everyone is free to make their own decision. But how we show up for ourselves that’s on us to own. And so it was a huge is a great tip.

Actually, I’m a obsessive compulsive eater. It’s really bad. And so a big tip for that was when I’m like reaching for food right. Where it’s like self nourishing. It’s like, it’s also to pour yourself love at that moment, because then I’m like striving. For loving food. I’m like, you gave me a pound of cashews. It’s gone.

Well, yeah it’s giving us this concept of love that we’re striving outside of us. And so when we do that, see if something shifts yeah. See in that moment, if something just clicks that you’re just like, Hmm. Interesting. Hmm, I don’t need your love anymore. Goodbye. Yeah.

Jamie Chow: I could have used that advice earlier today. But now that I think about it, I’m like had I known to pour myself a whole cup of love if I went into this meeting and then I’m also, it’s like, you notice, like when people are just coming at you in the moment of conflict and then you tend to make yourself smaller and they, that person or group will get larger.

And so you kind of tend to make yourself feel like, well, why did I do wrong? What’s my problem. Am I unworthy? Am I not good enough? Or like, what’s what do they not see that I’m not seeing? And so it’s just, there’s some disconnect.

And so also remain calm too. Because emotions, people tend to like think especially women, unfortunately or people and within our community and the queer community, it’s like, oh, you guys are too emotional.

So it’s like they think emotions drive our intellect and our actions. So don’t let people take advantage of that and just like flick them off.

Steven Wakabayashi: Yeah. You got, yeah. You got to give yourself the space, right? The space, the compassion, the grace And sometimes, you know, a good analogy too, is like, you know, per Jinkx Monsoon. It’s like water off a Duck’s back. Like sometimes what people throw at us, we can decide if it’s gonna stick on us or we just let it roll off.

Yeah. You don’t have to put like cocoa butter all over. You just like, let it roll out with, you know, and so sometimes I think about that analogy, especially when people come with a lot of… especially in the work setting, right? Lack of patients a lot of hustle, a lot of frantic energy, just that they’re brewing.

And when they pour it in your direction, we just go, no, like I don’t need it, you know? And so at the end of the day it’s hard to say definitively. What you do in a particular moment, because everything is so different, but it’s also assessing, remember the inventory of how much energy do you have at this moment.

And maybe, you know, another moment you can show up and you can, you know, be compassionate and open up, you know, your space for others, but sometimes you just need space for yourself and it’s okay. It’s okay. And when we talk about grace and compassion, it’s being acknowledging of however you’re feeling and understanding that how you’re feeling is valid.

But also how everyone is feeling is valid in their own world. And how they process it and put it out into the world that’s on all of us to own. But what you feel and what you go through is totally valid because it’s layered through your education, right? Your life experiences, just so many things that’s just happened all throughout your life.

And so I would say with love is also compassion and understanding that your life is not the same, like anyone else, has there been another person that was born from the womb with you that has gone through your whole life experiences with you? Not really. So of course you’re going to have it different reaction to certain things and it’s okay.

Different parents, different education, different ethnicity, different place you live in the world, different friends, so many different things. And so with all those layers understand that maybe, you know, emotions that come up is just your way of acknowledging and processing information. Yeah.

And the last part I’ll say is we said it a few times in our room, butwe’re getting into like the mental space now, but it’s, our brain is split into the left side and the right side, right? The left is our verbal process. So how you can remember that is you do like an L and then you just do this, that’s how I remember it.

So the left brain is our verbal processing meaning it just contextualizes words, right? Chair, table, me, Stephen. I say these words and you understand what it means, right? When I say chair, the word, you know, a picture of a chair shows up, but let’s say, you know, I start naming colors, right? Yellow, pink, blue.

And so you see those colors, but maybe there’s an emotion attached to it, right? Maybe you love that color. Maybe you’re like, oh, I don’t like that color. That emotion is actually completely the other side of the brain, which is the emotional process. And really when we go throughout life, both of these sides are constantly giving us sensations.

The verbal side is able to put words to the senses we perceive, right? It’s hot. It’s smelly. It’s tasty. It’s loud, right? We put these words and then the other side of the brain processes, the emotion those feelings that you just cannot put words to. And when you can see it as a sensory perception, then everything starts to be less around. Maybe the words we attribute emotions to. Like anger is bad is what we’ve been told, or sadness is bad. You know, actually anger just means that your concept of reality doesn’t align with what’s happening. It’s kind of trippy. And the distance between it is how angry you are.

So anger is this tether between your internal state of reality and external state of reality. And the more angry you are, the tether is longer. And then sadness shows up for some folks as just needing to grieve something, you know, and just giving it space. I just realized I had comments turned off. I’m so sorry. I’m going through it now.

Yeah. Overwhelming frantic energy. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Awesome. Okay, let’s go to the next slide.

Let’s do it.

Principle 3: Support System

Jamie Chow: It was just, I just wanted to make a comment about how I

Steven Wakabayashi: go for it.

Jamie Chow: I wish like they, as in Pixar or like adults and stuff would make a better depiction of what anger looks like or what sadness looks like. Because in that movie, what was it like joy? I forgot the name Inside Out. Yeah, Inside Out.

Like, I love that movie, but it’s like, why does anger have to be so boxy and red? I guess I understand the color, but then the joy sadness is just this Derpy sad, crying. Baggy kind of kid, I guess, and it’s like the emo hair, but it’s like, I guess I wish they made everyone look like Joy.

Steven Wakabayashi: I know. It’s actually a trip. I love studying emotions. I do like a lot of it on the side and there’s this whole. I don’t know if anyone will like nerd out on this stuff, but it’s just how anger, when it shows up, it allows us to disconnect right. From systems that exists, or, you know, People telling us to do things.

We break away from it because anger shows up. And so there is this concept that anger has been co-opted as a tool to suppress folks and to antagonize the emotion of anger so that when it shows up, you’re like, Ooh, that’s not a good feeling, but in reality. It’s the emotion that drives you to figure out, Hey, do I want to align my internal world with the outside or vice versa to online the outside world closer with my internal world.

And so by antagonizing some of these really important feelings. It’s able to establish more unfortunately like dominance over folks. And so emotions are actually really, really, really strong part of social movements, activism, change. And when we could see it from that perspective, wow. It’s different.

It’s really different. And then the last part is when emotions show up. And you know, that time when you like see emotions, they like go away. I don’t want you, like, don’t like get away from me. And it builds and builds and builds and builds and builds.

Again, emotions are like senses. Imagine if you put your hand over a stove, right? What’s going to happen. It’s not the same sensation you feel at like just a longer duration. It gets hotter. It gets hotter. It gets hotter, right? It’s a sensation becoming more prominent saying you gotta move your effing hand.

And so emotions are the same way. It’s like a sonar. When it starts bleeping and the emotions start coming up, it means, Hey, recognize me. Hey, this is what’s happening. And when we silence it, the same exact sensory perception of smell, sound, touch, all these things, the sensory perception, the stimuli become more.

And so this is when our emotions become really overwhelming because there’s literally a part of us saying, please listen to me. This is really important. And why this is interesting because sometimes the emotions don’t get that big. But when we actually listen to our emotion and we either give it the space that it needs, we say, how do you respect this emotion when it shows up? When we give it the space, somehow it just dissipates, you know?

Or like when you’re talking to someone about something really sad that you just went through, and afterwards you’re like, oh, The emotion just somehow dissipated, right? Because we actually gave it the space to respect it, to let it be.

So it’s kind of trippy, right? It’s super trippy. But when we can see emotions as that, when it shows up, it’s not as scary, it’s a part of us. It helps us to align ourselves closer with what we really want. Deep down inside. The emotion is connected directly into our subconscious. Beyond right.

The verbal, and that’s why it’s tricky is because sometimes we can’t contextualize it because it’s not verbal processing. Yeah.

Jamie Chow: Yeah, totally, absolutely agree with that. It’s like one of my meditation classes, it’s if something’s bothering you. You have to recognize that something’s bothering you and then acknowledged that feeling and then investigate and then nurture it.

So the acronym’s RAIN, so it’s always helped me. So it’s, that’s leading back to what Steven said, like when you investigate and nurture it and talk about it, and then it goes away. It’s like, whoa, I’m glad I had given it the energy and air and breath to make it dissipate. So it’s like building on that, but it’s like kind of building your support system, which is like third principle.

And it’s building your support system at work, colleagues, mentors, HR, and then if you’re really lucky, it might even be your boss. In a personal support system, we all have that or chosen family and friends. And professional support, therapists, psychologists, tarot readers, astrologists, whatever, floats your boat. And you get some kind of guidance from your guides and spiritual guides that might be helpful. And community support, social media, internet, like Reddit or whatever forums you’d like to follow that you feel welcomed in. And organizations. Yeah, just acknowledging you might not show up as courageous at day one.

And so how do we build a system around us that will enable us to become more courageous?

Steven Wakabayashi: It looks like Aria’s really obsessed with therapists with also great astrology reading. That’s all, you know, it’s, these are different tools, right? And at the same time, it’s like relationships, right? When we build a relationship with different folds, it’s about really diversifying different folks. Not to use folks. But it’s understanding that no one’s perfect. No, one’s perfect. And when we really allow that to take form, we then have more compassion for folks. And we provide space for folks to show up just as who they are, you know, and. Allow them to enter our lives.

Sometimes we disconnect with people, you know, that’s okay. I’m like so much older now. And I’m just like, I’ve gone through so many of these like iterations and phases of friendships. And, you know, at one point I was just like, really, you know, just like really upset. I was just like, oh, like, Why, or you shouldn’t have done something better or, you know, I asked myself all these questions.

I’m just like, was it me? But when it comes down to it, we all evolve. We all shift. Think about who you were 10 years ago, right? Or just like five years ago, but like the capacity of understanding. The capacity of understanding one another. It’s just so different. And especially as we learn ourselves values or goals, we become more of who we are and it’s totally okay to find different tribes along the way, across the different spectrum, you know?

I will say one thing. That’s just like a little more on a personal level. It’s just like family. And I just, like, I would say, especially coming from an Asian household and just like very traditional, you know, just like being queer. It was just not a thing. I also don’t know anybody in my family who’s queer at all.

And so yeah, it just, it wasn’t a very great conducive household for queer identity is. And yeah, there was a point when I just had to disconnect myself completely, you know, just for myself, just to give myself the ability to find who I was. And for the longest time up until then, I was just like trying so hard to hold on to a different, you know, it’s almost like. What’s a good analogy.

Like I was on a Lily pad, with one foot on one and another foot on one, one foot on another Lily pad and another hand on another. And I’m trying to hold them all close together, you know, and they’re all trying to float their separate directions. And in that instance you just become suspended in a state where you’re just holding on for dear life.

And. Yeah, it, you know, it was just one of those moments when I just had to just step away, take some time to reflect found a great, you know, community who welcomed me with open arms, taught me so much about myself. Community, how to hold space for myself. And when I was able to take time for myself, I really radically transformed my perspective.

Yeah. And I would say at one point I also traveled alone by myself for a whole good year. Just like different places around the world. And I, it was kind of nerve wracking because I had never done that before. I’d always traveled to other people because I’m like, oh no, I need people, you know, and this was one of those.

Moments where I was like, fuck life. I don’t care. And I just did it. And then I w it was really stressful going through it because you have these vices that show up. That’s like, Oh like, oh, like, are you, I want to do this with somebody or I, I need to do this with somebody. Or it’s all these things that come up, you know?

And sometimes we hold on to things. Not because they are useful for us, but we hold onto things because this is familiar to us. And so sometimes the vices we have that sometimes shackle us to the things that we’re trying to break free from. We hold on to it so close because we, so we have so self identified with it.

And so that is a huge recommendation I give to folks is just take time for yourself, you know, just give yourself the space. And it’s just, there’s somethings that it’s just like, you just have to do, which is take yourself out to a coffee shop by yourself. Take yourself out to the restaurant by yourself.

Seriously, just like go. Take yourself out. It is liberating. It is like once you get over the weirdness, you’re like, I could leave whenever I want. I can just order whatever I want. I could take my time as long as I want. And it’s okay. You know, and. Once, at least for myself, when I was able to give myself the grace to do that, there’s just so many things that came out, you know, like of my own skeleton closet that I just really struggled to see eye-to-eye with.

And it wasn’t until I was able to do that, that with certain folks in my family who are very conservative, which is like really, you know, like we just do not see eye to eye with that. I was able to see it in a very different light. Because it’s tough. It’s, we’re so critical of ourselves. And so we struggled to hold space for ourselves and if there’s somebody else, who’s very conservative, just like it has ideal set. They’re even more strict of what the world is. And so if we struggle to really hold the space container for our world, of course, it’s going to be so hard, to hold space for these forks. And so it’s you know, different strokes for different people, different, you know, everyone at their different pace.

But I share this to maybe, you know, see if anyone is interested to try some of these different tips or just ways that you can find your own liberation. Yeah. And what does that mean? And however you find it is up to you. And when you’re able to start finding what really works, meaning you’re able to see some of your inner demons, these skeletons, and they come out and you face them one at a time and you’re like, what’s up, let’s talk.

That’s how we get through life one at a time. Yeah. Thanks for coming, James. That was a mouthful. Sorry. Oh my God. I just went into it. Yeah. Oh my goodness. I really got into it. Yeah. It’s still a lot of self work, you know, it’s just some folks in my family still don’t see eye to eye that’s okay.

You know, that’s okay. Don’t let that define who you are, how amazing you are. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Yeah. Okay. Excellent.

Principle 4: Self-Awareness

Jamie Chow: Well, the next principle is a self-awareness and I’m building it do an inventory check of your strengths and your shortcomings. Leverage your strengths and work on where there’s opportunity to build on your shortcomings.

Just wanted to say, like your perception of your strengths and shortcomings may not be the same as what someone else’s. So it might be good to get a perspective of some, like your best friend and then your mom, and then a coworker that might have a conflict with you. So just getting a broad spectrum of that helps expand your brain and really.

Help you be more self-aware and you acknowledge and accept critique and a warm, welcoming, fun way then that’s like the next item. Yeah. So basically feedback is gold. It’s like golden nuggets of like precious information that nobody really wants to be the bad guy and say something that might not be so positive to hear and well received by you.

People can say, oh, Jamie, like you’re doing so great. He looks so nice today. Your hair’s awesome. But it’s like, okay, but what are you really thinking underneath that? That you’re murmuring in the hallways or something. So, I think just being able to, as a designer and a person that values like good feet, like feedback and roasts, and you want to be a better human being than it is very critical that you welcomed feedback and critique and it’s you don’t want to become a brain in a jar.

And just really creative tension is good tension.

Do you have anything to add to that, Steven?

Steven Wakabayashi: I was saying with feedback. Hmm, world are different hues of grays. It’s not black, it’s not white. And so when you receive feedback for a long time in my career, I took everyone’s feedback to heart where I was like, anyone who said anything. I’m like, I need to apply that to my life.

But there’s, sometimes people will come from place. That’s just not a cute place. You know, they’re going through their own stuff. And sometimes it shows up in the workplace, right? Where. We may be with hyper-competitive people. We may be with folks who just don’t have the stuff in a way that allows other people to be in the container with them.

And so sometimes when feedback comes your way, that is just really harsh, really evil, and just like really, it doesn’t sit well first it’s just. Allow you to feel that right. Just like feel it because that again is a sensation, it’s an emotional state. And when that rings, you have to listen to it because once you.

You know, you say, ah, don’t listen. What ends up happening is like sensation, right? It’s like heat. We become desensitized to it. And so that’s where you see people falling into the same trust because they’ve shuttered the emotions that help them to drive the action that they need to shift something in life.

But they’ve desensitized us so much that it, when it shows up in the very tinniest kind of sensation. They don’t feel it anymore because they’re like just pushing it away. So first is just acknowledge. Does this feedback resonate with you? And then the second part that I always ask is where does it come from them?

Is it coming from a good place in their heart? Do they want what’s best for me? And the instance, if it isn’t wanting the best for me, then that’s when I go. Hmm. Yeah. Like, I don’t know if I need to keep it, you know, so some feedback I got along the way. There were people who said, you know, design, you know, it’s not the path like career path for me, you know, it’s such a waste of my time, like go back to programming, you know, you can sit in a cave and just like, do your own thing.

It’s like, okay, you can do that in design too. Other folks have said, you know, oh, you’re like, you really liked design. So just like you should do that instead of like UX, for example. But it’s just. I was just like taking everyone’s all these feedback. And then when you do that, you become this like hodgepodge, like just like taffy that just collected all these like ingredients around.

And so the next advice I have from there is find who nourishes you, right? Find the people, find the community again, the support system of people that you just you’re like, ah, this is my life. Try it, these are the people at work. And then go to them and index more on their feedback. Yeah. And if people aren’t showing up for you right.

At the minimum, they don’t give you the time of day. Why are you giving them the time of day to take in all their feedback, right? Yeah. Yeah. Dropping some gold. Yeah, you could put uh, your check in our uh. Make it out to our org. Seminar payment. JK it’s all free. All right, let’s do a Jamie.

Jamie Chow: I’m just kidding.

Or we win the lottery.

Steven Wakabayashi: Oh my God. I dream for that day.

Principle 5: Courage

Jamie Chow: Okay, well then the guiding principle is courage. Having the strength to stand for your missions and values in order to bring your most authentic self to work. And there’s a sense of courage you have to bring. Without courage it isn’t impossible to demonstrate any kind of other virtues at least on a consistent basis.

Courage helps activate the values, I would say, and also great consistency. So just like how we’re measuring earlier, how people are coming at you when you feel small and then you’re just like shrinking and shrinking and your smalleness is adding too. Think of a hot air balloon. You know, like your balloon is getting smaller and this person over here’s group is getting hot air and they’re getting a lot bigger. And so you have to have the courage to stand up to them and say like, yo, I’m drinking a cup of love for myself. And like back up, I hear you. I see you. But I will thoroughly consider and contemplate if this feedback is valuable for me right now in this moment.

And is it going to drive value? Is it going to help me complete my project? Is it going to make me more fulfilled and feel more impactful in whatever it is, but we’re doing,

Steven Wakabayashi: what does courage mean to you though? Jamie? Like if you had to define courage, what does it mean for you?

Jamie Chow: Courage, I Mean, it’s not only for sticking up for yourself. It’s also standing up for others. Like I’m a Capricorn. I firmly believe in loyalty and justice. And when there is some injustice in the room, I just can not stand it. And so I just want to be courageous, not only for me. Oh, yay. All right. But yeah, not only be courageous for me, but also like how like resonating again, back to what Steven was mentioning, how you show up for yourself is really how you show up for others as well.

So if you can’t really be courageous and stand up for your values, And then what you’re doing, what, you know, helps you feel like you’re contributing to the world and being a good person, then how are you going to share the same values and stand up for people or someone else. Like the same quote. If you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love someone else?


Steven Wakabayashi: Yeah. So good. Yeah. Courage for me is. If I were to define it, which is like weird words, it’s doing a thing that, you know, you have to do you’re like you know, and you know, you have to do it because it’s good for you. That is courage. That, that it’s like that feeling, it’s like, it’s so hard to like, say what it is, but it’s that, I don’t know.

It’s like, it’s not conscience, right? It’s not like. Like, I don’t know, what’s that word, but it’s just that, that feeling that you’re just like, Oh, like I have to do it, but there’s that blockage of fear that exists,

Jamie Chow: LIke procrastination, like, you know, some reason you don’t want to do it at that. And that is something I honestly have to struggle with. I’m like, I know, I knew I could do that. I knew how to do that, but then it’s like. Do I really want to do it right no?.

Steven Wakabayashi: Oh my God. I am a procrastinator who is a procrastinator here. It’s so bad. Recovering. Yeah. Recovering procrastinator. Yeah. We should do procrastinators anonymous.

Our organization to be a weekly procrastination support group. Yeah. Raise your hand. Be proud of it. You know,

Jamie Chow: I think the perfectionism procrastination and my point again, leading back to the capricornistic traits.

Yeah, well

Steven Wakabayashi: with procrastination, you know what? I will tell you, I would drop some knowledge on your again, it’s about emotion. What you’re doing is stirring up emotions. And you’re not procrastinating the action, but you’re trying to move away from the emotion that’s coming up in doing that thing. So you’re actually trying to avoid the emotion, not the actual task itself and so it’s really about shifting how you feel about something rather than actually doubling down and doing it.

Interesting. Mind trip.

You’re like but I put this calendar thing. It wasn’t the calendar, boo, it wasn’t the calendar. But I did more to-do tasks like boxes. No, it wasn’t the boxes, boo. Not the box. It’s what is this stirring up in you? What is this reminding you of and asking yourself? How do I just give that space? You know, how do I acknowledge what’s coming up and then just sit in there?

Yeah. Try this next time. Just be when you feel the feelings of procrastination, show up, just sit and give yourself like one, two minute meditation and just let the emotions be. And just close your eyes. One, two minutes is not going to destroy the whole day. Going Instagram, it’s like five hours gone.

So it’s like, yeah, just sit with the emotion. Just let it be and see what comes up and you’ll notice when you just give it space. Something shifts. Yeah. I say this, I still like procrastinate. But you know work in progress. We’re not perfect. Yeah. I love it. I know my body says no many times, especially during the pandemic.

Principle 6: Vulnerability

Jamie Chow: Yeah. So it’s just like segue-ing how we’re all like a work in progress. And um, I feel like and I’ve seen and witnessed anthro research. Brene Brown is like, vulnerability should not be seen as a sign of weakness. It makes you human. We have emotions. We have our things that we need to make us feel like a human being.

Recognizing and understanding that nobody’s perfect. It’s all journey here. We’re all a work in progress until the day that we pass on to the next life of doing whatever we’re going to do. Awesomeness. And just keeping a great growth mindset, mentality allowing yourself to be wrong and giving the space, the grace to learn and grow from your mistakes in your own way, method, and time.


Steven Wakabayashi: That’s it. You got it. Yeah. Hmm. Let’s do an exercise real quick before we close out for just this session, let’s do an exercise real quick. If you need to turn off the camera, go for it. You can keep it on too, but just close your eyes for a second. Yeah. Just close your eyes. Close your eyes. Yep. Yeah. I see you, Mahogany. Close your eyes.

Close your eyes. Just kidding and just find. Just relax. Comfortable seated position. Yeah. Just, just let go of some tension, just relax and just. You might give a couple sighs out. You might just feel parts of your body just relax. I’m going to recite a couple affirmations. Yeah.

I am working hard. I’m doing my best. And that’s enough.

I show up for myself every day.

And that’s also enough. I have dreams. I have amazing aspirations and I have things I want to accomplish. And I can hold on to all of them and give them the space and how I navigate through life in my own way

is all right. That I don’t need to follow word for word a book, what somebody said, what I read online blog, posts, podcasts, whatever it is because

the direction I take

is the right path for me.

I love me. It’s a little cheesy. But just feel that, just feel that for a second. Yeah. I love me. And how does that feel? Yeah, I’ll say one more time. I love me. I show off me.

I am here for me.

I am here for me. Maybe give yourself one more affirmation, whatever word shows up for you. I am blank. I am loved. I am seen, I am beautiful. I am gorgeous. I am fulfilled. I am wonderful. I am living. I am conscious. I am free. I am exploring, I am exploring. I’m chasing after my dreams.

I love me. Don’t forget this feeling. This is how you show up for yourself. This is the power of affirmations. I know it might feel a little like cheesy a first, but it’s, this is how we show up for ourselves. You know, you can enable your webcam now. And just give a couple sighs out and just let something go.

Maybe just let something go that you’re holding on to that maybe it was just not serving you. Maybe it’s something you’ve said about yourself or somebody said about you and just,

just let it go. Water off a duck’s back. Yeah. Awesome. Happy pride. Happy pride. Happy pride. Yeah,

no, I, this is like less of the meditation. I teach a lot of meditation on this side. This is not like deep meditation, but yeah, it’s If you have a chance to explore what this looks like. Yeah. I hope you enjoy that. Yeah. You felt it. This is liberation. This is what liberation feels like. And nobody can take that away from us.

Yeah. Nobody. We might have structures in place on the outside, systems in place that may make us believe otherwise, but. Yeah.

Liberation. That’s what it feels like to be free of the shackles that others put upon us. Yeah.

So with that, why don’t we close out the first portion of it? And then we just have a 30 minute quick activity for folks. With that we will turn off the recording, see you at our next UX nights.


Transcription by Descript

A big part of work is showing up – truly as ourselves. In this session, you will learn:

  • Being aware and letting go of what holds you back from showing up
  • Creating a support system within your organization and community
  • Building self-awareness and self-inquiry
Sign Up

Event Extras

Recent UX Nights

May 9, 2023

Mindfulness as a QTBIPOC Creative

How to avoid burnout, finding balance, and defining your passion

April 11, 2023

Design Justice in Practice

Centering Marginalized Communities in Design