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Trust yourself: what eating kimchi can teach you about trusting your own boldest, weirdest ideas

Trust yourself! We hear that all the time, but what does it actually mean? Here’s an example:

Last Friday, my husband John and I went to visit his mom, who lives one town over in Newport News, VA. And like we almost always do on our way home, we stopped off at our favorite Korean market, Jung Ha, for fresh kimchi (spicy Korean pickled veggies, sooo good!). We got three different kinds and went home happy.

That night, we made some rice and opened up the kimchi. It was all delicious…until a few bites in, when my mouth started burning. Whew, these batches were way, way hotter than usual! I could barely finish what was on my plate. It was still really good, but the red pepper level was just too much for me. 

The next day, around lunchtime, I had an idea. What if I rinsed off some of the pepper? Like, put some in a colander and literally ran some water over it? Would that be too weird? 

I almost didn’t do it. I felt really silly, and more than a little embarrassed that I couldn’t handle the heat. Rinsing it off would definitely undermine any foodie street cred I could claim to possess.  

But the choice was clear: rinse off the kimchi, or don’t eat it at all. So I got out the colander and sprayed down another portion until about half the pepper was gone. And then, I proceeded to chomp it all down and do a little happy dance. Yesss!! Maximum deliciousness had been achieved!

So, why am I telling you this story? What’s the point, besides possibly making you hungry? 

Well…when I work with coaching clients, they almost always have a pretty good sense of what’s not working in their lives. (Like in my case–I knew the kimchi was too hot for me.) 

And they often have an idea of how they’d like things to be. (Like, I wanted the kimchi to be less spicy.)

But, often, they doubt their own vision, or they feel like they don’t have permission to move toward what they want. (Like, I dismissed my kimchi-rinsing idea as silly. And I felt embarrassed about wanting to try it.)

In those moments, the work of coaching is all about helping clients to believe in the value and worth of their own visions, and to give themselves permission to go for it. (Like, I had to work through my own hesitation to try something different so I could actually enjoy the kimchi.)

(Learn more about coaching here.)

And if this sounds familiar to you in any way, shape, or form–

If you ever find yourself doubting your ideas or feeling embarrassed about what other people are going to think–

Then I‘d like to offer you a big, heaping serving of permission to try out your boldest, weirdest ideas, even if it’s only in the privacy of your own home. 

Why not experiment? It’s OK if you feel a little silly or embarrassed at first. You don’t have to get stuck there. Try something small, and see how it goes. Then take another small risk, and another, and another. Once you get started, who knows what truly transformative changes you might just be ready to cook up for yourself?  

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