In today's episode, I talk to Felicia, founder of www.dishbydish.net and www.felicialim.com, and a fellow Singaporeans I'd met when I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Other than quitting her banking job and leaving both family and friends by making the bold move to move to Argentina 6 years ago for love, she is now living her dream life working full-time in her dream job of being a food blogger and photographer. In her own words, she now "wakes up everyday with a skip in her step" and is "positive that she has the best job in the world"! Felicia's courage to continuously pursue what her heart tells her to despite the other considerations and fears she has makes her an incredible role model for all of us to look up to.
Listen to this episode to learn Felicia's view on:
- How true courage comes - when the desire to do something is greater than the fear of doing it (2:12 min)
- Why adversities create opportunities and how courage is a choice made by listening to your desires (4:57 min)
- Why being courageous and doing what you desire despite feeling afraid bring optimum happiness (6:10 min)
- How staying in the comfort zone will not bring extreme happiness (6:39 min)
- How it feels like to have a dream job (6:59 min)
- Why it's alright to step out of the comfort zone and do something you have always wanted (8:52 min)
- How the worst situation possible is often not as bad as we imagine it to be (9:10 min)
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27 July 2016
Interviewee : Felicia Lim, founder of dishbydish.net (FL)
Interviewer : Jane Tan (JT)
JT : Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Stories of Courage. Once again, I am your host for today, my name is Jane Tan, I am the founder of janetan.net and I’m a life coach and trainer. So I started this journey, this project because I realised there are so many people out there in the world that have courageous stories to share! I have another very special guest with me today, her name is Felicia. Felicia is a fellow Singaporean I met when I was in Buenos Aires and she has moved to Buenos Aires and has been living there for the last 6 years? And she actually moved there for a very brilliant reason – she moved there for love and she has taken a drastic turn from her career in finance, and now she’s doing food photography and she’s a food blogger, and you can find out more about her on dishbydish.net or felicialim.com! So without further ado, let me introduce you to Felicia!
FL : Hi Jane, thanks for inviting me to your podcast, I’m very excited.
JT : So the reason why I picked Felicia is because I think she is really taking a very alternative path, something that really requires a lot of courage, because from where we came from, as in Singapore, it’s a lot about efficiency and it’s a lot about doing what society thinks is great for us to do. So meeting Felicia is great because she is one person who has taken the alternative path and started defining what happiness is to her. So the first question I will like ask you is, what does courage mean to you?
FL : Ok, so, courage is to me, basically knowing that you have something that is difficult to do and will definitely not be easy, but it’s something that you know deep down inside you need to do and you do it despite your fears. That’s basically what courage means to me.
JT : Wow. So you were saying that it’s doing something despite your fear. But how do you usually go ahead and do it if you’re feeling the fear? That is the question that a lot of people have asked me back in return. So what’s your view on that?
FL : Well, I guess true courage comes when you like, really want to do something and you know that, that’s the right thing to do, the right path to take? Like you mentioned just now that I moved here 6 years ago for love and I mean, if you think about it, when I moved here I was only 24 years old. You know, like I was, just 2 years out of university, I was working at an international bank and I decided, I was thinking about moving here because you know, doing a long distance relationship was just difficult, and at that point of time, I didn’t know how to speak Spanish, I didn’t have any friends in Buenos Aires, I didn’t have a job waiting for me…I basically didn’t know anybody except for Juan in Argentina…Juan’s my boyfriend by the way. So, obviously there were many reasons for me to be scared. There were many different fears that I was facing. Like, you know, what if I didn’t find a job, what if I can’t speak Spanish, what if I can’t make friends? And all these things were definitely, you know, at the back of my mind. But I think the reason why I ultimately took the leap was because the desire that I had to be Argentina was greater than the fears that I had. That’s how, I think, one comes to a decision and decide to do something despite feeling afraid.
JT : So from what I hear from you, it’s all about the inner voice and the desires. If you have the desire that speaks to you, we should just, listen to that little voice and just go ahead with what our heart tells us.
FL : You need to have, like, a lot of desire to do something, for example making a big decision. It could be a decision as big as relocating to a totally different continent or it could be just deciding to change your job or to take up a new hobby. I think it ultimately boils down to listening to, like what you’ve said, your inner voice. You need to know what is right for yourself, not what people around you are telling you is correct or not.
JT : I like what you mentioned, because that is the guiding light for you. What is one recent story of courage that you can share with us at this point in time?
FL : Just to give you a little bit of background, after I moved from Singapore to Buenos Aires, I started working as a financial analyst, and then after that I did a short stint in an online advertising firm. And earlier this year, in January, my boss actually told us that the company was closing down and they had to retrench the whole lot of us. During these, the last 4 years, I’ve actually been working on my hobby…I’ve actually had a hobby of food photography and I’ve been writing my food blog dishbydish.net for the last 4 years. And during the time that I was working with my previous company, I’ve always been thinking, you know, what would it be like to actually do this fulltime? Like do food photography as a fulltime living and actually earning a decent income from it? And I mean, this was something that I thought about, but because I had like a stable salary, I had a stable job, I never actually moved out of my comfort zone. But when my boss told us he was going to retrench us, I was like, ok, now I have…I’m at crossroads, right? I can either go to another company and apply for a job and work for somebody else’s dream, or I can finally decide to do what my heart has been telling me to do. At that point of time, I was like, what should I choose? Because between a stable salary and having a fixed income every month, versus not knowing what sort of income you’re going get each month, which was a better decision? In the end, I decided, it was now or never, I decided to just take the plunge and go ahead and do food photography full time and I can tell you that for the last 6 months, I’ve never been happier.
JT : There was an opportunity that was opened for you, and you kind of took the active leap, or rather you actually took the path and the chance to go for what you’ve always wanted to. How did doing that make you feel and how do you think it will impact you going forward in your decision making?
FL : I think like I’ve mentioned earlier, after making this decision to go into food photography full time and being able…I wake up every day with like a skip in my step. I love what I do, and I think this is probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And the fact that I’m so happy, being able to do what I love for most of my waking hours…it has convinced me that listening to your inner voice and being courageous even when you feel afraid, is actually very important in life. Because, if not, we will always just stick and stay within our comfort zone. I mean, maybe you’ll be happy, but you will never be like, extremely happy.
JT : Yeah. I remember this quote that Tim Ferriss mentioned, he said that the thing we fear most is probably the thing that we need to do…which is really interesting because it is so contradictory.
FL : Exactly, totally agree.
JT : Wow, so if I hear you correctly, you feel this absolute sense of satisfaction. There isn’t a day that I think you drag your feet to work, so to speak.
FL : No no no, not anymore.
JT : That’s awesome. Like, how many people would dream to be in that position.
FL : I know! There was one day I woke up and then, I just thought to myself, “oh my god I think I have the best job in the world..no, I am positive I have the best job in the world! And I was just like, you know, oh my goodness, so happy!
JT : Wow! I think when you share this story, a lot of people will also….I think it also gives them courage to really think about the job that they are doing now. Some of us are in great jobs of course. Some of us are in less than satisfactory jobs and maybe it’s time to take a look at it and to ask ourselves, hmmm, what can I do today about it?
FL : Exactly.
JT : I have one last question for you today. What made you decide to come on this show today because it’s a fairly new show, we all know that, but I’m really keen to know, why is it that when I approached you, you decided that, ok I am going to do this podcast with Jane?
FL : We first met last year right, about a year ago when you were living in Buenos Aires and you were telling me about your story about how you left your bank job and….and to be honest I find your story very inspiring and I think it is also very courageous, what you did, because, you know, you left a really nice job to be able to travel the world and you know to be without a paycheck for like, one to two years, and I think that’s very admirable. Because most people nowadays have all these dreams of travelling the world but they never actually do anything about it and you on the other hand, you are living your dream. So when I met you and I remember you gave me like a coaching session once, and I was really impacted by it because I really felt that you helped me understand the root of some of my problems back then. And so when you told me that you were doing this podcast on Stories of Courage, I thought that more and more people need to know that it’s ok to just step out of their comfort zones and just do something, something that may not be easy and possibly like difficult. But with the right amount of desire and courage, they can actually make it work! That’s what I learnt, you really just got to go for it. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Like if it doesn’t work, you can always go back to your comfort zone and do what you’ve been doing for the rest of your life right?
JT : I really like what you’ve mentioned and really thank you, for being so honest and for sharing your life story today. Guys, please do check out www.dishbydish.net. There are awesome recipes on it that’s very unique..
FL : So basically the recipes that I do are… I mean that I feature on my blog are all simple and healthy recipes, most of which are gluten-free, because my boyfriend Juan is Celiac, which basically means he can’t eat anything with gluten in it. And also recently he found out that he’s allergic to eggs and milk and soy….so going forward, my recipes are going to be gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and like soy-free….it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be challenging, but it’s going to be fun, mark my words!
JT : I really really appreciate your time today and for being here with me today to share your story. Through this story you’ve shared, a lot of people will also start thinking about theirs and think of what they can do, like take baby steps towards what they want. So thank you once again for being here with me, and as usual, before I end my podcast today, the one question I really want to ask everyone is, what is the one thing you can do today, that will make a little bit of an impact and difference to your life? So signing out from Spain here for Jane and Buenos Aires for Felicia, and till we talk again!
FL : Bye!