Steps I followed to free myself from emotional shopping

A rack of clothes.
A rack of clothes.
Image source: FiledIMAGE.

This story is the epitome of first world problems. About a year ago I was in a designer store with my husband and I was falling in love with a beige wallet on a chain that I couldn’t afford. It could hardly fit my phone and yet the price tag was worth two new phones. “I’m in love,” I gushed to the sales assistant who was doing her best to laugh off my husband’s concern.

“You don’t have the money,” he muttered. I went bright red, awkwardly pretending I didn’t hear him. I told the sales associate I may come…


When confidence holds you back from success

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Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

There’s a story floating around in my brain that dresses itself up as a memory because it’s been told to me so many times. When I was around 3 years old, my mother realized I was extremely shy. Foreseeing the hardships ahead, she decided to intervene and make me the star of my own show.

She would take me with her to visit friends and make me dance and sing in front of them until she saw a vibrant and confident personality emerge. Their living rooms became the stage upon which I developed self-esteem. …


For years I was putting my negative feelings in a box. Here’s what I should have done instead

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

For years I thought the secret to success was the ability to Marie Kondo your emotions and organize them into neat little boxes. Each box has a label such as “Career” or “Side hustle” and can be stored away in a dedicated space in your mind. If one box is too messy and causing stress then it can be put away for the moment. There is no spillover to the other boxes. I always thought that mastery over organizing your mental boxes was key to getting ahead.

This idea of compartmentalization as a skill became further entrenched when I was…


Why was I trying to emulate Tony Robbins when my life was so different? These are the practices that actually worked for me.

A small piece of note paper pegged to a thin branch.
A small piece of note paper pegged to a thin branch.
Image credit: puflic_senior.

In my mid-20s, I experienced years of feeling lost and constantly stressed out. I also discovered gratitude as a tool for mental wellbeing and it’s been a part of my life ever since in one form or another. I’m now 30 and reaping rewards from the emotional scaffolding put in place by my younger self.

The benefits of practicing gratitude are well established. It’s a popular and accessible way to speak about mental wellbeing. There’s no better time to talk about mental health than right now.


Lessons from creating a successful career after a failed startup

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Photo: camilo jimenez/Unsplash

I remember the first day of my first “real job” at the age of 27. As is customary, the new boss took me around to meet all the key people I would be expected to build relationships with. First, I met the people occupying 4-way workstation desks. Then the ones who sat in rooms the size of my studio apartment. One of these rooms belonged to a Director. I was introduced, and he asked, “Where are you from?”

That’s an odd question, I thought. I’m more familiar withWhat’s your elevator pitch?” when meeting businesspeople. …


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Photo by Fredrick Tendong on Unsplash

Methodologies: observation, diary study and in-depth interviews. My “research” was conducted prior to the pandemic and involves descriptions of social gatherings. Published with permission from the subjects.

Nigel Latta in his book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers” pronounced this age as a period of temporary insanity. Almost overnight my identical twin brothers who are 11 years my junior, who I helped raise, became cavemen. I consider myself lucky to still get hugs when I go home for visits. Beyond that, it’s grunts or shrugs. All of a sudden, they’re speaking a different language. …


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Photo by Joan You on Unsplash

I’m a Kiwi living in Melbourne on what would have been a typical OE. OE stands for “overseas experience” which is a common coming-of-age activity that most young Kiwis partake in. It’s our way to see and experience the bigger world that we grew up isolated from before going back to start a family. That’s the stereotype anyway.

My husband and I are newly married. We lived and worked apart for most of last year. 2020 was meant to be the start of our new life together. Like most Melbournians, we were still inhaling bushfire smoke when COVID-19 became breaking…


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The title is a bit misleading. From my experience, you don’t find them. Not really. It’s more like the universe has a way of making the right ones known to you. You merely have to be self-aware enough to recognise when someone has the ability to unlock parts of your brain. These are the kind of people you want to build relationships with but not all of them will turn out to be mentors. Maybe they are someone who came into your life and offered a piece of advice that you just really needed to hear in that particular moment…


Real talk from one entrepreneur to another — adapted from a letter written to the co-fellows of the DO School’s Connection Challenge program.

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Image credit: Delwin Steven Campbell licensed under Creative Commons (Attribution) Licence

Dear fellow entrepreneur,

Here are some things that I’ve been bursting to say to you.

Well done on all your progress this year, whether personal or venture-related. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see your activities all over my Facebook and Instagram feeds.

I hope that you feel proud of your efforts and for sticking to what you said you would do earlier in the year. I hope you remember to give yourself some credit because I…

Lucy Xie

Design researcher by trade. Mental health advocate. Personal & professional growth writer. Storyteller.

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