#113: Fortune Cookies Give You Permission

This is episode number 113. Welcome to the Mindset for Life podcast. This is Bethanie, your coach from DrBCoach.com, coaching with power, purpose and practical tools to help you show up with confidence.

Welcome to the podcast today. I’m so excited to have you here! We’re going to talk about fortune cookies. Now, it’s not really about fortune cookies, of course, it’s actually about you. What you think, your thoughts, and what you can do with fortune cookies.

So, I love eating Mongolian barbecue with my husband. In fact, way back when we were just dating, more than 25 years ago, we enjoyed this place in Pocatello, Idaho that was a Mongolian barbecue. We would go there and we would eat the food and hang out. And one of the guys that would cook the food would stop, and he would take a stick, and he would spin a plate at the top.

Pretty soon he had two or three of these things going at once, and it was so much fun to watch him. I think it gave us a permanent happy feeling every time we went to a Mongolian barbecue. So, to this day, we love going to Mongolian barbecue. It’s one of our very favorite things to eat.

But my favorite part of the Mongolian barbecue is the fortune cookie that I get at the end. And I’ve started this habit of collecting the fortunes that I get in those fortune cookies. Some of them are just Proverbs, some of them are just nice ideas, and others are really encouragement, maybe even permission for me to do something totally different.

Now, this podcast is for you, if you love, serve, and help other people, and you just want things to be better. You want things to be different. It’s like that same pattern just keeps happening over and over. And we’re exhausting ourselves helping everybody else. And it’s really hard to get the time to spend on ourselves, to make things better or different in the future. But also to feel better about how things are going. Now today, I want to talk a little bit about the special gift that the fortune cookie message has for you.

And I’m going to read some of these to you just to get us started. So, two that I have sitting on my desk waiting to be taped into my planner. One is, “You will get a great deal on a major purchase.” It’s kind of like a prophecy. And this one, “Your perceptions are sharpened through careful observation.”

Now when I got those two fortunes, the first one made me think, “Hey, I should be on the lookout for a great deal.” It’s almost like it gives me permission to start spending money and looking for major purchases. “Where I’m gonna get a great deal?” Right?

It’s kind of a silly thing, but it really opens my perspective. And it makes me want to go shopping. I just might do that.

And then the second one, “Your perceptions are sharpened through careful observation,” it can go with that major purchase idea. And I might start thinking, “Well, I need to carefully observe what really is a great deal. What is a good price for something?” And that fortune is going to help me with the other one. But it’s also going to help me in everything I do this coming week.

I’m going to be thinking, “Where do I need to slow down and carefully observe? Where do I need to start noticing people or seeing things differently? Maybe I need to pay more attention to all of the details.” Whatever it is, I’m going to notice things differently because of that fortune cookie.

Now in my planner, I have taped a whole bunch of fortunes from fortune cookies that we’ve gotten at the Mongolian barbecues we visit. Think about what these might mean, if you should come across one on any given day.

“You have a natural poise and potential for fame.” Now, if you’re a person who’s doing teaching and life coaching, and you’re selling it out there, sometimes you might be hit with impostor syndrome. Maybe you’re worried that no one’s really listening to you. Or maybe you’re worried that whatever you’re trying to sell or put out there is just not going to fly. Maybe you think it’s not worth putting in all that time and effort and energy. And you come across this fortune, “You have a natural poise and potential for fame,” and this one is actually reassuring, it can tell you, “Hey, you should just try anyway. Keep going. Keep diligently pursuing it.”

Put your podcast out there every week. Get your coaching program out there, get those lessons out there that you’re teaching online. Whatever it is, even a small thing like that fortune cookie is going to give you a little bit more permission to risk to try new things. And don’t we all sometimes feel like we just need a little more permission to be ourselves? That one will give you a great start.

Here’s another one, “You’re very persistent in pursuing your goals in life.” I love that one. Thinking about how pursuing goals can be such a challenge is a really big deal. In fact, a lot of people who come to me for coaching have very specific goals they’ve already created. They’ve already come up with, but they have no idea how to persist, how to know if it’s the right thing. And how to continue until they reach them. After all, when we set appropriate goals for ourselves, we’re going to hit roadblocks. We’re gonna have a lot of challenges along the way. And many things are really going to pop up that stop us in our tracks. Pretty soon, we’ll be wondering, “Was that really the right thing for me? Should I have been pursuing that goal? Or should I just stop now and change directions?”

Whatever comes up that stands in your way, remember, you’re very persistent in pursuing your goals in life. And that idea can help you continue on through the tough times until you reach the goal.

How about this one, “People in your background will be more cooperative than usual”? When I saw that fortune, I thought, why do I need to tap into people in my background? Is that people from the past? Is that people in my tight social circle, what exactly does that mean when we’re thinking about people in our background? But when I think people in my life are going to be more cooperative than usual, I’m thinking that’s going to open me up to ask more questions, make connections with them, and reach out and call them up. Sometimes I might put off reaching out to someone else, because I think they’re going to resist what I’m asking. Or maybe they just don’t want to talk to me. Maybe they’re busy. If I think they’re going to be more cooperative than usual, I’m going to have a lot easier time reaching out in the first place. So this one also is about giving myself permission.

And it’s for you, giving yourself permission to reach out. If you think people are going to be more cooperative than usual with you, doesn’t that make you feel like reaching out? It’s a good thing.

Here’s another one, “You will be singled out for promotion.” This one actually happened to me fairly recently, in the last couple of years. And when you think maybe you want to move up in an area or in your career, or in your side gig, whatever it is, if you’d like to have a different experience, it can be discouraging to start taking stock and really thinking about what it will take to get that promotion. But if you have this idea that you’re going to be seen and wanted for that promotion, regardless of what you do, you can relax. You can start being yourself instead of trying to figure out how to fit someone else’s impossible standard for you. Being singled out for a promotion also gives you permission to really use your strengths and talents.

Have you ever had that experience where you wanted something, and you thought you had to change yourself to get it? Like maybe they’re looking for someone who acts a certain way, or has a certain set of skills. Like maybe you could just never quite have all that you needed to have to get what you wanted?

Well, if you’re going to be singled out for it, you don’t have to stretch, you can actually be yourself and then focus on just being really good at what you bring to the table. This is especially important when you’re already thinking that getting a promotion could be a scary thing.

Changing jobs or changing roles comes with a whole host of ambiguous things. And it changes everything. Your social group changes for you. Your position in the business or in the school changes. Your opportunities to connect with other people change. The level of pressure you put on yourself might change. So thinking about getting singled out for promotion is a really interesting idea that gives you permission to relax.

Now I’ve already said quite a few things about fortune cookies. And I hope that you’ll think about what comes to mind for you the next time you are at a restaurant where there are fortune cookies. I’ll read a few more to you that I found worthwhile enough to put in my planner.

Here’s one from Panda Express, “You have a vibrant personality.”

And another, “Your good nature will bring you happiness.”

Now from a few more Mongolian barbecues I had, “Allow your curiosity to lead you to the answer you seek.”

“Financial Opportunity lies ahead.”

“You are very persistent in pursuing your goals in life.” Obviously, I needed that one twice because I received that fortune twice.

And, “A secret adventure is in store for you.”

“Do not rush through life, pause and enjoy it.

“Use your talents. That’s what they are intended for.”

Each one of those can have special meaning for me and for you. Now, you may be thinking, “These are just fortunes. They’re just silly things. Why would I care about a fortune cookie?”

And I’d like to say it is just that kind of thing that opens the door of possibility for the future. So, think about it. It’s a good thing.

And I hope that you’ll take one of these ideas with you this coming week toward being the best version of you.

This season’s theme song is “Training Day,” by Infraction. Used with Permission.