At Next Jump, every new hire goes through PLB – or “Personal Leadership Bootcamp.” PLB is a safe environment for new employees to identify their “backhand” – the thing that holds us back from reaching our full potential – and develop practice grounds to tackle it. Yutong has shared her journey with us, discovering how to overcome her fear of judgement, help others, and love herself.
On August 16th, 2017, my 24th birthday, I joined Next Jump filled with curiosity and excitement. I was moving to the New York City and starting my first job! It was completely different to what I had expected!
PLB was an experience unlike any other for me, and I started with the struggle of finding my backhand. At first, I was extremely afraid of being open, and being judged, so I prepared pretty slides, a well-structured script, and tried to make my first checkpoint presentation pleasant and interesting. Of course, I got harsh feedback from the judges, they pointed out my hiding directly. I ran to the Kid’s Club, found a corner, and I cried. That was the moment I realized how serious my fear of judgement was, and how important it was (and still is) for me to change.
My backhand is the fear of judgement: it’s related to my childhood. I never received a compliment from my mom when I was little, no matter how hard I tried. As I grew up, I become very defensive with feedback and judgement from others.
To overcome my fear of judgement, during these 17 weeks, I’ve been trying to put myself more under people’s observation and receive feedback, little by little. From asking other engineers questions, giving Coronitas to people I’m grateful to, to taking the responsibility of captaining the Holiday Brunch. When Jimmy and I first started doing that, we fought a lot. It was very hard for me to be direct with my opinions with Jimmy, because I didn’t want him to give me feedback in the same way. That was the moment I realized, my backhand is not only affecting my growth and success, but also how much I can help others around me.
It’s definitely not an easy process to put myself in those uncomfortable situations. I struggled, doubted, escaped, failed many times, but I’m so happy, that I didn’t give up. I’ve learned so much from the journey.
The first: loving myself. There have been some situations when my shortcoming or mistakes got pointed out. At first, I was very defensive and impatient. Either wanted to ask why are you blaming me on this, or wanted to explain how much I’ve tried. But after practices, when I get the courage of admitting the mistake and then focusing on solving the problem, I realized it’s ok to be an imperfect myself or have an imperfect life, because I can always grow into a better me which is much more important.
Another part to it was loving others. Later in PLB I was more focused on practicing giving other people feedback. The more I tried, the more I could understand people’s good intentions helping me to grow when they give me feedback, and the more we learned from each other.
It’s hard to say how much I’ve actually changed during PLB, but definitely now I have a clearer vision of who I want to be, what I want to change, and how I’m going to try. PLB helped me with this very important first step.
Thanks to all the people with me along the way, judges, coaches, my amazing TP Jimmy, who is always there to make me cry, make me laugh, then help me to grow, and everyone who makes up the warm Next Jump family.