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The Tao of Self-Confidence

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The Tao of Self-Confidence

A Guide to Moving Beyond Trauma and Awakening the Leader Within


15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn how to overcome negative stereotypes and defy limiting expectations on your leadership journey.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Asian women face unique pressure to succeed and be high performers while navigating harmful stereotypes that limit their careers. Podcaster Sheena Yap Chan encourages Asian women to prioritize their health and well-being, forge new leadership pathways and break free from the harmful effects of intergenerational trauma. She urges readers to develop self-confidence, with interdisciplinary insights from trauma-informed psychological research and ancient Hindu spiritual practices. Chan offers practical steps for facing your trauma and unlocking your leadership potential.


The dominant culture expects Asian Americans to be “model” minorities, which can harm their mental health.

People frequently describe Asian Americans as “model” minorities – members of a minority group that has succeeded in the United States. Over 24 million Asian Americans live in America. Proportionally, Asian people should occupy 20% of organizational leadership positions. In reality, however, organizations often appoint a single Asian person to an executive role to project an image of diversity.

The “model minority” label can prove dehumanizing; pressure to live up to peers’ high standards can make Asian American women feel like failures when they don’t meet unrealistic expectations. Asian women often internalize model minority expectations of self-sufficiency and high performance. Such expectations often make Asian women less likely to ask for help. 

The term “model minority” has oppressive roots. Sociologist William Petersen coined the term in 1966, to describe how non-Asian Americans should laud Japanese Americans’ assimilation into Western culture. Many Japanese Americans regarded this as...

About the Author

Sheena Yap Chan hosts the award-winning podcast The Tao of Self-Confidence, which interviews Asian women on their “inner journeys to self-confidence.”

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