Speakers: Nichole Pitts (Host), Jessie Kate Bui (Guest — Storytelling Coach)


Nichole Pitts
Welcome back, Jessie Kate, to The Ethintegrity Podcast. I’m excited to continue our conversation about storytelling. In our last episode, you helped us to understand the foundation of storytelling from the power dynamics and those four elements, as well as the two types of stories from foggy mirror to the moral compass, and then how that impacts our biases with the stereotypes, to really understand how society and, family and structure impact how we view ourselves.
In this episode, I want to talk about how we take those learnings and apply them to ourselves and our own story and narratives so that we can show up a bit more authentic and transparent. And by making space for our own selves and our own shadow sides, we’re able to make space for others.
So you and I have had a lot of conversations just about storytelling, and I’ve seen you in action. The great thing about Jessie Kate is that she takes detailed information and then just pulls the thread. We always talk about you deconstructing and that’s kind of become our little, inside joke. It is where you can almost do like a data dump.
And then your mind just kind of pulls at the common threads. That’s what I really wanna get into is how do we use the lessons learned from our traditional storytelling to tell our own story in an authentic way?
Jessie Kate
Yeah. I think an example, sort of bridging this idea of like the fictional into how we impact our lives.
In Back To The Future III, we take Marty McFly, our time traveler adventurer, and we send him back into the past. He is in, I think it’s like 1880 or something like that and he comes into this space with an outfit of what he thought would be appropriate. What they were their best guest, right? It’s Doc from the fifties, he essentially dresses up with like a cowboy outfit even has like atomic symbols on it. It’s very fifties interpretation of cowboy culture. It’s very funny but while he’s wearing this outfit, he’s powerless in the narrative. He doesn’t actually align with this time and place. He doesn’t align with this world. He’s not able to impact it because he’s so clearly, out of sync. And then later in the story, he gets the correct look, he starts to actually wear something that looks of the time and place, and that’s when he’s able to have impact on his world. Because he’s aligned and I think what we can draw from this analogy is that when we have a belief about ourselves, when we are wearing our sort of metaphorical 1950s, atomic cowboy wear that isn’t actually aligned with what we believe, what is true about ourselves.
What we believe about ourselves in the world, we feel powerless. We’re running into walls over and over again. That’s the imposter syndrome sometimes. That’s the limiting beliefs. But when we can align with what story we actually are telling ourselves, want a story that is true that isn’t overly limiting or inaccurate and holding us back, we can make power. We can have power to change our reality to create relationships that are healthier, to have job opportunities, you know, manifest opportunities that we otherwise would be, unconsciously stopping ourselves from happening.
And so a big part of understanding how we take from story is to take those kinds of analogies. Maybe we need to align with our truth in order to change the world, to be the hero of our story.
Nichole Pitts
I love that. And I love the analogy with Back To The Future III, cuz I haven’t even thought to put that together. It really is about alignment, and I love what you said about connecting it back to limiting beliefs and imposter syndrome, cuz that’s exactly what came through my head. I’m wondering if you feel like it’s very common in your view with your work that you see that most of us tend to not really be the hero of our story because of the limiting beliefs that we have.
And we look more at the shadow and the flat sides of us instead of empowering ourselves to really look at ourselves as being the hero and overcoming that and we’ve created a narrative that doesn’t support us, but maybe oppresses us or keeps us from going and living in our fullest light. Does that sense?
Jessie Kate Bui
That totally makes sense is actually makes me think of like the tropes that we see so often where it’s trying to push against the rock or the wall, and then they realize, oh, I can walk around the side, right? And those are those limiting beliefs. They aren’t true so they have ways to get around them. If we step back, we notice that. I do notice that with my clients, with myself, that’s how I definitely came onto these insights.
That we are constructing narrative, whether or not we think we are. And is our narrative that we are supporting characters to someone else? Is our narrative that we are never enough? And so obviously the world will be hard.
Nichole Pitts
Jessie Kate Bui
Like I think I ran into that quite a lot with the amount of imposter syndrome I felt about design. Parts of it had to do with not understanding how to construct design from narrative.
Nichole Pitts
Jessie Kate Bui
But I think another thing is this idea that what I have currently in my arsenal in this day, this minute, this moment is not enough and so everything I’m doing is trying to trick people into thinking I’m enough.
Nichole Pitts
Jessie Kate Bui
And once you let go of that and say, okay, who I am is all I can be. You can accept that you can reframe those narratives and say, it doesn’t mean I have to accept “Well, I just feel worthless. So now just accept that I have no worth.” It’s not that. It’s recognizing that that worthlessness narrative was given to you from somewhere outside of yourself. And now you have a choice. To agree with it or to reframe it. So you can then walk around the fence, walk around the rock or realize that maybe you’re fighting a battle that isn’t your battle. It’s somebody else’s battle that you feel like you may be inherited.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. Or taking on someone else’s view of themselves that they have maybe put onto you that has nothing to do with you, but you’ve subscribed to it.
Jessie Kate Bui
Nichole Pitts
We’ve had a lot of conversations just about being entrepreneurs and business owners and how we are constantly managing imposter syndrome and really working through these different narratives that I know I wasn’t personally aware of until there was nothing for me to hide behind. There was no big company brand.
Jessie Kate Bui
Right. It’s very exposing.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. So if it goes wrong, I can’t be like, “Well, Billy who’s my nemesis and the villain. He did it.” And they’re like “Who is Billy?” And I might have to just put Billy on the website and be like, “If anything goes wrong, it’s Billy.”
Jessie Kate Bui
He’s part of my team, but that’s his fault.
Nichole Pitts
Exactly. But you get so focused. Like for me, it was on subject matter expertise and yeah, I’m good at that. But then it was, yeah, you have to run your business, you have to do the marketing.
Jessie Kate Bui
I think this is a big part of boundaries. And recognizing that I am enough.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. I completely agree. And I think it’s also when you’re working for someone else you’re working for other companies, it’s very prescriptive and there’s systems and policies in place to tell you do it like this, but when you’re doing your own thing, then you have to create that. It’s taking the training wheels off is what I found. There’s all this possibility. And when you’re creating your narrative to really empower yourself, instead of being like, why I don’t have to know it all cause there’s plenty of people that you can go to, to partner with, but it does feel very overwhelming because you’re really defining who you are and it requires a different level of vulnerability. I commend people that show up as their authentic selves and that really display a bit of vulnerability because those are the people that I find that I connect. They’ve shared what they’ve overcome. But also what they’re still struggling with. And I love that. So, what I wanted to ask you was what are some of the key elements that we should have when we’re writing our story that we wanna maybe share in our bio, on our website, or maybe the “about us” on LinkedIn so that it makes us more authentic where we can connect people on more of that soul level?
Jessie Kate Bui
I think the simple way, of the different tools that I have, that’s a simple tool that I think I might start with and that’s identifying the limiting belief that was holding you back.
Like Nichole said, you know, sometimes people have to kind of download the information, whether you’re talking to someone like me or you’re journaling it out or however you’re doing it to kind of filter down. But what you’re searching for are these like three tent poles or major moments. And those would be your limiting belief, the lie you were telling yourself before you were able to kind of come onto whatever business idea or void that you’re feeling. The truth that is the now the new narrative that you’re telling yourself, this is how we solve the problem. This is how we treat people, whatever it is that aligns with your business.
And then the aha moment, that moment where it shifted, what was the big paradoxical thought that you had to realize in order to access that truth. So as an example, you might have something like your lie is that vulnerability is a weakness. We’re talking about vulnerability, authenticity, transparency, right?
So let’s use that one. So maybe vulnerability is a weakness is the lie. And so you go about your life, hiding your vulnerability, like, that’s going to lose me business. That’s going to lose me sales or leads.
And then you have this aha moment. That is what if vulnerability can lead to power? Like, wait, what, what if this weak word could lead to a powerful word that doesn’t go together. That’s paradoxical. That is many sense. But you allow yourself to entertain it long enough to play it out. And then you realize vulnerability can be a source of strength. I can protect people by being vulnerable.
I can advocate for people by being vulnerable. I can nurture trust or transparency or truth by being vulnerable. And truth is powerful, but truth requires vulnerability and all the pieces start to come together. If you can have those three moments, your lie, your truth, and your little twisty aha moment, then those are very minimal pieces of information that you can sprinkle into your bio.
So you can say something from that state where we were struggling, that’s oftentimes the pain point they would say in business, the limiting belief can be equivalent to the pain point. How did I find this by turning this on its head? Now we are so curious.
I wanna know how she figured out that vulnerability could be strong. That doesn’t make sense to me. I have to watch the webinar. I have to see the post. I need to know because it’s hopeful to hear that kind of thing. What if the thing that I think is holding me back, might actually be empowering?
I want to know how that’s possible. I’m now invested in finding out how you got to that point. It’s the same thing that happens in a fictional story. You propose an idea that we think how in the world are they going to overcome that villain, achieve that goal with that limitation that’s so inherent to them. And then we find out how they reframed their limitation to access it. It’s hopeful.
Nichole Pitts
Also understanding that sometimes I feel like for me, it was shifting mindsets from trying to appeal to everyone.  To just the people that can connect with me based upon who I really am. I think that’s where we have a bit of a problem with vulnerability because it does require you to expose yourself to people who may not agree with you. Or maybe even just how you communicate, how you express yourself.  But that can be part of your story. As you’re saying, you know, you’re pain point.  And how you create that aha moment.  And so you created The Parallax Method.  That takes you through your pain point, your aha moment and your reframe.  How did you come up with this method and what exactly is it?
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah. Sure. I had this imposter syndrome about being a designer. It led me to creating a book, spending a little too much time on that. And then I had this piece of credibility. I felt like, finally, I know my stuff, I know this pace. I have something to kind of prove that I’m valuable. I have a book I could put on my resume, how great, I’m ready. Mm-hmm. But there was this nagging feeling that something’s still missing.
And this is such a classic story thing. There’s like a moment in the story where the character gets what they want. They win the game and then they realize it doesn’t fulfill everything that they needed internally. And I went through that and that kind of came in the form of realizing, well, I’ve conquered imposter syndrome in work. But I’ve started to recognize the imposter syndrome I had about my life. How are my choices, a reflection of my own limiting beliefs now that I know story? So I started looking at my own story and saying, what are my actual limiting beliefs? Not just, how do I find the limiting belief technically to help someone write a fictional story, but like, let’s start applying this to my own life.
I’ve always tested my tools like that. And I had this memory come to mind, I started going to therapy to navigate and filter through some things cause I had some crazy life challenges, in the middle of the pandemic, freshly married, I have an interracial marriage so there’s like different points of view that we’re challenging each other about and then family stress and different things with how I was growing and being a different person than I was when I was young and with my family. And so all these things are culminating all the same time. Started going to therapy.
And I remembered this moment back in my past, that really helped me identify the limiting belief that was so core that had trickled into everything else. It had led to the imposter syndrome in design. It had led to the struggle in feeling confused or lost or never enough all those types of things.
When I was about 11, like I mentioned, my dad’s a master woodworker. So we had built a house the dream house. He designed it from scratch. All of us were part of it. Mom, Heather, Jack, Cam doing the thing. We were all there. Little kids like working on the house, it was a family passion project for the movies. It was so awesome going through that, at the same time economy crashes. And now we have this dream house that’s half built. But now it’s worth less than we can, sort of pay. So it’s just a struggle, constantly trying to pay the house payments.
We got to a point where it was a choice between, you know, we were church-going family. So it was like, we have some tithing, we wanna pay our tithing or pay our house payment. And it was this belief conflict. Do we embody our spiritual beliefs? Or do we act like, do our physical needs? Which one do we address? And my family’s choice was to address the spiritual needs. And so we lost our house. And as a kid, without fully understanding all the things that were going on, I actually built this belief that when you have differences of opinions with the world, you become homeless. Once I noticed that I could track back all my imposter syndrome, all my anxiety, what would culminate at the highest point of stress would be if I don’t figure this out, I’ll be homeless.
I couldn’t imagine, well, then I would just move somewhere else or I would, I just couldn’t even see it when I would get stressed out. So it made everything about. Well, if differences of opinion are the thing that create the tension that leads to that loss. I need to be people pleasing.
I need to be agreeable. I need to be passive. I need to hold back any things that would cause conflict. And so I became very conflict aversive. Once I realized this, I realized the narrative that I had been telling myself and how that threaded through my life.
Like I had this thought, it led to this thought it led to this thought, of course I would have imposter syndrome about this. Of course, I’m never gonna know if I’m ever satisfied, cuz I’m not sure if I’m making these choices as a result of trusting myself and my own desires or just because it’s conveniencing others.
So how do I reframe this? How do I get some perspective? It’s really traumatic to kind of negotiate this therapy helps, but I’m trying to process this experience. And I have story and design tools that I use all the time to reframe story. To see from a new perspective.
So I wrote a fictional story to process my experience. I wrote it out. I created my protagonist. That was me. That was all limited and had its own little problems. And here’s this fictional world and all these different symbols that could capture what it ultimately felt like to go through the experience more than actually, you know, accuracy was mm-hmm
So I did that. And then my therapist introduced EMDR therapy, which is essentially going through a past traumatic experience, creating fictional symbol characters that then give you advice to reframe the narrative. I’m like, I already have these characters. I’ve been making them the whole time. Like I draw them.
I see them. I have big pictures. Like I got this, this is great. This is my territory. Right. And so we go into the EMDR therapy and my character had a sidekick dog character, and this dog protects her from danger. I go into this trauma of me and these situations like these different times of my life and now I can envision my dog creating territory for me saying, “you’re safe, no one can take this territory away from you.” She’s protecting my boundaries. If somebody comes up with conflict, that dog will bark ’em away and that’s what I needed. So it helps me connect by creating a symbol that was fictional, but was so resonant with what I felt and how I perceived my feelings.
I was able to bring that into a situation that could conquer my limiting belief and give me new insight. There’s so many tools like this that people have used throughout the ages. I mean, tarot is used like this, like, let’s go through a journey, let’s use some symbols, let those symbols help you to access your intuition and your subconscious needs.
This process is similar to that, but you’re custom making all the symbols and you’re custom processing all of these things so that you can essentially gain new perspective by putting it into another point of view, which is the whole parallax terminology. Once I did that, I knew how to reverse engineer it. I do all of this. I created an entire book where I broke down processes and exercises. So I created that process for other people.
Nichole Pitts
Do you feel like this process allowed you to have some sense of psychological safety to look back at some of these traumatic events to help you process from a more objective place?
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah, because when you fictionalize something, it’s the same reason that we use it in fiction. And I think that’s why I knew to use the tool. Because we know that when an audience is going through something and it’s really close to home, sometimes putting it in space with aliens, gives them enough distance from it that they’re able to learn the lesson without feeling too raw. They’re able to take it in. And so I knew that already about the tools themselves. And so it definitely does that. You can figure out where your narrative started. What is your story? You’re actually telling yourself from a literal sort of autobiographical form, but now that you wanna tackle it and rewrite.
Get some distance, get some objectivity. Tune into your feelings a little bit, use some different tools so that you don’t have to physically have that trauma going through your body as you’re remembering it or handling it or reframing it.
Nichole Pitts
And now for you, you talked about having your sidekick dog that created this safe space for you in the fictionalized world. How do you translate that into real life?
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah. So like, I mean, there’s multiple ways that it translates. One of them is I literally have a dog, so it kind of is constantly reminding me of that symbol. Every day she’s giving me remember your boundaries. Remember your boundaries, cuz she’s right there.
But it is something where, while I’m going through something, say I have like a more current stress. It might not be core trauma. It might not be the most dramatic thing that happened to me. But I might have like something where I feel like I didn’t do a very good job. Or I had an awkward conflict, something like that.
I’m able to step back, use those tools and say, okay, what in my fictional version could help me process this experience? Visualize myself in that same circumstance with the dog or visualize myself in that circumstance with the comforting character. Who’s just saying, you know what? You just need a hug.
We all make mistakes, right? Something like that. But it allows me to get over the stress faster. It helps me process it quicker so that I can then just get back to work. It also helps me have structure and framing to my thoughts when I’m like, I have to do a podcast, I have to do a bio. I have to do a LinkedIn post. All these things could be really overwhelming, but I can then say, okay, what are the lessons that my story tells me? What are some of the fictional analogies I can use in the post. I can say, just like this, sometimes we struggle with this and help people reframe like a really bite-sized version of a skill that they might need for my particular service.
For entrepreneurs, if you created this fictional world, I use a lot of design tools too. So you might go, how do I make a visual brand that sets an expectation that’s more aligned with what my messaging actually is, so that when I even get to the point of having a conversation, I’ve already set the tone?
And if you’re drawing from this fictional rich world, not every possibility has to be, I could be any color under the world. It can be colors that are drawn from something so deeply personal to you. That it means something you feel the power of that logo, of that color palette. And it makes you feel more confident to show up because you go, I believe that messaging, it’s not just guesswork.
It’s not just unmotivated design, for example.
I think that it would help when you’re doing this, um, yeah. You’re fictionalizing your story to also look at the values that go along with what you’re experiencing. It may be how, yeah. Your value set has changed based upon where you were.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. And the limiting beliefs that we had in that imposter syndrome and the trauma that we took on versus how we empower ourselves and free ourselves into this different state of mind and this different state of being.
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah, that’s a really good example. And it’s another reason why, the narrative structure is so complimentary because it’s progressive, it’s not meant to just be one illustration standing in time that helps you, process a thought from distance.
That can be a great tool with art therapy to deal with a very present emotion. We can take a character where , in my fictional story, I’m in my limiting belief in the start of the story, the town or the city, or the environment expresses that negative feeling like this is what I feel stuck in.
And by the end of the story, I’m in this new space. And new designs and things like that. So that it helps you again, frame that, this is a progression, this is an evolution, and sometimes you’re back in that old town again, back in that limiting belief area but if you recognize that feeling, this feels like that feeling of that setting or that feels like that character is here. That helps you identify that it’s a limiting belief. What were my values at this point? Do I still agree with that? No, I didn’t. I already know what it looked like when I’m a hotshot protagonist of my story, this isn’t this part of the story. Like I gotta zoom back over here. And so all those world building approaches like we talk about the book are part of the fictionalizing process. What are the values? What are the power dynamics? Where do you want them to be? And where were they before? And you can start to sort of like have a little bit more of a radar for when you are in one or the other.
Nichole Pitts
So then how do we begin to even know where to start to develop our story?
Jessie Kate Bui
Start with the things you know. You’re gonna get swamped if you can come up with a complex idea and try to reverse the engineer from the very beginning, it’s gonna get real daunting. So what we start with is just the literal, the autobiographical. You say, what were by three big moments, something significant. It’s just whatever comes to mind. Mm-hmm. You can do this process multiple times, if you wanna find different limiting beliefs and things like that.
But find one of them. Find the lie, the truth and the aha moment. Then I like to use Enneagram. So I know that you wanna talk about this a little bit. I use Enneagram to find the motivations that align with that messaging. You can use some of that vocabulary and find some clarity through that. And then you can frame it into a narrative structure. Where did I start? What did I need? What did I set a goal at? What did I find? What did I realize that was missing? You just very basically structure it out. Once you have that, you have the outline that you need to inform the next fictional steps. And those things are more intuitive, creative sort of design and symbol based.
Nichole Pitts
Now, when you were talking about the reframing of the narratives, you go through these things, you figure out kind of what’s some key elements mm-hmm but what’s that piece between identifying here are some key elements of my life, maybe three. How do you get to that aha moment from this? Because I feel like it’s easy to be, well, these were some defining moments, but yeah, we can get stuck there and yeah. What are some tools to help generate that aha moment?
Jessie Kate Bui
Let me clarify, are you saying, how can we get to the aha moment in life? Or how can we find the actual aha moment? How to phrase it or capture it?
Nichole Pitts
How do we find the aha moment in the story? Okay. So if I’m telling you, here’s maybe something I’ve struggled with. Yeah. And what you’ve done in the past is you’ve listened to this story.
Yeah. And then you find the aha moment that I didn’t see or yeah. Someone else didn’t see. So how do we find those aha moments in the story?
Jessie Kate Bui
Your first pass at a live truth, an aha moment might be very rough or a little bit foggy or vague. It can happen if you’re just not used to doing this. But that’s why Enneagram is great.
Nichole Pitts
What exactly is Enneagram?
Jessie Kate Bui
Enneagram is a personality, psychology system that explains some very universal motivations that people have. The bucket categories are anger motivations, shame motivations, and fear motivations. Things we’re running away from in different ways.
And so what we have is nine different archetypes that fulfill that full system. Three in anger, three in shame, three in fear. And very simply, the reason that there’s three is it’s the different ways that we approach anything. We can fight, flight or hide kind of thing.
We have the avoid it because it feels so daunting. It’s impossible. You might be like anger or conflict or stress is way too much, I’m gonna be passive and hide. I’ll bury this emotion. This is repressed. Then you have the, I see it coming at me like a tsunami and I’m holding it back with all of my force.
And it’s just this constant tension. It’s very exhausting. But you’re just holding it at bay. You know, it’s there, but you don’t want it. So you’re just gonna hold it back. This can be like using these as an examples. That first one is a Type Nine Enneagram where they’re passive in conflict avoidant.
The second one is a Type One Enneagram. This is the person who’s reforming & perfectionistic. Because like, if we just fix it, it’ll stop. Right. Mm-hmm . Then you have the last form of it, where it’s like, okay, that tsunami of emotion is coming over you and you let it wash through you. You don’t resist it.
you say, okay, you know what? I’m angry. I feel like that’s okay. I’m just gonna be angry. So those are Type Eight Enneagram. And that doesn’t mean that they’re like always yelling at people or that the type nine is always hiding or anything like that. But it just means that that’s like the level of command or control they have over that emotion.
Mm-hmm. Type eights can be very confident in a situation with conflict because they feel like, okay, it’s not taking control of me. It’s going through me and I’m feeling it. I’m acknowledging it. And I’m gonna use it where it’s appropriate, set some boundaries, create some noise when it’s needed. And so these are the different kind of forms of it. We hide, we hold back or we let it go through.
So can we just really quick, since you’re talking about archetypes and you’ve talked about, three of them ,can you give a high level overview of all nine archetypes?
I’ll use the kind of archetypical terms of each of these types, so that you can get a little bit of a picture of it. We have the type one, which is the reformer, the perfectionist. This is a character who’s trying to fight back a feeling of corruption, imperfection. We have the type eight who is again, another anger type. They’re trying to fight back a feeling of being taken advantage of, being violated, their power being taken away. We have a type nine, which is the last of these anger types. This type is fighting with this feeling of losing separation.
They’re separating from themselves. In hiding, they lose themselves. And so they’re confused and lost and sort of angry that they lost themselves, but not sure what to do. Those are called the peacemakers, the mediators they’re the ones you never think are angry. They’re just repressing at all.
Let’s go into the shame type. So we have type two. This is the helper. This person is trying to fight back a feeling of not being lovable and loved. So they’re trying to compensate by being helpful. We have the type three, which is the achiever. This is entrepreneur times 10.
Like this is very much that space. This is someone who’s fighting back a feeling of worthlessness. I need to be valuable to the world and sometimes they’ll commodify themselves in order to feel valuable. We have the type four, which wants to feel special. This is the individualist.
This is somebody who wants to feel significant, that something they have to say is created something new in the world. And then we have the fear type. So these are the last three. We have the type five who is the investigator. This is like Sherlock Holmes. This is somebody who has to know everything. And the reason for that is because they’re looking to feel capable, to feel like they’re ready and they have what they need they’re enough.
And then we have the type six, which is commonly called the loyalist. This type is feeling like they seek support. They’re looking to feel like, oh, I’m all alone. I need to feel like I’m part of something I need to be supported. I can’t just be alone. And then the very last type of these is the type seven.
This is someone who they call the enthusiast oftentimes, and is someone who’s seeking to feel that they’re not gonna miss out on things that they can be satisfied with life and they’re worried that they’ll be dissatisfied that they’ll miss out. So that’s kind of like the big span of those motives.
And when we’re looking for things like our aha moment, and we’re feeling confused, our lie, our truth, and it feels a little muddy or maybe our grammar, it just feels a little confused of a phrase mm-hmm you can go to those types and there’s all sorts of great resources for this, like Enneagram Institute or Narrative Enneagram, where they isolate out, what is the life lesson of this type? What is a thing that they need to realize in order to conquer this, you have aha moments pre-written for you and you go, okay, I can’t find mine, but I’ll just use this one. This is great. It feels right. So when I’m doing sessions with people, I know these types and I’m listening to their story and I’m open to it the whole time like maybe there’s a little quality of this motivation or that archetype. But I’m listening for a thread of, are they motivated? Are they feeling like they’re using a lot of language about wanting to be valuable using entrepreneurs as an example. Mm-hmm I wanna feel valuable. I wanna feel like what I have is worth it.
I want to present myself well, there’s using a lot of language associated with that archetype and I’m hearing it. So then I might make an insight related to that and say, maybe your aha moment is something like this because that’s often the aha moment that that archetype goes through. Of course there’s gonna be customization and nuance to things and there’s mixing types together and all sorts of cool techniques like that, that I’m also aware of, but you can use it at a very simple level as well to kind of find those things.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. And there are a lot of as you said, free resources out there and you can do your quiz . I didn’t know about Enneagram until we met in April and you were telling me about it. And I was like, what is this? And I love it. I actually use it in both my professional and personal life, cuz it helps me when I’m trying to really get a point across. And I’m not able to communicate in a way where I feel like I’m being heard. I love using it with my coaching clients because I feel like it does allow you to really customize, but also communicate with them on the level that they need that. With Enneagram what I like is that they give you a lot of tips on how the different archetypes can work together and problem solve and make change and also helping to hold space for others. So I really like that. My question to you would then be, how does this help us both personally and professionally understand ourselves and others when we’re doing our own stories, using our archetype, but going through this method of finding, our key points in time, get that aha moment and then reframing the narrative. How does that help us?
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah. So one example of it, and you kind of touched on this a little bit with like how we interact with each other in different ways. And so one big win when you just introduce yourself to this, even at a very simple level, these kind of Enneagram tools and these types of like truth, aha moment is when you’re revisiting those traumatic events or stressful circumstances or coworkers that you have a hard time getting along with and say, what if the story they’re telling themselves, what if their motive is different than mine?
And we’re not clashing because we actually agree about these are the values we’re all defending. We all want the worth, or we all want the self-sufficiency or whatever it is. And that can be leading to the misunderstanding. If you can separate yourself from everybody else in the idea that we all have our own perception very quickly it loosens up your ability to reframe the thought and say, Hey, you know what, maybe we just misunderstood each other. Maybe we just have different core values and motives that we’re trying to accomplish and it seems like the other person is getting in the way of us getting that thing that we feel like we need.
It helps you even visit back to situations where maybe somebody had an impass against you and you say, you know, what were they protecting? What were they seeking? And maybe it was just so unfortunate that I got harmed by that thing for them. And so it really does allow us to loosen up on the personal side.
To kind of just say, Hey, you know, Everybody has a story until I know their story. I don’t have all the information. So in the meantime, I’m just going to separate it and say, this is what I was going through. Maybe they were going through something else. I think this is so important in conversations. My husband’s Vietnamese American, like there’s all sorts of things that we can miss because we have different cultural backgrounds.
Yeah. And just to go, okay. We have different cultural backgrounds, his motivations and his life are different. And if I just assume, well, you’re just trying to hurt my feelings. If we have a little marital tussle that’s not productive. If I think I misunderstood you, I need to listen more that’s going to help you get to the conflict. So personally it’s definitely useful in that way. Mm-hmm and then professionally, I like to use this tactically. Like I was mentioning before where you can use symbols, that you choose for your fictional world to create brand identities and things like that it isn’t even just as loose as that. If we were to say, what other historical art movements, had this type three energy that was motivated by this? I think there’s a great type four example where we talk about being significant, having something special and it’s the individualist type.
During the period when photography is invented, a bunch of artists are like, wait, hold on. I am losing all of my significance. The thing that I have to offer is now not as special mm-hmm . What do I do? And then in response, there’s this explosion in art, in all of these different styles and nontraditional exploration, and blew us away with all of these new ways to perceive reality because artists were reacting to this desire to be significant again.
So if you were a type four and you were trying to teach people in some way through your offering or product, this will help you feel special, or this will express your specialness or whatever it is. What if you drew from those art movements that already aligned with that to inspire your brand design?
Or your fictional story, maybe your fictional story takes place during that period of time. And so it will immediately capture this energy. You can call upon the cultural memory and all of these things to enhance your understanding of yourself. It’s a really cool way to kind of connect the world and the individual to empower each other when you can see how Enneagram relates to periods and movements in time as well.
Nichole Pitts
Oh, I love that. And I think, Understanding your archetype and being honest with yourself when you are trying to figure it out, because yeah, Lord knows. I’ve tried to game the system. Cause I was like, I don’t wanna be a three and you started looking and you’re like, which one looks the best? Oh, like this one, but you’re not you’re not, but that’s what, who you think you wanna be.
Yeah. But the thing is, is that there’s benefits to each archetype and there’s learnings, I think also, how do you handle conflict? How are you with your communication? What are your fears? I feel like it helps to humanize people. Yeah. And it offers more empathy and maybe I need to archetype Billy so that, you can well switch the villain narrative, like yeah, go back to Billy, be like, you know, my fictional Billy.
Jessie Kate Bui
What’s so cool about this. It’s just like any of these tools, like they’re just tools. And so it’s how you use them. And it’s understanding that you don’t have to like box someone to, oh, there’s only this that’s their limitations, but it gives you enough empathy to listen longer.
And if you can listen longer, You know, that bucket explanation or that architect was useful for convenience and speed and, and surface explanation, but it just helped you stay long enough to learn the actual story. That’s really such a powerful tool is to say, like, if you entertain the idea that maybe their motive led to your conflict and it wasn’t just them being antagonistic.  It lets you listen long enough to actually hear what it is, you could guess completely wrong, but you were there listening. It’s just there to stay longer, listen longer.
Nichole Pitts
I think that’s a great point that you make as far as listen longer and listening to understand, instead of listening to respond, because sometimes we don’t create yeah.
That space to where we’re like, okay, I’m trying to hear where you’re coming from versus I’m just waiting for you to take a breath. Then I can be like, here’s why you’re wrong. Okay. It took you 20 minutes to get to the, I put together a whole PowerPoint presentation. so sit back and enjoy. But if you have the time where you say, okay, I’m going to really hear what you’re saying, and then there might be some nuggets in there.
And I think that helps with the Enneagram types, because as they’re talking, you can also say, okay, I’m hearing these certain keywords. Yeah. And when you talk about like reframing this narrative, we’ve gone through and identified, here’s a defining moment. We’ve used these various tools to create, oh, this is my aha. How do we then do the reframe mm-hmm so that we go from being oppressed to being powerful?
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah. There’s lots of ways that you could say customize, put your own little reframing device in here. People use music, people use all sorts of creative tools. So now that I know what my aha moment is, I know the theme of my story, essentially. I know kind of like the emotional intention or motive behind my narrative that I’ve realized now I’m gonna go through and create these equivalent things. Like who was the antagonist in my story, what did it feel like? It felt like the king on the mountain, or it felt like this. Right. And so I’m actually reframing it initially fictionally.
I was the hero. I was Bell and I have to fight Gaston or whatever it is. People can use existing stories that already have these framing devices if they’re not fictional storytellers. Wizard of Oz is one I’ve used before. What’s a similar narrative you can fit yourself into? I mean, we do this already. Like, wear a Superman shirt to feel powerful or empowered. We create breakdowns of what’s your world? What are the power dynamics in this world, according to how it felt?
So you reframe it first fictionally using the tools like I have in the book, kind of the world-building skills. And then you can create visual tools like mood boards and picture walls, things like that to help you visualize it if you’re not an artist. And essentially the biggest part of this is once you have this world, you create specific key elements again.
This is where it’s tying into kind of EMDR therapy approaches that you can still kinda use for yourself. So you want a nurturing character. You want a protecting character, a wise character, and a positive location, a location that feels safe and feels maybe it’s the end of your story. It’s the place where you live at the end of the story.
It’s that safe, open, accepting location. And now that you have these and they’re visualized and they’re vivid in your mind and you know the story behind them. Now you take that into your life. Have those moments of stress. Okay. I had a conflict with Billy and we had this argument. What was my lie at the beginning of that argument?
What was my aha moment? What was my truth? You might not even feel like, you know, the truth yet. Cause you’re still stuck. And I hate Billy. like, Hey, the villain, that’s all. It’s right. It’s OK to be not done yet. Billy’s the worst. Right? But you go, okay, what was my limiting belief? My belief was that Billy’s the worst, right?
Everything Billy does is to get in the way of the thing I’m trying to do. It could be something like that. and then you go, okay, well, everything he does that kind of seems a little illogical, so let’s break it down one step, right? We’re gonna say, well, everything he does at work, not all day, right?
Less paranoid. And then it might be like, well, not everything because I see him do these other things I’ve seen actually help somebody else. So maybe it’s more about us. Maybe it’s just me. And so what you’re doing is you’re slowly breaking it down because our minds are stubborn. We carve neural pathways pretty strong when it comes to like this trigger leads to this path.
This is how I start to think. This is how I start to perceive the situation. So you need to break down that stubbornness little by little and start to scale it down until you can ultimately replace it with the aha moment. So you end up going, well, maybe it’s not that maybe it’s our communication. We’re starting to break that down. And you could say, well, every time I communicate with Billy, we misunderstand each other. Well, in order to not misunderstand each other, I need to learn about Billy. Now we’re on a positive direction again. Mm-hmm now, we’re starting to get the tools that we’re gonna actually use.
When I listen to Billy, I learn what he wants when I learn what he wants. I realize where we’re butting heads. When I realize where we’re butting heads, I find a way to support each other solved. Right. And so it’s not always as easy as that, and we’re not all into with each other, but ultimately by breaking it down that way, you can start to dissect that moment.
And at any point in that story that you’re telling yourself, you feel stalled and you’re like, Nope, no, hold on. I don’t like this. I don’t like this idea. he’s just a villain. That’s when you call on those characters, you created and say, okay, who do I need right now?
And who’s gonna give me the best advice? and it might be, you know what, I’m not ready to change my mind. I need a hug from the nurturer. Nurturer’s gonna come in and date, you know what? You’re okay. You’re okay. To be angry. You’re allowed to have your feelings. Okay. Okay. Now I feel allowed to have my feelings.
Okay. Maybe now I’m gonna reluctantly be like, oh, okay. I’ll get back into it. But I’m still resistant. So maybe the wise, person’s gonna say, if you needed to take some time, maybe you need to go take a bath and take a shower, take a walk before you have to feel so much pressure to solve this yet.
Like that maybe is the wisdom is just, you’re a little tuned up, like chill out. Right? And so you can do that by calling on those characters and those places for yourself so that you can then tackle that process and essentially constantly be telling yourself stories and reframing stories very quickly in a very self-compassionate way that helps you through.
But those symbols are so personal that it’s just a little bit easier to access than just imagining Superman sometimes.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. I love that self-compassionate way cuz I don’t think that we always Lean into being self-compassionate. Beyonce has Sasha Fierce when she goes on stage and she performs. Is this something similar to having this other character that kind of allows you to step into this fearless aspect of you?
Jessie Kate Bui
I think so. I think that there’s something really beautiful about it when it’s self-generated, because it’s this idea we all need support sometimes. and sometimes we feel like it can fall into co-dependency or we can feel like we can’t trust ourselves. So we have to have support mm-hmm but what’s great about the process of going through this is that this support can come from you. You have more resources than you realize that character, that person standing with you in the wings, allowing you to feel more confident to show up is also you mm-hmm
and it’s just the you, that’s not stressed out right now. . Yeah. And so it’s really understanding that. It’s Dorothy it’s you always had the shoes to begin with. You always had the way home, you were looking everywhere else for a solution that you had, you just didn’t know that you already had it.
That’s exactly what I’m trying to do with this whole methodology is say, let’s do this fun creative experiment using all these fun, Hollywood story tools and Enneagram psychology things, but all we’re really doing is nurturing a more trusting relationship with your intuitive voice mm-hmm that you can use to tackle work and life and relationships in ways that are more aligned with truth, instead of all of these limiting beliefs.
Nichole Pitts
Oh, that’s great. So basically the Parallax Method really makes us more intentional and aware mm-hmm of those around us, as well as ourselves.
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah. Yeah. That’s why it’s called parallax, right? It’s like, if you put yourself in another pair of shoes, if you put yourself in another point of view, you gain depth, you understand the three-dimensional thing you’re dealing with.
Not that flat problem. That’s just black and white and stressful and feels villain and, and hero. It’s getting into that foggy reality of we need perspective. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so invested in helping, people from different points of view. I wanna help other people tell stories that don’t feel like they always have access to the same training or tools or art college so that they can offer more points of view to the world that helps us be more equipped to hear them.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. I love that. So, The Parallax Method is on your website.
Jessie Kate Bui
Nichole Pitts
Can you give us the website address?
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah yeah. So it’s just my name. So Jessie Kate, jessiekate.com. I’ve got all my information on there. I’m gonna have a bunch of new downloads on there probably by the time this comes out so that you can actually just go through like a basic guide doing it for yourself. And then I also have things like mentorships and intensives and courses and things to guide people or train people to do it when they get stuck.
Nichole Pitts
Perfect. What I love is that you do have some information that kind of help us be able to go through our story and find what our “aha” moments are and figure out some tools that work best for us, and then help us to be more intentional and aware. And pairing this with Talking Threads and understanding what storytelling is, the benefits of storytelling and how intentional we sometimes are and sometimes aren’t. But what I wanna do now is get into something called Rapid Fire Questions.
Jessie Kate Bui
Nichole Pitts
If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Jessie Kate Bui
I think I would like people to remember me for facilitating people to be heard. I had a hard time feeling heard and I learned the value and the struggle that goes behind that. And so I would love if other people said I was able to be heard because of something that you did.
Nichole Pitts
What’s your Enneagram type?
Jessie Kate Bui
I am a type nine. I’m the mediator, peacemaker.
Nichole Pitts
I love it. If you could go back and give your 18-year-old self one key piece of advice, what would it be?
Jessie Kate Bui
You know, I think it might have to do with trust. I, I lost a bit of trusting myself because I was so worried about everyone else has the way to do things. All the advice that they say I should follow. And I think if I trust myself, I probably would’ve fallen on my face a whole lot more, but I needed to, and I think I just needed to trust myself.
Nichole Pitts
I think we all do. I think we all fall down, but it’s getting up and continuing on. What does ethics and DEI mean to you?
Jessie Kate Bui
So this is one of the reasons why it was so fascinated when I met you, cuz it’s just so overlapping with my own passion for everybody being heard, not just some people being heard and being heard in a way that they feel heard isn’t always the same, so really understanding how can we be more inclusive?
How can we be more considerate of ADHD, autism, spectrum, and different points of view and cultural backgrounds. Everybody’s story matters. Nobody’s story is the better story to listen to. All of us matter. And every point of view that we can bring in helps us be more harmonious and loving as a race of people.
All of the types of DEI and ethics, I just feel are beautiful approaches and guides to help us navigate the things that stop us from doing that, that stop us from talking that stop us from asking questions that stop us from, from sort of triangulating ourselves in the whole situation and knowing what role and power we have and where it’s time for someone else to speak.
And so it just aligns with me in general. I love it’s so story based to me, it’s so identity narrative, like it protects identity narratives in my mind.
Nichole Pitts
I love that. So do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
Jessie Kate Bui
I am totally an introvert. And when I am talking about things that I love, no one believes me. There is something. And I have to say that like meeting Nichole and like meeting other entrepreneurs that was new for me. I’ve always been like this solopreneur kind of like in the art field of people who are doing services for other studios.  And I always had this, like, I like to do a little risky things. I like to try things and experiment, push the edge a little bit. And I wasn’t surrounded by that energy. And I vibed so hardcore with like just this entrepreneurial spirit that I just felt like I was starved about, I think a little bit. And so all the extroverted parts of me came out for sure.
Nichole Pitts
Environment does matter.
Jessie Kate Bui
It does. It does.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. So what do you think is the most important lesson that you’ve learned over time in your career?
Jessie Kate Bui
Yeah, this is a really hard one, cuz I feel like there’s so many, but like I think like being okay with your current skill set at the day. This is what I have to offer. I feel like that allows you to make mistakes without being so hard on yourself. Because when we inflate this idea that we’re only valuable when we’re this and this big and all these other things, or we have all these other skills that we just never had a chance to learn, never had a chance to experience it’s unfair to us.
And so I think that this real idea of when you accept yourself at the state, you’re at, it isn’t less than. You actually, by turning inward can find your ruby slippers, can find the resources that you already have because now you’re respecting them instead of saying everybody else’s thing is better. So I think there is a big part of just like being enough, recognizing that you are enough, that your story matters, who you are matters.
We’re starting from that as the baseline. Not less than.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. I love that. Giving grace to yourself for where you’re at. Yeah. I love that. So, if you could have coffee with any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Jessie Kate Bui
Oh, man, this one is like crazy hard. I think it has to be like Einstein or DaVinci or something. Somebody who was thinking outside the box. Saying things that not everybody understood at the time that they were in. I resonate with that. I feel like they wouldn’t need to be in agreement to have a really exciting conversation about discovering something new. Like, we don’t have to be from the same field.
I don’t have to be a mathematician or physicist or anything to have a conversation with someone who likes to just say, Hey, let’s look at something from a new point of view. And I feel like both DaVinci and Einstein kind of like fit that sort of space for me. I idealize them as that, anyway.
Nichole Pitts
Now what self care routine helps you to be productive and happy?
Jessie Kate Bui
So I think I’ve talked to Nichole before about like, I definitely run into ADHD struggles with feeling all over the place. So this can be a real necessity essentially to kind of keep things going. I think there’s a few things I would say for people who are struggling to have kind of a sense of work life balance, do the ikigai exercise. Sometimes finding out what you don’t need to be spending your time on helps you find out what you need to spend your time on and helps you prioritize your day a lot more.
Really spend some time examining your workflow to see if you understand every step of it. Sometimes we gloss over things cuz we don’t wanna feel bad or like embarrassed or disappointed in ourselves. See if there’s a way to adjust your process to be sufficient and then it’s easier to then prep and have like automating things.
I have automated stuff now so that I don’t have to be babysitting everything but I knew that that was the worthwhile thing to automate because I adjusted the priority. I think the last one I would probably throw out there, I think sometimes a million miles an hour, sometimes that comes out talking a million miles an hour too.
But when I find myself winding up and I can’t even find the lie, cuz I’ve got 500 different thoughts going in different tangential directions, exercise, go for a run, do something that exhausts you physically. So your mind can only solve a simple problem. And then usually that’s what I needed in the first place was like, it needed to be simple.
It needed to be something I didn’t have to have other resources for. And by being so distracted physically and just wiped out, I was able to find it.
Nichole Pitts
Love it. So what’s the one question that you wish I would’ve asked that I didn’t.
Jessie Kate Bui
I think I have to give a lot of credit to my husband, opening me up to a lot of new points of view, you know, being Vietnamese American. I mean, he grew up in San Jose, so he’s definitely American in a lot of his upbringing, but there’s so much different in his background than mine.
And he really woke me up to a lot of my own lack of awareness of diversity. I want to be inclusive. I want to be welcoming of other people, but I had someone in my life that both loved me deeply and also challenged me to recognize and see those missing pieces.
And to have someone who you’re close to that you can tackle those hard conversations with that doesn’t feel like love is lost because we’re arguing or stressed or confused. That is so valuable. And I feel like I wouldn’t have been able to make a lot of the connections that I made if he hadn’t opened up that ability for me to navigate that.
When things like Black Lives Matter or Stop Asian Hate come up, I can almost imagine myself before I knew him so much cause we were friends for longer than we were married. Like just kind of having a surf, like, I can see my surface understanding like, oh, of course.
And I probably would’ve posted once and then not thought about it because it was just like, oh yeah, no, I’m on your side. And then just like, and then I’m back to life, right? Before I realized no, there is like a real need to be learning about these things, filling in the blanks. It’s not something to just pass off as somebody else’s job.
If you really wanna advocate for inclusion and diversity and respecting and honoring other people’s stories, it’s work and it’s investment and it’s time. It isn’t a microwave. It isn’t quick fix. And so having a relationship where we had to get through all of those things and have those conversations and not just go, oh, there’s conflict back off, like there’s conflict, go through it. That was so big.
Nichole Pitts
Yeah. Kind of like your foggy mirror story method where we were talking about in the last episode with really understanding and educating ourselves versus seeing something and then just reacting to it. Last question, where can listeners find you online?
Jessie Kate Bui
You can find me on my website, which is like I mentioned is Jessiekate.com, but I also have an Instagram, @jessiekatebui, B-U-I, this is my last name. And you can find some things on there. I’m posting more frequently. For artists, you can find me on Discord. Other than that, it’s mostly Instagram.
Nichole Pitts
Thank you so much, Jessie Kate, this has been such a great conversation. I feel like I continue to learn so much from you.
I really enjoy talking about storytelling as well as how we can tell our own stories. So to the listeners, I hope that you get started in identifying what your key moments were, figuring out that “aha” moment and then reframing the narrative so that you can hold space for yourself, be self-compassionate, but also extend that to others.
Thank you again, Jessie Kate, for your time. I so enjoyed it. And for the rest of you, I look forward to talking to you on the next episode. If you enjoyed this, please go to your podcast platform, whether or not it’s Spotify or, iTunes, Apple podcast, iHeart, whichever one, and give five stars, a thumbs up.
If you didn’t like it, go ahead and close out of this. Don’t even worry about what I’ve just said. Just pretend like you stopped listening after I said goodbye. So thank you so much. And we’ll see you on the next episode.
End of episode.

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