Suzan Nguyen is a Published Author, Certified Coach in Happiness, TedX Speaker & Founder of Be Better Group Nonprofit, and Blawesome Community Leader. She lost her dominant arm from the elbow down in a car accident in 2001, when she was just 22 years old. In waking up from this near-death experience, she was introduced to her new self, with the loss of her dominant arm. Emotionally, she ventured into a very dark place, one that left her hopeless, bitter and vulnerable. A challenging journey led her to avoid her pain, eventually accept it and commit her life to help others be better and not bitter.
Suzan has completed coaching classes at Institute of Excellence in Professional Coaching and continues to stay educated about her passion- Positive Psychology. Suzan continues to spread her #bebetter message through her speaking engagements, workshops, media interviews and by giving back to the community through volunteer efforts with her nonprofit: Be Better Group.
Suzan, you have overcome tremendous adversity in losing your arm and all the pain that followed. To help people understand what it is like to live through such a trauma, what was the most challenging part, and what helped you start to "embrace your pain and grow," as you mentioned in your Tedx talk?
The most challenging parts were accepting my new reality and being vulnerable about my emotions. I was emotionally stuck. I would continue to live in the past and relive the memories with me having both arms. Also, I couldn't speak about what I was feeling to others, which delayed my recovery tremendously.
I became very bitter and angry. I reached a turning point and knew I needed to make a change. It was highly exhausting being bitter. It was draining the life out of me. Essentially, I wanted to #bebetter
As a certified happiness coach and speaker, what do you notice people struggle with the most, and what’s the most common piece of advice you offer them?
The most common struggle is the search for happiness'. Many people are looking all over for satisfaction, contentment or joy, but in reality, it all begins from within. Others may not even be aware of what happiness indeed looks like for them. Disconnecting happiness to achievement or reaching specific goals. Being present and removing their barriers to happiness. Creating joy from within involves self-love, which many lack.
Why did you choose to join the Blawesome team?
We are on the same mission; to help people #bebetter.
Life is tough, and it may not get more accessible, but we get stronger and become more resilient. I want to use my pain to equip others to move forward from adversity. Building a community to do just that with Blawesome excites me. Let's change lives!
What advice do you have for people who want to transform their adversity into a source of inspiration to uplift others as a successful speaker and coach like yourself?
Being vulnerable can be very difficult, but you will significantly affect others once you share your story. Leading with vulnerability will help others open up and do the same with you and also others. Exposure creates the most vital human connections and deepens your compassion/empathy. It can be a massive contributor to self-acceptance as well. We all have a story; if you feel like your lessons can help others, share it. Greatness is being able to inspire others.
What’s the top practice you do consistently that helps you maintain a growth mindset? I continue to look inward and reflect regularly. It helps me understand myself more deeply and makes improvements and adjustments in my life where I see fit. It allows me to identify areas that need change/need work on and recognize places where I’ve grown.