What starting-over has taught me

If you truly, madly, deeply love yourself… what would you do? Are you brave enough to ask yourself that question? And are you courageous enough to take risks so you can make it happen?
If you truly, madly, deeply love yourself… what would you do?

Are you brave enough to ask yourself that question? And are you courageous enough to take risks so you can make it happen?

This is how I started 2022. When reflecting on the above, the one thing that came up for me was the word “freedom”.

The freedom to express myself, the freedom to go where I want, whenever I want and for how long I want. And the freedom to create impact. I want to live knowing that, when my time has come, I made a difference in people’s lives.

Once I had this clear, I knew I needed to rethink directions. I knew that the only thing between the above and the now was taking massive action. And I knew I had to take risks to make it happen.

And thus “the year of doing” was born.

This year has been about thinking less and doing more. It has brought me to beautiful places, reunited me with my friends in different parts of the world and it has grown my confidence, my knowledge and my perspective in many ways.

I allowed myself to say “yes” more.

I had to let go of many things, I had to push my brain into the unknown and train myself in feeling comfortable in discomfort. A scary thought for many & a showstopper for most.

I am embracing uncertainty because that is how much faith I have in myself, my skills and my vision.

With another 3 months on the clock before we wrap-up 2022, I took some time to reflect on what I have learned so far. I was able to identify 5 lessons that made 2022, the year of doing, my most expansive year yet.

I hope this piece inspires whoever is reading this to get out of their head, to take more action and to start living life from the heart. It’s totally worth it and once you do you will never go back.

Lesson #1: The power of vulnerability

When you decide to go after your dreams and to make it your mission to never settle for less, self doubt will be an ally. An annoying one, but an ally nonetheless.

When we are being confronted with self doubt we question everything. And when we are stuck in that loophole, we are being invited to learn. I’m an expert on the topic since I made it my business to show people a way out.

From the moment you stop apologizing for your desires, you are giving yourself permission to go all in. You understand what you are no longer available for. You start living life in a way that honors the belief that you deserve better.

This process will make you feel vulnerable. You will feel exposed and the fear of judgement is real. The fear that ‘the voices of judgement might be right’ is something that stops many of us.

But there is true power in vulnerability.

I have learned that it is a gateway to truly, madly, deeply learn to love yourself unconditionally. When you can allow yourself to be vulnerable, contrary to what your brain wants you to believe, you will be ok.

In the process you will learn how boundaries will keep you safe. How communicating will facilitate support and how just feeling your way through this process is the only way forward.

It is a slow process and it will require patience and compassion. There are no shortcuts here.

Lesson #2: The power of surrender

Together with vulnerability comes the power of surrender. Uncertainty triggers our brain. It activates the hyper alert mode. We move into a “fix-it”- mode and try to control the environment.

We chase, we worry, we try harder. Even though it makes sense, it is also very exhausting. Operating from a modus of control is killing creativity. Something that you need when you go all in. Being resourceful is being creative. So the only way forward is to surrender.

With choosing to surrender you learn to not only trust yourself more, but also your skills and your abilities to make it work. You navigate through life driven by curiosity instead of fear. You give yourself permission to make mistakes.

The less we try to control and the more we start to trust, the faster we go.

There is no universal path but the biggest “trick” I can share is to allow space for nothingness. Actively plan time to be bored. It’s incredible what you come-up with when you do nothing.

Lesson #3: The power of letting yourself be seen

This lesson has been the hardest one and I’m still learning a lot about myself because of this. Allowing yourself to be seen is highly stressful for your brain.

The fear of judgement becomes real which will trigger old pain. The discomfort is inviting you to feel and to ask yourself what needs your attention. What do you need to heal? What are stories you need to let go of?

Allowing yourself to be seen is opening yourself up for more criticism but it is also allowing yourself the opportunity to love yourself more. Because it is never about the critics, it’s about your own inner critic. And once you understand that, you will take back your power.

The only critic that requires your attention is the one you carry within you.

You need to understand that this one is driven by fear. Reparenting that part of yourself will help you move past it. You can’t just “get over” it. You have to work through it.

Getting over something is denying yourself lessons that are crucial for your self development, your resilience and your emotional growth. The only way forward is to feel and to learn from that.

This is where a therapist or a coach can help you take massive steps. Our behavior is build out of patterns. And letting yourself be seen is exposing those patterns so they can be replaced.

Lesson #4: The power of simplicity

If you want to change, you need to create space for it. So letting go has been a big part of the process. One that is driven with the intention to simplify things.

It’s detaching from stories. It’s understanding that you as a human are not defined by what you have or what you do. Even though it sounds noble and humbling, it feels frustrating.

It is the unknown and the discomfort that comes with it that causes frustration. My “stuff” is just something I can hold onto in order to cope. Detaching is letting go of my anchors, things that are associated with home and the familiar.

When you truly go for simplicity, even though the reason is just practical, something shifts. Energy shifts. You feel more liberated afterwards. But you do have to go through some emotions first.

It’s dealing with the discomfort of it all. Letting go of things but also letting go of security, predictability, perceived certainty. It is a process & a necessary one since it will allow you to create space for things that are much better.

Lesson #5: The power of novelty

There is something magical about starting over. It can feel very exhilarating. It tickles our curiosity and feeds our playfulness. But only if you allow the space for it. And when you do it right, it can spark a lot of creativity.

This is why, when you start-over, it is so important to actively reserve time for discovery. This way you prevent yourself from feeling exhausted and you protect yourself from burning-out.

Starting over and hitting the reset button is part of the lifestyle when you truly aspire freedom. You hold a vision, you carve out your own path and you do whatever it takes to make it happen. The uncertainty and the daily practice of becoming comfortable with discomfort is part of that journey.

There is no script, because you are writing your own.

Even though I am taking this journey by myself, I am never alone. I have my friends, coaches, therapist and the strangers I meet along the way. Through them & our conversations I have found the tools & courage to keep going.

So to all of you who can relate or who feel inspired, reach out. Happy to learn about your process. Through sharing, you make it even more real.

And in case you need support, I am here to guide you on your way to a better life based on what you truly desire.

With love,