Growing Pains

According to society I should be settled-down by now, managing a team, driving an expensive car and having a property that I call home.
September 13th, Sevilla.

And so it has begun. My final 48h in Sevilla have kicked-off. I can't believe it's been 4 months already. My mind is racing, my heart feels conflicted and my brain is in panic. Aaaah, the wonderful feeling of growing pains.  

The past week has been intense. Emotions were high and I felt all over the place. But that is expected when you make bold decisions. You will be tested. Because that is what fear, self-doubt and guilt teach us. They show-up with the simple question: Are you sure you want this?

It’s also the way our brains are wired. They are designed to protect us and will always go back to what they know. And when you choose to start living life in a way that is going against all social norms of what a “single” “female” “business owner” of “38 years” old is supposed to do and be and have … it’s expected your brain will go bananas.

There is no social script because I decided to write my own.

According to society I should be settled-down by now, managing a team, driving an expensive car and having a property that I call home. Helas mama! None of this is what my soul desires. I crave freedom in expressing myself. My desire is going places because my creative self needs novelty & beauty. I recharge when I am on the move, not to run away but to stimulate my senses that inspire stories. And my journey is about finding balance in all that.

One of the things I have learned the past few weeks is to surrender. Everything else just doesn’t work anymore. It’s easy to lose ourselves in spirals when we feel vulnerable. We hate to feel vulnerable because when we do, we feel exposed, our fears are very present and we rather just hide (which most of us do). We start doubting everything to a point where we question our own sanity.

In the eye of the public I am being brave, I am being bold and am going after what I want. No compromises made. But let me give you the perspective from my side, the "inside view" so to speak. As mentioned before, being brave feels uncomfortable. You might think it feels like being freaking super man but it doesn’t.

So let’s talk about those growing pains.

Since I decided to give-up my home, my private practices and my financial security I felt restless. I continue my journey with no plan B, so overwhelm and self-doubt are part of my daily waves. My brain reminds me of the fact there is no way back and is poking me constantly with the question: Are you sure? To which I reply: Of course I'm not, you idiot!

My sleep has been off because I am a very practical person (which is another face of fear). The thought of going back to The Hague and allowing myself 10 days to put 80m2 into 3 suitcases and a backpack is next level organization.

But I quickly understood that letting go of all the things is needed so I can make more space for my dream. A sacrifice I love to make. Even though I do not consider myself materialistic, I do catch myself "missing" my pink velvet couch, my art deco bookshelf and my Eames chair.

It sucks to feel vulnerable because the thing you rather want is to feel strong and empowered. And at times I do. Those are the good days …. But even though I feel a bit on edge and even though I feel doubt, there is nothing I would change. Because I am learning so much about myself, my beliefs and my potential. The world is my oyster and the freedom to be is no longer a dream. It has become my reality.

I remind myself every day of the fact that "this", the feelings and the discomfort, is just temporary. I remind myself I am experiencing growing pains. And they are needed to bring me to a level that will allow me to reach my goals of running an online business that has a massive impact.

"So why am I doing this again?", she asked.

I am doing this because the process of growth is all about learning lessons that I need in order to become my next level self! I am not sharing this to seek pity or judgement. Believe me, I have given that to myself already. But I do share this wholeheartedly to make you aware that feeling vulnerable sucks and that it's ok!

It’s the only way to move forward. There are no shortcuts. There are no easy fixes. If you truly want to grow, you need to feel your way through the process and learn your lessons. You need to cultivate trust. In yourself, in life, in others and in your skills.

Another thing that I have noticed is that we all should collectively STOP looking at emotions as bad or negative. There are no such things. We are allowed to feel EVERYTHING.

We need to stop trying to be so freaking perfect and in control all the time. It makes people like me, who really just want to be themselves, feel freaking uncomfortable. Who decided that certain feelings are bad? And why? And who made-up the rules in the first place? And what's up with the whole "being in control" illusion? Where did that come from? The stepford wives?

When you are ambitious you need to stretch yourself. Emotions make us aware of what needs to heal. What needs to change is how we look at things and how we give it meaning. We need that shift so we can create space for the next thing to enter our lives. We need to stop looking at overwhelm as weakness, because if you really think about it, THERE IS NO SUCH THING!

When we can take-out the judgement, life becomes so much lighter!

When we go through transition, we go through a phase I call "the tunnel". So what is the tunnel? When you decide to let go of one thing but not truly know yet what the next thing is, you find yourself stuck in the tunnel. In my case this means letting go of all certainty (home, recurrent incomes through employment and fixed routines) in order to embrace freedom. And I am working-out what that means for me.  

The tunnel is an unfamiliar place but you know that it’s the only way towards your destination. You trust the process because that is what others have done before you. You look for validation in books, stories of successful people, brave people. People you now identify with because you are becoming one of them. And you have to trust you will "make it" because once in the tunnel, you can't go back.

Our brains don’t like the tunnel. The tunnel sucks because it is defined by uncertainty. All you have is trust and trust is a skill you need to develop. And developing something takes time, patience and compassion. A lot of it! One day you will arrive and the destination is going to be better than the one you left behind. You trust that knowing. This is why stories are so important. Why do you think I read so many books?

No one can tell you how long you will be in the tunnel, but you need to trust that one day you will exit the tunnel. You will have arrived at your destination, the up levelled version of yourself will see the light. And the journey will inspire others who are where you were to go through their tunnel to.  

So what's next?

For the rest of the year I will travel around, taking stages and meeting friends. I am allowing myself the time, space and circumstances to figure out where I want to set-up camp next. And in the meantime, I will continue writing, finalize my courses and be more "out there" (It's a process tho).

So If you wish to follow me on my journey, feel free to sign-up for my newsletter. I write one every month and share my experiences, stories and lessons. My intention is to inspire and to lead from the heart and through vulnerability. Because that is what the world needs more of and I am here to lead by example. Uncomfortable, but at least it's real.

And as always, feel free to share your thoughts or send this story around. Because there is always someone who needs to hear what you have to say. That's what I tell myself at least.

See you online.

With love,