What my burnout taught me…

Even though I would not ever want to be back in this situation, I am grateful I had a burnout and that it happened to me as it gave me a very valuable lesson: to make time for myself.

How often do we say we do not have time?

How often do we disregard the signs our body is giving, thinking that ‘it’s just a phase’ or ‘it will be over soon’.

I learned to not only listen to my body,

But also to take time for myself to recharge my batteries.

If you’re watching TV in the evening, stop watching, even for one hour.

And if you’re not watching TV, because you just don’t have time,

What about starting your day one hour earlier?

Think of what you could do with that one hour:

✅ Read a book

✅ Exercise or go for a walk

✅ Learn something new

✅ Meditate/pray

✅ Or spend more time with your family

One hour per day = 365 hours per year!

❓❓❓ Have you ever thought of what you could accomplish with these hours❓❓❓

These hours can be YOURS and YOURS only

So that you can really

✅ Fill in your ‘energy tank’

✅ Feel better

✅ Be healthier…

#vlvcoach #inspiration #personaldevelopment

 

A few years ago, I had a burn out

A few years ago, I had a burn out

Not so much because I was working long hours

But more because I was doing a job I really did not like

I was always afraid to make mistakes,

To make the wrong decision which may cost a lot of money

After a few months/years, I had the impression my brain was not functioning properly

I was more & more tired, getting frequent headaches

I remember standing twice in front of my computer

Having a blackout: I could not remember what I was supposed to do next

The more stressed I was, the less I could sleep & the more tired I became

Because I could not sleep, I no longer went to dance, which was usually my stress relief

And because I was not releasing my stress,

I could no longer sleep properly to recharge my batteries

I was in a downwards spiral and did not seem to be able to get out of it 😔

So I had to break the circle 💥

I stopped working for 2 months

Tried to relax, sleep, exercise and go to dance again 💃🏽

Then I started to work part time, till I could work full time.

What this taught me is:

‼️ LISTEN TO YOUR BODY & THE SIGNS IT GIVES YOU

‼️ Do not wait till it’s too late

‼️ We only have ONE health

⭐️ OUR HEALTH IS OUR WEALTH ⭐️

 

#vlvcoach #mentalhealth

 

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To BE list

I saw a video in which one sentence really resonated with me:

‘Don’t keep a daily to do list. Keep a daily TO BE list’

How powerful is that???

✅ Be grateful
✅ Be positive
✅ Be happy
✅ Be curious
✅ Be open minded
✅ Be mindful
✅ Be respectful
✅ Be and live your life to the fullest
✅ Be and breathe

And I can think of many others…

What would your ‘to be’ list look like?

#vlvcoach #coaching #leadership #positivity

How something broken can be a good thing

I saw a presentation about ‘kintsugi’. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise (wikipedia).

This made me think of French artist, Bruno Catalano, mostly renown for creating sculptures of figures with substantial sections missing. In 2004, Catalano noticed a flaw in one of his characters. This prompted him to dig and hollow out the chest. To his surprise, this frail character was the first to be sold at his stand. From then on, the rest became history. Famous galleries contacted him and ordered his sculptures. He now sells around the world.

What stands out is that he turned this mishap into an advantage. These hollow sculptures are now his ‘signature’.

So, what does it have to do with you?

These two examples just show that something broken does not necessarily mean something bad, and that you can turn things around…

We all have our ‘flaws’, nobody is perfect, and that is what makes us unique! That is what makes you YOU!

So, embrace your ‘flaws’! Use them and turn them to your advantage, because what you may see as a weakness can actually become your greatest strength!

 

What does it mean to be courageous?

Courageous, a word we do not often use or hear…

In my life, I’ve been told 5 times I was being courageous. One of the last time was in 2017.

I was working for Amazon, having a job that I really loved, with a great team and wonderful colleagues. I decided to resign because my husband and myself wanted to travel. Some of my colleagues told me I was being courageous. I did not think I was, but one told me: ‘Yes, you are courageous: you dare to take a decision I also would love to take but do not dare to’.

Was it an easy decision?

Not at all, it was probably one of the toughest decisions I made.

Do I regret it?

No! I not only got to travel around the world, but most importantly, I found my life purpose! Helping expats and professionals working in international organizations has always been something I’ve done, but now that I am conscious of it, that I have a goal and that I am focusing on it, I have never been more excited and more positive in my life!

To all of you out there:

Dare to take bold decisions!

Dare to take a leap of faith!

Nobody has walked in your shoes,

Nobody has had your life

Nobody is YOU…


Be courageous!

You just never know what’s around the corner…

How would you like to look back at your life from your 80th birthday?

The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The purpose of life is to give it away.
– Pablo Picasso –

How would you like to look back at your life from your 80th birthday?

Have you ever asked yourself that question?

It’s definitely not an easy one to answer. It may take days, weeks or even months before you are able to answer that question…

Maybe you have a general idea but do not know the specifics. 

Maybe you’d like to still  be looking ahead. You’d still like to have plans for 10, 20 years. still wanting to experience and learn new things.

Or maybe you have absolutely no clue. You’ve never ever thought of this question before….

So why is it important to ask such a question? Why does it matter? 

Well, once in a while, we should ask ourselves this question to find out what is our purpose in life or to make sure we are still working towards it….  We were all put on earth for a reason… Some people know their purpose early in life, some others will need years to discover… and some other never will.

Knowing what you would like to have achieved, what you would like to be proud of will help you throughout your life: 

– It first will give you a vision, from which you can start and work backwards. You then will be able to set long, medium and short term goals, that you can in turn break down further in smaller milestones. 

– You then will be able to find out what you should focus on, what skills or habits you should acquire and what you need to let go… If you want to be known for having run (or won) a marathon, maybe you first need to learn how to run on a regular basis, maybe you need to eat healthier or make some changes to your nutrition. And maybe you need to stop smoking once and for all…

– Finally, this will also help you focus on the right things, put the priority on things or people you care about and forget about all the other minor issues you have in your life. 

Jeff Bezos once said: “When you think about the things that you will regret when you’re 80, they’re almost always the things that you did not do. They’re acts of omission. Very rarely are you going to regret something that you did that failed and didn’t work or whatever” 

So, take a moment and ask yourself: How would you like to look back from your 80th birthday?

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Welcome to my first book

It has been a long delivery… Almost 20 years to be precise! I am pleased to announce that I am now the proud mother of my first book, ‘My revenge on life’.

It was a Friday in August 1998, when I was with my mom on a highway in Belgium, driving from France to the Netherlands. We were stuck in a traffic jam under a tunnel when a truck hit us. I had to stay three months in hospitals. It took me another six months before I could fully walk normally again and go back to work full time. It then took me years to be fit again and I managed to do so thanks to salsa dancing. I picked up my life, grew professionally and traveled the world…

I had always said I should write a book about what had happened to me but never really took the time. I finally started working on my book more than 12 years after my accident. I guess I needed that time to ‘digest’ what had happened… And yes, writing a book is not easy. It takes time, it has to flow, it should not be boring and it needs to have an end! This was my biggest challenge: I did not have the latter till this year! At the beginning of 2018, I had decided to help expats and young professionals optimize their potential. And it was as if the universe was sending me signs… All the pieces fit in together and I just had to finish my story.

It is always with mixed emotions that I recall all the events of my accident. When I look back, I am actually grateful this happened to me. It was definitely not easy to go through this experience, but it contributed to make me the person that I am. I have always been positive; I do not give up easily and always achieve my goals. This book is just another proof of that. If this book helps at least one person, then I will have accomplished my other goal: inspire people in showing them that there is always hope even in the most difficult situations…

PS: This book is available on all the Amazon marketplaces, both in English and in French (‘Ma revanche sur la vie’).

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The keys of success

I recently met a group of coaches and we asked ourselves: what is success? How come some people are successful and some others aren’t? Success is obviously different for everybody, as we all have different goals or yearnings. However, we all agreed on two things: to be successful you first have to make a decision and you have to take action.

Whether you decide to go right or left depends on circumstances and does not really ‘matter’, as long as you keep moving. Deciding to stay at the same place is not a decision as it means staying in your comfort zone. This in turn means stagnating, which in turn means that soon or later, instead of moving forward, you’re regressing.

These observations are valid not only in our professional life but also in our personal life. We all heard the expression: ‘Knowledge is power’. I do not fully agree with this, but agree with what Napoleon Hill wrote in his book ‘Think and grow rich’: Knowledge is only potential power. If you have the knowledge but do nothing about it, then this knowledge is lost because you have not taken action.

So, don’t be afraid to grab opportunities! Don’t be a spectator of your life, but act, i.e. be literally an actor! When you make a decision and take action, you have nothing to lose. The worst that can happen is that you’ll learn something new. And as for me, I have decided to win the Oscar for best actress in my own life! 🙂