I remember making a decision when I was cycling home from primary school one day. I was thinking about life and figured that if I just did what I thought everybody expected of me, I would be safe. I’m an extremely sensitive person so I sort of picked up what people were like, convinced myself I knew what they were thinking, and acted according to my self-imagined expectations. Of course, I always had to excel in everything I did and I had to wow the crowds continuously. This was pretty exhausting, but every applause, every compliment and every extremely high grade kept me going.
Until it didn’t anymore and I collapsed.
I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and I couldn’t do what I had always done to survive anymore. I couldn’t impress people, I couldn’t be wacky, I couldn’t get on stage and show off – I was lost because without people’s approval I was a nobody. I was hollow inside.
And everybody was so surprised. Sophie, an anxiety disorder? But she always seemed so unique, so alternative, so cool, so self-confident. Did I tell you I was a great actress? I knew exactly what people wanted to see so I did just that. I had become so good at it, that I even believed in it myself. When I couldn’t keep it up anymore, my systems went haywire.
And so I had to reset completely, take time out, take anti-depressants and most of all, to get to know myself.
Now that was an interesting journey. I figured I had never really developed my own identity and didn’t really know what I wanted. Ever since I was little I’d looked at my mum to decide what my favourite colour was. Then I replaced her with my best friend and got her approval through all the stuff I would steal and then I got it from all the men that I kissed. Oh the men – they’ve been so many. Then it was my teachers at uni that I looked up to so much and then it was my boyfriend’s turn to give me the love I needed so badly. These so-called sources of love and approval were all outside of me and I never really got what I needed.
Until I started reading Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life at the depth of my despair. The very first thing she teaches is to love yourself first. Before anything or anyone else. I’d always known that there was one thing that was behind my anxiety disorder, I always knew there was one remedy, but I hadn’t figured it out until then.
I started reading the book and doing all the exercises. The first one was to say ‘I love you’ to myself in the mirror, which was super weird. But I kept on going because I felt I was on to something. And I never stopped and then, all of a sudden, something shifted. I realized that I was becoming friends with myself. I realized that I was considering my needs, because that’s what you do with friends, and then I realized that I was unhappy. Really unhappy.
I saw how little was left of my relationship and how much of my own wellbeing I had given up for it. It hit me in the head when I was kissing a colleague that was twice my age and gave me more joy than I had received from my boyfriend for the past few years. Now that was a wakeup call.
And when I wake up, I usually move pretty quickly. Our relationship was over a few months later and since I had literally gotten a taste of what I really wanted, I just kept on asking myself that same question over and over again:
What do I want? What do I really want?
And then the answer came to me pretty soon after: move to Italy. I knew going there would fill my heart with so much joy, that I would really be able to flourish. And I did – oh boy, did I flourish.
I even managed to get off my anti-depressants and I’ve turned into the high value woman that I am now. And I have been able to because I decided that I deserved to be happy. I dared to choose my own happiness. And I made it happen.
So, why am I sharing this super intimate story with you? Because I have discovered the hard way that it all starts with self-love. It all starts with self-compassion. It all starts with self-worth and owning that worth.
And that’s what step 2 in my online signature programme Take the Leap is all about.
Because once you really care about your happiness and you really take care of yourself, then happiness is just around the corner. But this means putting yourself first and maybe disappointing others. But hey, your life is yours right?
So, are you ready to allow yourself to be happy?
My seven-step programme gets you clarity on where you’re at in life now and where you want to go instead, it teaches you self-love, it explains how not to take the mind’s bullshit so seriosuly and how to deal with fear while going for your dream. Then it helps you design your dream in the tiniest detail and teaches you all about how to manifest it into your reality. The final step helps you get the courage and confidence to finally go for it and take the leap! Read all about it here (and get it at the fast-action taker price!)
Love & courage,