I moved at a young age from Greece to The Netherlands. I was not a big fan of school as most subjects didn't interest me and I felt bored sitting all day in a classroom. Nevertheless, I graduated in Tourism Economics and did a post-graduate in Marketing. Ever since I can remember I had this urge to experiment, experience and try new things. Hobbies, routes to school, studies, jobs, travels, houses. By the age of 23 I had travelled the world and had done more jobs than my age would count; from chef to stewardess and from telemarketer to waitress in traditional Dutch clothing.
Same in my career. Over the course of five years I took every opportunity to learn, grow and climb up that career ladder. I had a diverse range of job titles in renowned multinational companies; video producer, marketing manager, account manager. I would land "dream-job" after "dream-job" but every time again, somehow, I would feel out of place.
5 THINGS ABOUT ME
EXPERIENCES OVER THE MATERIAL | DUTCH-GREEK | ROAMER | NUMBER 24 | ALLERGIC TO CHIT-CHAT
I just couldn't help it. I couldn't stay long in a job that was not fulfilling me. I wanted to belief that life was more than just paying my bills and live for those 25 holidays a year. There was more out there and I wanted to chase thát. That deeper satisfaction was what I was looking for but I didn't know where to find it. And quite frankly, at the time, if it even existed!
In my first job I truly thought I was on top of the world. However, after a couple of years, the heavy lifting on my junior shoulders took its toll and I burned out. It was my biggest blessing - in hindsight, of course. It made me wander down a new path, searching for answers to big life questions. Many years of books, articles, movies, documentaries, seminars, trainings and courses followed.
Fear, confusion, "stuckness", self-doubt, self-sabotage and overwhelming emotional rollercoaster rides followed too.
GUTS & TALES
Parallel to that path I continued building on my career making my way up to one of the best advertising agencies in the world. During this time I came up with the idea of setting up this blog. My sister and I joined forces and we started building it from the ground up. As I was growing older I became more and more stunned about the way people were living their lives. So many seemed to be living a life they weren’t really happy in. Yet somehow stuck and not able to make any changes. I saw talented, smart, good people slowly degrading as the years would pass by. I felt this urge to help all these people by sharing stories of how you cán actually build a life you are happy living. So I started with interviewing some friends that were following their dreams and moulded it into Guts & Tales. People with Guts sharing their Tale.
LEAP OF FAITH
After five years of building my “career”, I decided to jump. I had reached the top of what I could, and wanted, to reach in my industry. A good friend, Ivan, introduced me to the term “career suicide”, that is what it basically was.
I had an idea and a business plan of what I wanted to do and I was clear that I needed to move to my other home country, Greece. I felt I had, somehow, to be of service there. It was what they call 'a calling'. The majority of people around me thought I had gone mad. I was giving my safe life up to move to a country in despair, with only a rough idea and savings for just a couple of months of living.
It wasn’t an easy choice, by all means. The criticism and inner turmoil of making the jump were very real and unsettling at times.
Since my move to Greece I went down the path of trial and error, working out different business ideas that never made it to the execution phase. All my creative ideas and plans eventually didn’t feel right. I was living out of a suitcase, traveling around Greece, trying to find my place in a new country. Even though it was a very unsettled time, I was happier than I had ever been.
Eventually I made the decision to study again as I felt that a part of the fundament was missing to bring all my dreams and ideas to life. And so I graduated in Modern Psychology and became a certified coach, NLP practiotioner and hypnotherapist. From the moment I stepped into the classroom I knew that thís was the stepping stone I was looking for. And that feeling was so profound for me. All these years of looking, searching, questioning were finally over. I had found my place.
My mission is to help people live a life that is truly theirs. A combination of their personal values, skills, talents and interests. The things that come naturally to you and that you perceive as ordinary, are the actual stepping stones to create an extraordinary life.
It truly hurts me seeing people stuck living a life where they are not fulfilled and where their talents and personality doesn’t come to fruition. And thése people. These people I crave to help.
I love this quote that my friend Tom introduced me too.
I saved for a couple of months of living when I quit my full-time job. I had set up my own company so I could work remotely on freelance jobs. This gave me a lot of freedom and would definitely be something I would advice you to do if your background allows it. Creating some kind of safety net for yourself is important. I also had a back-up plan and a few people around me that I knew I could count upon if things would get really tough.
I left Amsterdam with two suitcases and lived out of them for over a year. In the course of the last two years I have given away about 90% of my belongings.
THE TOUGH TIMES
I think the entire journey of finding personal fulfilment is the journey of knowing yourself. It’s not an easy path and full of contradictions. On the one side you have to overcome internal and external roadblocks. Internal roadblocks like loneliness, self-doubt, living in the unknown and the big one; dealing with fears. External roadblocks like finding out how to do practical things and learning new skills. For example: building a website, setting up a company, creating a business plan and in my case the practicalities of moving to another country. On the other side it’s full of awe, beauty, aliveness, power, hopefulness, blissful and ecstatic experiences. It’s literally a rollercoaster that is definitely worth the ride and you cannot really mentally prepare for it. Practically to some extend you can.
5 INSIDER TIPS
- Find your method to stay centered and come in tune with yourself. For me this has been my meditation practice and it literally has been my biggest help in the process. Having spent 10 days in silence really made me experience a force I have been able to count upon ever since.
- Get a coach, mentor, spiritual teacher, therapist – someone professional to support you in this process of transformation. I would never have been where I am right now without the guidance of professionals around me.
- Spend time alone and spend time getting to know yourself better. Make that a priority in your life so you become your own best friend. Inner strength and self-love is the most valuable thing you can hold onto.
- Eliminate negative or pessimistic people from your life. The energy they suck out of you is better spend on yourself and your own process of transformation. Hang out with people that give you energy and make you come to life.
- Whatever you do, a support network is really important. If you don't have one, build one. You can find great people in organisations or clubs that share the same values and/or interests as you.
Jump! Follow that inner voice. And make sure to take your brains with you.