Born in the UK, I grew up in Indonesia and Thailand and then living most of my adult life in the US, the Netherlands and Switzerland, who I am and my life are “colourful”.
My life has been built up of many mixtures: Corporate warrior and business owner, East and West cultures, creative and structured (in many ways), driven by intuition and logic, and many more.
The way I see myself, others and the world, in general, are influenced by these mixtures. It blurs out the illusions that there are “rigid circles” we often group ourselves in. Humans are human, anywhere, and we all want the same thing: to be connected, love, and be loved back.
These mixtures are wonderful elements in my life now. However, I was not always comfortable having these blends. It made me stood out, and I wouldn’t say I liked it. It didn’t feel safe. I used to believe that to belong meant that I could not be too different from others. I was not at ease being the “polka-dotted zebra” that I was.
I also believed that I had to achieve so much to be accepted and to be useful. These were unconscious programs that drove my decisions for decades. These programs were useful for some of my life goals; however, they turned limiting for my wellbeing. For many years, the old beliefs leapt me forward in my life. I left my comfort zones regularly. I learned new things, developed expertise, made great friends, earned a great salary, and recognised a great reputation. Success looked like that to me then.
However, eventually, the efforts took way too much out of me. I remembered the days when I could not appreciate the praises that were offered to me. Instead of taking them all in and be happy with them, setting the bar even higher was what I did. Moreover, under immense pressure, I resorted only to my mind and not both my mind and my heart. The success I got felt…empty. My heart was numbing overtime.