Mastering Your Emotions: 7 tips to get you back in control

We are emotional beings! And with that I don’t mean we-women, I mean we-humans. Because often looked upon differently: men have just as much emotions as women. Only they might show their emotions less.  

How to regulate your emotions

Some people think they’re rational beings. Well, they’re not. Maybe they think about their emotions and make them sound very rational but in fact people are driven by emotions. That’s simply how our brain works (read more on how emotions really work according to new neuroscientific research here).

Emotions completely control you. Unless you control them. But how do you do that?

7 tips to regulate your emotions:

1. Make sure your body is in balance

To master your emotions, you can best start by taking care of your physical well-being. Adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and regular physical activity are essential. I know you’ve heard this a thousand times. But now we know how this directly influences your emotions and it’s mind blowing (read more about The Theory on Constructed Emotions by Lisa Feldman Barret).

Your brain continuously gets information from the organs in your body, like the amount of glucose or oxygen in your blood. It’s purely sensory information by then, without any meaning. Your brain then uses your concepts (constructed in the past) to make sense of this information combined with external information it gets.

Too little glucose in your blood after running a marathon can make you feel exhausted or make your son ‘hangry’. A lack of sleep can make you feel down and a lack of affection can make you feel lonely. These are all subjective interpretations based on your concepts.

When a neurological network collects this sensory information and predicts something based on our self-created concepts, emotions arise. So emotions don’t necessarily mean that something is wrong, but just that your body is out of balance for a while. With negative emotions, our brain is actually letting us know that we need to replenish certain reserves.

When people haven’t slept enough and are fatigued or low energy, they may feel hungry (because they’ve been hungry before when their energy was low) and may think that a quick snack will boost their energy. In fact, they’re just tired from lack of sleep. This constructed experience of hunger may be one reason why people gain unwanted weight.

Your brain wants you to be healthy, so it will keep on giving you these signals until the balance in your body will be restored. Therefore emotions are always ruling; it’s a matter of life and death!

So taking good care of your health and maintaining the balance in your body needs to be your first priority.

2. Change your predictions

Our brain is continuously predicting. Predictions transform flashes of light into the objects you see. They turn changes in air pressure into recognisable sounds, and traces of chemicals into smells and tastes. Predictions let you read the sentences on this page and understand them as letters and words and ideas.

A bunch of neurons make their best guess about what will happen in the immediate future, based on whatever combination of past and present that your brain is currently conjuring. Usually your brain has several ways to deal with a given situation, and it creates a flurry of predictions and estimates probabilities for each one. Is that rustling sound in the forest due to the wind, an animal, an enemy fighter, or a shepherd? Is that long, brown shape a branch, a staff, or a rifle? Ultimately, in each moment, some prediction is the winner. Often, it’s the prediction that best matches the incoming sense data, but not always. Either way, the winning prediction becomes your action and your sensory experience. (Read more about your brains predictions here).

So if you’ll change your predictions you can change your experience and therefore your reality. But how?

One of the ways how to do this is with the REtAc method, developed by change and leadership expert Wassili Zafiris. Clients that were dealing with physical and mental problems for years, state their issues are solved ‘miraculously’ only in a few sessions. I’m very happy to tell you more about how I use this method and what it can do for you.

 3. Train emotional awareness

Understanding and recognising different emotions can help a lot. Emotional granularity, or the ability to pinpoint specific emotions, allows you to respond more effectively to what you’re feeling. So start with writing down all the emotions you know and then play around with them. Which ones do you experience often? And which ones seldom? This is a very helpful tool for kids as well. Research found the better kids can tell which exact emotion they experience the happier they are. The book The Atlas of the Heart from Brene Brown is an amazing read to explore what all the different emotions mean.

Some more tips to enhance your emotional granularity:

– Notice Subtle Differences

• Pay attention to subtle variations in your emotional experiences.
• Distinguish between closely related emotions (e.g., different types of sadness or joy).

– Use Specific Labels:

• Practice using specific and detailed emotion labels.
• Instead of broad categories, identify the precise emotion you are feeling.

– Journaling:

• Maintain a journal to record your daily emotional experiences.
• Describe emotions in detail, including their triggers and nuances.

-Reflect on Context:

• Consider the specific context in which emotions arise.
• Reflect on how different situations or environments influence the quality of your emotions.

– Body Sensations:

• Connect physical sensations with specific emotional experiences.
• Note how bodily reactions may vary across different emotional states.

– Mindful Observation:

• Practice mindful observation of your emotions without immediate judgment.
• Allow yourself to fully experience and articulate the intricacies of each emotion.

• Social Emotional Awareness:

• Extend your granularity to the emotions of others.
• Notice and appreciate the subtle emotional cues in the people around you.

• Feedback from Others:

• Seek feedback from trusted friends or family about your emotional expressions.
• Ask for input on whether they perceive subtle differences in your emotional states.

 4. Choose your words consciously

Your words hold immense power in shaping your reality. Your brain predicts emotions based on past experiences and language, influencing your current emotional state. Choose your words carefully; your choice of words can influence how you conceptualise and communicate your emotions.

“Words seed your concepts, concepts drive your predictions, predictions regulate your body budget, and your body budget determines how you feel. Therefore, the more finely grained your vocabulary, the more precisely your predicting brain can calibrate your budget to your body’s needs.” – Lisa Feldman Barret.

Tips to become more conscious in choosing your words:

– Use Metaphors:

• Experiment with metaphors to describe your emotions.
• Relate your emotional experiences to specific imagery that captures their essence.

– Start journaling

• Engage in regular journaling to become conscious of the words you use.

– Emotion-Word Linkage:

• Understand the link between emotions and the words you use to express them. Words play a role in shaping and interpreting emotional experiences.

– Social Context:

• Acknowledge the social and cultural context of your words. Language is influenced by societal norms, and the meaning of words can vary in different contexts.

– Individual Differences:

• Recognise that individuals may have different emotional concepts and linguistic expressions. Be mindful of these differences in communication.

– Predictive Coding:

• Understand the brain’s predictive coding mechanism.

– Communication Impact:

• Be mindful of how your choice of words can impact others. Language can influence the emotional experiences of both the speaker and the listener.

– Embodied Nature of Language:

• Acknowledge the embodied nature of language. Language is closely tied to the body and its sensations, influencing emotional experiences.

5. Try out new things!

We shape and anticipate our current emotions by drawing from our past experiences. This implies that our present intentions and actions serve as blueprints for predicting tomorrow’s intentions and actions. By infusing innovative thoughts, concepts, experiences, and activities into today, we have the power to design and structure our future days.

So start to learn a new language, dive into other cultures or start playing a new sport or musical instrument. But also movies, books, podcasts, articles, radio shows will help you create new concepts. The more positive experiences and concepts you create the more positive predictions and emotions can arise from that.

  6. Ask Questions

Instead of making assumptions about others’ emotions or intentions, ask questions to gain clarity. Recognise that everyone has their unique concepts, and communication requires aligning those concepts. Otherwise it could be that your brain predicts things (‘my partner told me he wants to talk to me tonight, I think he’s gonna leave me’) that are based on past concepts (the last time I had this same feeling I was 6 and my dad wanted to talk to me, he was leaving the family). Asking your partner what he wants to talk about can help you prevent a shit load of unjust predictions and a miserable day.

7. Manage Your State

Practice techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and mindfulness. These methods enable you to be in a conscious state and respond to situations more calmly and consciously.

Now you can embark on a journey to master your emotions, creating a foundation for emotional resilience, healthier relationships, and a more balanced and fulfilling life.

10 Books that expand your wisdom

I have to admit I have a huge problem with buying books. What other people have with cloth, I have with books. I simply can’t stop myself from buying them. Recently I started ordering more e-books, to save some trees, but I can’t yet get completely used to it. As there’s simply nothing like holding a book in your hands for the first time and flipping through the fresh pages…

Books serve as powerful tools

I believe that in our quest for personal growth, books serve as powerful tools that can shape your thinking, broaden your horizon, and inspire profound transformation.

That’s why I’d like to share this list of ten books that I read recently with you. From exploring the mysteries of the human mind to unraveling the interconnectedness of nature, these books offer unique insights and profound wisdom that can guide you on your journey of becoming a wiser person and leader.

Ten of my favourite books that will make you wiser:


I simply can’t get enough of this book! Want to know how trees communicate with each other? And how genius trees brush off giraffes? Then don’t hesitate to order this book and discover the captivating world of trees.

This fascinating book reveals the intricate and interconnected lives of trees, unveiling their wisdom and resilience, and inviting us to rekindle our relationship with the natural world.

– Wiser’ by Dilip Jeste:

Delve into the science and art of wisdom with this insightful book by neuroscientist Dilip Jeste. Drawing on his extensive research, Jeste explores the various dimensions of wisdom and provides practical strategies for cultivating wisdom in everyday life. Jeste also found out wise people master 7 ‘skills’ and these are all teachable. My Wisdom Compass, a brand new tool for personal development, is partly based on his fascinating research.

–  ‘How Emotions are Made’ by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett

Challenge your understanding of emotions with this groundbreaking book by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett. Explore the concept of constructed emotions and gain insights into how our brains shape our emotional experiences, offering a fresh view on self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

This is a book everyone should read! It will give you a new perspective on life. You can read a sneak preview of the book and how emotions are really made here.

 – ‘The Atlas of the Heart’ by Brené Brown:

This book is not so much a book that you read on the sofa until it’s finished. It’s more a reference work you want to keep close to you. If you really take the time to integrate the words, it will change every relationship you have. Beginning with the one with yourself.

‘The Atlas of the Heart’ delves into the complexities of human emotions, vulnerability, and resilience, offering valuable insights for cultivating emotional well-being and authentic connections.

‘- Wisdom of the Shamans’ by Don Jose Ruiz:

A very small book that you can read in one evening, but the captivating stories will stay with you forever.

Don Jose Ruiz guides you with ancient wisdom and shamanic teachings on a path towards self-discovery, spiritual growth, and a deeper connection with the world around us.

–  ‘How to Grow a New Body’ by Alberto Villoldo

Unlock the secrets of holistic health and transformation with Alberto Villoldo’s ‘How to Grow a New Body.’ This book combines ancient wisdom and modern science to offer practical guidance for rejuvenating the body, mind, and spirit, leading to enhanced well-being and vitality. For everyone that is interested in a Vision Quest this book is absolutely indispensable.

– ‘Man’s search for meaning’ by Victor Frankl

In this profound work by Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Frankl he chronicles his experiences in Nazi concentration camps and explores the fundamental question of human existence: finding meaning in life.

The book examines how individuals can discover purpose even in the most extreme circumstances, emphasizing the power of choice, resilience, and the pursuit of a meaningful life. Frankl’s reflections offer deep insights into the human spirit and inspires you to live a full life of purpose.

– ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers

Embark on an extraordinary literary journey with “The Overstory” by Richard Powers. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel weaves together the stories of diverse characters and the profound impact of trees, prompting us to reflect on the interconnectedness of all living beings and our responsibility towards nature.

–  ‘Being You’ by Anil Seth

This thought-provoking book explores the nature of identity, the illusion of self, and the profound implications of understanding the mechanisms that shape our experience of reality.

– ‘Braiding Sweetgrass ‘by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Braiding Sweetgrass explores the reciprocal relationship between humans and the natural world. The book takes its title from the act of braiding sweetgrass, a sacred indigenous tradition. The braiding represents the interconnectedness of human beings with nature and the intertwining of different forms of knowledge.

I love it how Kimmerer weaves together her own experiences as a scientist and a member of an indigenous community, sharing traditional knowledge and practices passed down through generations.

Enhance your wisdom and transform your perspective

I hope these books help you on your path of self development and enable you to expand your consciousness, enhance your wisdom, and transform your perspective.

Are you inspired to become a wiser person? The FREE Wise Leadership test will help you understand where you’re at right now and how to become wiser.

How to lead with Empathy, Compassion, and Altruism

Prosocial behaviours, such as empathy, compassion, and altruism, are essential components of wise leadership as they have profound impacts on both the leader and those they lead. According to neuroscientist and author Dilip Jeste, wise people understand that their role extends beyond their individual success and encompasses the well-being and growth of their teams and organisations. In this article I explain why empathy, compassion and altruism are essential skills for a wise leader and how to develop and strengthen these skills.

The Power of Empathy in Leadership

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the emotions of others. It’s a more complicated emotional skill set than we often think. 

Researchers distinguish between two types of empathy: cognitive and affective empathy. Cognitive and affective empathy both require understanding the feelings of another person, but while cognitive empathy is the ability to recognise and understand another’s mental state, affective empathy is the ability to share the feelings of others.

Professor and author Dr. Brene Brown states that we can respond empathically only if we are willing to be fully present to someone’s pain, acknowledging and validating their experiences. If we’re not willing to do that, it’s not real empathy.

In leadership, empathy plays a pivotal role in creating an inclusive and supportive work environment. Empathy enables leaders to understand the perspectives and emotions of their team members, foster trust, understanding, and teamwork by actively listening to their team members and demonstrating genuine care and concern.

This emotional connection builds stronger relationships and allows leaders to address individual needs and concerns more effectively. Furthermore, empathy positively impacts employee engagement and loyalty, as team members feel valued and understood, leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity.

The Role of Compassion in Effective Leadership

Compassion takes empathy a step further by translating understanding into action. Compassionate leaders create a positive work culture where kindness, support, and well-being are prioritised. They recognise and acknowledge the challenges and struggles faced by their team members, offering assistance and empathy. 

Compassion allows leaders to respond to the challenges and suffering of others with kindness and support, further strengthening relationships and fostering a sense of belonging among employees. This, in turn, enhances employee well-being, reduces stress, and improves overall job satisfaction, ultimately boosting productivity and organisational success.

The Value of Altruism in Wise Leadership

Altruism, often seen as the pinnacle of prosocial behaviors, involves selfless concern for the well-being of others. Wise leaders embody altruism by going above and beyond their responsibilities to support and uplift their team members. They actively seek opportunities to contribute and make a positive impact, demonstrating genuine care and support. Altruism, the selfless concern for others, drives wise leaders to make decisions and take actions that benefit the greater good, even if it requires personal sacrifice.

By displaying acts of selflessness and fostering a culture of altruism, leaders inspire and motivate their teams, creating a sense of purpose and dedication among employees. Altruistic leaders build loyalty, fostering an environment where collaboration and success thrive.

The Synergy of Prosocial Behaviours for Wise Leaders

Empathy, compassion, and altruism are not isolated qualities but rather interwoven aspects of wise leadership. When these prosocial behaviors work together synergistically, they enhance decision-making and problem-solving capabilities. 

Leaders who incorporate empathy into their decision-making process can better understand the impact of their choices on individuals and teams. Compassion ensures that decisions are made with consideration for the well-being of all stakeholders. Altruism drives leaders to make choices that benefit the greater good, fostering a culture of social responsibility and ethical leadership.

A catalyst for positive change 

Prosocial behaviors, including empathy, compassion, and altruism, are integral to wise leadership. By developing and incorporating these qualities, leaders foster trust, inspire loyalty, and create a positive work culture that enhances employee well-being and productivity. 

Through self-awareness, active listening, seeking diverse perspectives, practicing mindfulness, and leading by example, leaders can cultivate and strengthen their prosocial behaviors and experience personal growth and fulfillment. Engaging in acts of empathy, compassion, and altruism promotes self-reflection, humility, and a sense of purpose. This contributes to the leader’s own well-being and happiness, ultimately influencing their ability to lead with wisdom and authenticity.

Embracing empathy, compassion, and altruism in that way is not only a testament to wise leadership but also a catalyst for positive change within teams and organisations.

How to lead with empathy and compassion 

Professor educational psychology Kristin Neff emphasizes the importance of cultivating self-compassion as the foundation for showing compassion to others. Neff defines self-compassion as being kind and understanding towards oneself in moments of suffering, rather than being self-critical or judgmental. She believes that self-compassion, is vital for well-being, resilience, and healthy relationships.

Self-compassionate individuals are better equipped to offer genuine compassion to others. By developing a compassionate attitude towards oneself, individuals can connect with their own suffering and become more empathetic towards the pain of others. Compassion starts with self-care and self-understanding, which ultimately enhances the capacity to extend compassion to others.

Empathy and compassion are skills that can be developed and nurtured with practice. Hereby several actionable strategies to develop and strengthen prosocial behaviours:

– Understand how emotions work

It’s essential to understand how your emotions really work and how to regulate them. That’s where self-compassion and empathy starts.

– Cultivate self-awareness

Reflect on your own emotions, biases, and triggers. This self-awareness allows you to approach situations with empathy and compassion.


Developing self-compassion is the first step toward extending compassion to others. Be kind and understanding towards yourselve, especially in moments of difficulty or suffering. This involves treating oneself with the same care and compassion one would offer to a close friend.

– Mindful Awareness

By being present in the moment and paying attention to one’s own thoughts and emotions, individuals can develop a deeper understanding of their own experiences, which in turn enhances their capacity to understand and empathize with others.

– Practice Active Listening

Active listening involves being fully present and engaged when someone is speaking, giving them undivided attention, and demonstrating genuine interest in understanding their perspective. By practicing active listening, individuals can deepen their empathetic connection with others.

– Practice perspective-taking

Practice perspective-taking, which involves putting oneself in another person’s shoes and trying to understand their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This requires openness, curiosity, and a willingness to suspend judgment. By actively engaging in perspective-taking, individuals can broaden their empathy and develop a more compassionate outlook.

–  Practice Meditation

Regularly engage in meditation and self care practices develops a deeper connection with your own emotions and needs. 

– Extend Acts of Kindness

Small acts of kindness, such as offering help, expressing gratitude, or showing support, can have a significant impact on others’ well-being. By intentionally engaging in kind and compassionate actions, individuals cultivate a habit of empathy and contribute to a more compassionate world.

By implementing these strategies, leaders can strengthen their empathetic and compassionate abilities, leading to enhanced relationships, personal growth, and a greater sense of well-being. 

Curious if you lead with empathy and compassion? Do the FREE Wise Leadership test.

Why female leadership is problematic

I think most of us agree that we need to level up our leadership in this world. We need leaders that act less out of shame, guilt, fear, jealousy, pain, greed and gaining power. Instead we need leaders that act out of justice, compassion, courage, love, understanding, connection, strength, trust and vision.

Female leadership is Bull Shit

Many people make a distinction between female and male leadership. That is total bull shit. I know I’m normally a bit more sophisticated and gentle with words. But in this case I simply can’t as it’s doing more harm than good. And I want people to realize this. So that we can move forward in developing our leadership, instead of backwards. Because the world is screaming for it!

Five reasons why the distinction between female leadership and male leadership is problematic:

1. Leadership is a set of skills, not a gender
2. Gender stereotypes limit potential
3. Boxing in leadership stagnates innovation
4. The idea that man and women lead differently reinforces gender bias
5. Male and female leadership excludes people

1. Leadership is a set of skills, not a gender

Leadership skills are not determined by gender, but by a person’s abilities, experiences, and knowledge. There are plenty of successful female leaders who exhibit traditionally ‘masculine’ traits such as assertiveness, decisiveness, and strategic thinking, just as there are plenty of successful male leaders who exhibit traditionally ‘feminine’ traits such as empathy, collaboration, and communication. And who decided which qualities are traditionally male or female anyway? 

Men are hunters

I regularly hear – mainly men – argue that thousands year ago men were the hunters, while women were the caretakers. 

Anthropological studies have shown that in some hunter-gatherer societies, women played a significant role in hunting and providing food for their communities. Like the women of the Aka and Baka tribes of central Africa and the Inuit people of North America. Another study showed that between 30 and 50 percent of the hunters living between thousands till eight thousand years ago in the population the research focused on, were women. 

Women are more emotional 

Another reason people come up with to make a distinction: women are more emotional. This is total bull shit again. Research has shown that men and women both continuously have emotions. That we act and express them differently, for sure! We are different. We have different hormones flowing through our bodies. And most of all: we have people reacting differently on us. 

Most women are appreciated for empathic skills and showing emotions since they were small, getting my little ponies and dolls to take care of. Boys are appreciated for fighting, building stuff and being a big boy for not crying. Really effective I can tell you, if you want to raise men that can’t deal with or dare to show their emotions. Not very helpful though in relationships with their loved ones, in raising their kids or being great leaders. Hence the amount of leaders visiting me with similar issues on a weekly base.

It’s crystal clear that gender roles and activities vary greatly among different cultures and time periods, so making generalizations about this is nothing more than making unjust assumptions. 

Research show that the differences in leadership may be due in part to socialisation and cultural expectations, as well as biological factors. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership, and both men and women can exhibit a wide range of leadership styles and qualities.

2. Gender stereotypes limit potential

The idea that there are inherent differences between male and female leadership styles reinforces gender stereotypes and can limit people’s potential. It creates a false belief that women are inherently better at nurturing and collaboration, while men are inherently better at assertiveness and decision-making. This can lead to women being passed over for leadership roles and men being discouraged from exhibiting ‘feminine’ traits.

The belief that men and women lead differently can impede progress toward gender equality in leadership. It may lead to biased assumptions and preferences during hiring, promotion, and selection processes, favoring one gender over the other based on perceived leadership styles. This perpetuates gender disparities and hampers efforts to achieve equal representation and opportunities for all genders in leadership roles.

3. Boxing in leadership stagnates innovation

Boxing in leadership based on gender or any other limited categorization stifles innovation. The idea that there is one ‘correct’ way to lead based on gender is limiting and ignores the complex nature of leadership. Leadership is influenced by a range of factors such as personality, experience, skills, and values. These factors vary among individuals, irrespective of their gender. 

Embracing a fluid, inclusive, and open approach to leadership allows organizations to tap into a diverse talent pool, challenge stereotypes, foster a culture of innovation, and adapt to the ever-changing realities of the modern world. By breaking free from constraints, organizations can unlock the full potential of their leaders and drive innovation to new heights.

By focusing on individual qualities and capabilities rather than gender stereotypes, organizations create opportunities for diverse leadership styles and approaches.

4. The idea that man and women lead differently reinforces gender bias

Reinforcing the notion that men and women lead differently sets predefined expectations for individuals based on their gender. It creates a rigid framework that may restrict opportunities for individuals to explore different leadership styles and approaches outside of what is traditionally associated with their gender. This can limit personal growth, career advancement, and the potential for diverse leadership perspectives.

The idea that men and women lead differently doesn’t only reinforce gender bias it can also create a self-fulfilling prophecy. When women are expected to lead in a certain way, they may feel pressured to conform to these expectations, even if it goes against their natural leadership style. This can create a double-bind for female leaders, where they are criticised for being too aggressive if they exhibit assertiveness or too weak if they exhibit nurturing behaviour.

5. Male and female leadership excludes people

If we’re talking about male and female leadership, it excludes people who identify as non-binary, genderqueer, or other gender identities that don’t conform to the traditional binary of male and female. It assumes that leadership traits are inherently tied to gender, which is not only untrue but also harmful to those who don’t fit into these rigid categories.

By perpetuating the false idea that there are only two genders with distinct leadership styles, we fail to recognize the diversity of experiences and perspectives that exist within individuals. The distinction between female and male leadership is a social construct that reinforces gender stereotypes and can limit potential.This can lead to exclusion, discrimination, and a lack of representation for those who don’t conform to gender norms.

A broader view on leadership

Leadership has long been associated with ‘masculinity’ and ‘male’ qualities. And of course, if you see what is happening in the world right now, it seems a good idea to opt for a more ‘female’ and ‘feminine’ style. But then we keep on thinking and doing the same way as we always have! This view of leadership is outdated and limiting. So what is a good way of looking at leadership moving forward?

It’s important to recognize that gender is not the only factor that influences leadership styles. Other factors such as personality, culture, upbringing, and life experiences also play a significant role. By focusing solely on gender, we ignore these other important factors and miss out on the full range of leadership styles and potential leaders.

Leadership should be based on skills and abilities, not gender, and a mix of different leadership styles is beneficial for organizations.

Conscious leadership 

Another term that is used frequently is ‘conscious’ leadership. I’m not a big fan of that either. Mainly because there are so many leaders consciously fucking up the world, that I can’t really relate to it. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Wise Leadership

Therefore I plead for looking at leadership in a broader perspective. A perspective that includes all genders, heritages, cultures, who we are in a certain context and our relations with nature. Enter Wise Leadership. 

Wise Leadership is a holistic approach to leadership that emphasizes the importance of wisdom in decision-making and problem-solving. It recognizes the interconnection of different areas of wisdom, such as emotional regulation, self-reflection and understanding, acceptance of diverse perspectives, and spirituality. 

Wise Leadership is not limited to any particular gender, but rather acknowledges that anyone can develop wisdom through intentional practice and learning. By cultivating wisdom, leaders can make more effective decisions, build stronger relationships, and create a positive impact on their teams and organizations.

The Wisdom Compass

Based on this broader view and a combination of neuroscientific research, NLP and indigenous wisdom the Wisdom Compass was developed. This unique approach to leadership recognizes that true wisdom comes from a combination of knowledge, experience, and emotional intelligence. 

The Wisdom Compass also recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in leadership. It understands that gender is just one aspect of a person’s identity, and that individuals may identify in a variety of ways. By focusing on wisdom rather than gender, the Wisdom Compass provides a more inclusive and effective approach to leadership.

If we focus on developing the skills and traits that lead to wisdom, we can create a more equal and effective leadership landscape that benefits everyone.

Want to discover which leader you are and how to become a Wise Leader? Do the FREE Wise Leadership test. 

7 reasons why wisdom is essential for successful leaders

Leadership requires a broad range of skills and qualities. While intelligence, knowledge, experience, and charisma are often associated with effective leadership, there is one attribute often overlooked, that stands out as a vital asset: wisdom. 

Wisdom goes beyond knowledge and expertise; it encompasses a deep understanding of oneself, others, and the world, and it plays a critical role in guiding leaders towards making sound decisions, inspiring others, and fostering positive change.

In today’s fast-paced world, wisdom is becoming more and more important for successful leaders facing a multitude of challenges, that require more than just intelligence and technical expertise. Leaders need wisdom, the ability to make sound judgments and decisions based on their experience, intuition, and ethical principles. 

why wisdom is a Very valuable asset for leaders:

1. Wise leaders foster a positive work culture

Leaders who prioritize wisdom understand the importance of creating a positive work culture. They are able to navigate conflicts and challenges with grace and humility, and they encourage their team members to do the same. This kind of culture leads to greater job satisfaction, productivity, and overall success.

Wisdom entails self understanding, reflection, emotional intelligence and empathy, enabling leaders to connect with others on a deeper level. The far most important skill for leaders is how they regulate their own emotions. Leaders who understand and regulate their own emotions are better equipped to handle difficult situations and build strong relationships.

2. Wise leaders make better decisions

Leaders face complex challenges and uncertain circumstances. Wisdom equips leaders with the ability to navigate through ambiguity and make informed choices. Wise leaders consider not only the short-term gains but also the long-term consequences and impact of their choices on various stakeholders.

They demonstrate a keen awareness of the limitations of their knowledge and are open to seeking diverse perspectives to arrive at well-considered decisions. They uphold moral principles, integrity, and fairness, ensuring that their actions align with the values and purpose of the organization. In challenging situations, wisdom guides leaders to make choices that benefit the greater good and uphold the ethical fabric of their organizations.

Wise leaders are known for their ability to make good decisions that benefit both their organization and the people they lead. They are able to evaluate complex situations and weigh the pros and cons of different options before making a choice. Their decision-making is guided not only by their experience and knowledge but also by their intuition and ethical values.

3. Wise leaders inspire trust

Wisdom entails emotional intelligence and empathy, enabling leaders to connect with others on a deeper level. Leaders who understand and regulate their own emotions are better equipped to handle difficult situations and build strong relationships. By demonstrating empathy, wise leaders foster a sense of trust, respect, and inclusivity within their teams, leading to enhanced collaboration and creativity.

Leaders who demonstrate wisdom are more likely to inspire trust and loyalty among their followers. Their wisdom helps them build rapport with their team members and stakeholders, leading to better communication, collaboration, and engagement.

4. Wise leaders adapt to change

Wise leaders possess a broader perspective that allows them to see the interconnectedness of various factors and anticipate potential consequences. They demonstrate a keen awareness of the limitations of their knowledge and are open to seeking diverse perspectives to arrive at well-considered decisions.

The world is constantly changing, and leaders who lack wisdom may struggle to keep up. However, wise leaders are able to adapt to changing circumstances and make the necessary adjustments to their strategies and approaches. Their wisdom helps them navigate uncertainty and ambiguity, and they are able to lead their organisations through difficult times with confidence and resilience.

5. Wise Leaders inspire and mentor others

Leadership is not just about achieving personal success; it is about inspiring and guiding others to reach their full potential. Wise leaders possess the ability to inspire and motivate individuals by sharing their knowledge, insights, and life experiences.

They serve as mentors, providing guidance and support to nurture the growth and development of their team members. Through their wisdom, leaders empower others to become wise leaders themselves.

6. Wise leaders Build Sustainable Organizations:

In an era characterized by global challenges such as climate change, social inequality, and economic instability, wise leaders understand the importance of building sustainable organizations.

They recognize the interconnectedness between the organization and its stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, and the environment. Wisdom drives leaders to make choices that prioritise long-term sustainability and social responsibility, ensuring the organisation’s positive impact on society.

7. Wise leaders have a long-term vision

Wise leaders are able to think beyond short-term goals and focus on the long-term vision and mission of their organization. This involves strategic thinking, careful planning, and a willingness to take calculated risks.

Cultivating Wisdom

It’s wise to say that wisdom is a critical asset for leaders as it enables them to navigate complexity, make ethical decisions, inspire others, and build sustainable organisations. 

By cultivating wisdom, leaders can create a positive and inclusive work culture, make informed choices, and drive meaningful change. As the world continues to evolve, the need for wise leaders who can lead with compassion, empathy, and a long-term perspective becomes increasingly crucial.

Want to know more about Wise Leadership? Do the FREE Wise Leadership test.

Introducing the Wisdom Compass: navigating the jungle of life

In our ever-changing and uncertain world, where the speed of change is unprecedented, and the need for wisdom is greater than ever, we like to offer you a brand new tool: The Wisdom Compass, designed to help you navigate through the jungle of life and become a wise leader. 

The Wisdom Compass

Drawing upon research from the fields of NLP, neuroscience, and ancient wisdom, the Wisdom Compass offers a unique approach to personal and professional development.

Four types of leaders

The Wisdom Compass shows four types of leaders: the Idealistic leader, the Successful leader, the Heroic leader and the Wise leader. The first three leaders master some key sub-areas of wisdom, but also lag behind in another sub-area. Only when the leader masters all sub-areas he/she/them is a Wise Leader. 

Becoming a Wise Leader

At its core, the Wisdom Compass focuses on three fundamental areas that contribute to becoming a wise leader: Experiences, Self, and World. By embracing these areas and mastering their associated practices, individuals can unlock their true potential and embark on a journey toward wisdom.

Regulating our emotions 

The first component, Experiences, emphasizes the importance of actively engaging in physical and mental practices. It encourages individuals to learn from, heal and transform emotions connected to their experiences by using a new method based on groundbreaking research about how our emotions work. With this method individuals gain valuable insights and develop resilience in the face of challenges.

Developing a healthy self-image

The second component, Self, revolves around developing a healthy self-image through personal self-development. This involves nurturing self-awareness, cultivating positive beliefs and attitudes, and fostering a growth mindset. By working on oneself, individuals enhance their ability to lead with authenticity and inspire others.

Aligning with purpose

The third component, World, focuses on finding meaning in life by aligning oneself with a higher purpose. It encourages individuals to explore their values, passions, and aspirations, and to seek opportunities to contribute to something greater than themselves. By aligning their actions with a sense of purpose, individuals can lead with intention and create a positive impact on the world around them.

The key components of wisdom

Depending on where individuals stand in their lives, the Wisdom Compass provides specific directions to help overcome challenges and progress on the path to wisdom. By mastering the three fields within the Wisdom Compass, individuals gain access to the seven components that lie at its heart.

Scientific research, conducted by Dr. Dilip Jeste, has identified the key components of wisdom. These components include prosocial behaviors, emotional regulation, self-reflection and understanding, acceptance of uncertainty and diverse perspectives, decisiveness in uncertainty, social advising, and spirituality. 

Emotional regulation

These traits interconnect and influence one another, with emotional regulation playing a central role. Thanks to groundbreaking research by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett and a new developed coaching method by change expert Wassili Zafiris, we now have the tools to understand and transform our emotions. By leveraging this knowledge, the Wisdom Compass can train individuals to become wiser.

Perspective of indigenous cultures

The Wisdom Compass also embraces a wider perspective, drawing inspiration from indigenous cultures that emphasize the interconnectedness of all beings within the ecosystem. It recognizes the importance of community, rituals, and nature in the process of healing, growth, and wisdom. The animals represented in the compass symbolize this interconnectedness and serve as a reminder of our deep connection to the world around us.

We need Wise Leaders more than ever!

In this era of rapid change, cultural shifts, and social transformations, cultivating wisdom is more critical than ever. Traditional approaches are no longer sufficient to navigate the complexities of our world. As leaders, we must embrace a new paradigm—one that values wisdom, diversity, and inclusion. The Wisdom Compass offers a unique opportunity to develop the wisdom required to lead effectively in this new normal.

Are you ready to embrace the reality of our ever-changing world? Are you courageous and wise enough to take ownership of a new leadership approach? If so, the Wisdom Compass is here to guide you. Explore the possibilities of becoming a Wise Leader by applying the tools and practices of the Wisdom Compass to your professional development. 

Want to discover which leader you are and how to become a Wise Leader? Do the FREE Wise Leadership test. 

How to Regulate Your Emotions and become a Wise leader

Wise leaders are very skilled at regulating their emotions. But how do they do that? And how can you learn it? In this article we explain how embracing past experiences can empower individuals to become wise leaders capable of navigating life’s challenges with resilience and clarity.

It’s probably not the first thing you had in mind, but understanding how emotions work is an important asset in the journey towards wisdom. The ability to regulate emotions and reflect on one’s actions, thoughts, and emotions is a key element of emotional intelligence and plays a crucial role in developing wise leaders.

Embracing past experiences can empower individuals to become wise leaders capable of navigating life’s challenges with resilience and clarity. It focuses on how individuals regulate their emotions and the significance of the meaning they assign to their past experiences.

Therefore emotional regulation and experiences are important components in the Wisdom Compass, a new self development tool based on neuroscientific research and indigenous wisdom.

The Impact of Past Experiences

Our past experiences hold significant power over our present emotions and shape our future. Certain experiences can evoke warm feelings and bring smiles to our faces, while others can trigger negative emotions such as anger, depression, anxiety, or addiction. Often, these emotions manifest without us consciously understanding their origins.

How we perceive our experiences influences how we feel in the present moment and how we shape our future. Unresolved past experiences can lead to physical pain, negative self-perceptions, and emotional distress. The field of Experiences within the Wisdom Compass encourages individuals to heal from these past experiences by shifting their perceptions and accepting them fully. It focuses on how individuals regulate their emotions and the significance of the meaning they assign to their past experiences.

Understanding How Emotions Work

Recent research by neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett has shed new light on the intricacies of emotions. Emotions are not simply innate responses; instead, they are constructed based on the concepts and interpretations in our brains. Our brains constantly receive signals from our bodies, including information from internal organs, tissues, hormones, and the immune system.

These signals have no inherent meaning on their own. Instead, our brains rely on concepts to interpret both internal and external sensations. This process, known as interoception or our seventh sense, allows us to make sense of the sensory signals and construct emotions.

You can read more on how our emotions work here.

Changing Concepts to Transform Emotions

The Wisdom Compass recognizes that changing our concepts is the key to transforming our emotions. Merely reliving past experiences and dwelling on them can perpetuate the same emotional loops because our brains recognize the familiar sensations and trigger similar emotional responses. To break free from this cycle, we must change our concepts.

The following practices can help in this process:

            • Meditation: Meditation enables individuals to distance themselves from their emotions and gain awareness of their predictions and emotional responses. By putting emotions into perspective, they can become less overwhelming. However, meditation alone does not change the predictions made by the brain, meaning that emotions may continue to arise.

            • Trauma Release Therapy: Trauma Release Therapy provides a targeted approach to address specific traumatic experiences that may have a profound impact on individuals’ emotional well-being. This therapy aims to release the trapped energy and emotions associated with traumatic events, facilitating healing and resilience.

            • Relationship and Emotion Training and Coaching (RETEC): Developed by international trainer and coach Wassili Zafiris, RETEC is a method rooted in the latest neuroscientific knowledge about emotions. This approach emphasizes that emotions control almost everything, and working directly with emotions in coaching and therapy is highly effective. RETEC focuses on creating new neurological networks by utilizing unconscious reminders. This method helps transform deeply ingrained patterns and facilitates lasting change.

By engaging in these practices and understanding the workings of emotions, individuals can regulate their emotions effectively. This enables them to overcome past experiences, shift their perceptions, and embrace a more balanced and wise approach to life. By harnessing the power of emotions, individuals can become wise leaders who navigate the complexities of the world with empathy, compassion, and self-awareness.

Want to learn more about how to regulate your emotions and become a Wise Leader? Contact me. 

Groundbreaking research: Emotions work differently than you think

It should have been a revolution. The research of neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett about emotions. Neuroscientists, therapists and psychologists should have shouted it from the rooftops and developed new methods, techniques and therapies in the past few years, based on this newly acquired knowledge. But unfortunately it seems a lot of people in the field haven’t yet acquired the new knowledge and still base their models and statements on old research.

How emotions are made

That needs to change. It’s like holding onto the idea that the earth is flat, when three years earlier someone discovered that the earth is round. Therefore: order Barret’s brilliant book ‘How Emotions Are Made’, read this article and share this knowledge! It is of vital importance in the fields of psychology, neurology, law and medicine, as well as in your personal life and relationships.

Emotions do not work or arise as we have thought for decades. In fact, they do not arise, they are constructed based on the concepts in our brain.

These groundbreaking insights came from the study:

  • Emotions are not reactions to external events
  • Newborns have no emotions
  • You cannot determine from the outside what emotion someone is going through
  • It is not true that certain parts of your brain (such as the amygdala) are responsible for your emotions.
  • Emotions are not located in a certain part of your brain (the reptilian brain)
  • Emotions are not universal, but culturally determined

The brain continuously predicts

The main job of the brain is prediction. We do this all the time, millions of times a day.

We perceive something, for example a transparent flat rectangle through which light shines, and predict: that’s a window. Or we see a person with a hat on and a pipe in the mouth and predict: that’s Grandpa.

The same also happens with sports; for example, we predict where the ball will end up and can anticipate in time. If we waited until the ball was already there before reacting, we would be too late. That’s how it works with reading; by predicting which words are there, we can read a sentence faster than if we were going through each letter.

Predictions determine our reality

We make predictions based on concepts in our brain. All previous events in our lives, we have generalized in our brain as concepts to be able to make decisions faster and thus use our body more energy-efficiently.

Through previous experiences, ideas arise about what a particular concept means to us. We have concepts about tables, chairs, plants and animals. But we also have concepts about less tangible things like love, honesty, marriage, success, rejection, shame.

When a new experience occurs, our subconscious searches for a memory with a similar concept. Based on the concept of what fits best, the brain makes predictions and fires an emotion.

Best guesses

These predictions are your brain’s best guesses of what’s happening in the world around you and how best to respond to it. If the prediction appears to be correct enough, observation and prediction are aligned. We usually make good predictions. The older you get, the more concepts you have in your brain, so the more likely you are to make a correct prediction.

Although it sometimes happens that we make a wrong prediction. Fortunately, otherwise we would never again be surprised or experience anything new. So your child can in a fraction of a second mistaken the neighbor – who also has a beard and pipe – for her grandfather.

Or you think you see a grass snake moving in the bushes, but it turns out to be the garden hose. If your senses are given a little longer to send information to the brain, they can correct the wrong prediction. But they can also adapt the data we absorb from the outside world to the forecast. In that case you might see a grass snake that wasn’t there.

We can only see what we believe

What we observe is also based on simulations and predictions. Barret explains in her book that only 10% of what we perceive is based on information from the retina (the lens in your eye). The other 90% are connections to other parts of the brain, which make predictions about what we think we see.

So our predictions determine what we see! If we don’t have a concept about something, we can’t perceive it. So in fact we can only see what we believe. So our brain constructs something based on everything we have experienced in our life and thus creates our reality.

Unbelievable right? But it gets even more interesting!

Emotions are predictions

It works the same way with emotions. Our brains are constantly receiving signals from our body from our internal organs, tissues, the hormones in our blood and our immune system. Like changing your breathing, the rumbling of your stomach and the rhythm of your heartbeat. These sensory signals from the body have no objective meaning.

Your brain uses concepts to make sense of both internal and external sensations in the world, all at the same time. Interpreting these sensory signals is called interoception, also known as our eighth sense.

For example, you can experience pain in your stomach as hunger or mistrust. But if you’re waiting for a doctor’s result, that same pain can also mean anxiety. Or if your ex just walks by with a new partner, you might interpret it as sadness or jealousy.

Emotions start with sensory feelings

Interoception is important for balancing your ‘body budget’ – your body’s energy needs. The brain constantly predicts how much energy the body needs to ensure that all systems in the body work properly. Based on the prediction from your body, an immediate adjustment is made in the body to prepare it for the prediction. Your blood pressure changes, your glucose increases, your breathing speeds up, etc.

We experience these changes in our ‘body budget’ as emotions. Too little glucose in your body can make you feel exhausted, lack of sleep can make you feel down, and lack of affection can make you feel lonely. These are all subjective interpretations based on your concepts.

When a neurological network collects this sensory information and predicts something based on our self-created concepts, emotions arise. So emotions don’t necessarily mean that something is wrong, but just that your ‘body budget’ is out of balance for a while. With negative emotions, our brain is actually letting us know that we need to replenish certain reserves.

The consequences of ‘wrong’ predictions

In her book, Barrett tells of a fellow student, she wasn’t attracted to, who asked her out. Nevertheless she decides to have a drink with him and as it gets a bit later in the evening, she is surprised to find that she occasionally blushes on her cheeks and feels ‘butterflies’ in her stomach. Apparently she likes the colleague more than she thought. Until she comes home and throws up. She interpreted the rumbling in her stomach and the warmth in her face as feeling in love, when in reality she was getting sick.

Another interesting example is the research that scientists did in Israel. They found that judges who had to decide whether inmates could be released early were significantly more likely to reject the request if the trial took place just before lunchtime. The judges appeared to interpret the signals from their abdomen not as hunger, but as a ‘gut feeling’ that it did not feel right to release the person on parole. Immediately after lunch, the judges released the inmates on parole as frequently as they were used to.

Imagine how many ‘wrong’ predictions we humans make every day with dire consequences for others and ourselves.


– Our emotions are constructed. Emotions seem to come from our bodies, but they are constructed by predictions based on our concepts. One prediction wins and becomes our experience.

– Our concepts determine our reality. Everything we have experienced in the past is programmed in that sense to happen again in the future. Because we make the same predictions again and the same emotions arise based on the same concepts. So you can end up in a continuous loop of the same kind of emotions. That is also how it is often difficult for people with negative thoughts and emotions to come out of this.

– Our emotions are dominating, because they arise from signals from your body, which ensure that the balance in the system is restored. If your body is out of balance, it can have fatal consequences. These signals therefore transcend everything else and are given priority to listen to.

– You can never trust your observations fully. We make lightning-fast predictions based on concepts mainly constructed by ourselves. So how can we be 100% sure of what we observe?

How to transform our emotions

International trainer and coach Wassili Zafiris is the only one (as far as I know) who has developed a method based on this new neuroscientific knowledge: Relationship and Emotion Training and Coaching (RETEC).

Working with emotions is usually much more effective in coaching and therapy than working with your thoughts and limiting beliefs. Because your emotions control everything. It’s hard to change emotions on your own, but you can the concept the concept behind it.

Creating new neurological networks

Neurons on one side of your brain tweak neurons on the other side of your brain without any external response. If at some point a connection is made, your brain can hardly take a different path and you experience it that way every time. For a new experience and emotion, it is necessary that you build a new neurological network.

And that is exactly what Zafiris achieves with his new method: “Creating an unconscious reminder appears to have a major effect on the creation of a new neurological network. As soon as such a network becomes active, the old one will disappear. In this way, very deeply ingrained patterns can be transformed once and for all.”

Want to know more about emotions?

I have guided several CEOs, entrepreneurs and high performing professionals with the RETEC technique and the results are astonishing.

Do you want to be coached according to the latest neuroscientific knowledge? Schedule a free 30-minute introductory meeting with me now.

7 Inspirational Podcasts on Purpose

Recharge your spirit and boost your mood with these 7 inspiring podcasts on purpose. 

Most of us live crazy busy lives. Wanting to succeed on so many levels that we forget to feed our soul with inspiration, wisdom and uplifting stories. And ask ourselves: are we still on the right path? Are we listening to our deepest desires? Podcasts are the answer; they are easy to listen to while you’re on the move, during cooking, with your morning coffee or in your bed waking up. 

But choosing the right podcast out of all those different options can be quite overwhelming and time consuming. That’s why we’ve selected 7 inspirational podcasts for you that help you align with your purpose and live your full potential. Enjoy!

Want to know more about purpose? Read here the 6 steps to how you can find your purpose.

1. On Purpose with Jay Shetty 

On Purpose

My absolute number 1 podcast on purpose. I’m a big fan of Jay Shetty, a former Hindu monk and now a very successful life coach and author. Shetty has the ability to have in depth conversations that are always accessible and inspirational.

Shetty’s purpose is to make wisdom go viral. And that’s exactly what he’s doing, often with famous guests like Alicia Keys, Jane Goodall, Will Smith and Joe Dispenza. 


For everyone who’s a fan (like me) from Tolle’s book ‘A New Earth’ or didn’t read it yet, this podcast is a must listen. 

Oprah Winfrey speaks with spiritual leader and author Eckart Tolle about how to find your purpose, what is holding you back, how to control your ego, and fully live in the present moment.

3. Dear Gabby

Dear Gabby Podcast

This podcast from international bestseller author, life coach and speaker Gabby Bernstein is a weekly show about personal growth and spirituality. 

Bernstein does individual coach sessions on the show, shares empowering stories about her own life and learnings and gives tools and insights on feeling good and manifesting the life you desire. 


The Good Life Project

Jonathan Fields is on a quest to help you live a more meaningful, connected and vital life.

Fields talks with leading voices in art, science and culture, like Tim Ferris, Brené Brown, Matthew McConoughey and Tara Brach about love, friendship, kindness and everything else that gives meaning to your life.

5. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins podcast

Well known life and business strategist Tony Robbins can’t remain unmentioned. Especially the interviews with spiritual leader Sadghuru, Neuro surgeon Sanjay Gupta and author Steven Mitchell are worth listening to.

6. Brand on purpose

Brand on Purpose

Want to learn how to lead a company with purpose? Entrepreneur Aaron Kwittken has interesting conversations with entrepreneurs and senior leaders on how to serve the greater good with their brand. 

7. Purpose Talks

Purpose Talks podcast

I love it when purpose talks over money. Or even better: when purpose and money go hand in hand. This podcast is very insightful and inspiring when you’re building a purpose driven business. Every session Izzy Ahrbeck, managing director of Business of Purpose, sits down with multiple purpose driven business leaders discussing one important business element. 

7 reasons why you are not living your purpose (yet)

Are you living your purpose? Do you feel strongly connected to what is important to you? Do you live your life according to your values?

People that feel they have a higher sense of purpose in life are more productive, more resilient, healthier and happier in life, several studies show.

Maybe you also long for more meaning in your life, you have the feeling you miss something but you don’t know what to do. The reason you’re not living your purpose yet, holds the key to getting aligned with your purpose.

That’s why we made a list of 7 reasons why you’re not living your purpose:

  1. You don’t need a purpose
  2. You don’t believe in purpose
  3. You don’t know what your purpose is
  4. You are not driven enough
  5. You are afraid of losing something (money, comfort, status, safety)
  6. You’d rather stay in the shade
  7. You don’t know how to live your purpose 

1. You don’t need a purpose

You have a pretty good life. You have a good job, a nice house, nice friends and a nice family. Actually, you have nothing to complain about. Except maybe that you work a lot, have little time for yourself and occasionally wonder: is this it?

There is one important question you can ask yourself to check if you are getting the most out of yourself in life. Step into the future and remember that you are about 80-90 years old. You are a wise elder and have come to the point where you are going to leave the earth. Feel what you feel when you are that age: what do you see, hear and experience? Now look back at your life, at the person you are now. What advice would you give yourself?

2. You don’t believe in purpose

You may not believe that people are here for a reason and that everyone has their own life mission. Or maybe it’s enough for you to focus and manage to create a good life for yourself.

Then take a look around you; to the trees, plants, bees, flowers, everything gives and receives. Everything has a specific mission. A tree, for example, removes CO2 from the air (with the help of sunlight!) and returns oxygen. Via the wood vessels the tree extracts water with nutrients from the soil and the leaves of the tree become food for insects again in the autumn.

We are also part of this ecosystem and it’s only naturally that we also give and receive from our origin. Just like the tree and every living being in nature.

3. You don’t know what your purpose is

It is not surprising that you do not know what your purpose is, many people have not found it yet or have an idea, but cannot fully capture it in words. Usually you have not found your purpose in an hour. Connecting with your life mission is a process that requires attention. Have you downloaded and my free mini workshop How to Find Your Purpose yet? Did you also do the exercises or did you skip them because you ‘ already knew that’? Finding your purpose is a process, so take your time.

These 7 inspiring podcasts on purpose can also help you in your process.

4. You are not driven (enough) to live your purpose

We humans have a hard time moving. Often we only do something if we really want to achieve something or if we really want to get rid of something.

Moving TOWARDS something

If you want to achieve something, but you don’t succeed, you may not have a vision that’s attractive enough, or no pain that’s big enough. If it’s important enough for us, action will be taken. If you are very attracted to something new, it becomes easier to say goodbye to what we are still (anxiously) clinging to.

Think of the woman who only ends her relationship when she is in love with someone else. Or the man who only dares to quit his job when he has found a new one. Only when you really want to achieve something and it’s more important than what you ‘have’ now, you dare to take the step. 

Moving AWAY FROM something

Another impulse for change is when you want to get away from something. That’s usually when something really starts to hurt. A bit of fat on your belly doesn’t matter much, but if you can’t fit in your jeans anymore, than you might think of changing your diet. Or: you’ve smoked your whole life, but only until you get a lung disease, you are willing to stop.

It can work the same way with purpose. Only when you are in touch with your true purpose and you feel how big and important this is to you, you’ll start moving.

Ultimately, it works best if you simultaneously want to go towards something and get rid of something else. So if you really want to achieve something, make your vision very big and attractive and make what you want to go away from very big and unattractive.

Make your vision BIG

For example, if your purpose is to bring out the best in people, than wonder what the world would look like if everyone was the best version of themselves. Don’t be afraid to dream big!

In my vision people would feel better and more meaningful. People would use their talents to make the world a better place, they would be more successful and want to learn from each other. There would be less struggle and balance of power and we would live in a peaceful, including and equal world, in which everyone lives their full potential.

Now make your own vision big. So big that that the spark in you becomes a fire that starts burning.

Than imagine what you don’t want. What if you keep doing what you’re doing now? If you’re not going to live your purpose? What would be the least attractive scenario? Perhaps you would get bored and look elsewhere for distraction. You would feel less fit and less fun for your environment, which would affect your relationships.

Make both these views very big and put them each on one side of a virtual timeline and step on that timeline yourself. Feel where you are now and where you want to move to. What is the first step you can take today towards your attractive vision?

5. You are afraid of losing something.

“If I start living my purpose, I can never make enough money and than we have to move and I don’t want that.”

“If I’m doing what’s really important to me, there’s no room for a relationship.”

“If I start living my purpose, I will be looked at strangely by everyone and I will lose my status.”

Does that sound familiar to you or do you have any other phrases you say to yourself that hinder you from living your purpose? Ask yourself: are these facts or is this the story you are telling yourself?

We humans are constantly looking for what we can lose in our lives and where scarcity can arise, because our brain is constructed that way. This is how we survive and protect ourselves. If you want more than just survival in your life, you will therefore have to make very conscious choices.

According to life coach Tony Robbins everything we do is related to these 6 human needs:

  1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
  2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
  3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
  4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
  5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
  6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

Everyone ranks these human needs differently and the way you do this says a lot about the person you are. The top four needs in the list above shape our personality, while the last two (growth and contribution) shape our spiritual needs. The first four will give you short term fulfilment, the last two will give you long term fulfilment.

Most of the people are making up stories to meet the first four personal needs with as little risk as possible. But if you want to fulfil the other two needs, you have to take risks.

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

6. You prefer to stay in the shade

“I’m not worth it.” “I’m not smart/strong/good enough.” “I don’t deserve this.” We all have those thoughts from time to time. Thoughts and beliefs that hinder us from achieving our goal.

You may be afraid of failure or of being successful. You may also know deep down that you are a good singer, can help people with problems or write beautiful poems. You keep it only for yourself or your family. But it is the intention that you bring your gift into the world. Just like the tree stores CO2 and the bee pollinates plants. That means standing in the light, which is often more exciting than standing in the shadows. 

Step into the light

To step into the light, you have to get rid of your limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are beliefs or decisions we make about ourselves or our model of the world that limit the way we live. It are thoughts, opinions and ideas that we believe are true and that prevent us from achieving our goals, following our purpose and living the life we ​​want to live.

These beliefs are unconsciously created based on our interpretations of experiences in the past. And they will be inside the system within our internal world and shape our responses to the external world and opportunities around us.

Get rid of your limiting beliefs

Most beliefs are installed before we are even seven years old. The first seven years of our lives our mind is operating in a low vibrational frequency like hypnosis, so our mind is very adaptive to new beliefs.

Our beliefs – both supportive and limiting – and the stories we and others tell about ourselves have a huge impact on our lives. It’s up to you if you let your beliefs be the reason to stop you to take action or to fulfil your dreams or you change them to empowering beliefs. What do you choose?

Need some help transforming your limiting beliefs? Contact me for a free discovery session.

7. You have found your purpose, but you are not completely living it yet

No one said your living a purpose-full life is easy, otherwise everyone would do it.

If you have transformed your rigs and are completely connected to your purpose and you are not yet able to live your mission, see if you can turn one of these five buttons:

  • Mastery. Make sure you are good at what you do. Focus all the time you have to become the best you can on your path to your purpose. Energy flows where attention goes.
  • Discipline. Not everything about the path you’ve chosen is probably nice. You need to have discipline and show up every day, also when you don’t feel like it.
  • Strategy. If you tried it at times the way you thought it would work, change your strategy. If it doesn’t work again, change your strategy. Keep on changing your strategy until it works.
  • Persistence. You will only develop yourself and improve when you fail. Every rejection is an opportunity to grow. No matter what your abilities and talents are, hard work will always prevail. Find people that support you on this path and more important: become your own cheerleader!
  • Trust. Do everything you can and put the rest into the universe. Trust yourself and the flow of nature. When you step outside your comfort zone for your higher purpose, the universe will support you in miraculous ways. Just be patient.

Need some guidance? You can contact me for a free discovery session. 

7 reasons why you don't live your purpose