Have you ever struggled with periods of low self-esteem?
Have you ever been destroyed, heartbroken, and betrayed by someone you really loved?
Did you grow up with alcoholic parents?
When I met Vanessa Broers in 2021, I was immediately captivated by her energy, her spirit, and her visionary work. The way she supported business leaders to embrace more humanity and empathy and then translate it into their own personal power, better performance, and more joy.
Over the last few months, I’ve come to learn so much more about Vanessa’s personal story growing up with an alcoholic mother, being sexually assaulted, manipulated, and taken advantage of by a former boyfriend, and then being dramatically challenged by accidental motherhood. It had a profoundly positive effect on me and my healing journey, and I know you will benefit from it too.
There is so much to uncover in one episode, so we have broken it into two parts.
About our guest
Vanessa is an author and Leadership and performance coach set on innovating leadership.
Her new book, We Are One details this transformation in motherhood and how embracing challenges in motherhood creates more power and joy for women.
Vanessa embarked on more than a decade-long study of human behavior and performance. She has apprenticed with the highest masters of the craft and spent two years working closely with a shaman to understand, on a surgical level, how the complex emotional experiences of human beings unconsciously influence our behavior.
Vanessa has developed precise knowledge of the complex and nuanced way that human beings operate on a physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental level. She understands what gets in the way of optimal performance and how to keep her clients consistently moving forward with courage and playfulness.
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I know you, you’re afraid to speak up. You’re scared of what other people think of you. And you blame yourself for what happened to you. I know how it feels. Because I’ve been there. If you found me, I’m so grateful you’re here. This podcast will give you hope. And I’m your host in America Nova. And I’m going to hold your hand and provide the guidance. It’s time for you to find your why. And turn your experience into your biggest power. This is your time now. So lock your door, put your headphones in, and enjoy.Anna Maydonova:
Vanessa Broers, welcome to the show. Welcome to the world’s best Trauma Recovery podcast.Vanessa Broers:
Thank you so much for having me here. I adore you. And you know that so it’s really an honor.Anna Maydonova:
When I say I love you so much, and you’ve been a friend of mine. And inspiration for me in my mentor, in my encouragement, I want to ask you a question. And I want to I want to put you on the spot a little bit.Vanessa Broers:
We’ve known each other for nine months. What changes? Have you noticed in me, as I go through my healing process?Vanessa Broers:
Oh, that is a good question. And it also blows my mind that it’s only been nine months, because it feels like nine years, doesn’t it? It does, which just really speaks to the when when you are so open, and you really let your full self into a relationship. The relationship takes so much depth so quick. And I think that that is part of my answer to this question. I mean, from the moment I met you, to me, you are open. I know. And I know that was a new experience for you at the time. But I’ve noticed a few things. One, you’re so you were radiant when I met you. But now you have this. You’re like the sun, you’re just glowing, you have this gorgeous radiance in your face, but also energetically, you’re just like this little ray of sunshine just everywhere you go. The warmth, in your whole being is exponentially more than when we met nine months ago. Your confidence is I’m trying to find the words that I can’t find the words, it’s just different on a quantum level. You’re so powerful. You’re the way that I’m also just incredibly impressed by the dedication not only to your willingness to heal and share, but also to like, every skill that goes into creating impact in the world. And so I think that’s something that I’ve that I think that was probably part of you before I know a little bit I know your story. So I know you’ve always been really a high performer, but it’s really beautiful to watch you blend highperformance in healing.Anna Maydonova:
Thank you so much. Well, and I can’t argue with it. And I wasn’t like this before, at all. So thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Yeah. Vanessa, where does your trauma comes from?Vanessa Broers:
Oh. I’m pausing because I was actually thinking about this. This morning when I was having coffee. I’ll tell you that there’s two places. One is, gosh, you know, it’s like we you start to think about something you’re like, oh, and they’re in there and they’re and they’re say do yes, you know, you know. So primarily, my biggest wounding comes from my mom’s struggle with alcoholism. Both of my parents struggled. But I think because of my super close relationship to my mom, the trauma was way worse. And much impact was way deeper and longer lasting. My biological father left when I was two and a half and I used to think it didn’t make there was no impact even being a life coach who specializes in trauma recovery and knowing like conceptually, there’s no way that was true. And now seeing pepper my daughter who’s two and a half if Siva left and never came home, the impact would be huge. But I so there was a lot of I have like really terrifying and awful, horrifying moments in my young life. But I really think the deepest trauma was twofold. Because the trauma that happens on the outside doesn’t necessarily create trauma on the inside. I know you know that. The thing that happens, yes, is traumatic. But I believe the longer lasting way more painful trauma is what happens to our self worth, as a result. And so I can, I’m happy to tell you any of the thing that happened, but the biggest, deepest, most painful gaping wound is the self worth, and the long lasting desire to keep saving my mom, I know, we’ve talked about this, like, I have spent my life trying to go back in time, and undo all the hurt and pain that happened to me and all the hurt and pain that happened to my mom, and that read traumatizes me pretty much every day on a micro or macro level, depending on how much awareness I have about it at the moment.Anna Maydonova:
Yes, thank you so much for sharing. And I feel like the more we dive deep inside our inner world, the more we understand where the trauma traumas coming from, and we can see the consequences. And the results of holding this insight. Yeah, I’m not talking about this.Vanessa Broers:
yet. I was just gonna add. I never experienced myself as somebody who struggled with self worth, like that, that actually always confused me. It really confused me. Up until even just like a few months ago, I have this new level of awareness. And why I didn’t realize that I struggled with self worth is because I got so good at propping it up through external success. That it was only when my external success was really challenged by motherhood, that I realized I didn’t have this escape into success. And my self worth plummeted. I mean, even after building a successful coaching practice, and having a podcast and a book and all that stuff, my self worth just went basically down the toilet. And I didn’t understand why until I started to really look at it on a much deeper level.Anna Maydonova:
And in one of your videos, you are talking about trauma driven entrepreneurs. And would you say that you are you’re a trauma driven entrepreneur? 100% What does it mean for you?Vanessa Broers:
Trauma driven entrepreneur means there’s two kinds of drive one is this inspired, playful, almost like a painter, you know, just putting stuff on canvas and creating something beautiful. The other is this compulsive, relentless. More like you’re being chased. Then you’re creating kind of feeling you’re compelled to create but not necessarily from a place of creativity. It’s more of a feeling of survival. And that’s trauma driven. We’re not even always aware that it is trauma that’s driving it. But it’s it’s a it’s an energy that has has you moving away from something behind you more than toward something in front of you. And absolutely that was trauma driven, no doubt. Because if you if you when I stopped creating when I stopped succeeding, it felt like everything was crumbling, if I didn’t have my teeth sunk into some tangible creation of something I was panicking.Anna Maydonova:
When you finally realized what was behind your, your success, what was the the best part of your healing?Vanessa Broers:
The really good question. The best part of the healing was starting to actually understand how beautiful life really is. Like now how beautiful life really is not later once you have all the success. It was it’s like a moment I had the other day. I was busy and I had lots of calls and I was just feeling I was just feeling tired. And so I went and I walked around the lake that is near my house, and I sat down on a bench and it’s winter. So there’s snow on the ground, but I live in Colorado so the sun is always warm. And I just sat there and I felt the sun on my face and this tear roll down my cheek and it wasn’t, wasn’t sad. It just was this moment of. And that’s what life feels like after trauma. You realize that it’s not life that’s terrifying and horrible and something to conquer. It’s your past, the experience you had. I had this really beautiful moment in my healing journey. And I had had this vision that kept popping up in a meditation. And it was me as a kid. And when you walked into our childhood home, you walked in, and there was this hallway, right when you walked in the house, and there was pictures on this wall. And then there was a staircase that went up the stairs, and we lived on the East Coast is pretty home. And you know, my mom decorated beautifully. And in this vision, I was sitting in that hallway, like almost in a fetal position. And I was terrified because of the craziness that was going on in my house. And this vision just kept popping up. And something that I found really important in your healing journey is pay attention to the visions and the memories that show up on repeat because it’s your inner self saying, hey, look, here, there’s something here to heal in this moment in time. And I just I didn’t understand why this memory kept showing up. And I but what I noticed what the focal point of the memory was me cowering in absolute terror. And as I kept revisiting this vision, something really cool started to happen. And the actual vision started to zoom out. So first, I could only see me in this pictures above me, then I could see the whole house and I could see the chaos that was happening. And you know, people screaming and in all the horrible stuff that was happening there. And then one day, the vision zoomed out even further. And I saw that it was a beautiful summer day. I lived on a gorgeous Street, like really like picturesque childhood home. And it was summer, and outside of my house was just birds chirping, and the sun was shining and the sky was blue and the trees were green and a breeze was blowing. And what I understood in that moment, like really on a deep embodied level, was that their life, there’s nothing to fear. Life is beautiful. Life was always beautiful. Just because my experience wasn’t okay, didn’t mean that I wasn’t okay. Just because my home wasn’t okay. Didn’t mean that life wasn’t okay. And when you grow up experiencing repetitive trauma on any level, you have this internal belief that nothing is okay. I’m not okay. Nothing is okay. Life is not okay. So you’re fighting your way through it. In this moment, it was just such a like it all melted away. And I was like, oh, everything’s okay.Anna Maydonova:
I’m so glad you came to this realization, because not many people come to this to this point. And what would be your best advice for someone who is going through a similar situation like you’ve gone, but just don’t have tools to deal with this trauma.Vanessa Broers:
There’s always someone to support you. Always look further than your close circle. And keep looking until you find the person. My what I grew up believing is no one can help me. No one can understand me. No one can support me there’s no one who can help me. And in your immediate environment, that there’s a high likelihood that that might be true. But also, no one can help you when you’re hiding what you’re experiencing from everyone on Earth either. So there are I think it’s a little it’s it’s painful and liberating to realize that when you’ve gone through trauma, your trauma isn’t unique. It feels deeply personal, but it’s not unique. There’s pretty much nothing you can go through that someone out there can’t help you with and there’s something like really want to hold on tight that no no, no, it’s true, but you first have to stop pretending like everything is okay. And then don’t stop looking until you find someone who can help you.Anna Maydonova:
This is so true. I remember myself holding to my story for 20 years. Thinking that is no one will believe me. There is no one will understand me. And I was holding so much shame in so much keel thinking it was my fault. But it’s never never ever your fault. For me, I was a child. I I didn’t, I couldn’t understand what was what was happening. I was I was aware of what’s happening. But I didn’t. I didn’t know how to behave. Plus I want I was conditioned to obey the rules. To Yeah, to do everything what my father was telling me. So and my self worth, and my trust to myself was zero, not zero, just on the ground. We go below zero. Exactly. Go zero. And Vanessa, and self Wars is very important in, in your, in your life, especially when you go through a healing process. You need to realize that that was a situation. But what I am doing right now with the situation is my responsibility. It wasn’t my fault. But now it’s my responsibility. But how did it change your life? Going through your childhood experience? How did you use the power of your trauma in your life?Vanessa Broers:
I was smiling, because for so long, I didn’t. I told you a different version of my story, I think, than I’ve ever told anybody a couple, the whatever, a couple weeks ago, and I think that it’s a good story to share, if you are open to hearing it, as long as that question, a little bit of a long story, but I think it’s worth understanding the to understand what the evolution of self worth looks like. It’s a good little like, you know, you feel like the electricity come on in your body every time because it you know, it is vulnerable to talk about this stuff. But I also think that it’s really important because as you and I have talked about so many times, the number one killer of self worth is shame. If there’s an opposite of self worth, it’s shame. And the less we talk about our experiences, the more shame gets to roll the show inside. And also think that my story is a good example of the combination, it’s not a bad thing to be trauma driven. Being trauma driven, is actually what helped me survive my life. It just that it had I kept being trauma driven, my life would have continued to be successfully awful. It was an awful but you know what I mean, like successfully unfulfilling is maybe the better language for it. So I, you know, I’m trying to think about where to start. It was only really, I think, when I got to like high school, middle school, high school, that if I reflect back, I can remember this sort of split in self worth, I think, but below that you’re so much less self aware. So I’m sure I was. I’m sure that I’m sure the impact was there, but I didn’t see it showing up really, until you get into that social environment where worthiness feels like it comes so much more into play. And I went to a really wealthy High School, and we weren’t wealthy, we were you know, we were middle class. But the contrast was really painful. And so I started to really experience this gap. I started to really I was, that’s where I started to really try to become something different. I wanted to be a really skinny blonde rich girl. Basically, if I had a picture my my image of perfection if I could just be skinny, blonde and rich, then everything would be okay. Something I like really honestly, even as an adult, I had to continually challenge and remind myself, but it’s high school, middle school is where I really started to abandon myself and try to embody this other image and one of honestly this is so this is one of my most painful memories, but it’s so relevant. So I wanted to be a cheerleader, right? Because if you’re skinny, blonde and rich and you’re a cheerleader, well then it’s like, okay, like, like so I made the cheerleading squad. Oh, my heartbreaks for myself in the story, but I remember it was eighth grade. And when there’s a game you wear your uniform to school. Everyone knows you’re a cheerleader, even though you know and it’s like this whole thing and so So I’m wearing my uniform to school, and I’m walking down the hallway. Like you know those stories you can’t help but cringe while you’re telling. And walking down the hallway, everyone is looking at me. And I’m feeling like up because I’m a cheerleader. And I’m so cool. And everybody wants to be me. And then I get to my locker and my friend is there. And she’s like, Oh, my God, Vanessa, your skirt is unzipped. And like, you can see my underwear, like the hope that everybody was staring at me. Oh, is it just oh, it’s like the perfect thing that encapsulates what would continue to unfold for the next 20 years. So I started to go into this, this long period of my life, where mice, myself, were starting to get wrapped up in which boy likes me. And it’s happened at a really young age, I was always in love with the most popular boy in school. And, you know, all everything about me was trying to create the right friendships to get that boy to notice me, right? Because if that boy noticed you, it meant that like, we’re, you’re, you’re, you’re good, you’re perfect. So that unfolded through high school. And, and I really, you know, there’s this painful correlation betweenVanessa Broers:
the behavior that I was in to try to get self validation through boys. And then this parallel on the back of people seeing that that was happening, and kind of getting bullied and knocked down at the same time. So as an example, there was this boy who was really popular and honest to God, like, not a single part of me, was interested in him in any way. In fact, he kind of like, grossed me out. But he would walk by during study hall, you and he would walk by and I would walk out of the room, and then we’d go make out in the staircase, under the under the stairs in the school, and I can remember just being like, disgusted. Honestly, I was so grossed out, like, the memory is him like slobbering all over my face, you know what I mean? And you’re in high school, so whatever, like, I don’t think guys know what they’re doing at that time. But what’s more painful about the memory is why I was there. I was there, because I could say that that’s who I was making out with in school. But what the painful part is that everybody’s perception was like, that’s just pathetic. And so the more and I felt that people think I’m pathetic, and so it would have me lean into this more and more. When I got to college. I finally, for the first time, found this group of girls that I had been craving, you know, and it was just we had, we were such easy friendship, we lived in the same dorm, there were like six of us. And we were always together. And I felt this real sense of, like, I’m belonging, and this is great. And I have great friends. And they were popular, and everybody wanted to hang out with us. And we were always at the cool parties. And it was like this thing that my high school girl self within Well, since middle school had been craving. But this is where I think that my trauma really started to catch up with me. And it’s not like, you know, I’ve only slept with seven people in my life. It’s not like I was sleeping around with anybody and everybody who would, you know, look in my direction. But I would always find that I was the drunk girl at the party, which I thought was really cool. And I was the most fun. And I was a guy’s girl. And so, you know, people liked having me around. But I was getting to the point where I was really sloppy all the time. And then I would find a guy who, you know, we would hook up or, you know, more likely me giving him a blowjob was really like the reality of what was happening. And then I felt cool, because I was hooking up with this particular person, and then you wake up in the morning, and you just feel so terrible about yourself. Because I think I genuinely believed that if that were happening, that person would love me the next day that we would date and when we would date, everybody would see that I was special. I don’t you know, it was just so painful. But there was one guy in particular, and we, he had a girlfriend, and he had a girlfriend who went to a different college, and she was the skinny blonde, rich girl. And so he and I started sleeping together all the time. We’d go to a party, same party or different party, we come back, he’d come to my room or in my dorm room, and we would go have sex somewhere. And I felt really good about the fact that he had a skinny blond Rich Girlfriend that he was cheating on with me. I know that like anybody who’s listening to this good sound like that’s so terrible, but it really felt like a triumph. It felt like finally I’m better than that. And so this went on for a really long time. And I had really, I think I thought I had really strong feelings for him. You know, at the time, it really felt I really, really liked him. And I thought we were going to start dating. And I thought that because we were sleeping together. But I also thought that because he was telling me that I’m going to break up with her, we’re going to date. And then one day she was coming to visit. And he came to me beforehand and said, Don’t be anywhere that we are. And I just remember feeling so I felt sad. I felt embarrassed. I also felt angry and incredibly confused. And so I said to him, like, what the heck, I thought you were breaking up, and I, you know, I thought we were going to date. And he said, I only said that to you, because I knew it’s what I had to say. So you would keep sleeping with me.Vanessa Broers:
And like, in a way I kind of respect the honesty, but also so awful. And I was devastated. I was devastated. Like, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. But it was a surprise because my self worth was so low. I thought I was doing all the right things to get, you know, I was doing what they wanted. And so this just was such a painful, painful, painful memory for me. But if I look, if I look back even further, the guy in the hallway, you know, whatever, that that same thing had been on repeat for so long. And I told you the story that that I’ll share as well too, about the guy that I ended up dating for a really long time. I was in love with this guy in high school. absolutely in love. He was the most attractive guy in the school. And you know, he was like the he was my celebrity crush, basically, only he was a real person. And I I mean, I stalked him like embarrassingly stalked him the same way that you would stalk a celebrity. Like if you’re, you know, now it’s the Jonas Brothers or whoever. It was really sad. I wrote in love notes of beta mixed CDs. And it just, you know, it’s so painful looking back, because looking back, I can see, all my gosh, that was never there was no reason for no signs coming back to me that were indicating that that was a greenlight decision. I was so in love, and my self worth was so low. And I was so obsessed with this idea that if he liked me, well, then I would be really someone. And so I remember back in the day, we had AOL Instant Messenger. And we were chatting, and I said, I somehow invited the idea of hooking up with him. I it was 100% initiated by me. And he said, Okay, well, I’ll be right over he only lived a couple blocks away and I can still feel my physiology just flood with anticipation and nervousness and excitement. Like I can’t believe this is really happening. So he came over my parents were away. Mom, don’t ever listen to this episode. Definitely not my dad turned it off. Now I promise. They came over and, and we didn’t have sex. But you know, we hooked up completely. And I remember feeling. I it wasn’t, it wasn’t all bad. But it was you know, that first really intense sexual experience as a kid. There’s this mix ofAnna Maydonova:
shame and excitement. And I thought that meant he loved me. So there was this whole anticipation of we’re going to date now. And he I remember, he left and he said, you’ve changed me. And I really thought that men. I don’t know what it meant to this day. I don’t know what it meant. But I thought it meant you love me. And so over the next couple years, we continue to have interactions like this. But then he would completely ignore me and pretend that I didn’t exist in between. But because we had this little special secret going on, you know, none of that mattered, right? Because he would tell me, I’m going to, I’m going to pick you up on Friday night, we’re gonna go out. And I would this is back in the day when phones were connected to the wall. And I would sit there in our kitchen or like our breakfast nook, and just sit by the phone and wait and wait and wait. And he would never call and he would never come. And I and I know my parents would just watch me sit there. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking that would be as a mom to just sit there and I would cry and cry and he would never call until the next time you wanted to hook up. And so one Friday night he said he was going to pick me up and he did. He called and he showed up at the door and I sat by the breakfast nook and you could see the front door and I can the heart and the anticipation and you know all that stuff when he knocked at the door and I could see his gorgeous head through the window and he picked me up And I thought we were gonna go on a date. And we went to his friend’s house. And I remember his friend, I can’t remember his name. But I just remember he was such a mean person. He was just one of those looking back, I can see he was also probably deeply traumatized. But for those really mean, guys, we went to his house. And I don’t know, I don’t, I don’t know why I thought we were there. If I look back, maybe I thought we were gonna stop and have a drink and then go out. And I honestly think there was part of me that felt proud that he was showing me to one of his friends. I thought that’s what was happening, you know, poor little Vanessa, like, so wrong, so wrong. I was also excited because I thought we were gonna have sex. And it was really exciting to think about losing my virginity to him because it was him. And that meant again, like, I’m important. And so we go into this guy’s room, his friend’s room. And what ended up happening is, I think I might have even asked him to have sex with me, and he wouldn’t do it. Which is also just so sad. And what ended up happening is we ended up having anal sex, which I didn’t, I didn’t even know, I didn’t even know. I think that that was a thing. And I remember him asking, and I said, Yes, because I would have done anything. He asked me to anything. And the thing he asked, I would have done. And I remember, it was awful. Awful, it was painful. It was terrible. Me the only energetic that I could give it is rape. I mean, and I it was consensual. Do you know what I mean? Like isn’t such a fucked up word for something like that. Such a fucked up word or something like that.Vanessa Broers:
I still get emotional when I talk about it, because it’s so it’s just sad. You don’t know what you’re giving away, you know. And I tell God, I loved him. And it was just such a moment of heartbreak and betrayal.Vanessa Broers:
and it really breaks you. at a deep level, even though I’m you know, I’m actually so okay with I’m actually surprised by my reaction right now, but such a painful moment in your life and your journey. And I was crazy. I was 15 when this happened. Not I remember the next day, I immediately changed the story in my head that we had had sex. And I just recreated this fantasy. So instantly, and so immediately, that I actually forgot that this happened. I went on to date this guy for seven years later in my life. And we actually were in love and had a beautiful relationship. But I didn’t know this happened. I had completely dissociated from it. And there was this dynamic in our relationship that was really messed up. It was there was always this power struggle. He was always afraid that I was going to drop the axe on him. And I was always looking to punish him. I always was looking for a guy on the side, I always wanted this like thrill of somebody else wanting me but not be able to have me and when I look back, I can totally understand that. Right? There’s this idea that I’m wanted, and they can’t have me and so gave me this false sense of worthiness. And it was only after we broke up. We we did for a long, long time. And I started working with my shaman when I was pregnant. And he asked me if I had ever been raped. And I said no. And I said no. And I met No. And he asked me about the first time that I had sex and I told him, and then I was walking down the street. I was pregnant at the time. And I was just on a walk and out of the blue. This memory came back into my mind and I was like first of all is fascinated that I had blocked out something that happened when I was 15. I wasn’t five I dissociated a lot of my childhood memories, but I was 15 and I dated him for seven years. How did I not remember this happened? It just shows like what the brain does to protect you from something you’re not ready to experience. And I went back to my shaman and we talked about and he he you’ve met Patrick and he said absolutely. This was 100% a rape and it shattered you and we did a lot of healing work around it and we did a lot of healing. work on him as well. And he he had, he said that he was also deeply traumatized at the time. And actually, what he shared with me is that he was traumatized by that experience as well. Which I really thought was fascinating because we only think about the trauma to the victim. And it was his whole other level of compassion and awareness that the perpetrator can also be traumatized by doing something for somebody else, which makes sense, obviously, when you think about it, but when I started to look back at my life, I never thought I struggled with self worth. Because on the flip side of feeling so worthless, I channeled it all into drive that had me be a really successful human being. I always had good grades, I finished my master’s and bachelor’s in four years combined, I got a job paying me $150,000, working in the C suite of an Australian Corporation at 25. You know, so if you look on the outside, there was just success and success and success and success. And I focused on that. But if you went behind the hood, and you were looking at the journey of my personal life, there was no self worth. So as I moved into the profession of coaching in my mid 20s, I started to do healing work. But none of this stuff came up until I was pregnant. Because all the healing work that I was doing was just to keep propping up more success. What do I need to heal to make more money? What do I need to heal to get more recognition? What do I need to heal to sign clients more effectively. But when I got pregnant, it shattered the whole image of success that I had created, because I didn’t have motherhood in that equation. And it was just like this little pin that popped everything. And I started to go back. And I started to remember these memories. And I started to remember that I did these things. And I remembered college. And I remembered that moment. And it was only then that I really started to see how much I had insulated, all of that pain of self worth. And then I started to do the healing work on that. And that’s where life started to feel really beautiful again.Anna Maydonova:
Wow. I felt this story before, but I still have goosebumps on my skin. When I said you’re so right. I know it’s not easy to look, look back, and just experience and remember all those things that you’ve done before. Because it brings so much shame and so much pain. And I know because I’ve done this as well. I was bottling all those past stories deep down. But unless I unless I realized that a hold on waddling down is not the way until I brought it up and face it. It was chasing me. It was holding me back. It’s just it didn’t work for me. What was your biggest lesson you’ve learned from this situation?Vanessa Broers:
There’s a few. One is that the thing you’re afraid of experiencing already happened. You already lived through the thing you’re running from, you’re already you already experienced the thing that you’re afraid to experience in the future. That thing you’re afraid of in the future is actually in your past. And when you face What happened to you, there’s nothing to fear in your future. I cannot stress that enough. And the thing you’re already that you’re so afraid to let out the thing you’re so afraid to feel you’re already feeling. That’s why you’re afraid of it. There’s no such thing as bottling up. There’s no such thing. You’re only just trapping and energy in your body from moving, which is why I’m like I’m you know, I’m happy to feel whatever shows up in any moment because I want to let it out. I want to let it move. And I think the other lesson is that nothing can hurt you if you’re willing to feel it. And I think that what I ultimately at the end of the day, the only thing I really do when I help people with trauma is become in creative space safe enough to feel anything because when you realize that it is actually safe to feel what you’re afraid to feel, and listen, there’s a, there’s a reason we bottle stuff up, we bottle it up, because at the time, if we would have felt it, it could have just broken your psyche, you could have actually ended up with some sort of personality disorder or killed yourself or is very, very valid, that the process of bottling up. But as an adult when you enter into a healing space, and you’re with someone who’s safe. If you can make yourself a safe enough space to feel anything, nothing can hurt you. And so what I’ve started to learn is that even looking back, it’s still painful to experience and share and recount and remember some of those memories, but the biggest difference is I don’t feel shame. When I think about them anymore. I didn’t feel shame. When I was telling you that story. What I felt was heartbreak. For myself, what I felt was compassion, sadness, those feelings will liberate you. Because though is actually you feeling that about yourself. Looking back is self love.Anna Maydonova:
Vanessa, I know the rest of the story is as interesting as the beginning. What’s happened to this guy?Vanessa Broers:
Um, you know, actually, we’re friends. Coffee a few months ago. He’s living his life, he’s fine. You know, I wouldn’t say thriving, like, I am not a bad person. How didAnna Maydonova:
you realize that? Hold on, this is not the guy I supposed to be with?Vanessa Broers:
I mean, I think I always knew. Like, I always knew it was the first answer. Um, when I was traveling, there’s certain decisions that we make that start to really rebuild self worth. And I think that I love this question, because how do we start to restore self worth. And if I look back, there’s a couple of key decisions that I made, that laid the foundation, you know, healing, and in what we’re doing is a huge component of it. But anytime you make a decision, that’s good for you, despite any other consequence, I think are some of the most profound ways to rebuild self worth, you know, those decisions that your heart kind of just whispers that if I did that, it would probably ruin my job and this relationship and make 98% of the people in my life unhappy? You know, those are big consequences. And your soul was like, Yeah, okay. And what’s the problem? When you make decisions like that, your self worth is exponentially fortified. You did something good for you. So just the decision to go traveling in itself change something in me, because it was something I knew I wanted to do for a long, long time. And even though I was still running, and blah, blah, blah, there’s all those other aspects of it, the decision was right. And so I was traveling, and we were together. And I remember we were listening to an Eagles concert on top of a roof, and a parking lot. We live it, we were across the street from this really big stadium. And otherwise should have been this really romantic moment. And I remember saying, This feels like goodbye. He was like, what? Yeah, we’re under the stars this summer night. And there was just this knowing that like, this is it this is goodbye. I just knew, and I think I could I could see the knowing. Because I had made a couple key decisions leading up to that moment that were right. And so when you start to make those decisions, the life you built before that sit on top, that life starts to come apart a little bit. And that’s okay.Anna Maydonova:
You just listen to your inner voice. It will always tell you the truth. Always,Vanessa Broers:
always, always. It might make a mess. Better, we’ll never be wrong.Anna Maydonova:
Vanessa is the declamation Coach, how do you help people stop running.Vanessa Broers:tuff that you haven’t felt in:Anna Maydonova:
And that’s the way people can find you.Vanessa Broers:
You can find me on my website. Vanessabroerscoaching.com. You find me through my book, it’s called We Are One how one woman reclaimed her identity through motherhood. It’s on Amazon. And you can honestly just email me Vanessa, Vanessa brewers coaching calm, I’m really accessible.Anna Maydonova:
Wonderful. Vanessa, before we go, do you have any concluding thoughts?Vanessa Broers:
In order to create a different life experience, you have to start living both lives. There’s a life on the outside. And there’s a life on the inside. They’re interconnected, but they’re different. And if you want to feel there, and you want to feel fulfilled, and you want to live in the present, then you have to start living the life that’s happening on the inside.Anna Maydonova:
This is social. Ladies and gentlemen, Vanessa Broers.
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