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Why I make Feel Free bracelets

You must do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat.

If you can’t handle it, then you are a failure.

Women have so many roles they must fill in and they must all be completed to perfection. There is a great deal of guilt and shame associated with not being perfect at everything. For many years I was stuck in a straitjacket of expectations and towering requirements that I had put upon myself.

I worked hard and wildly and made sure that everyone around me felt good – at the same time I became more and more drained and burned out myself. I did not think that I was anything special or that I was allowed to be anyone special. I thought that my role as a mother was the most important thing in my life – a role which meant what I had to sacrifice everything else.

I was never really happy and blamed everyone else for all of my sadness and misery.

Until the day I decided that enough was enough – I took responsibility for my own happiness.

I decided to pay for a business mentor. My business mentor is not cheap, but she is very skilled. In fact, it was her idea to make bracelets with personalized messages. An idea I immediately pursued. An idea that suited me SO well. Since then, there has been many detours and challenges and it’s an ongoing process, but I keep moving forward step by step – I cannot and I will not go back.

To me, that is the greatest freedom that exists. I’ve discovered how important it is for me not to be squeezed into a box. I’ve discovered how hard it is for me to be labeled and categorized. The feeling of being free and having a large degree of freedom is absolutely essential to me. Therefore my bracelets can only be called Feel Free.

Warmest greetings Nina

I believe that:

– If you are constantly trying to be perfect, you will feel like your are stuck in a straitjacket

– If you dare to let go of control – just a little bit – you will feel free

– If you give yourself permission to be imperfect, inadequate and vulnerable, you will set yourself free

– If you give yourself permission to be imperfect, you can give yourself permission to be you, with everything what you are

– If you let go of the ‘perfectionista’ in you, it gives you the freedom to do what is right for you

You can also be free and happy

Whether you call it a positive affirmation, a power sentence or a mantra is irrelevant. As long as it makes sense to you.

A mantra is a phrase you repeat many times until you have actually convinced our brain and body to believe it.

One of my first affirmations was: I am a good mother.

It is an affirmation that I often return to.

At the moment it has been adjusted to: I am a good mother in my own way.

At some point in my life I learned that there are some very specific rules on how to be a good mother, how to be a good wife, daughter, colleague and friend. These ‘rules’ meant that I had to put my own needs completely aside to be the perfect mom, wife and daughter.

The only problem is that when I don’t take care of my own needs, I become tense and burned out and definitely not the person I want to be.

Therefore it is important to me to get rid of some of the harsh rules and beliefs that I have about the way I should behave in order to be a good person. I know now that I can be a caring mother AND a kick-ass business woman at the same time.

Be patient
Usually, it is not possible to change old beliefs and habits just ‘over night’ – it takes time and patience. There will be relapses and you’ll probably experience resistance from your brain and body. Because basically, your brain hates change. The concept alone, of lying on the other side of the bed or with your head in the foot end can freak you out, right?

Whether it takes 2 or 225 days to change an old belief or habit varies a lot – no one thing is more true than the other. The most important thing is to decide that you wish to change and improve your life. The amazing thing is that every moment is the right moment to make the change. To make a fresh start.

Keep moving
I myself have walked the path and still do. The positive mantras are an important part of my everyday life. Which mantra I use changes over time, as I develop my view on life. Motherhood is the one choice who has given me (and continues to give me) the greatest challenges. I have found it very difficult to juggle motherhood and career at the same time, because I wanted to be perfect at both at the same time.

I have learned the hard way, that I cannot control everything, perfection is impossible and my kids would rather have a happy mother than a perfect one. Therefore, I hope that my work can inspire others to be less hard on themselves and look for happiness instead of perfection.

I believe that if you have fewer elements of ‘ I should’ and ‘I ought to’ in your life, you will become an even better person than you already are. I believe that by letting go of perfectionism and the need of control you can achieve much greater freedom and joy in your life.

Only you can create real change in your life, but I hope that my Feel Free bracelets can help you to stay focused and make happy choices every day.

My personal experience is that if I don’t have the energy to take care of my own needs, then I cannot provide true care and loving for my kids and husband. The damn truth is that it’s never really about them, it’s all about me!

The first step on the path to becoming happy and setting yourself free, is that you begin to respect your own needs more often and not constantly set your own desires aside.

and no … … you are not selfish because you choose to take care of yourself – how can you take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself?

If you don’t take care of yourself and take responsibility for your needs and what you wish for, how can you show your children that they should take good care of themselves and honor their dreams and wishes in the world. Children do what we do, not what we say.

Start by acknowledging yourself for your wish to take responsibility and choose your own happiness now.

Then focus on the good things in your life – remind yourself of these good things – it may be quite small things, like enjoying the  first cup of coffee in the morning, that you managed to catch the green light while driving, that you got a hug from your child and so on… … everything counts.

The better you are at focusing on the positive, the more it will fill your heart and mind – eventually you will become really good at spotting all the wonderful things that you actually have in your everyday life.

The second step on the way to becoming happy and setting yourself free is that you learn how to take care of yourself.

Only YOU know how to take care of yourself in the best way, only YOU know what makes you happy. Whether it is a bit of alone time every day, a walk in the park, to turn off the phone for a while or knitting a sweater – only you have the answers and you have to discover and respect your needs.

So the important thing here is, that it will become routine for you to choose what is good for you, instead of what’s best for others. There are many moments during a day in which you make choices  – eventually it becomes easier to recognize which choice is the right one for you.

Third step on the way to setting yourself free, is that you become good at listening to yourself and not the well-meaning advice of others. Quite often the advice we give to others, is in fact, the advice we should be giving ourselves – other peoples truth is not necessarily your truth.

For many of us it has been part of our upbringing – ‘what will others think’, ‘don’t behave like that’, ‘people are looking at you’. We are so used to comparing ourselves to others and trying to be like the norm. But in fact, we end up spending way too much energy on trying to adapt and to fit in. There will always be that one person who is better, more beautiful and more ‘perfect’ than you.

Learn to listen to your gut feeling and what you think is the right choice for you, even if it’s a bit odd or outside the norm. Act on your dreams, wishes and needs – or you will never move forward.

The fourth step on the way to setting yourself free, is that you allow yourself to own your uniqueness – that you let your light shine.

Many of us have had a really hard time being ourselves and standing up for who we really are. Whether we are thick or thin, noisy or quiet, silly or serious, we all need to be ourselves. We need to be comfortable with ourselves and love ourselves with everything we are.

You are special – no one else is like you – just as there are no 2 identical finger prints, no 2 people are identical.

Just be you ♡ ♡

Remember: If I can do it, so can you.

Warmest greetings Nina

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