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How To Learn From And Celebrate The Past Year

How To Learn From And Celebrate The Past Year

How To Learn From And Celebrate The Past Year

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Life coach Katarina Stoltz smiling on a sofa

Even if we refuse to make New Year’s resolutions, most of us feel this is a time for rebirth, renewal and growth. It’s a potent time to reflect back on the year and learn what worked and what didn’t so that we can do things differently moving forward (and properly acknowledge our achievements!).

So before you rush off with all your plans for 2024, use my free workbook ‘COMPLETE & CELEBRATE 2023’, and reflect on, learn from, and celebrate your 2023 experience!

5 of my biggest learnings this year

  1. If you take your health seriously, you will have to invest money and time to find the right people to help you. Good health is the foundation for everything we do, from parenting to managing our work, therefore I made health a priority this year.
  2. Follow YOUR dreams even when other people don’t support you. When I started to plan a semi sabbatical to Thailand, my husband was not on board. When we eventually did it at the beginning of this year, he was thanking me every day!
  3. Your body gives you warning signals. It didn’t matter how much my mind tried to convince me to go against what my gut screamed, in the end, my body was always wiser. When I listened to the warning signals, I made better choices.
  4. Special friends will walk the extra mile for you! I made another dream come true by renting an old finca on Mallorca where I celebrated my 50th birthday with my family and close friends.
  5. Stay with the same mentor/coach if you’re happy. Michaela Boehm has been my mentor for the last four years. This year I went on my first retreat with her to Portugal and had a profound experience!
Life coach Katarina Stoltz on retreat in Portugal

From breakthroughs to breakdowns

Our learnings usually come from our challenges. When we go through a challenge and overcome it, we learn something new and become wiser. When we take time to reflect on what we’ve learned and how we can act differently in the future, this is how we grow personally.

And we all want to grow, don’t we?!

So welcome the breakdowns and the challenges, because without them, you wouldn’t grow as much. Every breakdown leads to a breakthrough. It might not happen immediately, but eventually it will!

And when you come out on the other side, don’t forget to celebrate. This is something I often see my clients neglect – celebrating themselves and their milestones.

5 things I am celebrating this year

  1. Working less and still having the same income. I took 10 weeks of holiday and didn’t work weekends. This enabled me to prioritise my health and spend a lot of quality time with my family.
  2. Creating my first group career coaching programme. I put my best content into the amazing ‘Reignite Your Career’ programme. If you want to join the second cohort, add your name to the VIP list here.
  3. Keeping my promise, staying the course, and not giving a smartphone to my daughter. My hope is that she one day will be able to say: ‘My success in life is partly because I didn’t use a smartphone my first 12 years, and could develop through creative play instead’.
  4. Investing in my health. I finally figured out the best supplements to take and how much I needed to feel my best. I started working with a new expert in women’s health, an ayurveda practitioner and a personal trainer at my gym.
  5. Getting organised with money. It took a couple years of trying to do it on my own to realise I needed a financial manager. It’s just not my zone of genius, so I outsource it!

Reflect with my workbook

I invite you to pause, reflect and take time for YOU.

Look back before you look ahead.

Without looking back and learning from our mistakes, we would keep doing the same things repeatedly without moving forward.

Without celebrating our achievements, we would constantly feel ‘we’re not good enough’ and only focus on what we are lacking, instead of how much we have grown.

So block out some time in your calendar before this year is over, and fill out my  ‘COMPLETE & CELEBRATE 2023’ workbook.

Complete and celebrate 2023 workbook by Katarina Stoltz Coaching and Therapy

How to use the workbook

  • Clear at least one hour in your diary.
  • Find a quiet space where you can focus without interruption.
  • Complete it alone or with a friend.
  • Be honest. You don’t have to share your answers with anyone.
  • Print it or fill it out online.

When you’re done with the workbook, the next step is to sign up for my online masterclass ‘2024 MASTERY’. This is my first live event since 2019 and you don’t want to miss it!

2024 Mastery online career masterclass with Katarina Stoltz Life Coaching and Therapy

Love,

 

 

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I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy waywith my free guided journal.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy way – with my free guided journal.

What to do when you never feel good enough

What to do when you never feel good enough

What to do when you never feel good enough

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Life Coach Katarina Stoltz smiling and looking off to the side

As a life coach and therapist, I often hear my female clients share their experiences of ‘not feeling good enough’. Whether it be in their work, their different roles in life or reaching their goals. I think we’re experiencing an epidemic of low self-esteem. Why? Because we’re playing the comparison game.

When I was growing up, I compared myself to the girls at my school, around 20-30 of them. Today we have the entire internet – with the millions of people we encounter on social media every single day – to compare ourselves with. How can we break the cycle of insecurity and low self-esteem and always thinking ‘I’m not good enough’?

People pleasing is killing us

I listened to a podcast the other day with a professor who said, ‘Heart attacks and strokes in the 40-50 age range have been decreasing among men but increasing among women. He added, ‘for me, it’s unclear what the reason is’, and left me chewing on that.

I’m by no means an expert in heart diseases, but from my experience working with hundreds of women for almost a decade, I have a theory.

From an early age we women hear we need to be good girls, don’t make a fuss, don’t disappoint, look good and perform well. People-pleasing becomes our second nature. We do everything we can for people to like us and receive praise and pats on the back. And when we don’t, then we try even harder.

And harder.

And harder.

And harder.

We tell ourselves, ‘I’m not smart, skilled, capable, talented, attractive or thin enough’ and we start playing the comparison game.

We study, work, get another degree, climb the ladder, work, give birth, bring up children, work, spend time improving our looks, work, and we’re wondering why we’re so tired. Women take on, not only physical responsibility, but also the emotional load, more than men. No wonder a lot of women at some point in their lives are close to burnout!

If we’re haunted by the belief that we’re ‘only good enough’ when we’re productive, constantly busy and successful human beings, our mental health will suffer. Our hearts will eventually suffer.

Give yourself rest

Are you someone who is constantly stressing about not doing enough? Thinking there’s always more you need to do? Feeling anxious because there is never an end to your to-do list?

You force yourself to keep going even if your intuition tells you that what you’re doing is not good for you, ignoring the physical signals that you need rest.

In the book Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski, they call it “Human Giver Syndrome”. It means that no matter what you are going through or how tired you are, you prefer to take care of others first.

We give it our all at work, with our partner, our children and our friends. We give a smile to everyone around while that voice inside screams ‘I NEED TO REST’! Read my blog ‘Give yourself permission to rest: 7 ways to quiet your thoughts’, to learn how I fell into the productivity trap during lockdown, and read some practical tips on how to nourish your nervous system.

The comparison game

Wherever you look you will find someone who is more ‘enough’ than you are. Someone is prettier, cooler, more successful, thinner, happier, smarter or has a nicer home than you have. At least on the outside.

You never see the hundreds of images they edited away. You never see their despair trying to meet deadlines or putting small kids to bed while they can hardly keep their eyes open.

You don’t see the dark circles under their eyes.

All the women out there struggle too, and no matter how perfect their lives look, most of them are affected by the ‘I’m not good enough’ epidemic.

My personal story

Are you playing the comparison game?

It starts very early.

My daughter came home from school telling me that one of her best friends has cooler clothes, more experience, bigger breasts and is more popular than her.

Telling her how beautiful she is doesn’t help because at the age of 11 most kids care more about what their peers think than what their parents think. Of course I still have a chance to boost her self-confidence, BUT she’s now out there in the world playing the comparison game, and my team is very small!

A few years ago I made a difficult decision: My daughter won’t get a smartphone before she turns 12. Not easy in a world where kids start to get them as early as 7. I want to give her the chance to build her confidence as much as possible before she needs to tackle the “internet playground”.

I give her access to books and films starring girls and women who show courage and can be young role models she can look up to in difficult times. Once, when she was involved in a body shaming incident at school, we watched the documentary Miss Americana about Taylor Swift.

‘If you are lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change’. – Taylor Swift

Baby steps to self-empowerment

How to stop telling yourself ‘I’m not good enough’ when that’s what you’ve always done?

Low self-esteem often stems from very deep-rooted issues. This topic is very complex. It’s not a quick fix that can be solved easily with a few nice affirmations. BUT you need to start somewhere. I decided not to share a list of things to do or say in this blog, I’m just going to give you five words:

I AM DOING MY BEST.

This is the most empowering thing I say to myself these days. Even when it doesn’t feel true. It brings me back to my centre. It shuts out all the noise.

I was reminded of these five words by Danielle Laporte, one of my inspirational people who lands in my inbox from time to time. She helped me realise the power of saying these words to myself daily.

Maybe it will work for you too?

Too simple? Well, yes, it’s simple and won’t tackle all of your issues around not feeling good enough. But it’s a start. If you want to gain more awareness about how the ‘I’m not good enough’ epidemic impacts your life and learn more ways to move forward, check out my coaching programmes. But for now, just say it:

I’m doing my best.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy waywith my free guided journal.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy way – with my free guided journal.

How do you know it’s time for a career change?

How do you know it’s time for a career change?

How do you know it’s time for a career change?

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Business woman with her head resting on her closed hands while she sits facing her laptop. Representing it is time for her to consider a career change.

Many of the people I work with are afraid it might be too late to switch careers. It doesn’t matter if they are in their 30s, 40s or 50s. They have worked hard to climb the corporate ladder and are used to the security their job gives them. But the truth is, it’s never too late. I have put together 6 steps to help you change careers successfully.

Although a career change might sound exciting, for many people it’s also very scary. ‘Should I give up everything I’ve built so far?’ ‘What if I have to take a pay cut?

From my experience, uncertainty is what stops most people from switching careers. Uncertainty is the enemy of change.

Whether you are a lawyer, tired of the long hours and without a clear idea of a new career path, an HR director with a buried dream of becoming a comedian (I actually helped a client with this exact transition!) or an accountant who always dreamt of landing a job in marketing, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

In fact, I’ve gone through two career transitions myself. Once in my late 20s and again in my early 40s.

Looking beyond the status quo

I had it all set up for what you would call a perfect life – my own apartment, a loving boyfriend and a dream job at the Swedish state television.

I was 27 – an age where I could have decided to start a family and continue climbing the career ladder. I had worked my way up to ‘second assistant director’ and was slowly but steadily moving towards my end goal of becoming a film producer.

But there was a very quiet voice within me whispering: ‘this can’t be it, can it’?

I grew up with an adventurous father who bicycled around Europe on his own at age 16, and was the first exchange student from his hometown to go to the U.S. for one year.

And I had a courageous mother who immigrated to Sweden at age 26, studied medicine in a foreign language and travelled the world with her band Glickers (‘luck searchers’’).

So you might understand why my mantra has always been: ‘the sky is the limit’.

Career switch #1

When the film photographer Marek said to me during a coffee break outside the studio, ‘I think you need to travel the world and see something other than this’, I knew he was right.

I moved to Warsaw, took an internship (and a 90 percent pay cut), and quickly advanced to become a successful news photographer working for one of the leading news agencies in the world.

I knew how to use a camera and I spoke a bit of Polish, but to be honest, I had no clue what the experience would lead to.

When I was 32 I quit my job at Reuters and moved to Berlin to be with the man I had fallen in love with. I had a rough start. My self-confidence was low, my boyfriend travelled a lot, and I felt lonely. I had no job. But I stayed, and decided to make Berlin my home.

After freelancing for a few years, I finally reconnected with a buried dream.

Career switch #2

When I was 41 I decided to go back to school to become a psychotherapist. I had taken a 3-month German course when I arrived in Berlin, but to study a new subject for four years, was of course a challenge!

I graduated with excellent feedback on my thesis, proving to everyone who said it was impossible, that the sky truly is the limit.

How did I finance it all? While I was studying, I did a coaching training and started working with clients alongside a part-time job in sales. What started as a necessity became my greatest passion: Coaching!

When is the right time?

So how do you KNOW it’s time to change careers?

From my experience, you will never know for sure before you start taking the steps to make it happen.

I have created an online career group programme designed to give you clarity to pursue your wildest career aspirations – something I could have used during my career transitions!

My 6 steps to prepare for a successful career change:

  1. Create space. We need to create space in our calendar to explore new ideas, but also space within ourselves to be able to reconnect with our buried dreams.
  2. Tame your inner critic. Often our inner critic is the main obstacle to a career change. We need to get to know it and tame it!
  3. Knowing yourself. We need to learn to distinguish what it is we think we want (influenced by other people’s opinions) and what it is we really want.
  4. Unleash your uniqueness. Finding our unique qualities – what makes us stand out – will boost our confidence and build courage.
  5. Rewrite your life story. Becoming specific about our professional vision motivates us to take action.
  6. Let’s go! Time to take action and take steps towards a career change!

Those 6 steps are the modules in my 12-week online career group programme, ‘Reignite Your Career’. You will gain confidence, courage and clarity to pursue your wildest career aspirations!

I will show you how to slow down to speed up!

Be the first to hear when doors open again for my 12-week online group programme, ‘Reignite Your Career’, by joining my VIP notification list.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy waywith my free guided journal.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy way – with my free guided journal.

Make happy memories that will last a lifetime

Make happy memories that will last a lifetime

Make happy memories that will last a lifetime

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Life coach and therapist Katarina Stoltz smiling in a yellow jumpsuit with 2 female friends stood either side of her as they celebrate her birthday in Mallorca

As I was starting to plan my 50th birthday party, I reflected on the different ways I had celebrated important birthdays in the past. It brought tears to my eyes (and not of joy). I didn’t have many happy memories. I decided this birthday would be different.

Too busy filling the void

When I turned 20, I was preoccupied with trying to get validation from others, mostly from my popular rock star boyfriend. When he dumped me, the newspapers wrote ‘it is probably best for his career that he became single’. I travelled, changed jobs, apartments and was completely lost. I don’t remember how I celebrated my 20th birthday.

When I turned 30, I was busy trying to prove to the world that I could do the hard job of being a female news photographer in Poland. Most of my colleagues were war correspondents. One, who had a special place in my heart, was killed in Iraq. My boyfriend at the time dumped me shortly after my 30th birthday party and brought a hooker into his home the same day.

When I turned 35, I had moved to Berlin to be with the man I had fallen in love with (finally, someone who could commit to a serious relationship!), but he travelled a lot, and I didn’t have many friends. I decided to go back to Sweden to celebrate that birthday with childhood friends on a rooftop terrace in Stockholm. Shortly before the party I got a phone call with bad news from my mother. All I remember is that I drank a lot of alcohol that night.

From victim to creator

When I turned 40, I was married and had given birth to our daughter. I was emotionally exhausted from carrying a lot of responsibility on my own without a much-needed support network of grandparents and other adults. Even if motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me, it was also my most challenging life transition. I celebrated my 40th with a big party in our new apartment. It was a mix of small talk, good food and dancing until the police arrived!

When I turned 45, I had slowed my life down and was in the middle of psychotherapy training, and in therapy myself. I had started my own coaching business, regained my confidence, and found a way to get support while my husband was abroad for weeks at a time. Most importantly, I had turned from being a victim to a creator of my life. I celebrated my 45th birthday with a close circle of women who helped me let go of a big impossible dream.

Feeling free

Now I am 50. I have almost stopped looking outside for validation. I know I’m enough, and that I’m lovable. I don’t have to silently scream ‘PLEASE LOVE ME’. I don’t take on crazy job assignments, hang out with rockstars or get into toxic friendships, and most importantly: I don’t invite, associate with, or allow drama into my life (most of the time). I celebrated my 50th birthday over a whole week at a finca on Mallorca with my husband, daughter and my closest friends.

We laughed, danced, and most of all, I felt FREE. Free from addiction to drama and pleasing others. I celebrated my birthday just the way I wanted, even if that meant it offended some or prevented some from attending. It also meant that we were a smaller group than I had imagined. In the end, it gave me that intimate feeling that I wanted. I had quality conversations with each of my friends, and I will remember this birthday week for the rest of my life.

Tips on how you can create happy memories

  • Drop expectations of others. When you plan an event or birthday celebration, make sure you allow yourself to want what you want. Who do you really want to invite? (I invited friends without their partners and kids).
  • Start saving. If you don’t have a budget for it, make sure to start saving in advance. (I started putting money aside just for this, a few months in advance)
  • Ignore the ‘what ifs’. Don’t let the ‘what ifs’ stop you from planning the perfect party: What if he/she will be upset? What if nobody comes? What if it doesn’t work out? (I didn’t fixate on the number of guests, but rather on creating a nice experience).
  • Don’t let someone convince you to change your mind. Stick with your idea, and make it the way you want it. (I had a few people trying to talk me out of it).
  • Trust that you will find people to help you out. (It took me a long time to find the location, but when I did, it was ideal. I used all possible contacts, offline and online, to ask for help).
  • Express clearly what you wish for. It’s easier for your close ones to make you happy, if you tell them what you need. (Instead of presents I asked my friends to give a speech or a performance).
  • Ask for help on the special day. You don’t want to run around like a headless chicken serving everyone by yourself, make sure to either hire someone to help or ask friends. (I found a chef who cooked the biggest and most delicious paella I’ve ever had!)
My dear friend Natacha always says, ‘let’s make an event out of it!’, and that is my life attitude as well. Make your birthdays count and create memories you will look back on fondly when you’re older, whether it was a small gathering or a big party. The choice is yours.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

7 tips for how to feel at home as an expat in Germany

7 tips for how to feel at home as an expat in Germany

7 tips for how to feel at home as an expat in Germany

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Young female expat overlooking the Spree in Berlin at sunset

Did you know that Germany is ranked as the hardest country for expats to start a new life? No wonder many of us find it difficult to call Deutschland home. After almost 20 years as an expat in Berlin, I have learned how to tackle my love-hate relationship with my new home country.

Dealing with the wait

On Saturday mornings, the queue at the bakery across the street from us looks like an image from communist times.

I have to wait at least an hour every time I go to the doctor, even when I have an appointment.

Before our daughter was born, I had to start looking for a hospital to give birth at, months in advance.

Why does everything take so long??

According to Internations Expat Essentials Index 2023, expats in Germany are united in their criticism of two topics in particular: the country’s backward attitude towards digital connectivity and its snail-pace internet.

A recent client of mine said he is about to give up and return to his country of origin.

He came to Berlin two years ago, managed to get an apartment and a job, but getting a spot for his son at a kindergarten seemed impossible!

Finding housing, a spot for your child in a kindergarten or school, or even registering your child for swimming lessons all involve long waiting lists.

All local bureaucracy, like opening a bank account or getting a residence permit takes forever. Even shopping for groceries after work involves long queues.

So what can we do about it?

Accepting what is

One thing I learned for sure: Fighting against a system you can’t change gets you nowhere.

It will only leave you frustrated and resentful.

If you’re longing to feel more integrated and at home in Germany, you need to let go of the idea that people will approach you with a smile when you need their help!

You moved to a country that feels old fashioned in many ways, a country with people known for their lack of a sense of humour.

And you CHOSE to move here for a different reason, right?

What was the reason you moved to Germany?

I moved to Berlin to live with the man I had fallen in love with. I stayed because we love the vibrancy of the city.

When I get frustrated that things take forever, I remind myself that it’s my choice to live here. I came because there was something here that I couldn’t find in my country of origin.

Along the way I have found a few things that have helped me feel more at home in Germany.

7 ways to feel at home in Germany

  1. Cultivate patience. As there will be long waits at most of your appointments, including at the doctor’s office. Be sure to block out more time than you think you’ll need. Bring a book or some work with you to use the time while waiting.
  2. Decide to be friendly. People working at restaurants and offices might not always smile at you, but if you show friendliness, there is a bigger chance they will treat you a little better.
  3. Create a network. When you struggle to find your way through the jungle of bureaucracy, it’s useful to have a network of other expats and locals to turn to for advice. Join groups on social media to start with.
  4. Get to know your neighbours. It can save you a lot of time if you can just knock on one of your neighbours’ doors and ask a question. Surely there is something you can help them with in exchange.
  5. Learn the language. You come a long way if you can communicate with people on the street, in shops, in offices and institutions. You don’t have to speak or write perfectly, but showing an interest in speaking their language opens many doors.
  6. Make friends. If you find it hard to make German friends then look for friends from the expat community or from your native country. Sharing similar experiences can help you to not feel lonely. 
  7. Ask for help. If you have struggled for a while with bureaucracy and need help, contact Archer Relocation. If you struggle mentally, check out my offers as a coach and psychotherapist. I’d be happy to connect.

Love,

 

 

Share this:

I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

By signing up to receive my journal, you agree to receive emails from me. You can opt out at any time.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy way – with my free guided journal.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy waywith my free guided journal.