The power of being different

Inspiration shot August 2022

I’ve always been different. A loner. A thinker. I haven’t always felt understood. Never really belonged anywhere. Didn’t want to belong. Maybe I told myself that’s what I wanted, because I didn’t understand the social ‘rules’ and how people interact with each other. Over the years I learned the ‘codes’, but they always felt strange to me, like I was learning the rules of a game I didn’t want to play anyway. When I tried to be like others I didn’t feel happy and besides, I never managed to blend in anyway.
Later I discovered how I could turn my differences and previous ‘weaknesses’ into my strengths. Now I can be completely my authentic self.
Many special people have felt like outsiders when they were young (and often still do today). What if we no longer see our authenticity as a ‘disability’, but instead discover its power and learn how to use it?
This Inspiration Shot gives some tips that may also be useful for the kids around us (and our ‘inner child’).

Letter to my younger self

A few years ago, I was invited to contribute to a book, giving my younger self the advice I so badly needed then. As an adult, I wrote everything I needed to know as a child. Read my letter and maybe you’ll write one to your younger self too?

Survivor and bullying

Recently I showed someone the final episode of my Survivor experience (turn on the English captions). The fact that everyone was ‘against’ me and treated me so unfairly still has impact. The only reason I didn’t doubt myself, while 7 people ignored me or argued with me, 24 hours a day for 10 days, was that they started doing that from the first minute we met. If they had waited a little longer, they would have had me believe it was because of me. Now I know it had to come from somewhere else. Of course the entire TV production is aimed to create conflict. I still don’t understand how a group can target a single individual aiming to ‘break’ that person.
How do you deal with outsiders? Do you perceive them as threats? Are you curious about people who are different, or do you exclude them? Do you let yourself be affected when others react to you this way, or can you put it in perspective? What can we learn from this?

Workshop: Find your own voice

You have an important message to share, but you don’t like being in the spotlight. You think promotion and sales are not for you.

I have found a way to share my life, tips and offers in a way that feels natural to me and provides inspiration and added value to my followers. And it’s easy to create a lot of content. A win-win situation!
In this live online session on Wednesday, August 17, we talk about visibility, personal branding and social media for authors, entrepreneurs, coaches, speakers and digital nomads.

You CAN have the same impact online as you do offline, in a personal & natural way.

Inspiration bites

Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers

One of my favourite authors discusses the secret of success in this book.

Outliers is about misfits, aptitude, good luck and the power of repetition: the 10,000 hour rule.

Lennie finished her book!

Lennie found her own voice during a year of ‘from idea to book’ workshops and write-focus sessions. Now her book is finished! She describes how she recovered from lung cancer and how her relationship with her father, who died when she was only a child, helped her.

The brand New Testament

“God exists, and he lives in Belgium”.
This hilarious movie turns everything we think we know upside down. And it shows that beautiful things can happen when you dare to stand up and be radically yourself.


Do people tell you that you have to ‘choose’, while doing many different things makes you happy?
Maybe you are a multipotentialite. This TED talk shows you how to fully embrace and utilize that.

Did you know...?

… that I’ve always had some autistic traits? My brain works differently and is extremely fast. I can read super fast and spot connections. But I cannot remember names, for example… and my sense of direction is lamentable.
Because of my speed and directness I sometimes lose people.
During my studies I was able to ‘scan’ 30 pages per hour. Just by reading once, I remembered everything in the textbook. With my visual memory I could even reproduce complete diagrams. That regularly gave me A’s while my fellow students who studied much harder got unsatisfactory marks. That wasn’t good for the friendship, I can tell you ;(
Now I have found a way to use those skills to make people happy, while I can be myself at full capacity. As a writing coach I ‘scan’ a manuscript in no time and can then help the writer to improve the structure and add different layers to their story. Plus I can summarise the essentials in a back cover. Often 1 RESULTant session is enough. Joyce experienced it and even calls it ‘magical’ in the video below.

Where is Esther?

One of my tenants is on vacation and so I was able to rent my own apartment from him for a few weeks. I really enjoy being in Amsterdam. I actually don’t understand why everyone is going on holiday right now, because the summer in the Netherlands is so much more pleasant in terms of climate than Southern Europe 🥵
Of course I also ‘had to’ go to Puglia to record the purchase of a new apartment at the notary, with 38 degrees. There turned out to be so much work for the ongoing renovations that I decided to stay longer. It’s so important to talk to each of the construction teams and be on site.
This week I’m in Italy again: I am hosting a Turkish ‘alchemist’ who may have a cure for the deadly xylella bacteria in my olive trees. You can follow the operation #savemytrees on @TinyTrullo.
There was another nice surprise in Puglia; I met my Virtual Assistant Jelena for the first time. We had been working together online for over 2 years. Our meeting was captured on video. Jelena was the first guest to stay in my Tiny Trullo. Now it was mainly camping (check out Jelena’s Instagram reel), soon it will be really comfortable. From September I will make Italy my base there for a while.

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