Dark Thoughts

Get ready to be uncomfortable.

Today, I would like to talk about something very dark. Thoughts that some of us, or our friends and family, may have had. Thoughts so dark, they are typically deemed a taboo to even be brought up, straight up poison for anybody aiming to please social media algorithms.

Today, we‘re talking about suicide.

Recently, the ex-partner of someone in my close family decided to take his life. While this made me revisit some of my own dark thoughts in the past days, it also left me wondering what could have been done to stop this from happening. What kind of conversations should have been had with him? What kind of help would he have needed to see that other options exist and that life can be beautiful.

I’ve always had a troubled relationship with the concept of death and the longing for not being here anymore.

On several occasions in my life, I was faced with people that voiced such thoughts to me. Thankfully, all of them only verbalizing these thoughts and feelings, not actualizing them into any attempts on their life. But the question always remains the same – how do you react?

You might have a more severe and concerned reaction the first time, offering help, having a longer conversation. But what if a person repetitively hints at their will to die over weeks, months, maybe years. Do you start growing numb to it? Dismissing it? Do you see it as a cry for help or a cry for attention?

As so often in life, I feel the answer to those questions is to have an open, honest and compassionate conversation.

Let’s not take the easy route of simply dismissing suicidal thoughts with words like „Don’t worry, it’ll get better“, „Just go to therapy“ or „Come on, your life isn’t that bad“.

Instead of moving away, we should be getting closer: Actually ask, why do you want to die? What is it that you think will happen if you take this step? What longing do you think will be fulfilled by this? What is it that you really want and need? And what help can I give you?

Maybe, just maybe, such soothing words can sway a troubled mind.

I hope that, should you ever find yourself in a situation like that, you remember this post. I hope that it can help some of you find the right words, and reach out yourself if you need help.

Stay safe out there.

Feeling Stuck

It’s 2:48 pm, the pasta carbonara from lunch still heavy in my stomach, I’m sitting in front of a steaming hot cup of coffee with a few excel sheets open on my laptop. In my head – just silence.

If there’s one thing I hate, its “feeling #stuck”.

Recently, I had been working on a project I felt very passionate about. Even though we put in lots of hours and effort, it ended up not convincing as many clients as I hoped it would. From my perspective, I had done everything needed to convert my hard work into success. Yet – my expectations were never met.

In moments like these, it’s easy to start descending into a spiral of negativity, full of self-doubt, disappointment and regret. I felt stuck – out of ideas and out of motivation.

When the results we see don’t line up with the expectations we had, its important to remember two things:

1. Every process, no matter the outcome, comes with personal growth and new insights

2. My own expectations shape how I perceive any outcome – letting go of my expectations helps me to keep moving

I sit back and smile. Maybe it didn’t work out this time, I think to myself. Maybe the timing wasn’t right, maybe the price was too high, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. But I have trust – a deep, inner trust that everything is exactly as it should be. That the universe has other plans for me, and that the path to success comes with many hurdles – all of which I have to conquer to achieve my ultimate goal.

So let’s think positive: even if a project didn’t take off in the way we hoped, we learned a lot along the way and are now more prepared for similar challenges.

What are your experiences with „getting stuck“?


Has this ever happened to you?
Your day starts out neat and tidy, but hour after hour things just seem to spiral out of control:
An urgent e-mail comes in, your boss wants to see you, your neck starts hurting, your partner asks you to pick up groceries on the way home and the one deadline you‘ve been grinding to meet is nearing every hour.

Panic sets in. Frustration ensues. Why, why, why me, why now.
What follows is a wave of negative emotions, a sensation of heaviness, suffrage and desperation. The more you think of it, the worse it gets, and you start seeing the rest of your day through a lens of negativity.
Let‘s call this aspect of your personality „the sufferer“. All the sufferer feels is pain and powerlessness, he goes in circles complaining to anyone and everyone about the things he cannot change.

What if there was a way to escape this loop? Let‘s talk about another aspect of your personality: „the caretaker“.
The caretaker is loving, patient, relaxed and most of all – understanding. He‘s like the mother or father of the inner child that lives in all of us. Even on days that we don‘t get the positive reaffirmation we seek from our peers and colleagues, this inner caretaker can provide it for us.

In practice, this means cancelling plans or taking the rest of the day off when you‘re hitting your limits. Not because you‘re weak or lazy, but because a stable mood and clear thoughts are the number one factor for efficient work.
What’s the point of sinking two more hours into a lost-cause task when you could spend that time efficiently taking care of yourself and making sure you‘re back on track, mentally and physically, before you try completing any more tasks. Sometimes its better to cross a deadline than to deliver a bad result born out of frustration.

Selfcare is not a luxury. It‘s a necessity. Without it, the loop of frustration and agony will intensify and carry on to the next hours and days.
So here‘s a little task for everyone: next time you feel „the sufferer“ taking hold of you – let „the caretaker“ embrace him with open arms. Be there for yourself. Take a break, give yourself a pat on the back and simply focus on recovering. You‘ll be surprised how much faster you‘re back on track!


In work as in life – you reap what you sow.

During my years of working with various companies on projects big and small, I encountered many high skilled, well-educated young professionals. It might be a final year student, a PhD student or a recent graduate that has just started out in their career.

Whenever I have conversations with these high-potential newcomers, I seem to notice a trend. They speak of long hours, overtime, sparse payment and little appreciation for the work they do.
Often times, this ends with them leaving the company, resulting in a high fluctuation of young talent.

Now, of course, for young professionals it’s to be expected to not receive the same or similar pay as their more experienced and seasoned colleagues. Usually, this discrepancy in salary and appreciation is justified with less responsibility and liability within the company.

To a certain degree, this phenomenon is completely understandable. At the same time, two people performing the same job with similar output should receive equal pay or at least equal appreciation for the work they do. Especially when their performance is no different from their more experienced peers.
Losing such high-potential young employees due to the high expectations towards them not only creates negative feedback for the employee, but also for the company in question: No new inspirations, no new perspectives and ideas, just a constant stream of fresh brain capacity to use up and toss out.

In my impression, many CEOs and superiors either do not care or do not realize the loss of potential that comes along with this “burning” of their most skilled, most recently trained and most motivated recruits.
Over the past 30 years, I’ve witnessed some of the most talented and dedicated workers leaving their first job. After putting in countless extra hours, weekends working, blood, sweat and tears, all in the hopes that their efforts won’t go unnoticed. Only to go unnoticed and unappreciated. Just thank you, next!

It’s time to start treating trainees and young recruits based on their performance, not just their experience or lack thereof. They are the seeds of a company’s future and they are needed to ensure healthy growth for the years to come.

Inner critic

Who is the master, who is the slave?

My inner critic is my own worst enemy.
How many times a day do you hear that tiny, nagging voice in the back of your head that constantly judges, criticises and belittles everything you do?

It seems no matter how much I get done, how efficient I work, how well I perform – there’s always a part of me that tells me „you could have done better“.
The way I actually am and the way I would like to be rarely line up, an inner conflict arises, I feel out of balance and disappointed with myself. I’ve been working all day and yet, I feel unaccomplished.
How did we get here?

Let’s break out of this cycle:
It‘s like the tale of the two wolves that live inside you: one being supportive and one being critical of everything you do.
The wolves are always fighting. But only the one you choose to feed will win.

It‘s time to starve out the inner critic!
His intentions may be to help us advance in life, but his words aren’t helpful and he takes up valuable resources and space in our already cluttered minds.

From today on, I want to stop being a slave to my own unrealistic expectations. Instead, I choose a more caring, nurturing approach: acknowledging the inner critic as a part of me, but not letting it control me. I am enough. I do enough. I will love myself the way I am.

Join me in my journey to a healthier and more balanced mindset! How do you deal with your inner critic?


Patience is a virtue! Especially patience with yourself.

Has this ever happened to you?
You planned out your day so well – a 9 am meeting, a few hours of responding to emails, lunch break, another meeting scheduled for afternoon and then an afternoon jog to complete the day. You’ve got it all set up!
Then, one thing after another starts falling apart: a meeting gets moved, a key client isn’t picking up the phone, the printer isn’t working and you start to see your carefully-built plan crumble. Already slightly annoyed, you cancel your workout plans as well.
Don‘t you wanna scream? Argh! Why did you even make plans?

On days like that, remember that a well structured and fulfilled day is based on two things: having a plan and being flexible if said plan changes. Sometimes, things just aren’t in our hands!
I’ve been trying to be more accepting of the things I can‘t control, to show patience and to adjust my expectations if needed.
The reward? Inner peace! I feel calm and gratified, I already did everything to make sure I have the best day possible.

I‘m the queen in my own kingdom – I set my own expectations and I take responsibility for my own well-being. No matter how the day goes ??

Bad influences

Sometimes, it‘s hard to see bad influences in our life for what they are – it might be a toxic relationship, a stressful work environment or bad sleep and eating habits.

As humans, we easily grow used to negative feedback-loops we face in our everyday life. Seeing them for what they are is step one in the process of breaking free!

I would like to start this week with a resolution: being more critical of the things and people that cause negative emotions in me.

Which unhealthy habits are you struggling with?


This fancy picture was taken at last week‘s Lumina Connect gala-dinner, together with my new japanese friend Megumi Okugiri ??

Sometimes, we forget the importance of a night full of carefree fun in a busy work week.
Usually, the big celebrations happen at the end of a conference or seminar – this time, it happened on day one!
While this meant that some of us (definitely not me…) were a little in need of coffee the next morning, it also meant that we experienced the next two days with a sense of warm unity, joy and released tension.
In times that we face a lot of crisis and bad news, be it from war, the economy or other sources, it‘s important to take the time to have some moments of celebration together. To gift each other a few hours of happiness and laughter.

I hope to meet many of you again soon – have a great weekend everyone!


If I had to sum up my experience in London in one word, this would be it.
After attending the #Lumina Connect conference past week, my mind has been replenished and rejoiced with inspiration, hope and vigour. And I would like to share my excitement with you all!

For those of you that aren‘t familiar with #psychometrics, it might seem like Lumina is just another tool for consultants to sell their services to the corporate world.
You may ask yourself, how does this impact me, why should I care?

Let me take a moment to paint a picture for you:
Think of your typical middle or upper level managing director. Maybe its a busy guy or girl with a 60-hour work week, a partner and kids at home and with 20 plus years of professional and life experience under their belt.
Think of all the ways a person like that has direct and indirect influence over the everyday lives of hundreds, maybe thousands.

Now imagine a world that was led by individuals fully in touch with themselves, their emotions, their trials and tribulations and with a holistic approach to corporate decisions.
Lumina hands us a tool to fulfil this dream: by determining and encouraging our diverse skill sets, traits and characters, being in touch with our inner selves and considering our individuality in building teams and task forces.
One of the speakers at the Lumina Connect conference, Cat-Thao Nguyen, especially inspired me with her style of leadership coaching, addressing exactly this topic.

A big thank you to all the speakers for telling us about their journeys! I am so happy to see and feel that we can truly make a change in this world if we put our mind to it.
I‘m grateful to be part of the wonderful, forward-thinking and positive-minded community of Lumina. Together, we can make a difference – together, we can help make the world a better place for all of us.


Challenge accepted!

Have you faced a challenge this week that put you out of your comfort zone?

I sure have!
While attending the Lumina Connect conference in London, I participated in a challenge called „60 seconds consultant“.
The task was to spontaneously speak about a random topic that was assigned once we walked on stage, for 60 seconds.

Confidently, I walked on stage – and the topic I got was „your best dance moves“.
Of course, I immediately handed back the microphone – is there a better way to explain my best moves than simply showing them? Nope!
So I took a deep breath and danced my heart out in front of 160 people ??
To my surprise, I received overwhelming positive feedback from the other participants and it ended up truly making my day!

How would you face such a challenge?

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