The best metaphor to describe Julia is a molten chocolate cake: sweet and tough on the outside, soft and mellow on the inside. This extroverted and outgoing 25-year-old German girl is always the first to jump up during a session of sharing, or to offer help. You would never believe that she has ever suffered from a lack of confidence.
Back in her final year of university as a student in Occupational Therapy, her terrible internship experience negatively impacted her self-esteem. According to Julia, ‘My internship mentor just criticized me every day on everything which I did wrong. After being soaked in negative comments for three months, I just seriously [began to] doubt myself.’
Her confidence was gone, and her positive personality disappeared: ‘Confidence to me is a protective wall with holes, this confidence wall can filter all negative energy and emotion, and only the factual information will leak through the holes, but after my wall of confidence was destroyed, I was just skeptical about everything, and took negative comments really personally. My mood was always greatly impacted by it.’
Earlier this year, Julia spent some time at New Life Foundation, beginning as a volunteer and then changing to become a resident so that she could participate in the program. She recalled that her most memorable life coaching session was when, ‘I was asked to draw out my whole life and to map out events which formed me. I just cracked down when I talked about my internship. It was about two years ago, and I thought it had passed and would not impact me anymore. But I still feel very emotional… I had to face my emotions and deal with them’.
Self confidence improvement and letting go were Julia’s main areas of focus at New Life. With the help of Enneagram, life coaching and meditation, she is well on her way there.
Why do you choose to come to New Life?
New Life is a community, you can learn a lot from each other. Nobody is more superior, everyone helps each other, and accepts who you are.
What’s your most memorable and enjoyable moment in New Life?
The 3-hour meditation on last Friday. I never imagined myself of doing it. After that I feel so calm and peaceful. It’s like every cell in my body is being energized, and I would love to keep this energy in me.
What’s the biggest challenge for you here?
To accept myself and love myself, without always wanting to achieve, to enjoy the current moment rather than rushing to a goal. When I was a kid, my parents would accuse me of being lazy if I want to play. I think it’s because of my German culture, where people always want to achieve.
If you had to sum up your experience here in one line for future residents, what would it be?
New Life will help you to find yourself, your inner happiness and joy in life.
* Thanks to our volunteer E for this special guest post