I left my flat in London, my career in the film industry and today I’m celebrating my fourth day working at a hostel in Granada, Nicaragua.

My day consists in welcoming clients into the hostel, sell tours and have fun (sometimes I pretend, until the smile does come out naturally). Ah, and learn to deal with the emotional reactivity from those around me and myself. In short, I’m an unpaid intern with managerial skills, two languages, one BA, countless lists of diplomas and studies and a career as a life coach ahead.

If you ever feel like a challenge, forget marathons, all the mudder comps out there and even #IronMan, just try to forget the imaginary status you thought you achieved after all those sleepless nights of replying emails and tidying up spreadsheets. Throw away the memories of all those you called assistants, the lady who you referred to as ‘your cleaner’, even when she wasn’t “yours” to take in the first place, but never mind the technicism.

Delete from the hard drive your bank statements and learn to live off a bunk bed, breakfast, lunch and one drink a day as payment for 6 hours of work whilst standing with no break. Change the folder where you saved all your invoices to a password protected one so who you be tempted to flick through your past income and have a self-doubt attack.

Because in my 38 years of age, I have never ever done anything more rewarding, more meaningful and more reassuring than serving others the way I am today.

When one of the managers mansplained to me how to change an order, and the following day a colleague told me that showing emotions and crying over stuff isn’t attractive, hence, I should be seeking psychological help. It’s just eye opening, self-discovery just got juicy.

The certainty that I am in the right place doing the right thing came to me so clearly today, in the shape of self-talk. I could spend hours making myself miserable thinking about all the things I thought I had once and call myself crazy, pointless, lost, ridiculous and so on. Self-talk can be destructive as well as useful, it’s just a matter on the angle and the words you chose.

When all my friends are settling down, I’m unsettling in. Crazy? Yes, maybe. But I’m free. I’m underpaid, yes. But I don’t have more responsibilities than the ones I write on my planner. Am I pointless or lost? Absolutely, not! I am being creative and brave by living humbly and shower with cold water every day.

Part of making self-talk useful, is to use the same words but to re-organise them and give them a softer context. Because, guys, words matter, and it’s a challenge to start listening to the way we talk to ourselves and realise we can be our worse enemy. Not even a stranger will be as harsh as we are to ourselves.

I used to be a little mean, self-righteous, and harsh on my opinions. I used to talk to myself and others in ways that were never will promote positive change. Now, the tricky part about changing self-talk is the fact we’re use to certain language. As a test, write down your favourite self-talk phrases, the poignant ones and share them with a close friend, see if you can actually finish the exercise and send me a note of the experience. So far, must people will be very ashamed of even writing those things down, let alone share it with others. There is where the insight comes, if you can’t say it out loud, you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself in the first place.

So here are some useful phrases you can adjust to your personal needs and situation. I either write them on my journal or recite them as a shower, maybe on your commute they can come pretty handy.

I’m smiling more today.

Today, I am softer and more open.

It doesn’t matter what it gets done or doesn’t, I’m enough.

Yes, I made a mistake, how can I fix it.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you (I inherited this one from Tony Robbins’ DWD back in 2016, it is very powerful and useful!)

Love & Light