Stephanie Pastucha- Follow your dream
Follow your dream. Believe in yourself and change your world for the better
By Fati Gorezi
Stephanie grew up in Germany in a small city named Wuppertal. She finished school after the 10th grade and has two completed educations as a foreign language assistant and foreign trade clerk. When she was 16 her life changed because of an accident that occurred in Italy at a port. Today she knows that her accident gave her the purpose of her life and she wants to share her experience and inspire others with her story, because her bad experience in life has actually made her stronger. She started her own Coaching business to help others to overcome obstacles in their life as well as a Cryptocurrency Investor.
How do you remember your early life as a young girl?
Remembering the early times of my life makes me smile. I was very confident about myself, enjoyed my childhood, I had big dreams that directed my acting and motivations. I was in love with modelling and dancing. At the age of 16, however, an accident changed my life completely and abruptly. I suffered three heavy incinerations that only slowly healed over time. As a result of those, my self-confidence suffered, and I didn’t like my body anymore and felt ugly. A real crisis arose; and it took me years to overcome that phase. I had to learn incredibly hard, that if you are not happy with yourself because of an imbalance between heart, body and soul, it is very hard to live a good balanced life. So, I was torn between the dreams of a real princess and the swinging doors of female hell. My dreams got smaller, lost colour and my soul was more and more sinking into the darkness of sadness and depression. Still like a twinkling star, from time to time, my dreams still knocked at my door and whispered to open and let them in. But, honestly said, they only rarely succeeded. So, with that entry ticket I started into my adult life.
How would you describe the moment when you found your life purpose?
It is hard to name an exact time with that history. I turned from unburdened and optimistic, not having any concerns and anxiety into deeply depressed and scared within a few moments after that dramatic and radical event. Before that I just saw the beauty of my life and all the opportunities and wonders they automatically brought to my days as my purpose. Thereafter, I just wanted to have the prior experience back and became blind to the real purpose. Nevertheless, I always thought I had to become something special and unique but could never really define it. So, instead, I focused on getting clear with the burden that I was carrying and overcoming the shock that these events were creating to my virgin juvenile life. As the dreams of my youth were destroyed in just one little moment, there was no natural evolution in my dreams and their path into the definition of my life purpose. It’s strange, but I think I just wanted back what I had before and was commiserating myself. Purpose was no longer driven by dreams, but by pain and anxiety that I could never become again what I was before. The girl that was completely trusting, full of energy, emotions, dreams and passion for the beauty of life. So, I became purely reactive in purpose definition. Instead of searching the real purpose and my destiny, I quarreled with myself and what I lost became the holy unachievable grail, substituting the real willingness to evolve into the next level of me becoming a woman.
I think a lot of people at times see themselves as a passive recipient of whatever life brings, rather than realising that they are in control of their own destiny. What would you say to wake people up to their own power, their own sense of control over their lives?
I start with the importance of learning about yourself. Self-awareness is an important first step in taking control of your life, driving your dreams to become real and with that, mastering your future. Getting clarity about your dreams, your desires, your wishes and ambitions will enable you to focus on where you want to spend your energy. Where you choose to focus your emotions and personality determines what you will become and what you will achieve. Being self-aware brings you into the driver’s seat of your destiny. In addition, it allows you to direct your actions and adopt them on a continuous way in order to achieve the desired outcomes. This may include pro-active changes in your personality and the way you are dealing with challenges and emotions. This becomes a life long learning process. In the absence of such self awareness and the resulting learning process you will be more driven and reactive than mastering your own life and destiny. Self-awareness is the result of self-reflection and that means opening yourself up to listening to the feedback of others. Dropping your mask and allowing others to become your mirror. Learning from the richness of experiences others have had and getting constant input on the engine of your self-development. Protecting yourself too is important, as feedback processes and “mirroring” might significantly reduce your ability to feed your inner self-development engine. The biggest obstacles are: Anxiety, exaggerated introvertism, walls that you build around you for protection purposes and doubting your own skills and strengths.
Most of us are living our lives on autopilot, unconsciously. Even for myself I find it takes a lot of effort, because we’re not brought up to watch our thoughts, to even be aware of what we’re thinking, because we don’t really know how to pay attention to our inner world. What advice would you have on that?
These days external distractions are numerous and we all are victim of the influence of media and the faster and faster ticking world. The amount of tasks and duties we are confronted with is huge and we find a teasing distraction at every corner of our journey. In order to get more focused on our inner richness, we need to find time and silence in our stressed lifes. We have to intentionally reduce the amount of tasks and need to set clear priorities. Nobody can really work on more than five priorities within one period of time. Full dedication to those five will make us evolve while the other ones must wait until there is room and time for them. I got used to being aware of my priorities day and night and avoiding the distractions from other “monkeys”. These have either to wait or I give them into other caring hands. This leads to a much healthier work/ life balance, where we care about the three key pillars of our lives as human beings; our families and friends, our career and our own self-development. If one of these pillars breaks, everything will break and we will be driven instead of creating our own destiny. Most people forget about the third pillar, their self-development and with that they become managed instead of managing themselves. Focusing on self-development means to dedicate time to your dreams, energy to your emotions and fantasies and willingness to socially engage. The latter one definitively in personal contact and not over social media. Once this balance is achieved, the wonder called ‘life’ will flourish as energies will freely flow between the different aspects of our personality and ambition, emotions and health will be aligned and fully integrated into our journey.
How do you personally stay centered and balanced? What tools do you use or recommend?
A healthy soul is living in a healthy body. Do you know that every cell in our body is renewed every seven years with the exception of those in our brain? So, we have a brand-new body every seven years that is built out of what we eat. So first, it is very important to feed your body with good ingredients, a healthy soul only can blossom in a healthy body. In addition, it needs the right balance between rest and activity. Some of us stay too much on the stress side and only feel comfortable if action is always available. These individuals will overuse their resources and collapse. Others are not able to motivate themselves to get in motion and sink into depression, so the entire system is under-used and it gets ill. Balance between activity and rest including self-reflection is highly important. Last but not least, active mind control is my key to a happier life. “You will become, what you dare to dream about today”. Imagination and visualisation play a key role in healthy growth and getting closer to your dreams. There are various ways of doing so. Mind techniques, training and books are available. Everybody has to choose the one that fits best: Meditation, Silva Mind techniques, NLP, autogenous training and numerous others are available. They all enable you to visualise your dreams, your future and balance you and your energy flow in today’s life. Just be aware: Negative images will create negative future, positive ones a positive future. Take control over this powerful instrument and design your own destiny by starting today. Master your life and don’t allow yourself to be the slave of the pictures that others project into you.
When you look out at humanity, right now, at the world, what do you think is at the root of the serious problems that women are facing?
Looking back into the history of mankind, matriarchy was the foundation of early but very rich cultures. The wisdom and power of women were governing the social life as a natural principle. Nevertheless, this natural leadership was built on honest female strengths. The power to give birth, the creativity and the wisdom of the “Goddess”. This principle was not reducing males in their own strengths, not neglecting that males are physically stronger, better prepared to protect and feed the family. Roles were clear and defined and served the natural needs of a family or a clan with females, males and children. Once patriarchy took over from matriarchy this principle was no longer held. Males continued to live and govern on their strengths, but reduced females to the serving parts of their skills, the caring and nursing ones, the sexual and representing ones. With the increase in education, freedom of travelling between cultures and upcoming equal rights initiatives, women emancipated themselves and started to claim their stake in leadership positions and decision making. And here is where the biggest mistake happened. Women did not try to evolve on their natural strengths but on trying to copy the male style. If you look at successful female leaders in corporations or in the political environment, they all act like men do, follow the same principles and rules of the male world. As a matter of fact, a woman can never be a better man and that is leading to significant problems. Those women, that act the female way, are reduced to the physical and the caring part of their skills. Sex sells, sexism is a major problem in today’s world that women are suffering from – and this can be seen in a broader scope with women suffering from the role definition given to them: Caring wife, supporting home base, sexual object, status symbol and accessory to a man.
Now this is not even the biggest problem. Women that are successful by doing it the male way are now understanding that they will never be a ‘better man’ and suffer from being treated unfairly in pay and recognition for their work. Women generally receive less for comparable work and effort than men and never achieve parity. My conclusion is that as long as women will not build their ambition and careers on their key female natural strengths, equal rights will stay an illusion. And the change has not only to come from the male part of the world but also and very intensively from us. We did it once in matriarchy and we can do it again.
What are the key messages that you want to share with our readers?
I’ll split this answer into two pieces, my lessons learned from my own crisis and mindset aspects. Sometimes we lose ourselves, driven by crisis, missing clarity on who we are and where we want to go. We are hurt, lose self-confidence and are afraid of whether we are complying with the expectations on us. This happened to me after my accident. All my confidence was gone. I had to redefine my baseline, I had to change. Change is hard, brings uncertainty, but change drives growth! The only way that we can evolve, is if we grow.
The only way that makes us grow is if we change. The only way we can change is if we learn about ourselves and dare to take a risk of being exposed.
Life is like a river, sometimes we are teased to stand at its shore and watch the current passing by. Exposure means being part of it, jump into the river and participate with all the related risks and challenges. But only like that we will see new sceneries and will no longer be caught in our small little world and maybe one day arrive in the land of our dreams. Attitude is a choice, happiness is a choice as well as optimism, kindness, honesty and respect. The choice starts with our dreams and daring to dream them. Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more? The second part is very simple; whatever we want, whatever we do whatever our ambition is, let’s try to do it the female way, built on our unique strengths such as creativity and emotional competences. Only like that we will become really successful, in the other case we will just become second class men.
In this modern society that we live now, what are three advantages and three new challenges for women around the world?
As women we have our own strengths and living them creates the advantages. Modern society has proven that gender diversity is an asset, diverse organisations are much more successful than other ones and Companies are desperately looking for female talent in leadership positions. In addition, the employment market has turned from an employer to an employee market. The female part of population in universities is increasing almost annually especially in traditionally male dominated segments. We shall use this power in order to drive fair pay for comparable work. The economy needs us, so we shall get paid in a fair way for it. Driven by the above, the industries also learn slowly to deploy flexible work time models in order to allow us to combine our roles in the family with our careers. Obviously, this modern society brings other new challenges. The learning process ticks faster and faster. Career interruptions due to maternity leaves etc. are becoming massive issues in terms of staying up to date. We are disadvantaged here versus our male colleagues or have to take harder decisions such as giving up on our family ambitions to the benefit of our careers.
A further clear challenge is the increased degree of sexual content in all aspects of life. Sex sells. And women are making fortunes by taking profit from that trend in all kind of domains. The challenge now is perception i.e. how do we show up as a ‘female’ part of the world? With our body and smile or with our competences and skills? And if we decide on both, how do we combine these things on order that one aspect is not harming the other one? Last but not least, equal rights should become the standard and nothing to fight for anymore. The day where we will not need “World Women Day” anymore, we will have achieved what we wanted. Equality and fair treatment! But that means that we participate with our female strengths and also get clear on what we want and how we want to be perceived.
What business advice would you give to women that want to have a career like yours?
As I’m in the consulting business, here is the basic rule: Understand yourself regarding what you want to teach. It is very important that I’m in balance with my own personality, my own ambitions and my own way of focusing myself before I can give good advice. Theories will not help me to be successful because I’ll only be authentic if I live myself what I teach and propose. This means continued and lifelong learning and self-development. In addition, it’s all about your network. Networking is an important way of improving contacts with key decision makers in business. A way of developing personal relationships in order to make others be receptive for what you have to offer. Increasing your personal network will serve you as an instrument to advertise your offerings based on principle trust. A network is self creating through referrals, once you’ll have a base, the base will help you to broaden it to your target markets. Social media platforms can significantly help you to ramp up solid networks very fast and efficiently, especially in the B2C market.
What are three steps that you would encourage women to take to empower themselves?
Have a dream and live it every day. Visualise it and then work hard to break it down into a strategy which is your unique path into having your dream materialised. Break your strategy down into programs, with dedicated resources and milestones and measure yourself against achieving those. Stay focused on your top priorities and don’t get distracted by all the other things one could also do. That way you will evolve. And never forget – don’t stop dreaming. What you dare to dream about today, you will become tomorrow.