Overcoming Self-Doubt, Fear And Anxiety with Bec Van Leeuwen
A Colgate smile and wide open arms. This is how I would describe Bec Van Leeuwen, Founder and lady in charge of Soul Sister Circle. Anyone who has attended one of Soul Sister Circle’s soul nourishing events would remember that ecstatic grin and the welcoming embrace they received from Bec on entering the room. This woman is a bundle of love and one hell of an inspiration!
SSC: You are the creative force behind Soul Sister Circle. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired the vision?
BEC: I first received the inspiration to start Soul Sister Circle about nine months ago. At the time I was overcome with self-doubt and anxiety about the project and so I buried the idea in the far reaches of my mind. Over the months that ensued, Soul Sister Circle would re-emerge from the depths of my mind and occupy my thoughts day and night. I started to receive more inspiration, the visions became clearer and finally, after a gentle nudge from the universe, I surrendered to the call.
I don’t really identify myself as the creative force behind Soul Sister Circle, rather the custodian… the facilitator, chosen to manifest the vision into reality. I am grateful every single day for the opportunity to create this space and to serve all the remarkable women of the Sisterhood
SSC: Have you found starting Soul Sister Circle to be a relatively easy process or has there been challenges along the way?
BEC: As I said, when I first received the inspiration to start Soul Sister Circle I was overcome with self-doubt, fear and anxiety about the project. My ego chimed in with the usual spray of sabotaging taunts “Who do you think you are?” “You don’t know enough to do this!” “There is no way people will take you seriously”. I genuinely tried to push through the fear and ‘do it anyway’, but in the end it was easier to retreat back to the comfort and safety of my otherwise blissful little life.
I buried Soul Sister Circle in the far reaches of my mind. “Yes, it’s a wonderful idea… for someone else” I assured myself. Over the months that followed, Soul Sister Circle would work its way from the depths of my mind to occupy my thoughts on center stage. These thoughts would be there just long enough for me to reaffirm my lack of suitability and then burry them again, each time that little bit deeper, to ensure they wouldn’t return again.
Then one day, I was discussing the idea (for the umpteenth time) with a girlfriend and she said something that profoundly altered my awareness. She said…
“People are really craving meaningful physical world connection with kindred spirits. Women who can relate, inspire and support them as they go out and shine their light in the world. You really just need to get out of the way and let Soul Sister Circle happen already”.
“Could she be right?” I wondered.
Am I really standing in the way of this?
I knew she was right.
Once I made this realisation, I became firm in my commitment to get the f@*k over myself and take action. Not even 24 hours after I had pledged to breathe life into Soul Sister Circle, I received more guidance… The inaugural Soul Sister Circle event was to take place on Winter Solstice. It was beyond perfect! Winter Solstice is all about new beginnings, new intentions and celebrating the return of the light.
From that moment on, Soul Sister Circle has evolved effortlessly. I believe that every step I take is divinely supported and I live by my intention to always follow the guidance I receive, even when it scares me. I’m learning every day and as a result I am growing as a person. And as I create opportunities for women to form deep connections with each other, I am establishing a deeper connection with myself and for that I am eternally grateful.
BEC: My greatest lesson… Gosh, I have learned, and continue to learn so much on this journey, but if I had to pick just one thing I would have to say it is to surrender and trust.
Until recently I had no idea just how much I liked to be in control. I have always identified myself as a cruisy, anything goes kinda girl, and in many areas of my life I am, however, I have come to realise that underlying this spontaneous, adventure seeking Gemini is a total control freak! The evolution of Soul Sister Circle has really shown me that my idea of control is a complete illusion, something I created in my mind to help me feel safe, secure and significant in the world.
Instead of control, I am now choosing to remain in flow and am committed to accepting and embracing everything the universe gives to me with wide arms, an open mind and a grateful heart.
SSC: Does this change the way you operate your business?
BEC: Absolutely! In the corporate world I was forever pushing, striving and orchestrating. I worked to strict deadlines, I was all about getting the most bang for buck, looking at the bottom line and creating products that would sell and yield a good return on investment. This approach was never going to fly with Soul Sister Circle, in fact, on the few occasions that I fell back into old habits and tried to push my way forward, sh!t went horribly wrong.
My approach these days is starkly different to my old ways and many would say counterintuitive to running a successful business but for me, it’s exactly how things need to be right now.
Now instead of pushing, I wait … I wait to receive the guidance and inspiration that spills forth from that place of love and service. This can sometimes make planning difficult, however, I really feel that Soul Sister Circle needs this space to evolve organically.
Instead of bottom lines and return on investments, I am now choosing to focus all my attention on the divine thread that connects us all and trust that the universe will guide and support us along this journey together. Don’t get me wrong, I still definitely have a solid freak out every now and then, mostly when I’m feeling tired and the voice of my inner critic speaks up, however, I am becoming much more at ease with hearing this commentary and letting it wash over me without attachment.
Another new strategy for me is to ask for divine help when I need it. As a solo-prenuer who adores (and in fact needs) to work with others, I often get lonely and crave the connection and collaboration of others. One day, I will surround myself with a team of earth angels to help share Soul Sister Circle with the world, however until such time, my cosmic team of angels and guides are there whenever I’m feeling stuck, vulnerable or fearful.
And finally, I celebrate all that this journey has brought into my life on a daily basis. I honestly have to pinch myself sometimes when I think about all the blessings that Soul Sister Circle has delivered into my life. I have met some wildly inspiring women and have the honour of creating and experiencing beautiful events that unite soulful women together to inspire, teach, learn, grow and raise each other up. This journey has allowed me to see the power and potential of my true essence and given me eyes to see, in a way I could not recognise before, that we are all connected. But perhaps the greatest gift of all is that Soul Sister Circle has shown me the path to walk my soul journey.
SSC: Before starting Soul Sister Circle you were a Life Coach. Do you still coach?
BEC: I spent three years studying and working as a Life Coach before starting Soul Sister Circle. I absolutely love coaching and am forever grateful that I received the call to leave the corporate arena and become a coach all those years ago. Without the knowledge and awareness I gained through that experience, I don’t think I would have found the courage I needed to launch into Soul Sister Circle.
My plan was always to continue coaching whilst running Soul Sister Circle, however, life had a different idea for me. I found I was attracting a lot of clients who where stuck in a life that wasn’t completely satisfying them. They knew exactly what was calling them, yet fear, self-doubt and low self-worth was preventing them from taking action. The longer I worked with these clients, the more frustrated I became. “Why won’t they just do it already?” “Why can’t they see that they already have everything they need to start this?” “Why do they want to keep telling themselves the same bullsh!t stories over and over again?” And then it hit me like a fatal truth bomb dropped from the heavens. OMG! I’m coaching myself!
With this new level of awareness I knew I had to take a step back from coaching clients and the coaching practice I had spent so long building. This wasn’t an easy decision but a necessary one, and again, I am deeply thankful for the lessons I have gained through the journey.
SSC: What does the future hold for Soul Sister Circle?
BEC: There are a lot of beautiful and exciting plans in the pipeline, like expanding into new locations, new events and a magnificent new distribution channel that will support the Sisterhood to tell their stories and share their wisdom with the world.
I suspect there are many more innovations to come through and I am just so excited to see what magic lies ahead as the Sisterhood expands and we each go out into the world and shine our lights.
Bec Van Leeuwen is a truth-seeker, devoted wife and mother, a globe-trotter, a nature lover and a human potential activist. Her mission is to support and inspire awakening women who are on a quest to create real and lasting change in their lives, their communities and the world.