Hi there,

5 years ago, I l was a different person. I was doing yoga every single day, would compliment complete strangers on their haircut, and wouldn’t even blink an eye when seeing my neighbor whose outfit of choice was a tiny golden sock that sort-of-covered his genitals.

I was living in the Castro (the gay village of San Francisco) at the time, and was surrounded by ultra-healthy extraverted, liberal, genderbending hippies. And of course that influenced the way I looked (more about that here), acted and thought.

Living abroad taught me how flexible our identity is, and how much of it is shaped in response to our environment. I have come to embrace it, and enjoy observing what emerges in me in a new place.

Now, in Switzerland, different parts of me show up. I am much more career focused, my signature outfit is a dress instead of yoga pants and a fanny pack, and my yoga routine is replaced with online fitness classes (join me here if you speak Dutch🔥).

It was easy for me to go with the flow and allow myself to show up differently in a new environment, but I know it’s a lot harder for people who want to make a radical shift while staying in the same environment.

What will people think of my big dream to open a bridal shop / date a girl that’s 15 years older than me / eat vegan / become a shaman?

It’s hard to believe that you can make a shift like that if your environment isn’t supportive of the ‘new you’.

Luckily, I have a little hack for that.

Do you know the saying that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with? I believe it’s a bit more nuanced than that, but as my little story above shows, you definitely are impacted by the people you hang out with.

So that’s where my little hack comes in handy.

If you’re in for something radical, you can of course pick five people you want to become like and hang out with them (please ask for permission first).

The light version of this is to immerse yourself in the worlds of people that are doing the thing that you want to do, without them even knowing - you basically make them your imaginary friends.

Here’s what that can look like:

You listen to podcasts of families that are traveling the world in a minivan.

You follow the 10 best FIRE experts on social media.

You read all the books and blogs in the world about people in a polyamorous relationship.

Slowly but steadily, you will see that you start to believe that the way they live their lives is normal, and not that far out of reach. And you start taking over some of their habits.

And before you know it, you’re finding yourself writing a novel in a month as part of the NaNoWriMo community (or kickstarting any other big dream you may have).

What are you not doing because of how your current environment thinks or acts?

Let me know, and I am happy to help you brainstorm ways to find new friends - real or imaginary!

With love,

P.S. My favorite place to surround myself with women who inspire me to think big and bold, is the WOMEN’S HUB DAY. Will you join us on September 24 in Zurich?

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