From People-Pleasing to Confidence; My Personal Journey
Warning: The content below may be distressing for some readers
If we haven't bumped into one another at Officeworks, Australia's leading stationary supply store (I'm the mother of two young boys trying to steal a few moments in the journal isle)—Hi, I'm Bozena.
I'm a counseling psychologist/author, passionate about supporting women to re-connect with their inner peace, self-worth, and passion… overcoming people-pleasing and gaining confidence. Here is my story...
When my family moved to Australia in early 1990s, my magical childhood (amongst Poland’s country-side) came to an abrupt end.
Despite the incredible privilege of living in Australia at the time of our arrival a lack of employment, together with my father’s steadily encroaching mental illness, and dire financial consequences made our family life volatile.
Despite the chaos around me, I daydreamed about romance and creating something veeeeery different to what was happening at home, the family life I always longed for.
My breaking point (that temporarily, completely destroyed my self worth) happened when I entered into my first relationship and experienced an incident of sexual assault. On top of already feeling “not enough” ( for which I was trying to compensate with a people-pleasing 'talent') my identity and worth as a woman shattered.
In my darkest moment of overwhelm I made a resolution to overdose on tablets.
I remember waking up in hospital, opening my eyes and seeing a caring male nurse who (at the time) seemed to have waaay too much positive energy. I closed my eyes, both in disbelief and to block him out. "I’m still here. What now?"
These are just glimpses of some of my lifetime’s experiences that forced me to re-define my identity and embark on a self-worth pilgrimage.
Amongst my ups and downs my journey ultimately led me to a place of inspiration, wholeness, and personal power, as well as the joy of being able to connect with others along their self-worth journeys…
What key components made the biggest difference for overcoming the “not enoughts” and self worth setbacks?
Most importantly, I learned to notice and reflect on (in a compassionate, non judgmental way) my beliefs around self-worth and the early learnings I took on board, and transform my inner world so it became a place that felt like my authentic home. I found my inner self and supported her with compassion and self-care.
Secondly, what helped me heal my self worth was being mindful of what strategies were most effective in working through my emotions.
Coming from a place where I wasn’t sure what to do with my feelings, I often felt judgmental towards my inner experience, looking for ways to feel "better."
Appreciating that emotion is essential for growth and decision making, and learning to relate to it with kindness and compassion, had key impact on my wellbeing.
I learned strategies grounded in neurobiology and mindfulness practice that helped me to feel confident in relating to my emotions in a nourishing way that empowered my inner experience and transformed it.
The third pillar that supported my healthy self worth was learning about ways to interact with others, that took into consideration my inner experience; Goodbye people pleasing! Hello consistently showing up in interactions from a place of high self worth and personal power.
Finally, appreciating the power of mindfulness to rewire the neurology of the brain (decreasing the threat response and increasing the volume and connections within prefrontal pathways) and practicing a myriad of mindfulness techniques continued to strengthen and expand my awareness and equanimity.
P.s. Miraculously, father's rock bottom also became the first step towards his recovery, so much so that over time, his personality reverted to the beautiful, soulful, generous human being I will always admire.
My journey continues, albeit from a very different place of boundless enthusiasm, self-worth, and personal power, and the privilege of connecting with others along their self-worth journeys…
It is my hope that my subscribers experience practical strategies for connecting with their being; and appreciate that through noticing and connecting with their inner sacred selves, discovering their inner beauty and the many dimensions of themselves, they are not only empowering themselves but also changing the world!
Bozena is a Multi Award-Winning Author/Counseling Psychologist (MA Psych, Post Grad Dip Psych, Post Grad Cert Peace and Conflict Studies), Gold Medalist in Readers' Favorite Biblical Counseling Genre.
My Non Negotiable Values
“Let us rejoice in the truth, wherever we find its lamp burning.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor 3:17)
"Love is kind." (1 Cor 13:4-7)
"The humanization of our society depends on greater involvement by
women in the basic structures on which society is built." ~ John Paul II
Equality of Worth
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Gen 1: 27)
"Through his 'artistic creativity' man appears more than ever in the image of God." ~ John Paul II
up close and personal facts and quirks
I spent my childhood holidays in a remote country cottage in Poland, in the Bierna village, where I forged my life long passionate love of nature.