I believe

I believe that spending all our energy on being flawlessly perfect is such a waste.

I believe that working hard to be who we think we’re supposed to be, is such a great waste too.

It makes us feel drained, exhausted and empty.

It makes us “pretend happy”.

It leaves us feeling sad and alone.

It makes us hide our unique views and bright ideas.

It makes us not create the work only we can create.

And I believe that’s such a waste of talent and potential.

I believe that’s such a waste of joy and happy.

For ourselves.  And the world.


I also believe it doesn’t have to be that way.


I believe that spending all our energy on embracing our fabulous imperfect self is the best investment we can make.

I believe that working hard to honor who we truly are, is the best gift we can give ourselves.  And the world.

It makes us feel energized, resourceful and fulfilled.

It grounds us.

It leaves us feeling uplifted and connected.

It make us share our unique views and bright ideas.

It makes us create the work only we can create.

And I believe that that’s how we tap into our talent and potential.

I believe that that’s such a source of joy and happy.

For ourselves.  And the world.


We’ll inspire others.

Not by trying to win them over.

But by being unapologetically us.


We’ll inspire ourselves.

Not by trying to be someone we are not.

But by being unapologetically us.


And that’s why I do what I do.

Helping you put the you back in you.

So the world can enjoy you.

And you do too.




And I can so relate to where you are now.

Because I’ve been there too.


I was a master in being a good girl.

A versatile chameleon.

Incessantly adapting myself to whoever was around.

And being proud of it.


But what I didn’t notice, is that each time I changed colors, I was getting out of touch with myself.

I knew what music I should like, but forgot what I loved listening to.

I knew what food I should rave about, but forgot what tasted good to me.

I knew what books I should adore, but forgot which ones absorbed me.


And so I liked the books they liked, the food they raved about, the books they adored.

And I fooled myself into thinking that I belonged.


But the truth is, I didn’t.


Now don’t get me wrong, life was ok.

More than ok, really.

I seemed to tick all the boxes of success.

Great job. Great friends. Great place to live.


So I didn’t really have any reason to feel blah, right?

And so I pushed the blah away and carried on.

Thinking the blah was as good as it could get.


Till lightning struck.

I got ill.  Seriously ill.


It all started off innocently, with a doctor visit I thought would just be that – one visit and some prescription to get better.

But turned out I was wrong.

One doctor’s visit became a surgery.  And then another one.

And then a round of chemotherapy.


Now I could say that it changed my life.

It did in so many ways.

But also, it didn’t.


It didn’t make me change jobs.

It didn’t make me turn my life upside down.

It didn’t make me a different me.


There were only subtle changes.

But dramatic ones.

Not visible to the outside world; yet powerfully present in my inside world.


I started opening myself up to myself.

I started being honest with myself.

I started doing things my way, at my pace.

I didn’t care what other people would think.

I took care of me, requiring and deserving all my energy and attention.


I was immensely grateful for all the support and love I got.

And at the same time, I lovingly and truthfully set boundaries – I love your support, and no, I don’t wanna see anybody now.  I love you being here with me, and no, I don’t wanna talk right now.


I just put me first, my needs, my truth.


And then I got better and went back to work.


I’d love to say that I took the groundedness, quiet confidence and boundaries with me.


But I didn’t.


I went back to my old ways.

Shaky boundaries.  Evaluating myself through the eyes of others.

Doing the chameleon again.  Putting others first.

And putting myself last.


But the thing is, now I noticed.

I saw what I was doing.

I saw the chameleon changing colors.  I saw the shaky boundaries.

I felt the low energy.  I felt the discomfort.

And I started seeing that I was impacting how I experienced life.


I found myself being pulled towards anything personal development.  Like a magnet.

Yet fighting it with all I had in me.

Because anything personal development was the most despicable thing I’d ever heard of.


That’s why I’m forever grateful for Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

A legit business book – so I could bring myself to buy it.

Yet one with so much wisdom in there it made my head spin.

It. Changed. My. Life.


Not in a split second.

But it was the start of a journey I’m so grateful to be on.


It made me forever see things from a different perspective.

It made me forever see how we can always choose how we respond to what life throws at us.

It was an eye-opener that kicked off a bumpy yet rewarding journey.

And one that kicked off many a struggle between me… myself and I.


Me being pulled to so many new things. And me dismissing them as stupid, crazy and silly.

Me wanting to do something fresh. And me talking myself out of it by mercilessly pointing out how I would only make a fool of myself.

Me longing to add so many new things to my life.  And me convincing myself that everybody would disapprove of me if I did.


But the more small steps I took, the better I learned to deal with that unhelpful dramatic self-talk.

I learned that not allowing myself to follow my fascination is making a fool of myself.

I learned that their response to what I do is not a measure of my worth.


And so I indulged myself in personal development.

I ate books.  I drank inspiring talks.  I took many trainings and classes.

I applied, absorbed, tested.


And I started writing.  I took photography classes.  I changed the way I dressed.  I bought myself fresh flowers every week.  I started coaching and mentoring.  I traveled internationally on my own.  I know what music I like, what food I love, what books absorb me.


And I own it.


I feel more fulfilled, fabulous and free than ever.

Because I allow myself to stumble and fall.

Because I allow myself to be not ok with something.

Because I allow myself to speak my mind.

Because I allow myself not to fit in.

Because I allow myself to do things I know not everybody will approve of.

Because I allow myself to do my thing instead of theirs.


I feel as if I’m on track.

Of me.

Not because I got better at being perfect.

But because I got better at not being perfect.


And so can you.


Wanna ditch the burden of perfection and

who you think you’re supposed to be?

Wanna get better at not being perfect and

get back on track of who YOU are?

Then you might wanna sign up

for my weekly perfection busters and musings!

(And so much more!)



Here’s 10 things to know about me…

  1. My name is An Bourmanne.
  2. I live in Brussels, born and raised in Belgium.
  3. Dutch is my mother tongue.
  4. I have the strong suspicion that in a previous life, I must have been English speaking!  I just love to read, write, talk and think in English.
  5. And I am sure that – in that previous life – I must not have been paying that much attention in English class…  So don’t be surprised when all of a sudden you’d discover some freshly brewed words, funky grammatical rules or the odd choice of words!
  6. I love coffee.
  7. I’m fascinated by anything self development.
  8. And anything creative.
  9. I’m a life muser, philosopher and dreamer.
  10. I love fresh aha’s, discovering new things and seeing old things in a different light.
  11. I’m a student of life.  And I love learning.


And also

  1. I am fascinated by the power of our thoughts.
  2. I believe in making choices and taking ownership of your life.
  3. I love photography.  I do a lot of that over here.
  4. I am a fulltime consultant-coach in a financial services company, helping people to approach their work from a different perspective.  I have over a decade of corporate experience.
  5. I love to laugh.
  6. I adore how cats take a nap as if they are masters of the universe.
  7. I fell in love with Iceland.  And New York.
  8. If I could, I’d eat books.  I love them so much.
  9. I have an on/off relationship with yoga.  Sweeping my feet behind my head in the “plough pose” is one of my favorite poses.
  10. I dream of write a book that inspires women to be who they are – unapologetically.


And some more

  1. I buy myself fresh flowers every week.  A blissful treat.
  2. I love going to art exhibitions.
  3. Hiking is my favorite energy-booster.  Never thought I’d like it so much, but I do.
  4. I hate flying.  I love traveling.  So I manage the first in order to get to the second.
  5. I adore fresh, organic raspberries.  I love their vibrant color, their delicious taste, their smooth texture.
  6. In October 2010, I finished Martha Beck‘s 8-month fabulous life coach training.
  7. I love organic foods.
  8. I would love to travel to Japan someday.  And Australia.  And you can wake me up in the middle of the night to travel to the States.
  9. I am a certified life coach, trained by the awesome Brooke Castillo.
  10. I love imperfect action.  That – and a healthy dose of self-love – is all we need to create a life that makes our heart sing and soul soar.



Owning your life is not

about what happens to you.

It’s about how you choose to respond

to what happens to you.



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