How Stéphanie is Bringing Local Farmers And Families Together
Stéphanie and I go way back. We met in high school. One beautiful Spring day we ended up sitting together in...
Stéphanie and I go way back. We met in high school. One beautiful Spring day we ended up sitting together in chemistry class. We hit it off right away. I loved hearing Stéphanie’s stories of the time she spent in Africa, her passion for nature and biology. Most of all I loved her big heart, positivity, and enthusiasm. After high school we lost touch, both went our separate ways building our lives. Then, many years later, when I launched my first online program Stéphanie enrolled. She was at a crossroads in her life (like so many multi-passionate creative women) and needed a change. For a full year she worked hard to discover what she really wanted for herself, and how to make her big dream come true. Here’s how she did it.
What was your big dream, and what inspired you to go after it?
My BIG dream was to be recognized for my work. To be part of society in an active way. To make a difference. I loved the idea to work together with others towards a goal, to belong to a community. My dream was to mean something to society, by doing something where you SEE the results. To be accepted for who I was, working together with like-minded people to create a better world. That’s why I became the representative of Boeren & Buren in my local community, and now run my own little company within the structure of “The Food Assembly”.
Did you always have this dream?
When I was a child I was already sensitive to injustice, and thinking of a better world in terms of pollution, and all the things we were doing to the environment. I could see that many things were wrong and could be done in a better way.
What was one of the first thing you did to get you started?
Taking part in your Big Dreamers’ Club program! After my burn out I needed change. I wanted to rediscover myself, and change my world. You and your program were there at the right time for me. Being part of your program for a year was a big, transformative experience for me!
What were the biggest challenges you faced in working toward achieving your dream?
I knew I wanted change but I didn’t know what it was. I kept asking myself: “What do I really want?” and “What I am looking for?” It was hard to find the answers to these questions by myself. I realized I needed to take action in order to move forward. By showing up for myself, and doing the work I slowly got clear on what I wanted to do.
What do you wish you would have done differently? What would you warn others about?
What I could have done differently? Not wait so long to look for change! People were used to me always being available, ready to help. Somehow, I allowed them to take advantage of my positive attitude and personality. I was always there for others but not for myself. I missed the self-love part of life. I lived without listening to myself.
What I would say to others is that there’s a time to be there for others and there’s a time to be there for yourself, to love yourself, and it’s important in your life to listen to yourself more carefully!
Would you say you’ve achieved your big dream yet?
Not yet…it’s still growing, I can feel it! There are still some issues to overcome, and milestones to achieve. I’m going with the flow without forcing anything, simply “listening” to what the world is saying to me, and that is that I have to make decisions at the right time with the right people. You have to be attentive to what’s happening around you, to what the world wants to tell you… then take the opportunities when they cross your path.
What do you think helped you achieve it?
Listen to yourself. First you have to take care of yourself, be kind, be patient, go inwards. You have to be willing to listen to the questions you’re asking yourself, and to answer them. When you enroll in a program like yours you have to be willing do the work. Take enough time with your “me”.
You have to go for it. You might be scared because you think you can’t do something. But you need to go out of your comfort zone and trust the people who know you and support you, especially when they’re telling you to go for it!
What’s the best advice you have for others who want to follow their big dreams?
Trust yourself. It’s a bit like listening to yourself. You have to give yourself the tools to build your own story, you have to do the work required to build yourself up to the person you want to be so that you can have the life you want. Don’t get distracted with other people’s experiences or good advice, your experience is your unique path. Everyone is different. Make sure to surround yourself with people who can help you reach your goals. Keep on learning. Read books.
More about Stéphanie – Buurderij Dilbeek
Stéphanie is mama to 3 adolescent sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical and biological techniques. After 22 years in fertility and diabetes research, she turned her life around completely, and said farewell to the lab. Today she’s still in the environment of scientific research but in a different position. At the Veterinary Animalarium of the Free University of Brussels (ULB) she’s responsible for the technical aspects of research, manages a group of people, is the contact person for representatives, writes protocols. A social function that she really enjoys. Besides this full-time job, Stéphanie now runs her own small company within the structure of “The food assembly”. A lot of it is volunteer work, but the return offers her great satisfaction, knowing she’s bringing people together and making a difference in the world.
You can find out more about Stéphanie’s work with local farmers on her Facebook page
Stéphanie’s favorite quote is:
Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you!
Stéphanie’s big dream for the world is:
Treat people right, and do it without expecting anything in return. It will come back to you in a positive way. Being true to your values, and respecting others is a win-win for everyone.
If you want more inspiring stories of Big Dreamers, I’ve got great news for you! This story is part of an interview series, you can find all entries here.