This story is part of our 1,000+ Stories campaign. What’s your story?

Name: Ana Goncalves

Business: APFG

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Industry: Personal Services

Reason for starting? I started a business because I wanted to share my gifts and talents with others and provide a service to others in becoming freer within themselves. I also started my business because I wanted to become financially independent and live life my way. One of the core reasons I started a business was to take care of myself and, in turn. provide others with a service that could help take them to their next level of growth. I have had a few businesses in the past, and they started out because I followed my passion and they became businesses organically. When I decided to start my current business, I knew that I wanted freedom, independence and to work on my own terms.

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How do you define success? My definition of success is about being awake, conscious and living life following my intuition in my power. What I mean by this is that if I am not connected to my own power, then I don’t feel fulfilled, balanced and here in this world. We are all creators and when we are connected to our true selves that is when life starts giving us opportunities to grow and be all that we seek to express ourselves through it. To me success is about being myself, and becoming freer and learning to love myself as I am, while living a life that brings fulfillment from the inside out, from what I just shared. Everything else is a support to my growth and way of life. 

Biggest success: My biggest success to date is where I currently am. I have gone deep into unseen traumas and uncovered what has been stopping me throughout my life and healed from it. This is helping me recognize that I am more powerful than I know, and this very challenging experience has led me into pursuing my healing journey, to clear once and for all what is no longer me and take my power back.

Related: Read about another personal coach here. 

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Going deep into fear and trauma and experiencing it first hand, and feeling all the emotions and then asking for help around it. I wouldn’t have done it without all the support I have and because I chose to be healed. My strength and determination has shown me that I can do anything and that moving through it all just helps me become more aware of myself and what is out of balance and how I can move forward. Seeing myself in this state has helped me recognize, accept and love myself as I am, uncover my true strength and resilience, and stand up as a leader in my own life. 

Who is your most important role model? I don’t have anyone I look up to. I am very happy with who I am today, and how I am and for that my role model is myself. I astound myself in the ways I show up and do my inner work and continue on this path and listen to myself. I truly believe that we are our greatest cheerleaders and that we are setting an example for the rest of the world because we are unique in our own capacity, and that sets us apart from everyone else. It is in being ourselves that we allow others to be themselves, and we are the leaders in our own life, so for that I am truly grateful for being myself, for accomplishing all that I have and for continuing to believe when there is no hope.