The 21 steps of Inge

In June 202, Inge took on a three-week challenge with herself with the 21 steps to your future program. Together, we look back on the three inspiring and confronting weeks that changed her life.

This is Inge

The tough and sociable Inge from Holland is in the middle of life. She works in a finance department in the cultural sector. In her spare time, she enjoys stepping into the club life of her rowing club or treating friends to a delicious BBQ in her backyard. All her creativity can be found in her paintings.

This is her challenge

Now that life, after a heart attack and difficult changes at her work, is settling back into calmer waters, it is the perfect time for Inge to think about what she wants to do in the coming years. She seized the 21 step program to think firmly about the future.

"With 10 more years of work ahead of me, I want to make the most of life. The work I do is fine, but I want more. A better work-life balance, for example, and that is difficult with my current job. But I would also like to do something in which I can be more creative and get more satisfaction. This program seemed like a good way for me to look for my dreams and how I can realize them."

This is her experience

The program took place during a period when she was working from home because of COVID. This gave her enough space for the walks and to work out the assignments properly. She took the last week off from work so that she could fully focus on working out her plan for the future.

"Let me make no bones about it. I found it tough! In the beginning, I mainly had to get used to a different rhythm. And the assignments are really not easy sometimes, because I had to look at myself critically. At a few moments I really disliked that enormously, but Winfred's daily support helped me on my way every time."

Hiking and photo assignments

Walking is an important part of the home retreat. It brings peace of mind and with it space for new ideas and insights. During the walks, Inge was given a photo assignment every day that made her look at the world in a different way.

"I love being outside, but I have never hiked as fanatically as I did during these three weeks. It has changed my outlook on hiking because it really brings peace of mind. The photo assignments were fun and creative. It made me look at the world differently. Whereas during a holiday it's customary to look around well, at home I just walk past things. That is a shame because I can create a story with everything I see. And that inspires. Walking has become even more surprising this way."

The assignments

The program consists of 21 steps leading to a concrete end result: a plan for the future. The assignments begin with a reflection on yourself and your life. Then there is space to dream and choose which goal you want to set for yourself. And finally, you get to work on making a plan to achieve that goal.

"The assignments are often very confrontational, because they are about yourself. But the assignments were always small concrete steps in the right direction. I also understood why I had to take those steps to discover what I want to achieve and why. The assignments are like puzzle pieces that together form the overview. That worked well for me."

The feedback

You can do the program completely independently or with guidance. Inge chose to do the retreat with daily feedback on the assignments and with four 1-on-1 sessions via Zoom. For Inge, the guidance proved to be not only a stick, but also a good way to work on her self-confidence.

"I encountered quite a few bears along the way. I tell myself too often and too quickly that I cannot do something or that I am not good enough at it. Winfred's coaching ensured that I didn't avoid those bears but confronted them. Winfred has thought with me, given advice and very often reassured me. He asks questions when necessary and regularly puts his finger on the sore spot. I am glad I was able to overcome the bears this way, because otherwise I would never have got to this end result."

This is her result

The home retreat is not just about peace of mind, reflection and insight. The assignments lead to a concrete end result: a plan for the future. During the last week, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place for Inge. She made a clear choice and before she knows it, she has the time schedule for the coming months on paper.

"I am amazed with the final result. It is as concrete as I had hoped, but really in a completely different direction than I expected. I thought I would look for a job closer to home or retrain in a more creative profession. Now I know that painting is the passion I am going to make my work out of. I will become an entrepreneur and now I know what steps I need to take in the coming period to achieve this. And more importantly, I have the self-confidence that I can do it! It's time for a new beginning."

And Inge is not letting any grass grow on it. Her home office has now been banished to the attic to make room for her painting studio. There she will work hard to expand a her collection of beautiful paintings. With those paintings, she will go on the market through events and her own website. This is how she plans to grow over the next few years into a successful business that she can live on until and after retirement.

"I am really proud of Inge. She threw herself wholeheartedly into the program and overcame herself. She encountered a lot of bumps in those three weeks and at times she might have felt a bit out of it. But she now knows what she wants and she is going for it. And she has grown so much in three weeks that I have no doubt she will succeed. Good luck Inge!" - Winfred
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