I’m so excited to introduce you to Nina this week! She was a teacher for 20 years in Germany before she decided to pursue the path in life that felt right to her. This seemed crazy to her family and friends because of the job security she had as a teacher. To Nina, it didn’t seem so different. She still sees herself as a teacher, just in a different way. She co-founded MindGourmet with her husband, Ralf where they provide food for thought. She’s naturally inquisitive and is always searching for answers about life. It only made sense to her to use her research and experience to create a business.
I initially met Nina in a small Facebook group. Nina and I had a lot in common and it wasn’t long before we hopped on a call and ultimately ended up meeting in-person when I was in L.A. for a workshop. For some reason, traffic was more backed up than usual and the one-hour trip she’d made just a week before took her three hours! It was getting late and I told her I completely understood if she wanted to turn around and just head back home. It was a weeknight and a long day awaited each of us in the morning. She negated my offers to back out when I brought them up over the phone though once she finally arrived she admitted it was tempting (I don’t blame her!).
It was so wonderful to meet her in-person. From our virtual interactions, I’d already gotten the impression that she was kind, thoughtful, and just one of these good people it feels good to know. But I was able to get a better sense of who she was in that sit down conversation we had. She was very soft spoken yet her words were powerful. She was reserved yet established an incredible connection. She took her time as she gathered her thoughts yet when she shared them they were inspiring. We talked about so many things in the course of a couple of hours. It felt like I had reconnected with an old friend I’d known all of my life!
We did talk business and one of the things that came up was this project. I shared the details of wanting to highlight other women’s stories and show life behind social media. She agreed that it was important and offered to contribute by sharing her story. Within the next month, she provided me with pieces to share with you. I started by asking her about luck and she doesn’t see it in the traditional sense either. For her luck is when she’s in alignment with herself and allows herself to follow her intuition. She shared that for her, feeling unlucky has to do with feeling like she’s not good enough.
In moments like that, she feels like she doesn’t deserve life to be better.
While I’d never want anyone to feel this way, the reality is, we do sometimes. That’s why I think it’s so important to share stories like this. These aren’t conversations that we’re having openly as a society. When’s the last time you asked someone how they were doing and they said, “not too great, I’m in a funk and feel like I deserve to feel crappy and my life should match it!”? But haven’t you ever felt just that? The thing is, it’s part of the experience of life and it’s important for people to share because they’ll discover they aren’t alone and those listening realize they aren’t either!
I asked Nina about stepping out of her comfort zone and she shared that she has a hard time venturing out of it because it feels scary. While it scares her, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t do it. Leaving her job as a teacher to start her own business is certainly proof of that! She told me that she tends to procrastinate and overthink when she feels the fear of leaving her comfort zone. One of the ways she pushes herself outside of her comfort zone is through her business. As an introvert, showing up on video and interviewing people is something that makes her feel uncomfortable but it’s something she’s chosen to do because it falls into the vision of what she’s creating.
Another thing we talked about was failure. I asked Nina what her relationship with failure was like and loved the rawness of her answer. She told me that it’s difficult in the moment. She knows there are lessons and that failure is seldom what it seems but when she’s in the middle of it, it just seems like all of her doubts and fears are being confirmed and she feels like a mess. I don’t know about you but I could definitely relate to that! Of course, she doesn’t stay in that place forever and has tools to help her get out of there and reframe her perspective but that’s such a normal initial response to the perception of failure.
It’s funny how much time we spend letting our doubts and fears hold us back. Nina shared about a project that took her a year to implement from idea to published form. The delay was in the fear and self-doubt she had that prevented her from moving forward. She wanted the videos to be perfect. She worried that her English wasn’t good enough as a native German speaker. She didn’t think anyone would be interested. Worse, she thought people would criticize her and those she loved would distance themselves from her. She worked through her fears and pushed past her doubts and went on to publish her Happitizer video anyway.
I saw the video without knowing any of the background doubts and fears she had. The first thing I thought was how professional it looked. The second thing I thought was how courageous she was! I imagined it couldn’t have been easy to record but had no idea about the self-doubt and fear she conquered to publish it. That just makes me admire her even more. It’s interesting that it took a year to get to the point that she was able to record and publish it and it was over in less than 2 minutes. How much time do we spend worrying and giving into self-doubt and fear? How many things do we pass up because we don’t build the courage to move forward despite that fear? Nina shares that in the end, none of those fears happened as a result of publishing her video.
I’m so incredibly grateful that Nina opened up and shared these aspects of her story with us. Honestly, this is something I wouldn’t have known about her otherwise. On the outside, I see a Facebook page with thousands of likes. I see a feed filled with incredible content. I see her delivering such important messages. I wouldn’t have had any idea of what she deals with on the inside. Guess what? I love her even more because of it! Thank you so much, Nina, for allowing me to share this with my community. I love your heart and what you’re doing. And thank you so much for reading! If you connected with any part of Nina’s story, share it in the comments below. I’d love to be able to let her know that her story reached who it was meant to!
Nina is one of the head “cooks” behind MindGourmet. A website designed to deliver food for thought. She has an incredible catalog of resources to help you feed your mind great stuff! You can also shop her online Thought Store where she has a variety of products including journals with motivational quotes on the cover as well as inspirational jewelry pieces. Check out the Happitizer video mentioned in the post for yourself!
Nina recently released a meditation focusing on the power of gratitude. She recorded it with award-winning composer and producer Bary Goldstein. She graciously provided a discount code for this community. Just to be clear, this is from the kindness of her heart and I’m not receiving anything in exchange other than the opportunity to introduce you to her.