We meet Sarah during a retreat she hosts on the beautiful island of Mallorca.
SARAH HAS JUST FINISHED A COACHING SESSION WITH A WELL-KNOWN ARTIST FROM LOS ANGELES. WE TAKE A SEAT BY THE WINDOW WITH A VIEW OF PALM TREES FRAMED BY THE BLUE SKY WHILE HER HUSBAND AND MANAGER JAN ORDERS FRESH ORGANIC SMOOTHIES FOR US. YOU CAN FEEL THEY ARE A POWER COUPLE. IT ALL FEELS SO EXTRAORDINARILY PERSONAL.
1. growing up in the public eye
2. how coaching saved her life
3. how she as a superwoman is supporting other superwomen
4. why all powerful women should have a coach
5. how she trains other coaches in a unique way
6. travelling the world with her family for 3 years
“Thank you for waiting for me, it’s one of my biggest weaknesses. When I coach, I forget time and space.” Sarah Antwerpes may be one of the best coaches in the world with an enviable goddess-filled client list, but she doesn’t pretend to be perfect. She listens to my questions with so much presence, I feel precious. When she shares about the darkest chapters of her life, her honesty is refreshing. She talks about how powerful women taking time for themselves is of huge importance for the planet and I am fascinated. I can imagine whether her clients are mums or celebrities, she of all people can inspire them to take the time to care for themselves. Lovingly straight forward, she is all about the people. You can feel she dearly loves everyone around her – her husband, her super cute son, her clients, her job. Sarah’s energy is contagious. [After the interview, she asks me a few super interesting questions about myself. One of her ‘I believe in you’ smiles later: I see myself typing ‘CREATIVE DAY’ in my busy calendar. She says: “I can’t wait to hear what the first day in years just for yourself was like for you.” I believe her! She really cares.]
You are a coach to influential women, a super happy wife and passionate mum. You have travelled the globe for 3 years, are clearly a fashionista, train women to become successful coaches, and take time for friends all over the world.
With all you have going on, how can you still be so glowing and relaxed?
Thank you so much for the compliment. Before I share more about the life I live now, let me be completely transparent. Today I feel better than ever, but it’s not always been like that.
Vision driven women like you and me want to have it all. This power can be motivating but it can become overwhelming and exhausting, too. Nobody talks about it, but when people go on Instagram they want to see happy superwomen. It’s expected by society, companies, families that we thrive as business women, mums, wives, lovers, online gurus. And then we just run and run and run to meet these expectations. And most of the time we do: We are smart, we have a big heart, we are brave.
But let’s be honest.
By constantly fulfilling
outside expectations, we hurt our own soul. We have to end this
You cannot be running marathons constantly. You’ll hurt yourself. By constantly fulfilling outside expectations, we hurt our own soul. We have to end this self-destruction. [She pauses and looks out of the window]
When I realised that I am in charge of my life – no matter what – my soul started to see what really makes me happy or as you are describing it “glowing and relaxed”. It’s been a journey to reach this state of mind and sometimes it still is. Today we offer powerful women a loving, honest shortcut. Because every minute of our life is so precious. And let me be very clear. Taking time for your personal growth also serves your business and the impact you have.
You are only in your mid-30s but every time I hear you speak I feel I am talking to a wise lady! What’s your story behind all of this?
I’ll take that as a compliment. [laughing] So Thank You.
I started asking myself big questions at a very young age. But I had to hit rock bottom to really truly learn who I am.
Many people think being a star is a dream come true. Being seen. Being in the papers or on TV. What is your experience?
Fame alone can’t make you happy. You are the only person who can make yourself truly happy. I know it all sounds amazing and glamorous. And it was at times. But it also meant that police cars were patrolling in front of our house when threats against our family were made. I constantly felt watched and threatened. I felt this huge pressure to dress perfectly, to speak perfectly, to behave perfectly.
To give you an idea. As a little girl I played piano for my father’s birthday in front of 500 hundred people. Wearing a cute blue dress with a white collar. Looking perfect to the outside. At heart I was a rebel though. I wanted to be a girl who plays the drums and dress like Frida Kahlo. Like an artist, colorful, extravagant. And start a revolution in the world. But I did what was expected.
I know you grew up with parents in the public eye. How was this for you as a kid?
The day I was born was the first time I was in the newspaper. You are right, I grew up in a household of famous politicians. From the outside my life was pure glamour. My family was surrounded by celebrities. Later I had a partner who was in the public eye and so I was in the public eye myself.
Fame alone can’t make you happy. You are the only person who can make yourself truly happy.
I never thought of it that way. But yes, that’s a lot to handle for a little girl. How did you deal with it?
Yes it was. Plus I was bullied in school. By teachers and students, for the decisions my father made. I survived abuse. Everything seemed like a holiday postcard life, but deep inside I seriously asked myself if I was an Alien on planet earth. ‘What am I doing here’ Over time all that judgement and the need to be perfect weighed me down. First I only felt insecure. Then I got really depressed and suicidal. One day I was standing by my bedroom window, ready to jump out.
Coaching saved my life. Coaching is the most powerful way to create the life you desire. It’s limitless. It’s positive. It’s creative. It’s awakening.
Thank you for being so open – really brave. What happened then?
To be honest, talking about it doesn’t feel so brave. Finding my way back into life was. [taking a breath]
In this moment at the open window, suddenly a voice within me whispered “Stay! There’s a reason why you are here!”. In that magic moment I chose life over death. I went on this very very committed journey of deep self-discovery. I started seeing healers, a TCM doctor, hypnotherapists, coaches… you name it. Later I quit my relationship, my job as a marketing manager. That whole “normal” lifestyle. With powerful coaches at my side I started a completely new journey.
I traveled the world for 3 years, I worked for the most popular coach in Germany, had an open relationship and many more love adventures, built an organic fashion start-up, spent weeks offline just by myself, did a meditation teacher training, retreats, seminars, became a spiritual teacher.. and so many more adventures. Leading to soon marrying the love of my life, having an amazing son, living at a place in the world I chose, having the best friends I have ever had and loving our life.
I can honestly say: Coaching saved my life. To this day I believe coaching is the most powerful way to create the life you desire. It’s limitless. It’s positive. It’s creative. It’s awakening.
That’s why you have such a passion for coaching! You are very discreet about your clients, but I know that some of them are instagram stars, singers, models, entrepreneurs, TEDx speakers. After hearing your story of growing up in the public eye, it makes sense that you truly understand them. What is it like for you to support these influential people?
Yes, it does feel like things have come full circle. I know what a public life feels like. How exciting and how hard it can be. And by the way, these days you don’t need to be a Hollywood star. Even small business owners do PR, Social Media and the founder often plays a key role in marketing the business. People know you. And if you are a manager in a larger company, you are under lots of pressure and people have big expectations.
In the end we are all humans. I believe in something beautiful my mum taught me ‘Whether I meet the garbage man on the street or the queen at a dinner, everybody deserves love.
Whether I meet the garbage man on the street or the queen at a dinner, everybody deserves love.
That’s beautiful! With so much going on in your clients’ lives, why do they take time for coaching?
Most women come to me when they feel overwhelmed with life or when they face major decisions. Business, companies, media, fans & followers, family, friends. People are pulling from all sides. It’s simply too much. At some point they may realise that they lost sight of the beautiful vision they once had, or their relationships, or even themselves as a person. When you are at a certain level of success, each decision has a high impact. There is lots of pressure. When speaking with a client, I create a safe space for her. She begins seeing clearly again and dares to go for what she truly desires. We work on bringing all of this back to life in an authentic and honest way. Sometimes they cry, we laugh. Real emotions find a safe, confidential space. It’s tempting to play a role out there. Still true fulfilment comes from being yourself. Playing a role means following someone else’s rules. Being yourself means setting your own rules.
Playing a role means following someone else’s rules. Being yourself means setting your own rules.
Do you think every powerful woman should have a coach?
Definitely, yes! Many have a stylist for their hair, a tax accountant for their taxes, often a whole team for their company but who takes care of their soul? The soul that makes decisions which have a huge influence on not only her life but sometimes the life of a million people. Who makes sure she truly knows what she wants from deep inside no matter what others say? Who listens to her without expecting anything back? Who gives her a confidential space when she doubts herself, while everybody out their thinks she is the happiest queen alive? Who finds practical solutions which truly serve her? Her personal life coach.
That sounds so unique and helpful. And you also educate other coaches, right?
Yes. I also coach coaches who desire to create a successful coaching practice on their terms. Not an online business where you look at conversion rates all day and are chained to your laptop. A true coaching business which is about serving others. Again, I work with these coaches in a very individual way. Very loving and personal. That’s how I love helping wonderful beings. We find out what type of coach you want to be and we create a practice that fits your lifestyle and dreams. The more you are yourself, the better a coach you become. It’s a lot of fun and very fulfilling to see the incredible impact these coaches have!
It’s the first time I hear about such an individual coaching education process. That’s impressive. Let me ask you another business question: I know that you do not use any social media. That is unheard-of these days. Weren’t you scared that by letting social media go, it would affect your business or social life?
I knew this question was coming! [smiles] Here’s how I see it. Scientists say we have 100 years left on this planet before it becomes inhabitable due to climate change and overpopulation. So can you wait until tomorrow to give the best you can for the world? No. One day children will ask you: “Did you do everything in your power to serve our planet?” I want to be able to say: “I wasn’t perfect, but I contributed a lot”. So you have to know one thing: What’s your way of serving the planet the best you can?
At Sarah Antwerpes Coaching we are all about very individual, all-in support for your heart, mind, and soul. And me personally I have a great talent to coach powerful women. I have to spend my time coaching so these women feel more fulfilled and are able to contribute more to the world, as well. It’s a ripple effect. But it’s not like that for everybody. Some people serve by inspiring and connecting people on social media. That’s wonderful.
A beautiful side effect has been: Since I stopped doing social media our revenue has tripled, so we could expand our team to support our clients even more. Which is key for us. My team has also projects in the making which might involve social media. But for now I will spend my time coaching rather than filming my life.
What helps me the most is to make imperfection my lover.
I feel your love for coaching when you speak about it! What could I expect when having a coaching session with you?
As soon as I go into a coaching session, I am only present with this one person. I don’t ask the next but the right question. That’s what leads to Aha-moments, clarity and to powerful change. Of course, I have done formal trainings and have received coaching for over 10 years myself, but it’s also a natural talent given to me. My best friends say self-development is the air I need to breathe. They are right it’s my job, my hobby, my talent, my passion, my ‘lost in time and space’. I believe I was born as a coach. So even if I use one of my other talents like writing my next book, or going shopping for a new style with a student of mine, there is always the question involved: Who are you really?
Is there anything you can’t do?
So many things. Better don’t ask me to cook for you – even simple pancakes end up tasting like cardboard. [smiles] I am definitely not a financial analyst – stock broker – and as a mum I get to practice calmness and patience every single day. Coming back to the start when you said that I have it all together. I live my calling, I let others do things they are better at and I focus on my talent. What helps me the most is to make imperfection my lover. I love my life in its imperfection. We will always thrive for giving a lot and having ambitious goals. But that also means going out of our comfort zone every single day. Expecting perfection in doing something new, something challenging all the time must lead to frustration and sadness. Letting the expectation of perfection go is liberation.
Most coaches work with a specific system. What’s yours?
I support my clients in a super individual way. I play with my huge suitcase of tools and I love to constantly invent new ways of supporting them. With me, there are no blueprints or one-fits-all strategies. I am like a partner by their side. They can message me between sessions and my team supports them with additional resources when they need them. I work around the world by video call, phone or in person. Usually my clients work with me for a long time. Some of them fly in for a few days and I take care of their soul. Or I fly to where they are. We are like a 5* boutique hotel, only for coaching. [laughing] The women I work with are exceptional and they deserve exceptional support. I am so proud of what they create for themselves and for the world!
The women I work with are exceptional and they deserve exceptional support.
Speaking about hotels. You and your husband traveled the world. What is one thing you have learnt from all your adventures?
True! After selling and donating all we had, my husband and I travelled around the world for 3 years with only one suitcase. After about 1.5 years our son Lilas was born and we continued our travels as a family. Some people called us nomads, some villa hoppers, pet sitters and some simply crazy. I guess they were all right. [laughing] We purely did what we loved.
One great insight you gain from traveling is that you take yourself everywhere you go. Whether you are relaxing on a white sandy beach in Bali paradise, look after a whole farm in the middle of nowhere in Spain or you are doing a photoshoot in the Hollywood hills. You are who you believe you are in this very moment.
And that’s true for life in general?
Sooner or later you have to face yourself. Being successful distracts you for a while. Making a lot of money, buying stuff, going on beautiful holidays. But you will still be you. And whatever bothered you before will come back. Usually even stronger and more amplified!
Some people called us nomads, some villa hoppers, pet sitters and some simply crazy. I guess they were all right. We purely did what we loved.
To experience true fulfilment you need to go on an inner journey. This is where true happiness is waiting for you. In my opinion: To consciously take time for your soul is a human right. That’s why I am such a big fan of coaching.
I love your passion and I can truly feel how you are serving from your heart and that coaching is your genius. Thank you so much Sarah for your time and for sharing your wisdom.
Thank you. My pleasure!
To experience true fulfilment you need to go on an inner journey.