Do you have what it takes to persist? Do you believe your dreams will become a reality?
It is sometimes difficult to keep on persisting, especially when it is financially challenging. Or when your environment is not supportive.
Let me tell you my story. I came to China in 2008 to study Kung Fu. I thought of only staying here 1 year and then go back to Belgium, my home country. Life chose another way. I never liked office work and it was easy for me to teach English here in China, so I stayed. I studied first Kung Fu and since 2010 I started to study Tai Chi, while teaching English to support my life. I lived in a small cozy town in South-China. But after some years, and a failed attempt to open a coffeeshop (which I had for 3 years there, but language and cultural barriers made me lose money), I wanted something more. I dreamed of making Tai Chi known all over the world. I would give workshops, have retreats and train people to become trainers themselves. Tai Chi has so many benefits for people’s lives, I want everyone to experience it.
In 2013, the Chinese national tv even made a program about ‘My Chinese Dream’, where I explained my vision. After several setbacks, I nearly lost all hope and was even thinking of going back to Belgium and just find a regular job, which I would see as another failure, but at that time, I felt it was the only option.
I am thankful that life gave me another option: I met my husband and moved together with him to Shenzhen, a metropolitan near Hong Kong. The first year and a half I really struggled. I was ‘just’ an English teacher again, but now to kids. I had been teaching adults and that was kind of fulfilling, because they taught me a lot about Chinese culture. With kids, I just had to play games and I had problems with my throat, because of the shouting. I have deep respect for teachers who can do it and have it as their vocation, but I felt it was a step back for me, because it took me further from my dream. But, in such a big city, I didn’t know where to start and I thought here everyone wanted to have a Chinese Tai Chi teacher.
I went to a lot of networking events to get myself out there, get more friends and more connections. I met a woman who was into essential oils. I started to do that business too and because of that, I started to get some students for Tai Chi. It was not ideal: I had to travel all over the city (which can sometimes take about 2 hours by metro) and I was changing clothes in the bathroom of the metro a lot. Every time, I was in a smelly dirty bathroom, trying to get my clothes not to touch the floor, I repeated to myself: you will get successful, because you are willing to do this. I was reading a lot of self-development books and I was changing myself.
I stopped teaching English and focused on essential oils and Tai Chi (financially very challenging), because I know I need to focus on the big
picture and the future and I started to believe I could fulfill my dream!
Now, I can’t believe it! Within 1 week, I was on stage 2 times: at a Chinese company teaching and demonstrating Tai Chi to 70 Chinese employees. And yesterday, I was introducing
Tai Chi to 40 international entrepreneurs. Because of this, more and more people want to launch projects with me, doors open, new connections are made and I feel like I am dreaming! I am living my dream! Only one year after having to change clothes in the metro stations.
Keep on believing in your dreams!!! They will come true!