Teleurstelling als kracht

The Power of Disappointment: 6 Steps to Turn Disappointment into Strength

"Desire is the mother of disappointment." - Alexander Pola

I recently launched my third book. Although many had registered via LinkedIn, Facebook, and email, a flood of last-minute cancellations led to fewer attendees than expected. Naturally, I was initially disappointed, but the positive reactions from those present and the fact that I sold more books than there were guests made up for a lot. Have you ever experienced a similar disappointment? How did you handle it?

With these steps, you can turn your disappointment into strength.

Step 1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

It's normal to feel upset when things don't go as expected. Maybe you missed an opportunity, a promise was broken, or a goal was not achieved. That hurts. That evening after the launch, I gave myself time to feel and accept the disappointment. This is an essential step to turn disappointment into strength. In my article about 'constructief lijden(constructive suffering) I explain why it's so important to allow and give space to sadness and negative feelings.  

Step 2: Explore Your (Limiting) Beliefs

Take a moment to reconsider your expectations. Were they realistic? Could I really have expected my launch to turn into a large event that was more crowded than my previous launches? Tony Robbins, now a famous speaker in stadiums, started with events for an audience of three people. So, I had to accept that growth takes time and that it's okay to start small.

Step 3. Redefine Your Goals and Expectations

Now that you've adjusted your beliefs, you can also redefine your goals and expectations. Instead of focusing on the number of attendees, I chose to appreciate what went well: the quality of the interactions and the feedback. This helped me revise my goals and focus on what's really important: the impact of my work and sharing insights.

Step 4: Build Resilience and Perseverance

With adjusted goals and expectations, you can now continue with renewed resilience and perseverance. Like Thomas Edison, who experienced many failures before his breakthrough, I saw this experience as a valuable insight on the way to my ultimate goal.

Step 5: Create a New Strategy

You now have enough motivation to work out a new strategy. In my case, that meant focusing on the power of 'butterfly effects' or starting small. Instead of fixating on the number of readers or followers of my author's page (which, by the way, has increased tenfold in the last three months), I can now focus on a real connection with readers.

Step 6: Improve Your Self-Image

Finally, use the experience of disappointment to develop gratitude for what you have learned and pride in how you handled it. The experience has already helped me to move forward with renewed strength and confidence.

In Conclusion

Disappointment can be painful, but it is also a powerful tool for growth and development. By embracing these feelings and learning from them, you transform yourself in ways you never thought possible. Often, the seeds of future success and happiness lie at the core of disappointment.

What setbacks have you had to deal with? How did you handle them?

Kerst of oudjaar alleen

7 Tips for Celebrating Christmas and New Year When You're Alone.

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.” – Robin Williams

These days can be challenging if you are alone or missing someone. However, there are ways to get through them unscathed. Here are 7 tips for celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve alone.

Tip 1. Go for a Walk or Do a Solid Workout

Start with a brisk walk or engage in some sports. Not only is it healthy, but it also improves your mood. Choose a beautiful natural area for your walk, or surprise yourself by blindly picking a spot on the map. This might lead you somewhere new, starting your day with fresh impressions. If a walk is physically challenging, consider a lighter activity like a short walk in your neighborhood or some simple exercises at home. The goal is to keep your body active in a way that is comfortable and refreshing.  

Tip 2. Pamper Yourself

This is the perfect time to pamper yourself. Take a long bath or a warm shower, and make self-care a pampering ritual. Dress in a way that boosts your confidence - whether it's something festive or your favorite comfortable outfit. Also, pamper yourself with food. Prepare a special dinner for yourself with all your favorite dishes, or order something special. And don't forget to give yourself a small gift as a token of self-love.

Tip 3. Make It Cozy

A neat and cozy environment can improve your mood. This doesn't have to mean a big clean-up; sometimes tidying up a few small things can make a big difference. Add some extra atmosphere with candles, soft lighting, or your favorite music in the background.

Tip 4. Choose a Favorite Activity

Whether it's reading a good book, watching a movie or series on Netflix, or listening to your favorite music, make sure you do something you really enjoy. If you're creatively inclined, consider drawing, painting, crafting, or writing.

Tip 5. Do Volunteer Work, Go on a Date, or Seek Contact with People

If you're looking for interaction with others, volunteering is a great way to be meaningfully busy and meet new people. If you're feeling adventurous, try a dating app and see what new connections you can make. Virtual contact with friends or family can also provide a sense of connection.

Tip 6. Cherish Memories and Maintain a Positive Mindset

Take the time to be grateful for happy memories and focus on the positive aspects of your life. This can help you feel more connected to what you're currently missing and focus on the good things you've experienced.

Tip 7. Reflect and Plan for the Future

Use this time of peace and solitude for self-reflection and future planning. Think about what you have achieved in the past year and what your goals are for the coming year. Write down your thoughts and goals in a journal. This can help you process your feelings and map out a positive path for the future. Reflection can also help you realize what's important to you and how you want to shape your life. Creating a vision board or making a list of New Year's resolutions can be an inspiring activity to focus on hopeful and positive aspects of your life.

In Conclusion

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For all those who are spending these days alone or missing someone: lots of hugs and warm thoughts

Artificiële Intelligentie tools voor dummies

Artificial Intelligence for dummies: 7 awesome free tools even your grandma can use

“The greatest innovations are the ones that make life easier, not more complicated.” - Unknown

Are you looking for free Artificial Intelligence tools? Or do all those reports about AI scare you off? Perhaps you are not very technically inclined and, like me, you sometimes had the greatest difficulty in having to work with a new program again. Then I have good news, because with Artificial Intelligence everything just becomes easier. Nowadays you can use the most exotic applications without much technical knowledge. I would like to prove that with these 7 Artificial Intelligence tools. for dummies. They are all free tools that do not require you to have any technical knowledge, but are very useful or fun. Are you up for the challenge?

Tool 1. Make your own unique picture

One of the many tools to generate pictures is LexicaYou can have your images generated based on a description in text. For example, I asked to take a photo of a dog wearing sunglasses and a hat and this was one of many images I could choose from:

gratis tool: Afbeelding hond met zonnehoed en bril

Tool 2.Make your own tune

On Beatoven you can click on 'start for free' and then you can choose a title for your tune. Then you indicate how long the tune should last and what tempo. You also choose which genre of music you prefer (rock/pop, etc.) and you can even choose an emotion (eg happy/angry/cheerful). After clicking on all your choices, all you have to do is wait and voila… your own unique tune is created. You can then play it, if you want to download you unfortunately have to take a premium subscription.

If you want to download your music, you can use Soundful On this tool you have to login but for personal use everything is free.

Tool 3. Invent names

Artificial Intelligence is also very nice to get inspiration if you have to come up with a name, for example for your new pet or for your company.

The site Ainamedmypet helps you find a name for your pet. You will first be asked a few questions such as: which pet / some external characteristics / the nature of the animal and in which language do you want the name. Then you will receive a name list with some explanation why the name suits your pet.  

The tool Namelix is great if you're looking for a new name for your business. You just enter a few keywords and a description of your company and you get suggestions for names and logos. I tested it out for the blog butterfly effects and I liked the suggested name 'DropsOfInsight'.

Tool 4. Make your meme

In Supermeme, choose 'start for free' and then you get an input field where you can type in about which you want a meme. I went for "when I try AI tools" and got this meme. You can still adjust the text (translations in this meme: The whole group eagerly awaiting the results of my AI experiment).

Gratis tool: Meme 'als ik AI-tools uitprobeer'

In the tool Imagetomeme you can upload your own pictures to make a meme. Also nice; I made this meme.

Gratis tool Meme boek 'Hoe was je dag'

Tool 5. Have your presentation made

De Gamma-app is echt een geweldige tool als je regelmatig powerpointpresentaties maakt en ook deze is gratis. Je geeft gewoon een onderwerp waarover je een presentatie wil maken en klaar is kees. De tool geeft je dan de keuze voor een sjabloon en een voorstel voor inhoudsopgave. Je kan daar nog iets aan wijzigen of het zo gewoon goedkeuren. En hopsa, je krijgt een mooie powerpointpresentatie, die je kan downloaden en die je dan eventueel nog verder kan aanpassen.  Ik vroeg bijvoorbeeld om een presentatie te maken voor ‘ChatGPT voor beginners’ en dit was de powerpoint.

You can also have a document or web page made with the same app.

Tool 6. Extract informations from a pdf

Let's say you need to read a large PDF to get some information out of it. Or maybe you just want to have your PDF summarized. That is possible with Chatpdf: you download your pdf in it and then you get an input box in which you can ask questions about the pdf. In the free version you are limited to PDFs of a maximum of 120 pages or 10MB per PDF and 3 PDFs per day and 50 questions per day. But that has already helped you a lot if you don't feel like reading everything yourself.

Tool 7. Find an original gift

One of the many tools to help you find a gift is Coolgiftideas. You only need to describe the person you want to surprise with your gift. You then get many ideas.

In Conclusion

Don't forget ChatGPT is also an amazing tool as I explained in an earlier post about Artificial Intelligence. And also keep in mind that the AI ​​world is constantly changing, what is free today can be paid tomorrow. But don't let it stop you from testing one of these fun or handy tools right away. Which tool appeals to you the most?

Persoonlijke groei met Tony Robbins UPW Birmingham

Unleash the Power Within: Personal Growth with Tony Robbins

“There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that once unleashed, can make any vision, dream or desire a reality.” – Tony Robbins

In my quest for personal growth and communication techniques, I had come across the name Tony Robbins for years, a guru in the field of NLP. His compelling approach and American style initially intimidated me, especially as I had already taken an NLP course and thought there was nothing new he could teach me. However, I decided to take the leap and participate in UPW (Unleash the Power Within), a four-day seminar with thousands of attendees. What I experienced there turned out to be a transformative journey that liberated me from my limiting beliefs and doubts.

Unleashing Inner Power

The UPW seminar surpassed all my expectations. It was no ordinary course; it was a deep immersion into my own feelings of doubt and uncertainty. Through this inner confrontation, I was able to transform into a liberated and authentic self. The intensive process, shared with thousands of others, led me to discover my true self and release long-standing limitations.


On the very first day, Tony puts you in a peak state that allows you to walk on fire without getting hurt. It symbolizes the triumph over fears. Many well-known individuals have personally been coached by Tony, including not only various U.S. presidents and renowned athletes but also Oprah Winfrey. You can find Oprah's Firewalk experience on YouTube as well: Firewalk .

Reflection and Personal Growth

Looking back on my personal growth journey, I see how my doubts used to hold me back. The inner voice that once hindered me from pursuing my dreams has now been replaced with unwavering self-assurance. I am finally capable of offering my own books with passion and inspiration, without questioning their worth. The feeling of liberation is indescribable and has significantly boosted my self-confidence.

Tony Robbins: An Inspiring Source

For those who want to learn more about Tony Robbins and his methods, he has written numerous books and can be seen in the Netflix documentary 'I'm Not Your Guru.' His powerful approach has inspired and transformed millions of people worldwide.

In Conclusion

The UPW seminar taught me that true power for change lies within ourselves. By acknowledging and letting go of our limiting beliefs, we can unleash our true potential and pursue our dreams with confidence. The experience was intense, but it positively transformed my life, and I am grateful for the insights gained during this extraordinary journey of self-discovery.

Tip: Tony Robbins: Netflix Documentary Tony Robbins I’m Not Your Guru

Tips voor je vakantielectuur

 Tips voor je vakantielectuur

“Reading … a vacation for the mind” (Dave Barry)

Elke vakantie begint bij mij met de vraag: welke boeken neem ik mee? Meestal liggen er al een tiental te wachten om eindelijk gelezen te worden, maar heb ik daar ook zin in op reis? Ik verzamelde daarom wat tips voor je vakantielectuur.

Waar hou jij van? Wil je lekker ontspannen met bijvoorbeeld ‘Atlas, het verhaal van pa Salt‘ van Lucinda Riley en Harry Whittaker of ben je fan van Nicci French met de nieuwste ‘Heeft iemand Charlotte Salter gezien?‘. Vakantie is misschien wel de ideale tijd voor literatuur… wat dacht je dan van ‘De wind kent mijn naam‘ van Isabel Allende? Voor wie graag wat bijleert kan ‘Het ontstaan van de tijd’ van Thomas Hertog misschien interessant zijn. Ikzelf ga voor ‘Omringd door idioten’ van Thomas Erikson.

At this website kan je nog meer inspiratie vinden voor leuke vakantielectuur.

Maar vakantie is natuurlijk niet enkel om te lezen, je wil ook met je partner, kinderen, vrienden leuke tijden beleven. Misschien is dan mijn boek ‘Hoe was je dag’ wel leuk. Daarin vind je leuke onderwerpen om samen over te praten tijdens de busreis, op het vliegtuig, het strand of tijdens wandelingen. Ik inspireer je graag met inzichten uit filosofie en psychologie (vlindereffecten) om elkaar (en jezelf) beter te leren kennen.

Of heb je je altijd al afgevraagd hoe ambtenaren hun dagen doorbrengen. In ‘Voor elke oplossing een nieuw probleem’ neem ik je mee naar de wondere wereld van het Antwerpse stadsbestuur. Met tal van anekdotes vertel ik hoe ambtenaren (zichzelf) overleven.


Constructive wallowing: how to beat bad feelings by letting yourself have them.

“The only way out is through.” – Robert Frost

Who would have thought that positive thinking could also have negative consequences? Not really, of course. Positivity is good, but not when it means brushing your negative feelings under the rug.

Every day, you experience a range of emotions, from joy and gratitude to sadness and frustration. It may seem tempting to avoid or suppress negative emotions, but allowing yourself to feel those emotions is essential for your well-being. This is where constructive suffering comes into play. It is the art of embracing your emotions in a conscious and constructive way, and it can have a profound positive effect on your life.

What happens when you don't allow yourself to feel your emotions?

Firstly, they often get bottled up and suppressed. This can lead to a buildup of tension and emotional burden, making it harder to experience joy and satisfaction. Suppressed emotions can also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and insomnia.

Moreover, ignoring your emotions can lead to negative coping mechanisms such as overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, or excessive use of social media. These behaviors often serve as temporary "escape routes," but they do not provide sustainable solutions and can even lead to further problems.

So, how can you embrace constructive suffering and process your emotions in a healthy way? One useful technique you can use is the "TRUTH" technique by Tina Gilbertson, which helps you acknowledge and understand your emotions.

The 'TRUTH'-technique

The technique works as follows:

  • Tell yourself the situation

Start by becoming aware of the situation that is bothering you. Identify and acknowledge the factual events that have taken place.

  • Realize what you're feeling

Allow yourself to become consciously aware of your emotions. Acknowledge and label them without judgment. Whether it's sadness, anger, fear, or disappointment, give yourself permission to feel.

  • Uncover self-criticism

Pay attention to any negative thoughts or self-criticism that arises. Recognize that these thoughts can prevent you from fully experiencing and processing your emotions. Sometimes you may think that you're not "allowed" to have certain feelings, but if, for example, you feel anger, there is no ethical dimension to it. You feel what you feel, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's simply a signal that something is not okay. Of course, it's a different story if you engage in negative behavior out of anger.

  • Try to understand yourself

Go deeper and try to understand why you feel a certain way. Ask yourself questions such as: Why does this situation affect me so much? Which personal beliefs or values are being triggered? Try to show understanding for yourself, without reasoning everything away. Just try to figure out what the feeling is trying to tell you.

  • Have the feeling

Allow yourself to fully experience your emotions without judgment. Don't be afraid to be sad, angry, or anxious. Acknowledge that these feelings are normal and human. Give yourself the space to cry, scream, or just be silent. Let the emotions flow through you without suppressing them.

Strategies for constructive suffering

Constructive suffering doesn't mean losing yourself in your emotions or getting trapped in them. It's about being consciously present with your feelings and processing them in a healthy way. Here are some strategies you can apply for constructive suffering:

  • Talking and sharing: Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Talk about your feelings and share your experiences. This can help you process your emotions and gain new perspectives.
  • Writing: Keep a journal where you can write down your thoughts and feelings. Writing can be a therapeutic outlet and help you better understand your emotions.
  • Listen to music that resonates with what you're feeling to better empathize with your emotions.
  • Meditation and mindfulness: Practice meditation or mindfulness to increase your awareness of the present moment. This can help you observe your emotions without getting entangled in them. By developing a non-judgmental and accepting mindset, you can cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness and emotional balance.
  • Healthy self-care: Take good care of yourself by getting enough rest, engaging in physical exercise, and consuming nutritious food. Allow yourself time to relax and participate in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Seek professional help if needed: If you find that your emotions are overwhelming or you're struggling to process them on your own, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A trained therapist can guide and support you in processing your emotions effectively.

A journey towards insight and well-being

Remember that constructive suffering is a process that requires time and patience. It's important to be gentle and compassionate with yourself throughout this journey. Emotions can provide valuable insights and can help you grow and change. By allowing yourself to feel, understand, and grow, you can have a profound positive impact on your well-being and quality of life.

So, allow yourself to feel, understand, and grow. The butterfly effect of constructive suffering can have a significant impact on your life and help you thrive in your personal growth and well-being. And when negative emotions are acknowledged, positive thinking truly becomes effective.

Reading tip Gilbertson Tina, Constructive wallowing, How to beat bad feelings by letting yourself have them, Piatkus, 2014


7 Ways to create a positive ripple effect

Many small ones make a big one (expression)

When you throw a small pebble into the water, ripple patterns are created that spread far out. A small action can have big consequences.

These 7 ways will help you create a positive ripple effect, for yourself or those around you. The 7 techniques all start from small efforts but have a big effect, a 'ripple effect'.

1. The 20-second rule

Why don't you get around to hitting the gym or starting a new habit? According to Shawn Achor - a happiness expert at Harvard University - you lack 'activation energy', that is the energy that sets you in motion. And in his book 'The Happiness Advantage' he explains how you can remedy that with the '20-second rule'. This means that you have to make the threshold to start as small as possible by making sure that you have started within 20 seconds. For example, prepare your sports bag so that you can leave immediately. But you can also use it to break bad habits: put your sweets on a higher shelf so that you always have to take a step to get to them.   

2. The Pareto-principle

Dit werd uitgevonden door de Italiaanse econoom, Vilfredo Pareto die vaststelde dat 80% van de rijkdom bij 20% van de Italiaanse bevolking zat in het begin van de 20th eeuw. Maar deze 80/20 verhouding zag hij ook nog in andere terreinen: wist je dat 20% van al je inspanningen zorgen voor  80% van je resultaten? Door te identificeren welke 20% van je inspanning de grootste resultaten opleveren, kun je je tijd en energie effectiever gebruiken en zo tijd overhouden voor de leuke zaken. Bekijk je to-do lijstje dus voortaan vanuit het Pareto-principe en kies eerst voor de taken met impact. Dat geeft ook een voldaan gevoel zodat de overblijvende taakjes peanuts zullen lijken.

3. The Hawthorne-effect

Dit effect stelt dat mensen zich anders gedragen wanneer ze weten dat ze in de gaten worden gehouden. Het was Elton Mayo die dat in de jaren ’20 van de vorige eeuw ontdekte toen hij in de Hawthorne-fabrieken van general Electric een experiment deed. Hij wilde nagaan of de arbeiders beter zouden presteren wanneer hun omgeving verbeterd werd. Maar wat bleek: zowel de arbeiders in de verbeterde fabriek als de anderen gingen erop vooruit. Het was de aandacht van de  onderzoekers die beiden groepen aanzette tot betere prestaties. Misschien kan je daar eens aan denken als je wil dat je kinderen hun huiswerk maken of als je je partner wil aanmoedigen om huishoudelijke taken te doen.

4. The Zeigarnik-effect

Bluma Zeigarnik was een Russische psychologe (1900-1988), die geheugenexperimenten deed om een veronderstelling van haar promotor -Kurt Lewin- te testen.  Kurt Lewin had op een terras in Berlijn gemerkt dat de obers nog goed wisten wat er geconsumeerd was aan tafeltjes die nog niet hadden afgerekend, maar vrijwel niets meer wisten van de klanten die al wel hun rekening hadden betaald. Zeigarniks experimenten toonden aan dat je beter onthoudt wat nog niet is afgewerkt. Dat klinkt ook heel logisch. Waarom zou je nog onthouden wat al gedaan is?  Dat kan je gemakkelijk gebruiken om piekeren en uitstelgedrag aan te pakken of je motivatie op te krikken. In dit post I will list some tips about this effect.

5. The power of meditation

Often different thoughts and concerns are running through your brain. That makes you stressed and anxious. When you meditate, you become aware of that storm of thoughts and emotions but you only observe them and do nothing with them. By starting every day with a meditation, you relax. You reduce your stress and thus increase your emotional resilience. Moreover, it also has a positive effect on your brain, giving you more focus. When you start each day with a short meditation, you already have a head start to make your day a success.

6. The Law of Parkinson

Northcote Parkinson described how a task can sometimes take much longer simply because more time was allotted. For example, he describes how a woman with a lot of free time spends almost an entire day writing a postcard to her cousin. An hour goes into finding the map, then she has to search for her glasses for an hour, after which she spends another half hour finding her cousin's address. Then she needs an hour and a quarter to think of what to write on the card. Another half hour is lost to decide if she will bring her umbrella to post the card. Finally, there is also a half hour walk to the mailbox.

Dezelfde taak zou een drukbezette vrouw slechts enkele minuten kosten.  De wet van Parkinson stelt dus dat de hoeveelheid werk zich uitbreidt in evenredigheid met de tijd die je ervoor beschikbaar hebt.

You may have experienced this yourself when you started working less and discovered that your household chores now seem to take longer. When you know you have more time, you do things differently, you procrastinate more or you allow yourself to work a little slower. The same applies to your finances: the larger your budget becomes, the more you spend. That explains why saving is sometimes difficult.

So make sure you set a realistic deadline for your tasks and decide in advance how much money you want to save. That way you can outsmart Parkinson's law.

7. Mirror work

What do you say to yourself in the mirror in the morning? Did you see another wrinkle or did you count more gray hairs? Or do you tell yourself you look great? What you say to yourself has a huge impact on your well-being. We are always our own biggest critic, but things can also be different.

Lisa Nichols, een wereldbekende spreker, gebruikte de spiegeloefening om haar depressie te boven te komen nadat ze een destructieve relatie eindigde. De oefening gaat als volgt:  Praat tegen jezelf in de spiegel alsof je tegen je beste vriend praat en zeg de volgende 3 zinnen:

  • ‘state your name’, I am proud of you because… and then list 7 items that you are proud of.
  • 'state your name’, I forgive you for…and list 7 items for which you forgive yourself.
  • “State your name,” I commit myself to you to… and make a bold promise to yourself.

Lisa did this exercise for 30 days and was then able to prove to her doctor that she no longer needed Prozac, but had healed herself. You can watch Lisa's story and her mirror exercise in this. short video .

Welke van deze 7 methoden ga jij deze week eens uitproberen?