The brains behind one of Hong Kong’s top hypnotherapy and mental wellness centre, Sonia Samtani tells us about her journey in the mental health field.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Sonia Samtani, the founder of All About You Wellness Centre, gets it done like a boss.
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
I’ve been in the mental health field for almost two decades now, much before it was mainstream or ‘cool’. My personal journey led me to this field. As a young girl, I thought the route to happiness was to shift my behaviour, achievement and appearance to match societal expectations. Luckily, I was just out of university when I realised this was a need for external validation coming from a void. I understood that what I really needed was to shift my inner beliefs, and I decided to study mental health very early on.
I’ve learnt over 30 modalities, and my biggest transformation happened through hypnotherapy and regression therapy. My business, All About You Wellness Centre, came into existence very organically as I was growing professionally. I started as a solo practitioner seeing private clients for therapy, then created my own workshops, and took on a franchisee to train people to become certified hypnotherapists.
As the business grew, I hosted other therapists and grew a team. Today, I’m a speaker, an author, a therapist, a trainer, and more recently labelled an award-winning ‘wellpreneur’. I’ve had the privilege of working with over 20,000 people, and I’ve seen magical shifts and medical miracles. I view my centre as the bi-product of a bigger mission to transform global consciousness. We do it by working with the human mind to we realise we have the awareness to discern, the ability to accept, and the power to make peace with what life brings to us.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
I’m challenged whenever I allow my fears and doubts to get in the way of what I do. I’m a constant work-in-progress. I see myself as my first, most dedicated, and lifelong client. I continuously work on my inner beliefs.
I’ve experienced fear in scenarios when there’s a dip in clientele, when I need to learn new software I’m not competent in, or when I take a risk to invest time and money in something that may or may not work. The root of it is not trusting that whatever the result is, I can handle it.
I constantly work on trusting that the universe only gives me what I can handle. And I trust myself to be resourceful enough to handle what it brings me. Fear is natural, and courage only exists in the presence of fear. So, I’ve stopped giving myself a hard time about it. Whenever I make decisions, I look at the worst-case scenario and ask if I can see myself handling it. If so, I focus on my desired outcome and what it takes for me to get there.
Being in the mental health industry for so many years doesn’t exempt us from facing challenges or doing the inner work. It brings us opportunities to practice our methods and requires us to be even more conscientious.
How do you stay motivated and energised?
I keep motivated because I live and breathe my mission. Living consciously and continuously moving from judgment to acceptance isn’t only what I preach; it’s who I am and what I practice. I’m known to have a lot of energy and can keep going. I have a morning routine of priming where I use breathwork and visualisations to energise myself and get ready for the day. I also centre myself before each session. Afterwards, I practice an energetic closure where I cut cords and anchor back to the present.
I have boundaries that are firm, but not so rigid that there’s no room for flexibility. The people around me are trained to respect my prep time before and after my meetings so that I’m not distracted in between, as distractions take energy away. The biggest drive for motivation is to do what you’re passionate about – to move towards something that inspires you, instead of working to avoid failure.
How do you deal with self-doubt or criticism?
I start with the intention of not judging my inner critic! We all have one, and it does an incredible job of keeping us safe and driving us to ‘do better’. I’ve done a lot of work in partnering with that voice, so I don’t feel hijacked by it, nor am I fighting with it and telling it to go away. I generally listen to that voice and unpack it to see the positive intention behind this criticism. Usually, it wants me to perform well or be liked.
All that stuff comes from fear and the need for validation, and it really just needs that validation from us. I say to that voice, “I see you, I acknowledge you; I thank you for wanting to help me, and I make space for you.”
Creating a little space for it has been very powerful. That way, I authenticate its existence. I’m not in conflict with myself and pushing this voice away. I’m in charge because I decided what to do with it! If the voice feels overwhelming, I journal to help process the thoughts, then do my validation exercise. The voice often goes to the background once I acknowledge it, so there’s room for a different inner voice that’s more wise and loving.
Favourite places to work?
My centre and my therapy room.
Can you share a work ‘mantra’ that you use?
The biggest tool for growth and transformation is coming to peace with moments of failure and rejection. They’re bound to happen, yet they’re not who you are.
One thing you can keep talking about for hours?
How to move past external influences and listen to your own inner guidance, and how to care for people instead of carrying them.
Your go-to self-care activity?
Meditation, self-hypnosis, reading, priming, and therapy.
One piece of advice to your younger self?
I’d tell her, “I’m not here to advise you. I’m here to be with you, to accept you, and to claim you as a valuable part of my life experience. You are enough, and you can keep growing. You’ll face the light side and shadows of life, and you have the resources to be with all of them. You’re stronger and more competent than you think.”
Get in touch with Sonia Samtani online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!