We chat with life coach Sophie Leung about overcoming self-doubt, cultivating confidence, and stepping up to success.
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 life coach Sophie Leung gets it done like a boss.
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
I have always had that deep inner knowing since a child that I was here to serve people. When I was three, my mum asked me what I was here on Earth to do. I giggled and told her, “Silly mummy! I am here to help people.”
Along the way, I lost myself due to traumatic events that included emotional and sexual abuse. I turned to external things to soothe my pain; because my nervous system shut down, I fell into depression. I was completely disconnected from my body but I didn’t realise it at that time and thought it was normal.
Trauma is an event that happens to you – perhaps on a consistent basis – that you perceive as dangerous and you feel unsafe inside your body. Some may think that because we forget a past memory, all is forgotten. But based on neuroscientific research, our body keeps score and will remember what we go through. It can be as simple as having an overcontrolling parent who doesn’t allow you to say or do certain things. Such traumatic events form various coping mechanisms that will eventually sabotage your success.
While I was working in the corporate world, I found myself consistently burning out and having panic attacks. I had no idea why. After I learned that the body keeps score, I understood that my body was reacting to past traumatic events. They say everything comes in threes, so as my health was taking a toll, I found myself at a tipping point. My then-partner and I parted ways and on top of that, there was a reorganisation in my company and I left on amicable terms.
This gave me an opportunity to have the space to rediscover myself. As I dove into my trauma recovery and emotional healing journey in stepping into my path, I observed someone near and dear to me lose herself to the built-up anxiety and past traumas she experienced since young. The sparkle I once saw in her eyes was no longer there. That’s when I fully understood the importance of taking care of our mental and emotional well-being.
That’s how I chose to commit my life to serving others through my purpose-driven business in the mental and emotional well-being space. I use a trauma-informed holistic and science-based approach and created my movement, Cycle Breakers’ Revolution, for a better future for this and the next generation.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
Being outside of my comfort zone in learning how to build a sustainable purpose-driven trauma-informed coaching business has been my biggest challenge so far. I’m focused on serving my clients to the best of my ability in getting the results they want. However, I’ve learnt that running your own business requires you to do most things on your own. You’re basically running every department of your company. It’s a steep learning curve but it’s been incredibly enriching and I’ve grown so much from it.
When I really get overwhelmed, I go back to my self-care routines to keep me grounded: things such as meditation, breathwork, walks in nature and a healthy sleep routine. I’m fortunate to have a support system to cheer me on. I also remind myself to break things down into tiny baby steps to keep the momentum going.
How do you stay motivated and energised?
When my clients tell me about their results of how they have received their promotion or their pay rise, or even a healthier relationship with their partner or children, that really inspires me to keep on going. Not only do these results change their personal lives but it also changes everybody’s lives around them.
One of my client’s kids told them, “Mummy, you are so much calmer now and I really was afraid of you before.” Hearing these results, I realised that they are all cycle breakers breaking their generational trauma for a better future for this and the following generations.
How do you deal with self-doubt or criticism?
As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve learnt that when my self-doubt or self-criticism comes in, it’s just a part of me that’s trying to cope and keep me safe. These are learnt behaviours from the past which used to protect me when I was younger.
Through my healing journey, I’ve learnt how to identify them, make friends with them, hear what they’re trying to tell me, and manage them so we can move forward as a team. I also use a mind-body psychotherapy technique to help me process my emotions: it’s called brainspotting therapy. I meditate and do breathwork as well.
Favourite place to work?
My home office, with its tall ceilings and bright light. I love putting my favourite scent in my diffuser to keep my nervous system calm. My clients love it too!
Can you share a work mantra that you use?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” As an entrepreneur in the mental and emotional well-being space, I do a lot on my own. So, it’s essential to have a supportive community where you can receive help and know that you’re all on this journey together. Community is very important to me.
One thing you can keep talking about for hours?
Anything to do with self-development, psychology and neuroscience. I find it fascinating how our upbringing as children impacts the way we develop as adults. Also, how our nervous system gets impacted when we experience trauma, which gets stored in our body and impacts how confident we feel about ourselves, and how we build relationships on a professional and personal level.
Your go-to self-care activity?
Walking in nature, especially by a body of water without any distractions or any smart devices. I find it very calming to my nervous system especially when I walk barefoot on the grass.
One piece of advice to your younger self?
It’s okay to make “mistakes” and to “fail”. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person; it just means you are learning and growing to your fullest potential! Follow your heart, stay open and explore the world. There’s so much to see and experience. That’s a life worth living.
Get in touch with Sophie Leung 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!