In this episode of the Self-Love Series you’ll meet the gorgeous and fun Sanny Verhoeven.
Sanny (29) lives in the city centre of Amsterdam. She describes herself als a super positive person and a chatterbox. She’s a freelance tv-maker and tv-host (Dutch tv RTL4). Two years ago she started to share her search for happiness through her YouTube channel called ‘Sanny zoekt Geluk’ (Sanny seeks Happiness). She uploads a new video about happiness and personal growth every week to pass on her positive vibes and lighthearted way of living.
What is self-love to you?
To me self-love means self-protection. And loving yourself. Being OK with yourself. And also not being to strict with yourself.
How do you experience self-love in your life?
We live in such a busy time where we put so much pressure on ourselves. You can really go crazy, forget about yourself and get out of balance. This happens without you noticing it and then, al of a sudden, you can’t handle any of it anymore. That’s why it’s important to me to nurture my self-connection and to really feel what I feel. This tells me what both my mind and my body need. To get there I often go and meditate. By simply sitting and doing nothing, you really get back to yourself and your own thoughts. And I mean your good thoughts! Not your I-still-need-to-do-this-and-that-thoughts. It’s more about the ‘who am I?’ and ‘what do I want?’ questions. This helps me to get in touch with the reason why I do the things I do and what’s the direction I want to go in.
Have you ever known times where you felt a lack of self-love? What was that like and how did you overcome that?
Yes definitely. By biting off more than I can chew, I’m expressing a lack of self-love. By saying YES to everyone and not honoring my own boundaries. I get lots of happiness from meeting new people and co-creating. But I tend to overfill my schedule, both socially and work-wise, which makes me feel like my live is living me instead of the other way around. The funny thing is I’m doing that to myself. Or did that to myself actually. It happens less and less. I now plan hours where I do nothing. I’ll just sit with an empty mind. And this not-doing is increasing my productive creativity.
What part does (self-)love play in the work you do?
I make myself do a lot of work. This comes from my ambition and my entrepreneurial spirit. But I also realize it’s a weakness and I need to protect myself. This is why I made a video last year where I told my viewers I needed to take a break from uploading videos. This was such a big deal to me because I had just started building. But the beautiful thing was that I got so many heartwarming reactions which encouraged my self-love. This taught me it’s really powerful to show vulnerability because people recognize themselves in it. My ambition hasn’t changed but my actions have. I’m now drawing in people who can support me.
What do you think it would mean to our community when more and more people choose love over fear and embrace self-love?
I see this is already happening. The more people get into personal development, the more they will love themselves. And the more we will love each other. For my personal happiness compassion means a lot. It fills me with gratitude. I’ll walk down the street and think: ‘Thank you to the people who worked hard to create this street. Thank you, trees, for being so beautifully green. Thank you, body, for being healthy.’ And so on.
What do you do to cultivate self-love, that would be a great practical tip for anyone who wants to amp up their self-love game?
Being consciously grateful for the things and moments in my life. What also might help, is making a list of your own qualities. And then asking your friends and family what they feel your biggest qualities are. You’ll be surprised!