Exclusive Interview: Natalie Ledwell.
There is nothing more delicious than living a life on purpose and making a positive difference in someone’s life. – Natalie Ledwell
She is the international best-selling author of the book, Never In Your Wildest Dreams. A teacher by heart, a leading international motivational speaker, the co-founder of Mind Movies, a personal development company that empowers over 6 million lives to achieve their dreams and she is none other than the Aussie born Natalie Ledwell.
She has been a host for the inspirational show “Wake Up”. An outstanding entrepreneur who is able to break the rules and bring new ideas to life, Natalie believes nothing is impossible. She is a forward thinker, a humble leader, a rule-breaker who sees her life as what it can be, instead of what it is.
A philanthropist who constantly sees the best in others and possesses the ability to influence them to become their best, Natalie passionately fulfils her life mission helping countless of underprivileged children in different parts of the world to believe in themselves again. To many, she seems to have done it all and got it going on, however she doesn’t stop there. Instead she keeps evolving and reinventing herself. She continues to expand her area of expertise and stay one step ahead of the game through intuition, common sense, knowledge and innovativeness.
To Natalie, she believes the ability to recognize the freedom to decide the amazing things we want to include in our life is the most precious gift of all.
What inspired you to be a teacher/life coach?
I was born and raised in a small town in Australia and my school education ended at the age of 14. Coming from a big family of eight helped me grow up a little faster, because I was exposed to the uncertainty of life at a younger age. Looking at how my family members coped and struggled with life had influenced the way I looked at my world. My humble background has inspired me to want more in life. And for some reason, I have always known that I was destined for something bigger. I didn’t know how it was going to happen, but I just knew it would happen. So I dreamt big, I set big goals, and I worked very hard to achieve my goals. One thing led to another, life was certainly not a smooth ride. Despite countless setbacks, I continue to pursue my dream and believe in it.
I was a serial entrepreneur and at one time owned and operated four businesses at the same time. It was quite a challenge for me to manage my companies. Things didn’t always go my way. The experience got me ask deeper questions. Life works in mysterious ways. The setbacks gave me more than just new perspectives. It somehow helped me reconnect with my inner self and see new possibilities. I was able to picture my ideal life again. I made the necessary adjustments, and surround myself with the right people. This made a tremendous difference in my life. It was in those difficult moments that I discovered my true calling. I wanted to create an effective product to inspire others to become their best self.
My past experiences and my new ways of looking at life have helped me turn around and gone to a different path. I became more relax and learned to let go of things that I couldn’t control. I worried less; appreciate more. Having said that, I didn’t mean sitting at home, doing nothing and waiting for good fortune to happen to me. I still work long hours except my work doesn’t stress me anymore. I learned to enjoy the process and stop worrying about the outcome. I allowed things to unfold naturally. Many times, the outcomes proved to be better than I have envisioned. Up to this point, I have coached six million people through the use of technology, and the numbers are growing. The fact that I am living my dream shows that if I can do it, anyone can.
How long have you been coaching children? What do you love about coaching children the most?
The success of coaching adults worldwide led me work with a highly qualified child development therapist from Australia, Debbie Seldon. She helped me design effective lesson plans for children of different ages. Her vast amount of experience in a variety of roles of teaching the refugee children has made her the perfect person to be on my team. My program aims to inspire children worldwide to become leaders of their own destiny through a series of training sessions. I believe personal development should start at a young age.
When children develop a higher sense of self-awareness and build self-confidence at a younger age, they are likely to grow into healthy, happy and trouble-free adults. Our program is flexible and can be adjusted to children from different backgrounds and countries. The program uses a combination of images, music and positive affirmations to empower and promote a positive self-image and sense of self in young children and teenagers.
We are in our second year in coaching children of Liberia and will be working with schools in the US for the upcoming school year.
What is the most important thing to you, and why?
Do your best and hope for the best outcome. It is impossible to control everything in life, especially our surroundings. But we can choose what we want to think about, how we want to react to a situation and build or design a life we can thrive in. We do possess the power of selecting the right kind of thoughts that bring us the results we want. Many times, we let the external factors affect our decisions and lose the directions in life. Naturally, we want people to like us and pay attention to our interests. However, being people pleasers will only distract us from our true calling. As a result, one may experience exhaustion, stress, and burnout, which may lead to depression. Learn to let go and trust everything will work out in the end, as long as we have done our best to the best of our knowledge. But most of all never stop learning regardless your age.
Teen depression is on the rise. Based on your professional view, what are the challenges teenagers face today?
Internet is shrinking the world, and it can affect teenagers in both positive and negative ways. No doubt the rise of social media can help teenagers feel more connected to their friends and family members; however, it can also provide a platform for cyberbullying. Research shows that cyberbullying can cause depression, low self-esteem and anxiety in teenagers.
Those who check their social media frequently, and are obsessed with the luxury lives of celebrities will find themselves constantly worrying about what looks “cool” on them and how to become more popular. Some of them associate their self-worth from the number of likes they receive from social media or the branded stuff they own. This is a serious issue as they may end up feeling depress and anxious when they don’t get the attention they desired. Spending many hours looking at a screen checking the likes and comments is a form of behavioural addiction. However, internet, when it is used properly and responsibly, it can be a great tool for students to research information for school projects. Parents need to train their kids to sort facts from opinions and provide guidance on age-appropriate use of social media.
What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self if any?
I would tell myself to let go the need of controlling everything. Our days will run smoother if we are not actively worry about things that have not yet happened but only exist in our mind. If you feel the result you want aren’t happening fast enough, have faith in yourself that everything is unfolding in its perfect time.
Surround yourself with the right kind of people who support your ideas, bring out the best in you and want to see you grow.
Published in Dreamic Educational Magazine 2020.