Barbara Vercruysse: Coach, Writer,
Mentor and Thought Leader
Barbara Vercruysse is a life coach, business coach, mentor and writer. After facing several challenges in life and surviving a stage 4 skin cancer at the age of 32, she decided to live her second life at the fullest.
After running a successful 6-figure construction business for 18 years, she dedicates herself to her true passion now: guiding people through a deep transformation. She supports people around the world in leading a fulfilled life, creating impact and success by living and leading with love. (Courtesy of B.V.’s website)
TSM: Thank you so much for taking time out of your evening to do an interview for the magazine.
BV: It’s such a joy and a pleasure to be here.
TSM: What inspired you to get into coaching? And how did you get your start in it?
BV: What inspired me is quite a story. At the age of 32, I was diagnosed with stage four skin cancer. I was running a construction business at that time, happily married, and a mom of three kids. My youngest was only a few weeks old. I was told at that time, when the diagnosis came, that I had six more months to live. You can imagine at thirty-two years old that’s quite a shock. Being faced with that so suddenly made me think, if it’s over within six months, am I happy with my legacy? My answer was no, as I was not happy with the legacy. At that moment, I realized that I had lived a life of living up to expectations from others. My life choices had been based on unconscious choices, and choices that they thought a good person did. As you know, we all go to high school and college, we marry, and I started construction business because it was a similar business where I grew up. So, it was kind of an easy choice because I wanted to run my own business. I promised myself that if I would recover from cancer that I would leave a positive legacy. I had two surgeries and chemotherapy, and so fortunately for me, I survived. I was given a second chance now, and so I started that journey of self discovery, self development and self growth.
When I went to retreats, conferences, and I was thinking, what is it that really, really want, but only what I want most of all, who am I naturally. Since childhood I have been coaching people like always, but without getting paid for it. I did it with my parents, my siblings and with my friends. I was the person they called when they were not feeling so well. So, I thought like yes, that’s what I want to do rather than running a construction business. I really wanted to be a coach, but that’s easier said than done. I followed several coaching certification courses while still running my construction business. In 2003 I had my diagnosis for the cancer, and from 2014 I started coaching as a side business. Then something happened, I was very reluctant to let go of my construction business, there was some fear. I thought I wanted to end everything well with the construction business. In 2016 we were faced with betrayal of some of our employers and we had some huge financial setbacks. So, you can say the Universe gave me a nudge and said, Barbara, it’s over that construction business, stop it. So, we were forced to stop it, and then I got an opportunity to work with BMW, who is one of my best clients. I was kind of forced to reinvent myself and start the coaching business, so that’s what Ive been doing since 2016.
TSM: What is your approach to coaching? Tell us about how you do your coaching.
BV: First of all, I always want to hear what the biggest struggle is and go from there because most come to me because they are in a place in their life that they do not like. So then we look at how they get them based on their beliefs and choices. When you uncover, you start to uncover a lot of limiting beliefs, and people who thought they had to do certain things in a certain way. It’s a kind of like an onion, you’re peeling and peeling to come to the true essence. It’s always very intuitive, mostly listening. Mostly, I work with business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders who are stuck in their life, whether it’s careers or a relationship. I can really hear how they talk because of the words they use that are very powerful. Very often they limit their selves and sabotage themselves. Then we uncover that, and then they’re like, whoa, you know all those possibilities and all those things I thought about in life or about myself are not true. They are just beliefs. Some people think like, okay, I don’t have a college degree, so that’s why I’m stuck at this level in my career. So, just telling yourself things like that every single day makes you get stuck because that’s how you perceive yourself. In how you perceive yourself, it’s how the world perceives you. It doesn’t have to stop you though. Uncovering what is blocking them, or holding them back, to go to the true essence and true light can make them shine.
TSM: Tell us about the courses you offer.
BV: I have created an online school which is called Barbara’s School of Wisdom. The main course I offer is called The Journey. It’s a self coaching course. I made thirty videos, the book is two hundred pages, and there is a textbook. They can make changes with the course, and what they could do with the coach, they can do with the course at the same time. So they start like where am I in my life and how did I get there. Then they can explore what’s the direction and my purpose, really working around subconscious beliefs. With the 30 videos, you can take as much time as you want with them. It’s getting to know yourself better, it’s getting to know your direction better, and really taking you from the place you are right now to the place where you want to be. It’s really teaching you how to find inner peace in all moments, how to find that confidence, why and purpose.There are also exercises and videos. That’s the main course.
I also created two card decks, inspiration cards and guidance cards, that’s fifty-two cards. It’s really a tool you could say in the morning, you just pick one card, and it’s something to focus on offering guidance in different forms. An example from one card says,”As you become what you think of all day, become very aware of what you say today.” So, it’s just a reminder that today I will focus on the words that I speak because the words that I speak become my reality. So, those cards are really the first step, you could say, in making changes in your life and in raising that awareness how you can make changes in your life. I created the cards because I really wanted to make my teachings available for everyone, and I see it like certain steps. The first step is the cards, second step could be the course, and the third step could be personal coaching or group coaching. I was inspired to create these cards because I’m very creative, and I loved to create those cards. I also love everything which is inspirational and inspirational texts. I also have a gratitude journal; for people who follow the course, they can choose whether to have the PDF version, or the written version. This journal is really to train yourself to write down every single day what you’re grateful for, and then you have some inspirational texts on each page, so it’s really creating that habitude of having to be grateful. So focus from complaining to gratitude, or focus from feeling guilty to gratitude. Whenever you feel negative feelings coming up, focus on gratitude, and it brings so much more fulfillment and positivity in your life.
TSM: What are some key beliefs you hold about living a fulfilling and successful life?
BV: I am wordy, I am beautiful, I am awesome, and I have so much to share with the world. Once you have that, you embody that. You get up in the morning with a smile, and you know you’re gifting the world with your love and light. It’s like a process, it’s not like from one day to another. It’s undoing all the false beliefs you have about yourself, all that self doubt, and that you leave all of that behind. You focus on what beauty you have to offer to the world. So, in realizing that at a profound level, there’s nobody can make you believe something else. There’s nobody who can make you feel unworthy because you know it’s you choosing the feeling of worthiness or unworthiness. Once you really realize that what someone else says is a reflection of them and has nothing to do with you, your life becomes so much lighter and so much brighter. I think that’s one of the most important things. It’s to realize at a profound level your worth and what you have to offer to the world.
TSM: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
BV: It would be To teach leaders more kindness, and teach the world that you can be very powerful and kind. You don’t have to be a bully to be a powerful leader. There is more power in kindness. If you are the bigger person, if you stay calm and centered, and you stay kind even when another person is rude. You stay outside of that, and really teach them that kindness is powerful, and bring more kindness to leadership.
TSM: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
BV: “The one who plants trees knowing that he will never sit in their shade has at least started to understand the meaning of life.” Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore
So if I’m planting seeds of kindness, I’m planting them, but maybe I will never see the tree. I will never sit under that tree, but I planted the seeds. So as long as you know what you’re doing in life, if you don’t do it for yourself, but for future generations. It’s about that legacy and about that servitude to humanity then you understand the meaning of life.
TSM: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can readers find out more about you and your work?
BV: I’m writing a new leadership program called The Path of Powerful Kindness, which will be a keynote speech, and a book about the path of powerful kindness bringing more kindness in leadership, and eventually more kindness to the world.
Online school: https://barbaras-school-of-wisdom.com
TSM: Thank you so much again for doing the interview. It was really lovely talking with you and wish you all the best with everything.
BV: Thank you so much Jessica. Thank you so much for this opportunity.