You are the only human who knows yourself. 

This is a common believe we all share. We grow up and our bodies and personalities evolve just the way we ourselves and society shaped them to be. If this is the case, it is about time to start with some self-coaching. Don’t you think? Why did we become who we are? What shaped and impacted us over the last couple of years and where do we want to go?

Society talks a lot about where you want to be in five years from now. It is time, dear lady warriors, to remind ourselves of our past, to the moments we laughed, the moments we cried and during which we achieved the seemingly impossible. Maybe we have forgotten about our past self at some point, not being mindful that everything leads to the present self we are right now. I’ll make the start with a personal letter to myself. And if you write one to yourself, what would your truth be?

Dear Claudia,

I am sitting here on the top of a mountain, ducked away in the rolling hills of Austria, writing you this letter. It is 4 am and you should be sleeping. But you know your truth always awakes, when the rest of the world is sleeping. The last time I wrote a note, was ten years ago. If you look back to your life’s journey, you have achieved a lot. Don’t you think? Every mountain you climbed, success you embraced and challenge you conquered brought you closer to where you are. Change has always been your companion and best friend. You sometimes disliked the way change forced itself on you, but you always rolled with the punches and made the best out of every challenge.

When you decided to leave the comfort of your Austrian village at the age of 18 to live in three different countries over the last 13 years, your pockets were full of dreams and you needed to escape your own geographical comfort zone to fuel your curiosity and become a global storyteller and citizen. Little did you know that this journey would be like a roller coaster ride, picked with beautiful highs and great disappointments along the way. But nonetheless, you did it and now, years later you choose your place of home to be the United States. A society and country so controversial and far away from the values and norms your parents instilled in you. If you are honest to yourself it is the hustle and the chase to constantly better yourself which keeps you living of what your Austrian’s friends call, “The American Dream.” You worked as a Diplomat, Interpreter and now International Development Professional to create the change you want to see in the world. You always wanted to help those, who do not have a choice over their destiny. Because your destiny was never frightened by war or hunger! You grew up in a middle-income family in the rolling hills of a small town in a country with only 8 million inhabitants. Think about it, even New York City has more people living on a small but yet fascinating island than your country. You thought if one girl can take her dream out of this village to break the stereotype of wanting to be anything else than ordinary, than this girl can also be part of an international organization that unites in the fight against hunger and the eradication of extreme poverty. She became a business woman and Intrapeneur through this process and started many years later to build her legacy project to build a community of global storytellers.

And as amazing this journey has been, you had to make some sacrifices along the way and left your parents and family behind in the town that will always remain their anchor and home, even though you have chosen for it not to be. But you are lucky to be surrounded by people who love your craziness and enjoy learning from you as much you learn from them. 

Even though your life across cultures and continents sometimes keeps you torn between this cultural double-life you live, you are lucky to have found another set of beautiful humans you call family.

In moments of silence, you wonder though. You are independent, a warrior when it comes to your job and lover for your storytelling community. But you also are a woman who sometimes needs to take her fighting cab of and wants to be seen for her truth. Because in love, you do not want to chase, you want to be discovered. So, who is this man willing to be king enough to conquer you eventually? You may have kissed him already, in fact you know you did and maybe it will take him more than a second to get to you, but you know that fairytales are close to your own personal story. It takes that mountain for him to climb, to find you at the top. The same top you are sitting at right now. 

And for the next ten years until I write you this letter again, never forget, that you live your life forwards, but understand it backwards, dear Claudia. So please, continue to fuel that fire in you to always explore the unknown. And don’t forget to take some notes along the way.

#Notestoyourself #Storytelling #Journaling #SpeakingYOURTruth


  • Claudia Koerbler

    International Development Specialist, Global Storyteller, Documentary Filmmaker

    Claudia is an international development specialist, global storyteller and host of Global Storytelling for Global Development , a platform with the goal to use storytelling as a tool to create and foster social impact globally and help millennials become a part of a Zero Hunger generation by 2030. She is also the Co-Founder of Vehicles of Change, a show which explores the journey of local and global change makers to affect change. The TEDx speaker and storyteller talks in her speaking engagements about measures to eradicate extreme poverty, driving social impact forward and discusses her experience working in international development for the United Nations, Embassy of Austria and becoming an Intrapeneur in organizations like the World Bank Group. Her passion for finding global solutions to emerging problems and creating social impact brought her to Kenya where she filmed the documentary “Nashukuru”. She is an Austrian-born global citizen and trained Simultaneous Interpreter in German, English, and Spanish. Claudia currently works as Knowledge Management Specialist for the International Finance Cooperation of the World Bank Group.