How the Tools® found me

The moment the Tools found me, I will never forget. It was during the time when I was a teacher. I was at a point in my life where I was actually tired of my work life. I no longer took pleasure in it. At the end of a regular work day, I was in the car on my way home. The radio was on and the 6 o’clock news sounded through the speakers.

Nothing out of the ordinary as I followed the news closely. Both domestic and foreign, radio or TV, news sites and apps with push notifications on “breaking” events. I thought it was extremely important to be as informed as possible about the goings-on in the world. After all, that showed interest, and it also allowed me to follow along with current events.

At night I went to sleep, listening to Two Today, and in the morning I got up again, scrolling through During election time, I additionally followed all kinds of opinion programs and talk shows featuring politicians. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the news was my newest, supposedly healthy, addiction.

But that day I was suddenly completely done with it. I had completely stopped listening to those monotonous voices with their negative information. The penny dropped. I realized that I could spend my time more usefully, than following all the news. I wanted to listen to something that would enrich me and wondered if there was such a thing as audiobook apps. When I stopped for a break along the highway at a gas station, for a greasy snack and a sneaky cigarette at a picnic table next to the parking lot (I was not only a news addict, but also addicted to cigarettes, alcohol and shopping) I found out that there was such an app. I was already scrolling among the many books on personal development with a fag on my lip. I chose a few and got back into the car.

The very first book I listened to discussed a tool from the book “the Tools. It sounded so interesting that I immediately wanted to know more about this, and I immediately switched to the audiobook The Tools. At the very first sentences, it rained quarters. I was hooked! This audiobook I played gray, so to speak, and the reading book I subsequently bought is my most read. This was exactly what I needed. I went to practice the Tools, practice and more practice. I was Tools, I ate Tools, I breathed Tools.

Since then, not a day has gone by that I don’t use Tool. They are truly BRIL-JANT as far as I, and many others who work with them, are concerned. You won’t know what the Tools do for you until you do them. For me, it showed seven months after that one day I downloaded that first audiobook: I was 8.5 kg slimmer because I was eating healthier and I had quit smoking for good. Meanwhile, intermittent fasting had also come my way. I found myself at that moment, in my uppie, on a plane to San Francisco, to participate in a live training by psychotherapist Phil Stutz (the creator of the Tools®).

Through this training I learned even more, and of course about myself. I also met some great people there that I am still in touch with. These were people who were in the same boat as me, and also chose to no longer accept a mediocre and superficial life of short-term gratification. They too took control of their own lives and chose to take action precisely on the issues that bothered them most.

Tools have enriched my life on a level I never thought possible before. Six years before the Tools found me I woke up (or finally did), knew what I didn’t want and put a stop to my marriage. But thanks to Tools, something completely different happened: I was now really wide awake and now knew what I did want! While singing, I walked there, alone, across the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, toward the direction I wanted to go with my life: to help people make their lives a masterpiece, in every way .

Since that workshop, I have continued to follow everything I could find about The Tools® and have attended several of Phil and Barry’s trainings in America. It is a great honor to be listed as the only coach in Europe (!) on their website that can help people with The Tools® and I do my best every day to remain worthy of that title.

This is me

Breaking the ice with jokes. It helps me think in a different perspective and often as a result others do too.

I find spirituality incredibly interesting in a very down-to-earth and practical way. I think I am one of the few, if not the only, coach in the Netherlands who has used the Tools of Phil Stutz and Barry Michels for so many years. These are techniques that directly change your emotional state. I’ve been applying them for 7 years now and not a day goes by that I don’t use one (but usually several) Tool.

Driven enthusiast
When it comes to my work: I LOVE IT! Actually, I only do what I like. Except for the administration…

No, not officially ADHD-diagnosed, but there are doubts. What few know is that I am also very good at doing nothing.

I devour information on psychology, philosophy, nutrition and personal development for breakfast, on the days I no longer “really eat breakfast.”

Lovingly confronting
Read: I can be quite “in your face” at times, but always from love and the best of intentions.

What you might want to know about me is that I am:

Incredibly grateful to have become a mother to my sweet Jimmy (7). AND that I also love the fact that I can still do my own thing (read: work), thanks to the amazing division between my partner and me.

If a true, originally Achterhoekse can be confrontational and direct, but always with a smile and often from “I have been there as well.”

Fond of learning and new psychological insights. I studied psychology and coaching in addition to nutrition. First and foremost, I coach as a Tools® coach. I follow everything from Phil and Barry, read a lot and am always taking courses to keep getting a little better as a coach and as a person.

CrossFitter am while I once hated sports. It’s the only sport I enjoy enough to kick myself out of bed extremely early for, even if it is sometimes challenging. My friend owns a CrossFit box and I am also a certified level 2 trainer.

Being half-Polish, speaking the language and really feeling that way: I love traditions and Polish hospitality. My fridge is never empty and I love to make tasty (and, of course, healthy) dinners for my guests.

Trees high five when I go running. Sometimes I even stay leaning against it for a while. I believe trees can eliminate stress and negative energy. And no, so I’m not averse to spirituality either, but in a down-to-earth and practical way.

I also exercise three times a week at 5:30 in the morning. At one time I would have found this zum kotzen. Now I never want anything else. This is the start of morning ritual. Then, and on the other days, I meditate, write, shower cold and write a piece in my journal, being grateful for all that I have. This is my miracle morning and it is my superfuel for the whole day.

Without the Tools of Phil Stutz and Barry Michels would not have made a success of my life. I use them every day and I think I am one of the few, if not the only, coaches in the Netherlands to use them so much. Both personally and in my coaching.

This is me, too:

Me as a coach

Every year I am in a training program or with my nose in the books or online courses. Here’s what I’ve done so far.

  • In my sessions, I am lovingly (and sometimes NOT lovingly at all, but kick-ass!) confrontational. I work very much by feel and I can do this incredibly well (also online).
  • Talking and being able to tell your story is important, but we are also going to apply relaxing and mental spiritual exercises that you can use yourself later and of which I regularly send recordings.
  • So I coach you through various Tools of Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. I have also been personally trained several times by Phil Stutz in California, as well as by Barry Michels in New York.
  • I am Heroic Performance Coach Class 1 Year 4. I also apply an awful lot of this in my coaching.
  • Various coaching courses including those at the Alba academy in Veldhoven, Netherlands
  • Training in NLP and CBT
  • Study Applied Psychology HBO
  • Study HBO nutrition in Wageningen
  • Various relevant trainings such as MBTI/JTI (insights into personality)
  • I am always with my nose in the books, because I love personal development.

The Tools® do more than alleviate immediate problems, if you use them consistently they change your total life. You find yourself in an energy that no longer seems to be your own.

-Sylvia Holtslag