A Story about the Power of Mindset

  With Mylgia van Uytrecht

Mylgia van Uytrecht´s inspiring and warm-hearted story started with a childhood carrying lots of reasons to NOT becoming a positive individual.


I was raised with heavy disturbances within the family situation. My self-esteem was low. I suffered from people who mistreated me, I was plagued by illness and injuries. A lot of factors led me to finally end up in a negative spiral and I was devastated and depressed. 


I developed a positive mindset later during struggles, as a process of being fed up with things in life that “often went wrong for me “. I didn’t want to keep feeling like a victim that couldn´t help herself and started to be more self-aware to take more control over my acts, my decisions, and my life.


Today, I realize that for example being poor enforced me to look for alternative options and constructive solutions.


Mylgia´s insightful reflection about the moment her positive mindset came to life is one of the strong highlights of her inspiring narrative.


It’s been a long and bumpy road to become positive in my mindset. But now, I’m so happy that positivity guides me and makes life so much lighter and more motivating and fun. Looking backwards it’s clear to me what processes I went through, and I’m convinced a positive mindset can be taught and learned.


Mylgia spreads energy and positivism through Zumba and she can’t wait to share generously with us how this work complements her superpower: a growth mindset that finds synergy between her mindful engagements and projects


I strongly feel, I was blessed with a natural survival kit of having physical hobbies like dancing and being sportively active. That helped me to grow stronger and mentally fitter.


I started to enjoy dancing and spending endless time with sports, when I was about 12 years old. It gave me a way to hide my true emotions and at the same time expressing myself without a need to talk.


Fitness for body and mind helps us to stay and keep healthy and in balance. I’m living this way, showing, and sharing it.


Expressing my feelings and nonverbal communications are a few of my distinctive traits that come totally in hand as a Zumba® Education Specialist, but also for any performance on stage and authentic interaction with people.


Zumba is about spreading joy and feeling free while dancing. It fulfills me to have helped thousands of instructors learning a new job, becoming more self-secure and earn something aside. And they also spread the joy of becoming fitter mentally and physically for themselves as well as for their students. 


I’m engaged in the German Speakers Association, President of the Cologne Toastmasters Club, Coach for humor and stage presence and often I spread energy and joy at (charity) events.

Feeling well and having energy are sources that can be activated, and these are contagious. That’s what I love to do and share with people or companies who don’t find access to that. Less frustration and a better atmosphere are a good foundation for being successful. 


When we talk about Mylgia’s motivation and drive, it is all about her connection to her inner source.


I love peace and harmony, I like positivity and helping people to find ways and solutions to improve their well-being. I find that a sense of humor is essential. I noticed children, and therefor also adults, learn better and are more open for new things when they are having fun.


Life is not funny all the time, and it’s certainly not about making inappropriate jokes, but if we don’t take ourselves too seriously all the time and manage to change our point of view occasionally, we might see the humor in things.


It helps to relativize and experience more lightness. I laugh a lot, with my family and beloved ones, during office work, while performing and dancing. At the end of each day this makes it easier to reflect on things that make me feel that I’m surrounded with real happiness.

If you could mention the most relevant moment in your life where your positive and growth mindset opened doors of opportunities what would that be and why?


The way my life changed over time, about 20 years ago, it resulted in this situation where I left my home country, The Netherlands and moved to Germany.


Soon I left a destructive marriage. I had no money, hardly any friends, bad language skills, no job and my little baby boy. I was devastated. I started looking for a new place to live but it was hard as a dark-skinned single mom without any work or budget.


Even though I had understanding for that situation, I must admit, I was also suffering from self-pity. I let my head hang and I had a negative attitude. There were so many things I could not help myself.


On several moments I became aware of that being depressed and hopeless as that attitude would not help me to get anywhere. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror anymore. Even I wouldn’t pick myself for a job or an apartment. I didn’t want to sink any deeper so I started to do any little step that would help me to improve my situation. Those were a LOT of tiny things. To sum up a few of them:

I stopped complaining and whining!

I Fixed my posture, raised my head up high and stopped frowning all the time. When I was amongst people, I picked up smiling again.
I became enormously creative in spending less and saving money, still making sure to provide all basics needed.

Learning German by singing children songs with my son and studying German stand-up comedians. Both worked positive on my moods and my language skills improved. 

I hung up announcements that we needed a place to live. First, I was neglected, then rejected a lot, but finally we found a very cozy apartment for my son and me. It seemed impossible at first, but by eliminating one by one all obstacles that were in the way, I managed to get my life in order again.

Mylgia´s reflection full of gratitude can´t wait to emerge during the interview

I’m very thankful. It was the change of mindset that opened doors of opportunities. And from there on the journey continued to make the impossible, possible. I started in Germany from scratch and now I live a happy, healthy, and successful life.


How do you do to foster that wonderful positive & growth mindset? Could you provide some tips?


It’s not easy to just say: From now on, I’m changing my mindset. If it is necessary to change your behavior, most of the time something happens that makes it most urgent.


If you aren’t burning, you can’t stay away from the fire, but I know it helps to make people aware about certain things before it’s becoming a too big problem. So here are some few tips that helped me:

- You won’t change anything if you don’t WANT to change anything.
- Accept things as they are and the consequences. (Or change something)

- Don’t cling to whining! 

- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend, especially if this person would need support.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes. (I make a lot of mistakes, but I always make sure to make new ones ;-)
- Having high standards is okay, but don’t stand yourself in the way with perfectionism.


Mindset can be complicated sometimes. I’ll never forget this woman said to me as she was complaining: “I really would love to change some things in my life. But I can’t. My belief system is in my way.” Or another person who said: “I believe in making orders from the universe, but it only works a little bit, because I doubt a lot."


Those are perfect examples how we make things more complicated for ourselves. Some people are afraid to unfold their full potential, afraid about what other people might think. Old belief systems and certain experiences from the past are holding them back.


There is not ONE solution which will fit for everybody. Some people need motivation or stimulation, some need an example, some need freedom, some take time, some need an invitation, some need coincidence, some need luck, some need inspiration, some need press, etc.


Here is the way I: 


Change a negative into a solution-oriented mindset: 


Instead of saying to yourself: “I can’t do that, it’s too hard … “Replace that thinking for: “I find that temporarily still something to get used to.”

Catch yourself thinking in negative mindset: “It won’t work, can’t do that, it’s too complicated, I’m too worried if … etc” Check if it’s true or only an assumption.
Then change the scenario into: What if -> … it would work, … you’ll start trying, … you look at options instead of obstacles.

Like this you are less passive, and you can act more constructive.


Change perspective:

Ask yourself motivational questions and imagine wishful affirmations. Let’s say: Something bad happens and you can’t do anything about that. 

What could you have done to prevent this from happening? Is it something that will help you to not experience it again in the future? 

Define, how you are lucky in this not-so-ideal-situation.

Express what could have been even worse or sum up some things that aren’t so bad after all.

Like this the situation is still the same, but you won’t suffer so much, or next time you won’t be so disappointed. (This works very well in many cases: Rain at your garden party, scratching your car while parking, hurting yourself while you were in a hurry, dropping something and it breaks etc.)


Develop a “make you feel better” mindset if you worry too much.


Don’t worry all the time, what’s the use? Worrying means, drawing yourself dramatic situations and imagining bad things that could happen. 

So instead: Stop thinking - Start acting

Do something else. Do something that occupies you. Be creative or sportive. Look for new impulses that won’t feed the negativism.

Breathe deeply. Breathe OUT.

Shake loose - Shake it away. Act ridiculous. Laugh. Activate your natural happy hormones. Don’t do stuff that will destroy yourself!

Do things that relieves pressure. 

After this you feel more free, stronger, and positive. You get into more distance to the worries, and now you can see other options. 


If you are in a heavy hard situation, ANY little, small step will help. Don’t concentrate on the big picture but focus on tiny things which will guide you to get into the goal direction. Don’t give up before you even try!


What is next for you, do you have any exciting plans coming?  


In pandemic times a lot of people suffer. I have been working from home online. I love to reach out to many people. My job for Zumba gives a lot of people further chance to keep doing what they love and stay healthy. So, I keep giving educational trainings and classes to dance together.

I will expand from German to English and when the situation allows it again, I will be more present in the international speaking business.

I will keep engaged in my club and other organizations to support people in their communication skills and stage presence. Coaching people and giving humor workshops is very joyful. I started to write a workbook with lots of exercises how to develop humor techniques.
I discovered I love illustrating and drawing cartoons. Those will complement my books, performances, and other projects.


Recently, I published a book with humorous short stories. It’s in German. Plans on making it a hear book and translations in English are in the pipeline.

Topics are chaos, fear, frustration, pain, confusion, etc. but always told in a compact story which will make you laugh and see, how situations could be handled differently. 


It fulfills me that the feedback from readers is that they feel understood and helped, by recognizing themselves and other people in the stories. But at the same time get impulses how to change their behavior and change perspective to act in a more positive way. They love the outcome. Offering readings and speeches about these topics is one way to make the world a bit better for everyone: less troubling behavior, more lightness; less frowning, more smiling.

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