Self-Doubt in a Global Pandemic: A (Much Needed) Rant

Today is September 1st. I move into my first apartment in 11 days. And to give you a little more context, I am a 21 year old college graduate, unemployed and stuck in a constant state of melancholy. To be completely transparent, my world seems like it’s ending. You know that type of “ending” when you are in high school and the Regina George archetype calls you “lame” or the girl at Starbucks adds whole milk instead of almond. Yeah, that’s my life. Though I know “this too shall pass”, it’s hard to see the end. Like a bad movie or a painfully awkward date, I know I will walk out of this a better (and slightly disappointed) person. But I’m sure this isn’t the content you wanted to read. So on to the regularly scheduled program…

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Three things you can do to find hope again

It’s almost my birthday. The past couple of years, I was either celebrating in Bali, or frolicking around Thailand or on a boat setting out for one of the islands around Singapore. (I know, life has been good!)

This year, however, life looks a whole lot different. And while I could sit here lamenting the reality of no more islands or boats or planes, and no more big celebrations with friends, instead, through all these difficult times I find myself immensely grateful simply for getting a chance at another trip around the sun!

Every year, I always do a bit of self-reflection around my birthday. It’s often filled with mixed emotions of gratitude for all the things I’ve gotten to experience and the people I’m lucky enough to have in my life. But it’s also filled with melancholy moments on how fast the years roll by and I wonder, whether or not I’m where I think I should be in life, if I am doing enough, or if I am failing somewhere, somehow.

This past year has been a transformative year for so many of us, to say the least! At first it was very personal for me, with a lot of internal growth as my journey took on some new beginnings, some I had planned and others that took me by surprise. But then almost as if in a universal effort with this pandemic, we went through an unprecedented transformation and mourning period altogether, around the globe.

When 2020 started I was eighteen countries into my personal sabbatical, after leaving my job in mid 2019. By February/March, I was on the South American part of my journey, so grateful for the new experiences in a part of the world I had yet to discover. The biggest highlights of the trip were Machu Picchu, Carnaval in Rio and hiking in Patagonia. At the time, I had already left my job and left my home in Singapore months prior (oh and did I mention I was mourning a breakup with a person I thought was going to be forever?!). And so there I was, grateful for this time to travel, soaking up every moment, and thinking maybe I’d never return to the real world. But then COVID escalated quickly in early March and the whole world shut down. In that moment, I had lost my ability to travel. The very thing that kept me going, despite everything.

So I packed up and within 48hrs, I was on a flight from Buenos Aires headed back to the US to be close to my family. I knew in my heart that I wanted to be with them, in case anything happened. I spent the first few months of quarantine life loving it – acting as a Mexican Mary Poppins – helping with my niece and nephews who were now finishing their school year at home. After living abroad for four years, I loved having all the time with the kids. I even felt guilty at times that I was having so much fun with them when I knew how hard the pandemic was for others.

Sadly, one day the fun faded when I learned that my godfather had been diagnosed with cancer. He was one of the strongest men I knew so I had every reason to believe he would be ok. I was still quarantined with the fam at the time but made one expectation to see him on a Tuesday in June (back when California had started relaxing its quarantine orders, but things were still a bit uncertain). We social distanced, talked about life, and remained hopeful about what would happen next. Unfortunately, by early July, he passed away. It was a loss that none of my family was expecting and especially that soon.

And then, one day in the summer, I got extremely ill. I had all the classic symptoms of COVID without the shortness of breath. I tried to convince myself it couldn’t be COVID. But after a few days of only getting worse, I decided to get the COVID test and much to my surprise, it was positive. It set me on what would later become a 6 week journey of recovery. I spent almost one and a half weeks mostly in bed recovering, a few weeks after that coming out of it with lingering headaches, constant fatigue and persistent joint aches. It’s only been in the past week that I have felt more myself again – both physically and cognitively. And so now, I’m also just grateful for my health again.

I’ve always been an optimistic person but I can honestly say that it’s been a challenging year. And I haven’t even touched on BLM or politics in this blog post and the impact that has had on so many of us.

But what I do know is that we will always be faced with challenging times (ideally not all in the same year). And even when we feel the pain and start to feel sorry for ourselves, there is still a pathway back to hope.

In the end, after all the struggle I have faced, these were some of the main themes that resonated for me throughout this journey and kept me able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope they help you too:

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
I’ve learned it’s important to lean into your feelings – especially those deep, dark feelings we feel. Even when I consciously decided to make a major change in my life last year, and leave my job and home in Singapore, I still felt the shake of the earth under my feet about leaving stability and comfort for the unknown. And break ups are never easy. Even if after you’ve tried everything to make it work and know it’s for the best, it’s still hard. Despite the fact that I had this innate belief that everything will turn out ok in the end, fear still crept in from time to time. I’ve learned that physiologically, fear and excitement can feel nearly the same at times. Your heart races and you naturally may even want to quit or run away. It takes time and courage to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and allowing yourself to acknowledge and feel the way you feel. In those moments, the change is happening and when we can make sure not to misdiagnose excitement for fear or let the fear overtake us, we get the chance to truly grow.

Find Moments of Gratitude
I’ve learned to have to let go, and relinquish control. Trust your gut, God, the universe – whatever you believe in. I knew I couldn’t control whether my godfather would beat cancer but I wanted to help ease part of his pain just by being there. I know it sounds odd but even through the mourning, I was honestly so grateful that I even had that last conversation with him, in person. Sometimes people are taken suddenly, without warning. In this case, I believed he would have more time but in case he didn’t I made sure to tell him what he meant to me. I didn’t know at the time that it would be our last time together. I’m truly grateful for his love and the impact her has had on my life.

Stay Hopeful
Through all this change, it’s reshaped itself into a journey of personal growth. Over the past year, I learned to shed my own ego, challenge so many of my traditional beliefs, unlearn and relearn things and center myself with the things that have always mattered most. I realized that, as much we are all changing through the process, maybe it really has become more of a blossoming. Leveling up as a person, shedding parts of ourselves that are no longer needed and retaining the parts that would continue to serve a greater purpose. It’s important to remain hopeful. Things will get better.

I wish you well on your own personal journey!


lisa val verde



During her 10+ years marketing everything from concept to commercialization on a global landscape, Lisa has found that her greatest opportunity is to empower and encourage any woman with a burning passion and a desire for change to pursue whatever lights her spirit on fire. With Wildernest, Lisa is able to help other women break down their own walls to achieve their full potential, and enable a community of passionate women to create thriving businesses and become catalysts for change.

read lisa's full story

Reframing ‘Mommy Shaming’

Reframing ‘Mommy Shaming’: How to Build a United Mothering Community

“Everything changes when you become a mother.” This is what the other moms told me toward the end of my pregnancy. “You’ll see”, they said. I also heard a lot that, “Pregnancy is the easy part. Just wait until the baby comes!” And a whole lot of, “Say goodbye to sleep!”

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Money Matters – Freeing Yourself of Financial Woes is Priceless

Money, Money, Money… ah yes, the root of all evil. Or is it? Isn’t it really our desire for money that’s the problem?! If money is the root of all evil, then they say, greed is the seed.

Greed is evil, money is powerful.

We all have a unique and personal relationship with money. There are some people who measure their success by power and status. For others, maybe their upbringing made it come easy throughout their lives, with generational wealth as a cushion. And some have had to struggle to make ends meet and so have developed frugal, sustainable habits as a result. Read More

Just Breathe: Strengthen your Attention … (and your glutes!)

Are you finding it hard to concentrate during the day? Mind wandering, foot tapping, to-do list getting longer? With all that 2020 has brought it’s a no brainer that our minds are going to be wandering elsewhere and will change us in ways unimaginable right now. Therefore the approach in which we enter our workspace or headspace absolutely needs to adapt.

To be able to focus on your day and tasks at hand it is crucial to tap into what fuels a powerful mindset into being productive, energized and inspired. First, we need to look at uniting energy inwards; finding your breath, feeling your muscles, waking up the spine and discovering that central resolve.

This is where we’ll begin.

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Taking off your Emotional Armor

We only really see people from the outside. In fact, we only see what they want us to see. Whether it’s the barista at your local coffee shop or your friendly co-worker that always says, “Good Morning” with a huge smile on her face, what’s presented to us is never as telling as what’s on the inside.Read More

The Road to Resilience

I was excited to be given the opportunity to Guest Blog for Wildernest, and when debating on what single topic to tackle, I started thinking about all the things that I have experienced in my lifetime and career that could help benefit other female professionals and entrepreneurs. But I quickly realized that it’s not one thing, but the sum of how all of those experiences came together, that contains the wisdom I want to share.

My life has not been all sunshine and roses. 

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No More Silence: Facing White Privilege and Doing the Work

You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.” —Brené Brown

A couple weeks ago at a dinner party in Bali, I sat across from a white American male who didn’t believe privilege exists and fell under the All Lives Matter banner. After the initial shock of what he was saying wore off, I felt this shot of full body adrenaline take over me, accompanied by the burning sensation in my belly that I always feel when I am scared to say what I am about to say, but know I’m going to do it anyway. 

I could have been silent. I could have let it go, kept the peace, and pivoted over to the civil dinner party conversation all around us. I could have, because it would have been a whole lot easier on me and everyone around me at the table.Read More

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Not Give Up on Your Dreams

We all know there’s no such thing as an overnight success. Duh. If there was, we’d all run fearlessly in the direction of our dreams!

But even with this knowledge that dreams take time to be realized, unfortunately we still see people quickly giving up on their dreams as soon as things get a little bit tough.

Sure, things may become harder than we realized when we started, or it takes longer to reach our goals, or we feel like we aren’t getting anywhere.Read More

Pandemic Advice for Career Success: Spend Some Time Doing Nothing

There has never been so much quiet in our lives…and so much noise. I’ve found this duality of quarantine incredibly interesting and profoundly powerful. Never have we had so much time to ourselves, so much time to go inward, so much time to focus and think about what is truly important to us. And never have we had such a strong instinct to run from that quiet. Because let’s face it, for most of us, this quiet is incredibly uncomfortable and unnerving.Read More

**Special COVID19 crisis e-course pricing assistance**

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its global impact, we are currently completely focused on what we can do to best support each other - our community, our families, and our fellow wild women. As we all navigate this crisis, we want you to know that we’re in your corner, and we want to do our part to help you find some hope and to feel empowered as you find your way forward to a new normal. While social distancing and quarantines have many downsides, the most valuable resource we all have right now is extra time, and if we take advantage of that extra time by working hard on our dreams we all may just be able to turn some sour-ass lemons into some Beyonce-level Lemonade. And we are in a unique position to help you do just that with our Nest for Success ecourse, which helps you work through every step of laying the foundation for your dream business - culminating in the creation of your very own business plan (COVID be damned!). Our hope is that this course will help you utilize this time to truly evaluate what is possible for your future, to start thinking big, and begin laying the essential groundwork for building the company and life of your dreams when the dust of the pandemic settles.

As small business owners ourselves who have all been impacted by the crisis, we know that right now finances are scary and the future of your work may be shaky. We’ve been talking with a lot of you behind the scenes and know that many of you have lost your income, or had it drastically reduced, affecting your ability to support yourself and your family, or that your 9-5 job security is on thin ice. So we have made an immediate decision to make our course as accessible and affordable as we can to you during this time in order to lend a hand. 

So starting now through April 15th, we’re going as low as we can go and making our $997 course available for $99. (We’d give it for FREE if we could but need to make sure our team is cared for and keep the lights on over here too!). We’ve also set it up so you can split your payment into 3 monthly charges of $33, with the normal payment plan fees waived. 

And if you’re doing a little better than most during this time, we would encourage you to pay it forward and choose the option to sponsor a woman who is in financial crisis. If you are one of those women who’s in financial crisis, please be brave and send us a message via social media direct message, or email us at to let us know what’s going on and we’ll work on getting you taken care of. 

We love you, we’re here for you, and please remember to throw kindness around like confetti and lean on your sisters during this time.

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