Former McDonald’s worker who left Slovakia for the UK with just £30 now makes up to £100K a month teaching CEOs to be confident – and insists ANYONE can retrain their brain for success
- Lenka Lutonska, 37, who was born in Slovakia now lives in Hertfordshire
- Came to the UK at 19 with £30 as she didn’t want career in banking
- Worked in McDonald’s and studied psychology and NLP in her spare time
- Is now one of Europe’s leading Neuro-Linguistic Programming specialists
A woman who came to the UK from Slovakia as a teenager with £30 in her pocket now earns six figures a year teaching CEOs and high flying academics how to be more confident.
Lenka Lutonska, 37, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire specialises in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which she studied in her own time while working at McDonald’s.
She went on to become one of the leading NLP trainers in the UK, teaching hundreds of people including Cambridge University academics and Fortune 500 executives communication skills and confidence building techniques.
She’s now recognised as one of Europe’s leading mindset and business strategists and earns six figures a year, even as much as £100K a month.
Lenka said her achievements are all down to ‘re-programming’ her mind for success, and insists that anyone can learn to do the same.
Lenka Lutonska, 37, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire specialises in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which she studied in her own time while working at McDonald’s
The entrepreneur left Slovakia as a teenager as she didn’t want to get a steady job in banking, as dictated by her strict father
From humble beginnings, Lenka left Slovakia at 19 with £30 when she was about to start university and follow the path her strict father wanted, to secure a steady job in banking.
‘My free spirit rejected that. I wanted to work with people, inspire them, help them, but I was not sure in what capacity,’ she recalled.
‘In a nutshell, I was dreaming about “changing the world.” At school, we learned about how London is a cosmopolitan city where dreams come true. Naturally, this appealed to me very much, so I hopped on the bus with £30 and left my country without my father knowing anything.’
On arriving in the UK, Lenka took a job clearing tables at McDonald’s to earn money while she found a career that would allow her to work with people and feel happy in her own skin.
The entrepreneur now teaches CEOs and Cambridge academics how to be confident
‘In my spare time I read self-development books and studied psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, counselling and eventually, Neuro-Linguistic Programming,’ she explained.
Lenka recalls becoming ‘hooked’ on NLP as it was unlike any other approach to personal growth she’d come across before.
She sold her house, her car and as many belongings as possible so she could train to the highest level of accreditation possible.
What is neuro-linguistic programming?
Created in the US in the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, NLP is based on the principle that there’s a connecting between our neurological processes, the language we use and our life experiences.
During a session the subject learns how to identify negative thoughts that are holding them back and change your patterns of mental and emotional behaviour.
The practice is regularly used in the management training, life-coaching and the self-help industry, but psychiatrists have discredited claims it can cure phobias, traumas and other mental problems which conventional therapy would take months or years to alleviate.
‘Once I studied NLP to the highest level and became an accredited NLP Trainer, that is when I felt ready to leave my job.
‘By that point I had worked my way up to become an award-winning business manager in the company and start my career as an NLP trainer and coach.
‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming is, in a nutshell, an instruction manual to the human mind. It helps us understand how to communicate powerfully, what to do to change unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaviour, and create our future by design.
‘Some people call NLP “practical psychology”. We can use NLP principles and techniques to achieve excellence in all areas of our lives – from relationships, through to leadership, sales and personal development.’
However, Lenka admits that part of what drew her to the technique was her own lack of confidence in herself.
‘The biggest insecurity I had to deal with was a feeling of inferiority and “not good enough”,’ she explained.
Lenka’s desire to help others were borne out of her own insecurities and a feeling that she wasn’t ‘good enough’
‘The strict upbringing – for instance, my father used to punish me for any school grade that was less than ‘outstanding’ -, seeded fear in me that “no matter what I do, it will never be good enough.”
‘It served me to a certain point, because I learned how to be super determined and work very hard to excel.
‘However, anything I did in life was to prove my worth, to please others. Out of that, I had plenty of other insecurities – I hated my body and suffered from bulimia for five years,
‘I didn’t believe I was worthy of a loving relationship, and I often became very anxious, even depressed.
Lenka said that one of the most important tools people can have is to discover their negative patterns of thinking
NLP helped me to develop brand new perspectives, change unhelpful unconscious patterns of behaviour, and let go of these insecurities so quickly it felt like magic.
‘As a result of studying NLP, I stopped binge-eating and developed a healthy relationship with my body, I let go of feeling inadequate, I healed my relationship with my father, and I attracted the most loving man, my wonderful husband, into my life.
NLP tools and techniques subsequently helped me to overcome various challenges, much more gracefully and enabled me to set up and run a very successful business.’
Once she was ready to launch her business, Lenka ‘went all in’.
How did you go about launching your business as an NLP trainer?
How to retrain your brain for success
1. Realise that you are not alone
Even the most high-flying individuals often battle with their own insecurities and fears. You’re not alone in this, and what you feel is no indication as to who you are and what you can achieve.
2. Become aware of specific thoughts that trigger insecurity in you
Lack of confidence and doubts often manifest as feelings. Ask yourself “what specifically am I afraid of?” to uncover the specific thinking patterns that may debilitate you. You will then be able to look at your insecurities more objectively.
3. Realise that your insecurities are not representative of who you are
Negative thoughts and feelings are not you. They simply exist. With awareness, you can learn to decide which thought you accept as true, and which you reject because it does not serve you.
4. Feed your mind with positive reinforcement messages and questions
According to the National Science Foundation, the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative.
That is a lot of negative thinking! Seek to counterbalance negative thoughts with positive messages and affirmations, such as: “I am totally good enough.”, “I have all the resources I need within me,” “I can do this.” There are loads of recordings with these affirmations online.
“Why am I totally good enough?” “Why am I ready to do this?” “Why am I able to succeed?” are also powerful questions to contemplate on.
Use powerful statements and questions daily, and you will feel the difference in you very quickly – in a matter of weeks, and often, in a matter of days.
5. Feel the fear and do it anyway
Confidence is a natural human trait – can you imagine a toddler that is not confident in themselves? But through life, we often develop unhelpful assumptions about ourselves that do not allow us to use this resource.
Take action even when you feel insecure or scared. Challenge yourself to do at least one uncomfortable or scary thing a day.
That is the fastest way to overcome your insecurities, unleash the confidence that is in you, and succeed in life and business.
‘I used to put on free NLP workshops that I advertised online and during these workshops, I invited people to enrol in my seven-day NLP accreditation training,’ she said.
And through word of mouth, she quickly built a prestigious client base through word of mouth.
‘Every high profile client I’ve worked with was recommended to me by one of my previous clients,’ she said.
‘I pride myself on the quality of my work and have a massive passion for what I teach.
‘In fact, I’m one of only four people in the world with a 100 per cent NLP trainer certification score. I am blessed that the word spread quickly.’
Her high flying clients now turn to Lenka with issues similar to the same doubts that used to plague her.
‘Imposter syndrome is widespread amongst my high-flying clients,’ she revealed.
‘In spite of their achievements, they often feel like a fraud, and they are scared that they will be “found out.”
‘Through my work, I help them to fully accept themselves and use a different kind of motivation instead of fear to advance their businesses and careers. Then, various shades of fear – fear of presenting, fear of selling; fear of judgment and often, fear of success.’
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