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Joyce De Bakker - Life Coach - About Me

I was born in Belgium and raised in a doomsday cult.

I left this cult in 1996, I was 16. I didn’t think much of it then and unbeknownst to me I carried a lot of brainwashing and dysfunctional patterns. In that moment, I felt free, unburdened, I could finally just be Joyce and stop living the double life I had craftily created for myself over the years.

It would take me many years before I could accept I had grown up in a cult and how extremely messed up my upbringing had been. The true effect this had on my psyche was immense and the way I walked through life was very much warped because I looked at everything through the brainwashed lens.

Barely 20, I moved across the world, from Belgium to Sydney, Australia. Following a guy who I, in hindsight, barely knew. All I was sure about was that I wanted to get out of Belgium and go as far away as possible. This type of big life change was repeated many times as I moved to several states, several different houses and countries again and again. Always looking for a place I’d belong.

Throughout my life, I was a chronic people-pleaser, never speaking up for myself and afraid to rock the boat. I was a door mat. I didn’t believe in myself and was a total victim of my circumstances. I couldn’t hold friendships, jobs or relationships.

As with anything leaning into the dark side, I had other less than attractive characteristics. I was extremely manipulative, I lied and I also got caught up in frequently taking drugs and drinking until I blacked out.

At 32, I knew something had to change so I worked with a psychologist who finally made me realise how my life was affected by the brainwashing of my youth.

Following therapy, I discovered a plethora of self and other guided healing modalities as well as life coaching. Some worked and some didn’t. I’d like to say that from that year onward my life was a breeze but it wasn’t. I had to be vigilant and every layer that was uncovered showed more layers to work through. Believe it or not, I even got caught up in another cult back in 2017. You’d think I’d know better by then, right? 

It took years of unravelling, learning things anew and adapting to this new version of me. 


It feels like I’ve asked myself that questions a million times. It always reminds me of the original Shrek movie where Donkey asks this over and over again and then proceeds to just smack the lips. Cracks me up.

So, have I arrived?

I used to only focus on the destination and think once I finally, finally achieved that certain something I was so desperately working on overcoming, I would have arrived. This type of work doesn’t work that way or so I’ve discovered.

It’s a journey, you never truly arrive but you do get to look back and you will be amazed at how far you have come and how much you have grown. You’ll be so grateful you started when you did. You’ll be blown away how much your thoughts have changed, how your beliefs are completely different and that your life might just have started looking like you dreamed about for so long. 

I know this because I have blown my own mind! I’ve achieved things I never thought possible. The Joyce I once was is no more and, while I still struggle with some things that seem to take forever to break through, I know I will. 



This work is truly for the bravehearts!

YOU are a braveheart. You’re strong and you can do this even if it seems scary and the last thing you want to be doing! I believe in you. Don’t let what happened in your past hold you there. Don’t let those critical inner voices win. They are lying to you!

If you’re constantly nudged in a certain direction, choose to walk that path. Honestly, what’s the worst that can happen?


If the nudge to know more is stronger than the desire to retreat, sign up for a call with me. I’m very excited to get to know you! It’s a no-obligation, totally free catch up.  

You can find out all about it by clicking the button below.

See you on our Zoom call!