Do you find yourself doubting your dating and friendship decisions? Maybe you have an on and off relationship that's lingered too long, a friend you secretly dread seeing, or just a feeling that someone in your life is a bit toxic. How can you learn to find navigate these difficult relationships, redefine negative thought patterns and find another perspective?
In the new book, I Deserve Better, YouTuber, self-development coach and author Maz Dela Cerna provides a practical guide on how to recognise the core issues in relationships and make changes for the better. She guides readers through the journey of getting unstuck and picking yourself back up from relationships that can be damaging, while learning to cultivate your existing connections.
Drawing upon her own personal experiences and lessons learnt along the way – including overcoming drug addiction, homelessness and abuse – Maz knows firsthand the power of spiritual and emotional awakening to get your life back on track. Working her way the toughest of life experiences, Maz now coaches people around the world to help turn their hurt to happy and pain into purpose so they can achieve their dreams and live a more contented life.
Practical, real and empowering, I Deserve Better is a call to arms to create the life and the relationships you actually want.
About the author:
Maz Dela Cerna is an inspirational author, blogger, YouTuber and self-development coach. With a history of abuse, drug addiction, weight gain and trauma, she changed her life around when she lost 30kg and went on to become a bikini competitor and sponsored ProTeam Australia athlete. Her physical transformation triggered a spiritual and emotional awakening forcing her to look within and dig into subconscious thought patterns and behaviours. From what started as documenting and sharing her journey on YouTube and Instagram, Maz is now the founder of the Phoenix Rising Collective and coaches people around the world to uncover and remove their self-limiting beliefs and self-destructive thoughts. This is her first book.
I Deserve Better
Maz Dela Cerna
Question: What originally inspired the idea of I Deserve Better?
Maz Dela Cerna: When I experienced my first spiritual awakening in 2014, I wanted to help inspire others to turn their lives around. I thought why not give back to the world and share lessons I have learnt along the way through many mistakes. After all, I had overcome childhood abuse, sexual abuse, homelessness, drug addiction and depression. Why not save people years of heartache and stumbling through life. Why not be to others who I needed for myself? When my book idea "I Deserve Better" was born, I was going through a break up. I had already experienced a string of toxic and abusive relationships and my last ex was someone I thought was my forever. Boy I was wrong.
Yet he unknowingly taught me how to recognise patterns, red flags and also triggered me to further my own self-healing. I thought I was done with the toxic cycle yet I found myself in another. The book helped me through my own healing and self-discovery and as I went down my own journey, I shared what I learnt on paper so that others could relate and benefit from my experiences.
Question: What did you learn, about yourself, whilst writing I Deserve Better?
Maz Dela Cerna: It became blatantly obvious that we are all human and we will always make a bad decision or not so wise choice. However out of every heartbreak and every setback, it is an opportunity for growth. My self-development journey really started in 2014 even though I was unknowingly using the Law of Attraction since I was 14. Growth is a never-ending journey. There is no destination. Yet the more we grow, the more we learn and the more mistakes we make the wiser we become.
The funny thing is the more we learn, the more we realise we really have so much more to learn. So much of our strength stems from hitting rock bottom. So at the end of the day, did we ever really make a mistake? We have the power to choose how we want to react, respond or perceive any given situation. The biggest lesson I learnt was that if I took accountability for my own actions and the part I played, the more I became enlightened and the real healing took place.
Question: Was it difficult reliving certain aspects/times of your life, whilst writing I Deserve Better?
Maz Dela Cerna: To be perfectly honest, throughout the book I had to stop myself and let myself cry a few times. I had forgotten the feelings, the pain and the tears I had cried in the past. It was crazy to think I had accepted or experienced such bad behaviour and to go back and relive it did bring up old emotions. It was surreal, like the girl I was writing about wasn't me. I don't feel anything like her anymore nor do I think like her but to write about it from memory was eye opening. It was a nice reminder as to just how far I have come.
Question: What's the main message you hope readers take from I Deserve Better?
Maz Dela Cerna: No matter what kind of hand we are dealt. We always have the power to choose our next move. We can't control outside circumstances nor can we control others but we do have power over ourselves, our response and how we choose to look and deal with things. Once we can start to shift ourselves internally, the external seems to shift and match what we feel inside. At the end of the day, I attracted toxic relationships because deep down I didn't truly appreciate or love myself. Once this changed, the people around me did too.
Question: Can you share some tips with us, featured in the book?
Maz Dela Cerna: My book speaks of all types of relationships, lovers, friends, family and even colleagues. It shares insights, hacks and tips on how we can self analyze, self-reflect and take control of how we respond or perceive things. It also suggests ways on how to improve the quality of our existing relationships, because let's face it, we have all been toxic at some point. So many people find themselves in toxic relationships and aren't even aware of the extremity of it.
Question: What research did you do, prior to writing I Deserve Better?
Maz Dela Cerna: Honestly, there was no research. just a lot of experience of pain, trauma and learning how to pick myself up and turn my life around. To this day, I have to remind myself of the girl that slept on a park bench and remember just how much I wanted the things I have now. My book is made up of decades of mistakes and working on my own personal development and spiritual growth. I just hope it helps others that are stuck in mindsets I once was stuck in and saves them years of stumbling around. This book certainly would have come in handy for me back then so I guess I had to go through it all to help others on their own paths.
Question: What or who inspired your love of reading/writing?
Maz Dela Cerna: I wanted to be on "Getaway" travel show when I was a child. Only because I never thought I would be able to afford to travel the world. In my teens, I looked into it and realised I had to go to university and study. I didn't finish high school so I let go of that dream thinking it would never be possible now. It's crazy as now I have been to almost 30 countries, shared some of the experiences on YouTube and instead of being the host on Getaway I am now a published Author and blogger. I didn't even finish high school nor do I have any type of degree.
I've always enjoyed reading and writing short stories for as long as I remember. It was a way for me to escape my reality. I have tried to write a book a couple of times over the years. This was my third attempt. "I Deserve Better" wasn't planned. It kind of just happened when I was in a slump. I was down and out after a breakup. As the universe always works in mysterious ways, I stumbled onto my mentor, bestselling Author Shannon Kaiser and she helped me get my book off the ground and up and running.
Question: What's next, for you?
Maz Dela Cerna: Currently I am focused on my mentoring business where I help others remove self-limiting blocks and subconscious beliefs so that they can live the lives they want. I also help people stuck in toxic cycles with themselves and others. I find it so rewarding making a difference in the world in my own way. I always thought I would never achieve anything. I always thought I would be broke and struggling for the rest of my life. Life changed for me when I changed my thinking and now I help coach others to do the same. I am also working on my next book. It really is a super exciting phase for me and something I am truly appreciative of.
Interview by Gwen van Montfort