A self-confessed “spirit junkie” and cancer survivor, Caroline Groth hasn’t had the easiest path in life. While her feed shows an exuberant yoga-loving blonde beauty with an adventurous soul, there’s a hidden pain behind that smile. With a past steeped in mental health issues, Caroline is coming through the other side – pushing aside fears to head down a new path that sees her leave the corporate world to become a full-time content creator.
On the back of this news, we sat down with the health and wellness influencer to talk tackling mental health, farewelling the corporate world, and facing up to the highs and lows.
Before we chat about what you are up to now, I think it’s important to take a step back to your past. You’ve previously been diagnosed with cancer – can you talk me through that and how it changed you?
Five years ago now I was diagnosed with Lymphoma and I was very young, I was 22 – so that was obviously a very low blow of getting that diagnosis. I didn’t really take it that seriously in the beginning. Or not that I didn’t, but I was a very different person back then. Quite a few situations happened in my life when I was sick with different people that spiralled me into a downward path of depression and anxiety, and losing more weight and feeling left and abandoned, and everything that really led me into just not wanting to be here anymore. I was very severely depressed – but it was then that I had a very big turning point. I was like to myself: ‘Take this seriously. Get well again and f*ck everyone who doesn’t want to support you. Take out all the negativity in your life and take responsibility for yourself because no-one is going to come and save you. You’ve only got yourself to trust’. Maybe that sounds harsh, but at the end of the day – it’s not like I don’t trust people, but I know that no-one’s responsible for my happiness, it’s all me. And I can’t put on anyone else ‘keep me happy’, that’s no-one else’s responsibility. It’s my own path to do the things that resonate with me that makes me happy and makes me find my inner peace and joy.
Is it this decision that recently lead you to quit the corporate world for full-time influencing and content creation?
That low point turned my life around to just wanting to be a different person – I want to be happy. I want to be adventurous. I want to take care of my body, take care of my mind and my mental health. I want to just live and be happy. So for me, that spiral down was a massive change. Yes I was going through cancer, but I think the cancer and other things in my life put me into the headspace of mental health. Now it’s my responsibility to make something of that which I’ve been manifesting for so many years. It’s a big thing.
What does it feel like to give up the corporate world?
It’s very scary. I come from having been in ‘corporate’ for around 11 years. I’m 27 and I started working when I was 16 for an advertising agency back in Copenhagen. I’ve always known what I wanted to do and I’ve always wanted to just get ahead really quickly in some sort of way. I wanted to be able to live life and be financially stable at a young age. When I was 20 I decided to move to Australia and get a job down here and have been working my way up. I always thought I was going to work for someone else – that was always my path and I was so happy with that – but then the older that I’ve gotten, and having found myself after I got sick, that has also led me to feeling very boxed in working for someone else and being in a corporate environment. I feel like when I’m doing the things that I genuinely enjoy sharing with people and working with people and bouncing off their energies and ideas – that is genuinely what makes me happy now – whatever that cost comes at.
Is the money factor an issue?
It’s obviously not as well paid at the moment. I’ve been working my way up over the years so had a fairly decent wage – so that’s a big scary factor that you don’t have the money that you are used to. That’s probably the scariest bit about it, but then again, it’s really what I want to do. I want to share my ideas and what I find inspiring in life with people who are on the same path, and hopefully I can make a difference in someone’s life. I’ve always said that if I can just make a difference in one person’s life, whenever I leave this earth – that would have made my life. I’d leave a very happy girl.
How has it all been going since leaving corporate?
I’m only a month and half into this journey now so it’s still pretty new, but I’ve also always been this type of person that’s not very good with patience – I want everything to happen instantly! I do also take a lot on ALL the time – which is probably a bit too much and I need to tone it down. For a long time I have been manifesting this in my meditation, in my practise, and in life in general – so now everything that I have believed in is actually being presented to me on a gold platter and I can either take it or I can not. I can go back into my old ways of fearing life or I can take the opportunity and just see where it takes me – and see whether I’m going to fail or win.
Have you been experiencing huge highs and lows?
There’s definitely a lot of highs and lows and I think it’s a very emotional life to live – one day you’re on such a high because you had great emails or you talked to some great people and some opportunities have been presented – and the next day suddenly somebody can turn around and say that they don’t want to work with you again or that they’re not going to pay you, so there’s so many areas that can go wrong all the time. You need to be emotionally prepared for freelancing or working for yourself because it can be very hard. If you’re working for yourself and don’t have a business partner either, you have to go through everything on your own. You don’t have anyone to support you. So it is a lot, but it’s also very rewarding.
You mentioned before the interview that you have experienced moments of anxiety…
I am turning my life completely upside down. I only decided six weeks ago that I wouldn’t go back into getting a full time desk job – working 85 hours a week. And that’s not to say I won’t be working a lot more now, when you’re working for yourself it’s seven days a week – I don’t count the weekend as being clock off time. Everything became a bit overwhelming yesterday and it does bring fear and anxiety, but I feel comfortable in the fear because I so heavily believe that everything I have been manifesting is now showing up and it’s really where I need to go. It is my true path and anything else that comes up and tells me it’s not is simply the old me that is telling me that I’m not good enough. I do know that I’ve been working hard for it and that I am good enough, now I just need to cultivate on that. It’s a weird feeling of having mixed emotions of feeling fearful but then still feeling peaceful with the fear. You know it’s going to pass, but you just need to get through it.
All images: @carolinehgroth