TALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS: Sonja Dauner gave up a powerful corporate career to be true to herself and her health.
TALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS: Sonja Dauner gave up a powerful corporate career to be true to herself and her health. Patrick Woods

Grind for perfection led to breakdown, not happiness

WITH a high-flying corporate career in human resources, Sonja Dauner was unhappy, depressed and close to a breakdown.

Her career in Germany and the USA was an undoubted success, but the 60-hour working week pushed her to breaking point.

"I began questioning my choice of lifestyle and recognised that the exhaustion and lack of satisfaction were part of a cycle which, although stimulating for some, gave me no quality of life," she said.

Ms Dauner said such feelings were becoming increasingly common with the pressures on modern women, as the pursuit of perfection in career, health, family and love took over.

"Many smart, diligent women are convinced that perfection - a frankly stupid mindset - is a requisite for happiness," the 31-year-old said. "This is wrong."

The German native quit her career, packed her bags and headed for Australia, spending a year in Byron Bay before moving to Alexandra Headland with her new Australian fiance, Andrew.

"In the past 18 months I've found love, my dream home on the Sunshine Coast and my dream career," she said.

"I have learnt more about inner happiness, inner peace and self truth than any school or university could ever teach."

Ms Dauner said she would love to share her experience and knowledge with women who may recognise themselves through her story. Namely, those who feel pressure on them to have a career, be a perfect mother and still be vibrant, happy, super fit and look great.

"I feel there is a lack of self love amongst modern women as many of us seem too busy trying to please others," she said.

"We need to find our real value. I was completely lost before but started following my truth and values to be what I wanted to be rather than what society thought I should be."

Ms Dauner is beginning a Women's Mastermind group on July 1, using skills and experiences she learnt in the corporate world and from turning her life around.

She hopes to attract 10 other like-minded women open to a life-changing experience; ideally aged 26-45.

Contact Sonja on


Sonja Dauner's Woman's Mastermind Steps:

  • Choose your challenge: Stepping outside your comfort zone is where growth happens, so a goal or challenge will be set.
  • Find your clarity: What exactly do you want out of life? Clarity is power - get organised and take action.
  • Build your belief: Learning how to nurture your love for self.
  • Rise of Superwoman: Taking a satisfied look back at what's been achieved and now having the tools and strategies to shine your light.

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