My name is Vironika Tugaleva and I am on a mission to make this world a better place, one person at a time. I want to help you cultivate self-awareness and self-love, heal mental and emotional suffering, build deeper relationships with others, and unleash your inner potential to change the world.
Why Am I Here?
I do what I do because I know how much it matters.
For many years, I hated myself. Every single moment of my life was tainted by an endless stream of self-judgment, resentment, and anxiety. I hated my cellulite and my Eastern European smile. I hated the way I blushed when I felt awkward around people, which was all the time. I hated how I couldn’t make anyone laugh or want to be around me. I hated how I wasn’t like the people on TV.
I lived in a prison inside my own mind. It seemed like there was no way out.
Living in that kind of pain isn’t sustainable for anyone. I developed coping mechanisms. I found drugs and alcohol. I found makeup. I found co-dependent relationships. I found eating disorders. The more I hated myself, the more I abused myself. The more I abused myself, the more I hated myself. It was a vicious circle.
My insecurities and addictions grew more serious as I became an adult. I donned more and more makeup. I dyed my hair. I changed my personality every 2 to 3 years, always trying to become someone different, so that I didn’t have to face myself—the self I thought was so ugly and disgusting.
In my early twenties, my suffering reached a pinnacle. My adrenal glands stopped working. I stopped sleeping. I was barely eating. I became suicidal. I started to hear voices.
I had developed a full-blown mental illness.
Being stubborn as I was (okay, still am), I tried to pretend nothing was happening. I continued to repress my authentic self under layers of masks, desperately trying to keep myself together. I pushed myself down so hard that, eventually, the only thing I could do was burst out.
That was how, one spring evening in 2012, I ended up sitting on my bedroom floor with my mind strangely clear, knowing that I had to make a choice: change or die.
I weighed the pros and cons for a long time that night. If I changed, I would have to relinquish control. I would have to stop hiding and set myself free. And what would I set free? Was it a monster? What if I was hideous inside? But if I died, there would be nothing more. Nothing could get better. Still, dying meant no more pain. No more hallucinations. No more hatred. No more shame. No more anxiety.
Somehow, I made the right choice.
I woke up the next morning and realized, for the first time in my life, that I had a problem with my thoughts. I had a problem with the things I believed about myself, about people, about the past, about life. I didn’t need to change myself. I needed to learn to accept myself. I needed to heal.
That day began a long journey that still continues to this very day—a journey of authenticity, vulnerability, and healing.
I learned to love my body. I stopped wearing makeup, dyeing my hair, and dieting. Instead of eating healthy and exercising because I wanted to reach some number on the scale, I began to take care of myself out of love. I learned to hug myself and hold myself while I cried. I learned to speak kindly to the woman in the mirror.
I began healing, and stopped hiding from old wounds. I faced the numerous traumas from my past and allowed myself to feel pain that I’d buried under layers of faux self-confidence. I cried for days, and then I cried some more. I forgave myself. I forgave those who hurt me. I forgave myself for hurting others.
I stopped hiding from people. I started to express who I really was and how I felt. I began to speak what I felt and what I believed in. I got rid of all of the clothes and accessories I had used to portray my “personality” to people, and began to act in a way that was natural. I began to care deeply for others and crave deep, meaningful connection that went beyond judgment and beyond masks.
I stopped hiding in work that brought me no joy. I realized that the world needed a bit of the love that had healed me, and I committed myself to bringing light into the dark corners of the world—corners I once knew as home.
But that was just the beginning. I’m not done. I’ll never be done. Too many people in the self-help world make it sound like we’re “done”, like we’re the “teachers” and everyone needs to learn from us. When I first started doing this work, I thought I had to be that. I thought I had to be some wise guru. I just don’t see it that way anymore.
I’m still on a journey and I always will be. Maybe it’s easy for me not to wear makeup anymore, but I still struggle with being fully authentic everywhere I go. I am still working on facing my fears, coping with criticism, and overcoming self-judgment. I am not (and will never be) perfect and I don’t have all the answers. What I can do is just be honest with you, and hope that the part of you that longs to be liberated is inspired by my own ongoing journey of self-liberation.
I want to be a guide, not a guru. I want to be a friend, not an expert. I know, from experience, that you must find your own way. I just want to walk with you on that journey and help you understand that you are not alone.
That is really what I am here to do—love you and support you. Because you deserve it. Because you need it. And because I need it too. Love is not just for me or just for you. It’s for all of us. Love is what the world needs, and I’m here to do my part in that.
What Do I Do?
My work began with writing The Love Mindset. This was my first book and I continue to be amazed by how the world has received it. In the first few months, it became an Amazon bestseller and went on to win the 2013 Readers’ Favorite silver medal for Best Self-Help Book.
This book has touched people all over the world, including me. It’s helped me so much. What I wrote in there hit on a deep universal truth. I was just the messenger for it. I am still learning to implement its lessons better.
I began doing life coaching shortly before The Love Mindset came out into the world. It was actually a complete accident. I was speaking at an event and a woman came up to me and said, “Do you do coaching?” The rest is history.
I think life coaching is the most amazing work in the world. To be able to help people find the way to their authentic selves and make their lives more conducive to love and happiness—I could not ask for anything more. My clients and I, we laugh together, cry together, and heal together. I learn from everyone I work with and they learn from me.
I have also created many other products for the journey of self-love and self-awareness. My greatest pride and joy is the 30 Day Self-Love Challenge. This video program has changed so many lives, including my own. From its first moments, the challenge’s Facebook community—which quickly earned the nickname of “the tribe”—was the most loving, safe space I’d ever witnessed.
Inspired by the loving energy created in the self-love tribe, I asked myself: how could I bring even more people together in this way? This is how the Love Tribes were born. These Facebook communities are safe containers for the journey of self-discovery. I hope that, if you’re discovering yourself and you need a loving community (which everyone does), you’ll join us. You have nothing to lose but the illusion of being alone.
Another project I’ve launched in hopes of changing the world is The Real Us—a community blog where people share their real-life inspiring stories and poems about healing, courage, authenticity, and kindness. The goal of The Real Us is two-fold: to give readers inspiring role models for the journey of life and to give writers the opportunity to heal and grow by telling their stories.
Throughout this journey, I have been committed to sharing my experiences and epiphanies with others. You can read more on my blog or visit the Media page to read articles, watch videos, and listen to radio shows and podcasts. Everything I create, I create for you. So, if you have any ideas for topics you’d like me to cover on my blog or YouTube channel, please let me know. After all, I am here to help you! Your feedback matters to me.
What I Want For the World
I am not going to be around forever. I think about this all the time. I ask myself: what do I want my life to stand for? How do I want the world to be different because I was here?
My answer to this is ever-evolving, but right now, this is what I want for the world:
- Self-awareness – I believe that healing and happiness are processes. I believe they are identical processes. It takes the same thing to get out of a hole as it does to get up a mountain: climbing. That is what I help people do: climb. Then, it does not matter whether you are stuck in suffering or if you’re stuck in fear of your own success, the way out is the same. Learning to understand yourself through self-awareness opens the door to both deep self-acceptance and lasting self-improvement.
- Loving Leadership – I believe that the best leadership is loud authenticity. That is what the world needs now. We don’t need more plastic, Photoshoped perfection. I don’t want people to look at me and wish they could be me. I want people to look at me and see their own potential. I want people to be more accepting of their own failures, imperfections, and struggles because they watch me be so accepting of my own. I want to be a friend and an equal. I am not here to amass followers. I am here to interact deeply with individuals, and to give of my time as generously as I do of my love.
- Love over dogma – I believe that people can find healing and happiness without calling what they are doing “the love mindset.” I don’t need people to use the same words that I use. When I’m coaching someone, if they want to use the word God, then I’ll use that word too. I do my best not to force my own language on others, but rather allow them to find their own words and their own way. I see this as an act of love—a decision to connect in the face of an opportunity to disconnect.
- Loving community – The 30 Day Self-Love Challenge tribe and the Love Tribes have taught me the importance of bringing people together. While we are all responsible for taking charge of our own thoughts and our own reactions, we don’t need to do it alone. I hope that I can continue to bring people together with one another, and I hope that my work inspires others to do the same. I have seen how much of a difference this makes.
- Human potential – My partner once said to me, “I want to show people what’s possible.” My immediate reaction was, “Me too.” I see this tendency in most people. And why? Because we are all part of human potential. We all want to show each other what’s possible, because those possibilities are sitting there, deep within, waiting to be discovered. I believe that every single person in the world has the capacity to further our understanding of human potential simply by practicing self-discovery and acting on what they discover.
- Being Natural – I love nature. I find myself in sunsets and along jungle trails. That’s because I am nature. We all are. The beauty of the sunset is your own beauty. The power of the ocean is your power. We are inseparable from the beauty of the mountains, rivers, and forests that surround us. We must do everything we can to appreciate that beauty in its true form, rather than cutting it down to size. I believe that the more that you can allow your natural self to come out—to honour your natural beauty, your natural creativity, your natural thirst for leadership and compassion—the happier and healthier you’ll be.
I appreciate your reading this far and I hope that, if you resonate with my story and if you believe what I believe, you’ll walk with me a little further.
I hope you’ll take this opportunity to get your free sneak preview of The Love Mindset. You’re also invited to stay here a while to read the blog, get some free stuff, and check out the Media section.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am here for you.