My name is
celinne da costa
And my mission is to help you unlock the
infinite power inside of your story.
It's the early 90's in the heart of Rome, Italy, and a curious little girl is in her bedroom — notebooks spread around her — talking to the bird in her backyard and dreaming of traveling the world.
Little did she know that soon, she'd be immigrating to the United States, where she'd be conditioned to believe that the only way she could be happy and successful was to settle for the "responsible" path to adulthood. And so she did, getting her Communication degree from the University of Pennsylvania and settling down as a brand strategist in corporate New York City.
Doesn't sound like a great story, does it? I didn't think so either.
That's why in 2016, I closed that chapter and opted to pick up the pen and rewrite my story from scratch. But this time, one that meant rediscovering who I really am in my soul, which allowed me to see and experience the rest of the world and the magic it has to offer, and create a business that was not only aligned to my purpose but could also impact people's lives for the better.
On the way, I remembered what I always knew to be true in my heart:
You get to choose your story, and the story you choose will transform your life.
Hi, I'm Celinne
Growing up, I never felt like I fit in anywhere.
I was born in Rome, Italy, to a Brazilian mother and an Italian father. As a child, I was naturally quirky, creative, and insatiably curious, but lived in an environment that rewarded conformity and punished outside-of-the-box thinking. I was consistently corrected for asking too many confronting questions and thinking differently, so I compromised myself to fit in and be like everyone else.
To add to that, things at home were extremely turbulent, and I was raised with chaos and deception all around me. I felt helpless and unsafe to express my true emotions, so to cope with my reality, I created different worlds through storytelling — full of castles, princesses, and animals who could talk.
I immigrated to America
When I was ten years old, my family and I immigrated from Italy to a suburb in Connecticut. As a child, I struggled with adapting myself to these unexpected changes... It was freezing, I didn't know anyone, I didn't speak the language, I was bullied for being different, and I felt lonely and confused about how the world operated.
I was quickly sold the idea of the "American Dream": work hard, climb the corporate ladder, make lots of money, buy a white-picket-fence house in the suburbs, retire, and travel when I'm old.
I convinced myself that if I wanted to be successful and happy, I needed to follow the rules. And that looked like learning to speak the language, not standing out so I could be accepted, and impressing those around me to prove that I was enough. So I got to it.
I did all the things I was "supposed" to do.
I worked my ass off, mastered the English language, got all good grades, and did everything I thought I needed to do to blend in. I ended up getting into an Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania, with a full scholarship and graduated with honors.
On the outside, I was a star student with everything going for her. But what most people didn't know, because I hid it deep inside, was that I was actually chronically depressed to the point where I didn't want to leave my house and had to see a therapist. I was also struggling with anxiety attacks, had a toxic relationship with myself, an eating disorder, few real friendships, and was constantly overriding my own intuition to accomplish what I thought was expected of me.
I graduated and moved to New York City.
By this time, I was so conditioned to be, think, and act in ways that would give me the approval I thought I needed. I felt there was something inherently wrong with me for wanting something different, so I silenced my dreams and settled for what I call a "placeholder" life — being a shadow of who I really was.
When I graduated, I decided to relocate to New York City since it was where most people from my university were going. I got a corporate job as a brand strategist at an advertising agency making $35,000 a year and moved into a tiny apartment with three other people. It had mice and was so cramped that I couldn't even sit up on my lofted bed!
Every day looked exactly the same: wake up at 6:30 a.m., go to the gym, go to work, have a 12-hour day, go on a date or get a drink with a friend, go to bed, and do it all over again. If I had free time on weekends, I'd actually do what I loved, which was writing for my blog and exploring different neighborhoods.
I was always rolling up my sleeves and doing whatever it took to be "successful" but the truth was, I was making a lot of decisions, and none of them were truly mine...
Sh*t started to fall apart…
There was something inside of me begging to feel alive and like my life had purpose, so I used my 2-week yearly vacation to go to Cambodia and volunteer at an orphanage. I had already traveled the world, and (being half Brazilian) saw poverty before, but my time in Cambodia was extremely heartbreaking. It's one of the poorest countries in the world, and for the first time in my life, I witnessed the darkest pits of human misery. While I was there, my grandfather also passed away unexpectedly, which broke my heart even more.
When I returned home, I realized that my life wasn't contributing to helping anyone, and because of this, I felt empty. I couldn't stomach going on with my life knowing people were suffering all over the planet while I was earning my paycheck helping big corporations fatten their wallet. To add to that, I wasn't even doing much to help myself, which is the first step to making any kind of impact.
I knew I had been put on Earth for more, so that day, I made a promise to myself:
"I will not spend another minute of my life consciously living in fear."
I realized that my fear of being different, being judged, and not measuring up to the person I thought I "had" to be had been keeping me stuck in a never-ending loop of misery.
I had to change my life. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I knew I had to. Once I made that decision, things started to conveniently fall apart: I didn't get the promotion I thought I was going to get, my then-boyfriend broke up with me on my 25th birthday, and my apartment rent drastically skyrocketed, which meant I couldn't afford it anymore and had to move out.
I created a social experiment, marking the beginning of my career.
I was so desperate for change, yet felt so stuck in my situation that I realized the only way out was to make a radical decision to redesign my life from scratch. I put my career on hold and got on a plane with a one-way ticket to Europe with nothing but a carry-on and my determination.
For as long as I could remember, my dream was to travel the world. Society told me that following this dream would stray me from a path of success, but I had to believe that I had the courage to walk away... That I was the creator of my reality and the author of my own story.
I wanted to prove that it was possible to follow my heart, and so long as I was on the right path, the Universe — and humanity — would support me. So, I decided to create a social experiment to see how far human connection could literally take me...
In this social experiment, I put my fate into the hands of mostly strangers and challenged myself to circumnavigate the globe by couch-surfing through my social network of humans. For a whole year, I traveled to 20+ countries and stayed in the homes of 100+ hosts. I listened to the stories of people all over the world and documented the entire journey. Every day, I was sharing stories about my life, my growth, and the people I met along the way.
I was even invited by Forbes to document my journey in a column, which I did alongside growing my Instagram and other channels.
I started my business helping people share their most authentic story.
Before I knew it, I had organically built my brand through the power of storytelling. Entrepreneurs started approaching me, asking what I was doing and if I could help them share their story and grow their brand, too. They wanted me to help them because they were struggling to get seen in their industry, build meaningful connections with their audience, and create a brand that actually stood out from their competitors.
That's when I realized that my quirkiness and way of seeing the world differently — which I used to think was a flaw — was actually a blessing in disguise! I had a special gift not only for telling stories, but for helping people see what made them stand out and express this in a clear, articulate manner. Little did I know, there was a huge demand for what I was doing. Once I connected to my purpose, my business quickly scaled to 6 figures and beyond.
I experienced my dark night of the soul.
Word about my work spread quickly, and big media outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur wrote about me. I started getting contacted by top industry leaders, some with multi-million dollar companies and hundreds of thousands of followers, to help them share their story. I even got invited by TEDx to share my story!
Here's what people didn't know, though: while the message that I gave during my TEDx talk was real and from my heart, I was so physically in pain that I collapsed into a chair upon finishing my speech. In less than 24 hours, I had to go to the emergency room where they found a huge cyst in my ovary.
I was successful on the outside, but I'd been unconsciously neglecting my physical and mental health - I'd burnt myself out three years in a row, my heart was broken from yet another "situationship" with a man where I didn't value myself, and the day before my TEDx talk, I was in bed popping pain killers because I was in so much pain.
I learned that even though on the outside I was getting featured, financially successful, and living a great life, on the inside, I was still repeating the same old conditioning and habit patterns that kept me stuck in my old New York City ways: I hadn't yet broken out of my workaholism, fear of expressing myself fully, or measuring my worth according to others' expectations.
I had to take a step back and take a hard look at all the unhealed parts of my life that were the root cause of this, because I knew that until I took care of my inner world, I'd never truly feel worthy of the public story I'd created for myself. The story that I told myself, about myself - the private story - had to be in alignment.
I led myself through deep, intensive healing and inner work.
My next journey was to bridge the gap between my public and private story. I was in so much pain, but I was 100% committed to going all-in and showing up for myself so that I could get to the root of the problem. Sometimes, I would do over six hours of hypnotherapy, breathwork, energy work, and other healing modalities a week to understand what was happening in my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies.
Up until then, I thought self-development was positive affirmations and mindset work — but I realized that in order to create real, lasting change within yourself and set yourself free of the chains of your past, you have to be willing to get very uncomfortable, have the courage to shine light into the depths of your own darkness, and get really honest with yourself so that you can look at all the areas of your life where you've been settling and keeping yourself small.
It was a challenging process, but it was the real work. For over a year, I kept digging and healing into what felt like a dark tunnel with no promise of a way out. I studied and practiced many powerful healing modalities, and spent over thousands of hours becoming a practitioner in Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Conscious Connected Breathwork, Holistic Healing Hypnotherapy, and Life, Motivational, and Emotional Intelligence coaching.
This work - coupled with my real-life experiences, my 8+ years of studying communication, psychology, and human behavior, as well as my on-the-ground deep work with clients - helped me become masterful in how the subconscious mind works and how to use different modalities to heal, evolve, and rewrite the stories from the inside out. I went from helping people create sexy, public stories to helping them rewrite the story within themselves, as it relates to their business, to relationships, to money, and much more.
My clients created powerful results, such as publishing best-selling books, getting featured on Forbes and TEDx themselves, speaking on stages in front of thousands of people, and scaling their businesses by the hundreds of thousands in revenue... But most importantly, they were shedding the weight of their past, stepping into their fullest truth and expression, and from that space, sharing their story with the world in a way that accelerated their career growth and could really change other people's lives.
My mission today.
At the end of the day, what really matters is the story you tell yourself, about yourself. I can help you create an epic hero's journey, but if it doesn't match your private story, you'll never feel fulfilled or worthy.
The real work is staying connected to your bigger purpose, vision, and values, and creating strong, unshakable inner foundations so that you can operate in your highest Soul's potential. From that space, the authentic messaging, deep connections to your team and audience, leadership in your industry, and overall well-being becomes as natural as breathing air.
I want you to live a purposeful, meaningful life while positively impacting many people's lives in the process. My mission is to support visionary leaders like you with letting go of limiting stories of the past, step into your fullest Soul's expression, and not only tell, but become the greatest story you've ever told so that you can create a life and business that's beyond what you could have dreamed of.