Natalie Eng

Ever since I was a little girl, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect.

I liked being praised for doing things right, for being a model student, and for figuring things out on my own.
This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; I took care in my work, was extremely dependable, and was extremely organized.

These traits carried with me through high school and into college at The University of Texas in Austin. I loved high school and college- I loved the social aspect, loved learning in my classes, and loved taking on new things. I joined a sorority, clubs, executive councils, certificate programs, volunteer programs, got a part time job, and not to mention this was all on top of a pretty challenging curriculum.

I thought I was thriving by being constantly busy, running on coffee, and saying yes to every opportunity I could. I didn’t realize how hard it was on myself trying to balance everything at once and I didn’t realize how much less time I was living for my faith.

I ended up getting burnt out pretty quickly in my last two years of college…I started getting anxiety for the first time in my life and even started having panic attacks. This was extremely eye opening to me that things were off in my life.

With my type A personality (I’m a 1 on the Enneagram if that tells you anything), rather than taking a step back, I actually started freaking out even more that I didn’t feel in control of my own body and that I might have to give some things up.

I knew I had to rid myself of the stress I was putting myself through though and was willing to make major lifestyle changes.

I turned to God and began just praying constantly through my days and through my anxiety. I intentionally slowed down and began taking more time to reflect on myself and meditate.

Faith has always been a part of my life, but at the time, with a million other things on my mind, I was hardly focused on my relationship with Jesus. It shouldn’t have taken me being so terrified by the panic attacks I was having to surrender to Him, but it did.

Through Jesus and slowing down my lifestyle, I can honestly say that I have gotten over my panic attacks and am not in that place of a need for perfectionism anymore.

It wasn’t easy- I had to give up coffee. Something that I literally did not think I could do. And I had to learn to calm myself down when things weren’t going perfectly. I was determined to find a way to live better naturally, though, and I truly have.

I re-evaluated what health and overall wellness meant to me and I focused more on my faith. This is the reason I started my blog, The Grace Real, to share my passion for faith and wellness, because I truly do think they go hand in hand.

By finally accepting that God is ultimately in control of everything and learning to find joy in the crazy ride that is life, my wellness has reached new peaks and unlocked incredible realizations.

I still sometimes get anxiety over things I cannot change, and I’m still pretty OCD about having my ducks in a row.

Life is about progress, not perfection.

And figuring things out is the fun of it ;)

Where can you find Natalie?

Instagram @faithandwellness_by_nat