How I became a coach?

Published Categorised as Letters from Anita
How I became a coach?

There was a newspaper that my family was subscribed to and every week there were a few pages about astrology, psychology, spirituality and witchcraft, all mixed together. There I got first introduced to meditation, and so I started practising it in my early teenage years.


I loved reading books as a child (still do) and I read about 4 books per week in my primary school. Once we had an assignment in school and as I was researching for it, I had to go to the big library, the one for grown-ups, not the one with books for children and teenagers. And there heaven opened up for me. There were meters and meters of books about psychology, spirituality, philosophy, religion. I became a member and started digging in.

Even though I was the top student, and it was not hard for me to remember things and connect the dots, I became interested in human brains and how can I learn faster and also how can I solve my personal problems. I bought a book about NLP, neurolinguistic programming. There I first read the word coach, but I forgot all about it, because I was at that time not that much interested in being a coach as I was interested in solving my own problems.

After primary school I went to technical school for fashion design where I met many interesting, creative people, that I could have deep conversations with. I finally felt like there are people like me on this planet. However, I still had many insecurities about how I look, social anxiety and since I came from the family where there was arguing around money, I was anxious about money and wanted to figure it out. During that time movie The Secret came out, and I became super interested in Law of Attraction. I also learned from a magazine about health how to do EFT (emotional freedom technique) on myself. So I started tapping. So, I was tapping on my problems and reading books about positive thinking like my life depend on them.

I’ve decided, that I am going to study psychology, but the mother of my friend said that would be a shame for me, because I have a feeling for people and I could lose it if I would box myself into academic theories. Her point was that I would start seeing people through the filters instead of actually seeing them. I am sure now that there are many psychologists and therapists who actually see people, but back then I was young and afraid I could actually lose my ability to really connect with people and see them for who they are. So I didn’t put psychology as my first choice when I was applying to the university. I knew psychology is my passion anyway, and I am going to read about it, and practice what I learn in my own life anyway. I decided I am going to study philosophy and English language. But it was a half ass decision, as I actually at that point really wanted to go out of school life and experience the real world. My brother used to say that those who are good in school, don’t know how to make it in real life, and I wanted to try if I can make it, if I can be an exception to his rule. And I also wanted to experience who I am as a human, besides that person who is good at school.

So I left university (shock for my family) and enrolled into spiritual university (3 year program with weekly meetings, where I was learning about microcosmos, macrocosmos, esoterics, subtle worlds etc. and where we practised meditation).
I also started painting on tote bags as a help to the mother of my friend I mentioned before. One thing led to another, and soon I started my own company. My idea was making eco-friendly accessories that even people who don’t care about global warming and ecology would want to wear and use, (back then, the majority of eco-friendly products didn’t look very stylish).

As I became an artistic businesswoman, I had to go way out of my comfort zone, if I wanted to make money with doing what I love. The nature of my work allowed me to listen to personal development materials while I was working. And I started reading books about business and money and doubled my positive thinking. I was doing everything I could action wise and everything I could to have my mindset straight, so I could again go back into what sometimes felt like arena, the market, and sell my products.

After 4 years, my business finally started bringing in enough money, so I could pay off my debt and say that I actually do live from doing what I loved. I was planning to, alongside with my eco-friendly accessories business, transition more into writing (which was always my first love) and sharing how you can achieve the desired lifestyle of doing what you love for living. I even had a booklet written with EFT scripts to bring in more business and money, and the title was “It can be easy.” But what an irony, at that point I burned out. At first, I didn’t even know what happened, I thought I am just being lazy, and I was beating myself up about it. It took me years to recover and to figured out the answer to the question “Why I’ve burned out, even though I was doing what I loved?”. I was doing what l loved plus doing personal development work, and could almost teach others about the law of attraction. It just didn’t make sense why I crashed.

A few months after I burned out, I was invited to a week-long training about (and with) coaching and family constellations and how to use it as a youth worker. I was already familiar with family constellations (I already had them done for me and I partake a role in about 200 family constellations for other people at that point), and it happened that I completely fell in love with coaching. It was something where I could bring all my experiences, variety of skills and interests together, to help people achieve doing what they love for living. I was already doing this on some level, but now I felt like I can start officially doing this. There is this career path where I can actually make money with what I already love doing for free? Having deep life-changing conversations with people and getting paid for it? Sign me up.

If before I was listening and reading content from other coaches with a goal to improve my results in my eco-friendly accessories business, now my goal became to learn from them how to become the best coach possible, so I can give the best possible service to my clients.

And so there came years of recovering from burn out, embracing my shadows, diving deep into my emotions, self-reflection, contemplation, meditation, and learning about coaching from a variety of coaches, taking personal development courses. I also had some painful experiences with people that really got me asking what it is about me that I let those people in, in the first place, which led me to research even deeper about human psychology and the games we play.

It was 2021 when it finally became clear to me, how I burned out despite doing what I love. The answer: There were so many things I was also doing out of guilt, obligation, over-responsibility, and I was carrying a big emotional burden filled with shame, guilt and fear of abandonment. I learned about complex PTSD, and I started facing my inheritance as a child of an alcoholic who lived most of her life with emotionally immature people.

During my 20 years of personal development, I learned tons of self-help techniques. From woo woo ones to those that are scientifically researched and recognised. My edge is that I learned them because I desperately needed help for myself. And when I work with my clients, I share with them things that actually work. However, each person is unique, so I continuously work on the skill I find the most important – deeply listening, so we can find what works for you.

Word cloud of techniques, skills, methods, way of thinking, school of thoughts, healing systems, that I was diving in, or I still am to help myself and others (there’s definitely more that I didn’t think of in an instant).

In my coaching practice, I now help creative people and visionaries to achieve their business and lifestyle goals while working through the deeper stuff and acquiring the soft skills they need for tangible outcomes. So they can live the life that is actually theirs and not something others have planned for them or forced upon them.

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    By Anita Puksic

    Human since 1990, blogger since 2007, researcher of human's depths, life coach, always learning, INFJ, human design projector, half woo woo, half science anita@anitapuksic.com

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