1. Anita, what are the problems you help people solve as a life and business coach?
People usually come to me when they have a new business idea that they want to bring into fruition, or when they are ready to start focusing on doing the work they really love.
I work with
→ seasoned entrepreneurs,
→ fresh entrepreneurs that usually just transitioned from being an employee or are thinking about transition, and
→ artists and content creators.
What is common to all of them is, that they are all very responsible, even over responsible, and get the work done, when they work for other people.
But when it comes to their work, to the things they actually want to be doing, they don’t find the time in their schedule. When they have time, they clean the house. Or someone needs their help and they can’t say no. They are frustrated, because they really want to do what they love, what excites them, they know they are capable of doing it, but it’s like something is always in the way. And because all of my clients are already in personal development – they all did tons of inner work already – they understand, that they are sabotaging themselves. They are also aware that they have some blind spots that they are not able to see on their own. Their dreams matter to them, they feel in their soul they must take a next step, and they are willing to invest their energy, time and money to get moving in the direction of their dreams.
2. What do you love about coaching?
God, so many things!
→ Personally, I love material world, (Nature is all materia), I love talking about business, and at the same time I am also a spiritual person, personal development junkie, obsessed with how human beings work. I thrive on deep conversations, I love seeing people’s emotions… And in coaching, we combine deep inner work and practical steps in the material world. It is deeply fulfilling for me, I am 98% of the time glowing after sessions.
→ People are so beautiful when they are real, when they share their dreams and fears. It’s such an honour for me to witness what’s going on inside a fellow human being.
→ It feels so sacred to me. It is a sacred process of co-creation, I feel sometimes like I am a midwife assisting in the birth of their true self into the world.
3. You already said that usually your client has done a lot of inner work already when they find you. And you support very much that your clients get all the support they can get by using also other resources, not just you as the only help.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Speaking from my own experience, it takes a global village of support to become a grown up person. As an adult human, you need support from other people to become the best version of yourself, especially if you are a business owner, a leader, a person with a lot of responsibilities and big goals. These types of people often feel lonely. You are not alone in your loneliness, there are many people walking around with the same feeling. Maybe it’s time to slowly open up to colleagues, peer groups, interest groups, coaches, mentors, accountability buddies, friends who really get you. I also recommend psychotherapy, it was very beneficial for me. When you surround yourself with people, even if it is online, who get you, who support you, who cheer you on, it is so much easier to stay accountable than if you try to make it on your own, without any support.
As a coach, I also don’t want people to have a codependent relationship with me, in fact, one of my main messages is, you are the main authority in your life. So, no matter what I say, no matter what your colleagues, mentors, family and friends say, you know the best what is right for you. You know the best who you are and why you are here. In my coaching practice I always tell my clients at the beginning, that I am a human, that I make mistakes, that I might have knowledge about how people work, I use my intuition, yet still I can be completely off with what I am saying, it might not resonate with you at all. Let me know what resonates and what doesn’t.
4. How did you reach this point in life, how did you find out that you want to coach people in this way?
I always loved asking people what do they love to do and encouraging them to do it. In my previous business, when I was making eco-friendly accessories, I loved asking my customers, when we went for a coffee together, what are their goals, their plans for the future. I was actually planning to transition more into writing and speaking about personal development, but around that time I burned out.
There were so many things going on at the same time that contributed to my burn-out. It took me years to figure out how the heck could this happen to me, to me, who was reading the books, doing the inner work and loved her business. And at first I didn’t even know what happened to me. I was beating myself up for being so lazy, I felt like a fake, because I used to love people, I used to encourage people to stop complaining and go out and connect, but suddenly I didn’t want to be around people. I closed myself from the world. I was ashamed of myself, I felt guilty about so many things that I was not even responsible for. Despite there being many reasons, that contributed to my burn-out, they were all connected to relationships and me not knowing how to set boundaries. I am still working on this, by the way, but I am much better at it already.
5. How long did it take to heal from the burnout?
It actually took me years. 5-6 years. Way longer than I expected or wanted. I guess it would take less time, if I could allow myself to rest without feeling guilty about it, but I could not allow myself to rest&relax, when I needed to make money. And I couldn’t make money, at least not enough to rest peacefully, because I felt like shit most of the time and I lost my confidence to show up. All of this was making me exhausted. Crazy circle. Now I am actually grateful about it, because it really forced me to change my life and as I was trying to figure out how the heck it happened to me, I read tons of books, articles and filled about a meter of notebooks and so much of this is now useful to me in my coaching practice.
So, simultaneously, as I was healing, from burn-out, I was transitioning into coaching.
I saw that clients I worked with were all coming from dysfunctional families, where their needs for being seen, heard and loved weren’t met, at least not enough, where they couldn’t be who they really are and weren’t emotionally supported in following their own goals. And I knew, from my own experience, how hard it was for me that I didn’t have emotional support from my family when I first started my entrepreneurial journey. How I wanted to prove myself, that I can make it, even without them believing in me. All this need to prove myself definitely contributed a lot to my burn-out.
Anyway, I saw the patterns, I saw with myself and with my clients how lack of emotional support contributed to us spinning the wheels in our lives, despite always doing our best and even extra. But I wasn’t completely sure in my theories, and I was still searching the missing piece for my own puzzle.
6. How did you find the missing piece of the puzzle?
I was googling why do I have strange feeling in my solar plexus most of the time. I somehow came to subreddit about cPTSD. Through this I found a book from Pete Walker about cPTSD and I felt so understood, this book gave me so much hope. Shortly after, I also started reading books about adult children of alcoholics, and everything started making sense. Psychology became exact science for me at that point, haha. All the pieces of the WHY IT HAPPENED TO ME puzzle were finally in place. I had confirmation of my theories and words to express the patterns I used to see, but didn’t necessarily know how to describe them.
After a few months, I realized that yes, this is my coaching niche. I work with overachievers who come from families where they learned early on to take care of others, to emotionally care for their parents, to try to keep peace in the family and hopefully get a bit of love, if they do everything right.
And it is no longer working for them.
So, we work together on becoming SELFish, for the highest good of all, to put themselves first and to become so clear in who they are, what they want, that sometimes they don’t even need to pay attention to setting boundaries, because it comes so natural to them, when they respect themselves, see themselves as worthy and love and accept the person in the mirror.
7. Do you have any message for people that are reading this?
One: Remember, you are the main authority in your life.
Two: I am sure you are already on your own personal development journey, if you are listening to this and are already doing the inner work on your own – good job, keep doing it. And when you are ready, reach out to people, friends, therapists, coaches – trust your intuition – to support you on your journey. We were hurt in relationships, and we heal in safe, loving relationships. And if you want to focus on your business idea and do the deep inner work at the same time, I invite you to fill in the application form for coaching with me, and we will find out if we are meant to work together at this exciting time in your personal evolution. 💖
P.S.: I wrote this as a preparation for the video interview about my work. Questions by Tanja Aebischer. You can watch the video here.