So who is Anna Mathisen?

I am an international athlete, businesswoman, and entrepreneur. 

One day in high school, I was helping my best friend overcome her feeling of being overwhelmed. I created a system for organizing her tasks, and we talked about how to relax and deal with stress and pressure, “I should become a life coach!” I said. It was a term I had heard somewhere but didn’t really know what it was or how one became one. Plus, it was not on the list of acceptable things to do with my life. 

So I had a journey to go on for the next 20 years pursuing ‘acceptable’ things. Learning languages was acceptable (and fun!) so I studied in Norway and Costa Rica. Working in Shipping, the career of my father, uncles, grandfather and great-grandfather, was very acceptable so I did that — in San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, and Beijing. 

Although my 10-year ship broking career was fun, fast-paced and full of international adventure, it was also soul destroying. I struggled to find meaning through shipping coal and iron ore around the world. Even when I branched out to set up my own business in shipping, thinking I would enjoy it more if I were in charge, it really wasn’t what I was called to do in my life. I learned very clearly if I don’t love what I’m doing it will never work out.

Back to my athletic roots

Fortunately, I discovered Outrigger Canoeing, which brought me right back to my athletic roots in the water. At the age of four I had started on a swim team, and aside from a few of what I call ‘the lost years’ (stuck in an office in a city), I was always training for something – swimming nationally, ski racing, triathlons, and then outrigger canoe and surf ski racing. After coming to Hawaii to do a couple of outrigger canoe races, it became obvious it was time to leave shipping for good and head for a new direction in life.

During my journey to become a certified life coach, holistic lifestyle coach and exercise coach I had to look deeply at myself. Even though I was living ‘the dream’ in Hawaii, I became aware that I was being extremely hard on myself. My own limiting thoughts and beliefs, together with a very powerful and articulate inner critic, were ruling my world and deciding who I could be and what was and wasn’t acceptable.

Bringing the inner system on board

I realized that I was not alone in this, and that I could also work on these issues with my clients. Other women who were athletes and had full time jobs were also hard on themselves. I use my understanding that you can have all the systems in the world to achieve great things, but without the inner system being on board, the results are not as fun. Now I focus my attention on helping other women improve their experience of life.

Self acceptance is key

I am learning to accept and love myself more deeply everyday, it’s an ongoing practice that is rewarding beyond what I ever could have expected. I am a go-getter and I like making things happen. To be able to do that while having fun, feeling relaxed and fulfilled, and being a high-performance athlete is beyond what I ever could have dreamed of. I know firsthand how sweet life is when my internal world is kind and supportive, and the authority for my life lies within me. I don’t mind working hard, but that doesn't mean I have to be hard on myself. And I’ve taken those insights into the work with my clients. 

Now I work with clients of all kinds, but they have two things in common They are athletic and they have a career, and both are important to them. However they are hard on themselves, which is something I understand deeply. They are always pushing for more, never happy with where they are at, take on too much and struggle to slow down when injured or ill. In our work together I help them shift from struggling to being supportive of themselves. I help them cooperate with their bodies, have a positive, internal dialogue and feel like the amazing women they are.

To learn how I can help you be successful without being so hard on yourself, please read about my Coaching Services.

About Outrigger paddling programs

If you are interested in outrigger canoe paddling and ocean racing you can read about my paddle camps for women in Hawaii at www.hawaiipaddlecamps.com and you can read about the team of women paddlers I lead and race with at www.pacificwahine.com

Certified Professional Coach (CPC), graduate of Coaching for Transformation NYC '12.
Associate Certified Coach (ACC), International Coach Federation
CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach 
CHEK Exercise Coach 
I serve as an Associate Faculty member at Leadership That Works