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Canadian journalist Shannon Webb-Campbell interviews life coach Anna Mathisen, and uncovers her personal journey, inspiration, and determines who can benefit from this process. She brings a deep love of the ocean, energy, keen intuition, passion, and insight for helping others flourish.
• Q: What is Life Coaching?
A: Life coaching is a collaborative relationship that raises awareness around self, identifies motivation and examines and removes blocks to take action towards the client’s dreams, and goals.
• Q: What inspired you to become a life coach?
A: For years I have had wonderfully supportive relationships with my friends, encouraging them to achieve more than they thought they could and asking them to look outside ‘the box’. It took me awhile to accept that I have an energy that inspires people around me, and that that is the foundation of who I am. I recognize that my life hums when I am contributing to the success and happiness of others. Coaching allows me to do this in powerful structured ways where I help my clients search for the heart of the matter. I treasure newness and change and to see my clients have ah-ha moments, break through successes, and joy is the most fulfilling work I could ever do. I love to inspire and it comes naturally to me to call out the power in a person.
• Q: Have you worked with a life coach yourself?
A: Definitely! I first went to see a life coach in 2007 when I decided it really was time to leave my then nearly 10 year career as a broker in shipping. I thought I would go into the coaches’ office, learn what steps to take to become a life coach, find out what school she went to, enroll, and become a life coach. Instead, I spent several sessions working with her to release a lifetime of self-judgement, and an “I’m not good enough/who do you think you are,” inner monologue. It took me several years of self-discovery in many different modalities, and lots of exploration to get to the heart of my purpose.
I continue to work with a coach today. I have discovered it to be a piece that is integral to my life and keeping myself humming in the right direction. What I love about working with a coach, is that different coaches have different things to offer, so depending on where I am in my life, I can find someone to work with that suits my needs.
• Q: Why would someone see a life coach?
A: There are so many reasons. People see a friend who has changed their life while working with a coach. People are stuck and fed up with being stuck. Others have specific goals they are struggling with, and are looking for help to move around blocks. Others still need to simplify and prioritize. There are practically as many reasons to see a Life Coach as there are personalities in the world!
• Q: What’s the difference between a life coach and a mentor?
A: A mentor helps in the learning process, makes suggestions, and can take on a form of teaching. A life coach makes observations and helps clients tap into their own learning and wisdom. Life coaching works best for individuals that are willing and game to face their inner workings and find out what works and what doesn’t. Coaching works for people who want accountability as a means to help them achieve their goals, but who are motivated to make the changes already.
• Q: How does being a competitive athlete influence your abilities as a life coach?
A: Growing up a competitive swimmer I developed discipline and a growth mindset early, although I didn’t realize it at the time. I was constantly setting goals and challenging myself to achieve them. Developing skills with constant effort over time. As well, I prioritized what mattered to me, which was my swimming commitment to the team while making choices that allowed me to meet my responsibilities – graduating high school and getting into college.
I was a natural leader and grew into a leadership roll on my swim team mentoring younger swimmers through the pressure of being a student a teenager and an athlete. I learned about failing, and how to improve by learning from mistakes. I learned one of the most important lessons of my life: I am responsible for my own choices. This is integral to life coaching.
It’s really fun to reflect back on that time in my life and recognize natural qualities that came out with ease at that age. It took a few years to re-connect with them and step off the path or what I thought I ‘should’ be doing.
Today, being an Open Ocean Athlete is the foundation of my life. Along with Life Coaching, my passion is paddling Outrigger Canoes and SurfSkis. Now, I get to apply what a learned growing up as a swimmer, what I learned as a ship broker in international business, with my passion for paddling Outrigger Canoes, Surf Skis with Life Coaching. I compete in marathon Ocean race and manage a year round competitive sports life with a coaching life that blends both Life Coaching and paddle coaching. I couldn’t be more excited about life!