Owning Your Journey with Annika Mohlin

All of us have been sold a lie!

Be a good boy or girl and do well at school. Put your head down at work. And then you’ll get your reward and be happy.

It isn’t what happens.

It’s why we have mid-life crises. It’s why people are turning their back on corporate life to brunch out for themselves. The default model doesn’t work out.

It was a lie to make you work for other people’s goals.

Annika Mohlin 🌱 like many, followed the rules. Worked hard and moved up the ladder. But one day she realised it wasn’t working for her.

With a Coach she found a path to happiness and fulfilment.

And now, she gets her joy from supporting others through the same transition. She helps them break free from the mould. And recreate who they want to be with her Own Your Journey.

In today’s episode Annika shared her journey with me.

Links in profile and comments to video and podcasts.



Annika: [00:00:00] I work with personal and professional growth.

Annika: To me, that’s very much connected, because I believe all leadership starts with leading yourself. So to get to know yourself, lead yourself and then Lead others and, and also the communication aspects of that. 

Annika: I work with private people.

Annika: My next thing is I’m going to target more companies to see if I can help them to grow their leaders. And maybe to be the support that I didn’t get when I was a manager first time. That was now 15, 16 years ago, just okay, you’re now the manager here, go.

Annika: I’m the kind of person learning by diving in at the deep end and then swimming my way from there. And that’s fine, but it would have been great to get a couple of steers. Start with yourself and then you can develop from there.

Annika: So many times I’ve been sent myself and also I see new leaders sent to classroom trainings and it’s great with those trainings and you sit there and it’s flip charts, it’s beehives and you think and you reflect and it’s [00:01:00] fantastic. 

Annika: Then you get back to reality with an inbox that’s heaped over with emails and things to attend to, and people in your team coming to you. Hey, do you have a couple of minutes? And hey, can I bounce this with you? And all of a sudden, everything that you got in the classroom training has just fallen off, because there hasn’t been time enough to really anchor it in yourself.

Annika: What does this mean for me? 

Annika: Now that I know all this, how do I want to transfer it into knowledge and into something meaningful to me, so that I can lead with authenticity, so that I can lead in a clear way so that I can lead in a way that makes people feel so safe that they dare to be brave.

Rob: I love that. 

Annika: That’s what I have observed. Maybe that’s a little bit of missing piece and I would love to, to come in and help there more because once I got a coach myself. That’s when the coins started to drop spending that time on reflection [00:02:00] and, and thinking and all of those things that you have read and heard.

Annika: These things are important, but once you get really dedicated time to work on yourself and get an accountability buddy in a coach or a mentor or something, I think that’s really when the magic can happen. 

Rob: Training is great for giving you knowledge and sometimes giving you a framework.

Rob: What we then have to do is we have to customize how that fits to us. 

Annika: So what does that mean to you when you lead, when you think about yourself and when you reflect on your values your drivers and your ambitions so that’s one part and the other part is to adapt and practice those skills that we need.

Annika: An example would be active listening. That you really listen if you say that you need a team of people that you really come in with the intent to understand what they say and not the desire of oh I’m going to give them a steer here but believing that they have the answer within [00:03:00] themselves. Or can find it with some support of you but then you need to be prepared to take a step back and listen and have that person explore for himself and find for himself what’s the right way for that person to do it. 

Rob: What it comes to mind is how interlinked different aspects are of that. So for example, you talked about active listening, which is a skill in itself.

Rob: But in order to do that there needs to be a growth in certain qualities, like being able to be patient. Being able to Not feel the pressure to have to respond immediately. I always think of first time manager is it’s suddenly a jump and the biggest jump is not necessarily communication or any of that. It’s about dealing with the pressure of what you feel others expect of you. That’s more of an inner journey. 

Rob: We can change something intellectually, we can know something and we can see, oh yeah, that makes perfect sense. But when we’re under pressure which I think [00:04:00] for most leaders going back, there’s suddenly demand after demand they’re under stress and then you resort to what your operating model is.

Annika: Yeah. 

Rob: So unless you transfer that. intellectual knowing into an operating way of being it doesn’t have any impact because you’ll be able to answer a test on it. But when the real test is what happens when you’re under pressure, what do you do? And if it doesn’t make that change it hasn’t really had any impact.

Rob: So in line with learning the skills, we also need to develop the qualities. And I think I’m getting a sense of that’s what you’re helping people by growing personally and professionally, they are able to assimilate and use the skills under pressure when it matters. 

Annika: Exactly it’s both the learning and then it’s the action that comes with it.

Annika: Practice it and then it will become a quality. You’ve been made aware of it, you know about it. And then you practice it. Then one day, maybe it sits there. And hopefully you’ll start to see [00:05:00] some positive results too. With yourself, but also with the people that you lead that you lead.

Annika: Because if someone feels that way, trusted and empowered and you know that, okay, I’ve got this. I believe that then you rise to the occasion and deliver not only what’s expected, but many times even more because you feel supported, you feel believed in. And then you want to give more. 

Rob: And when you have that early success, when you see it working, that then brings biochemically dopamine and suddenly you feel more confidence and you then build momentum because you feel you can do something. And that’s when it becomes like a game. Like people love games because it perfectly gives them enough challenge that’s interesting, but also enough dopamine that they stay involved in the game. And when we can do the same in learning it, that’s how we really grow quickly. 

Rob: So I’m interested in specifically what kind of, what do you cover? Cause you have a program, don’t you? 

Rob: Own your [00:06:00] journey.

Annika: Yes. 

Rob: So I’m just interested in what, and what happens in those stages. I’m interested in what you’ve talked about in how, yeah. What are the common lessons and qualities. 

Annika: So in that program, so it aims really to, to both to get insights about yourself. It focuses a lot on the self and then to get habits and to get some tools that you can use to lead yourself and stay on a positive and constructive way of being or what way of living, if you like. 

Annika: So what we do in the program is that we, the first piece of work is around your values. It’s to discover what really matters to you. What is it that is to you so important that you would stand up and take a fight for it and put that as a good solid base.

Annika: Then we come to a part which is about identifying and recognizing the voices that you have in your head. And this is not about being paranoid. It’s about acknowledging that we have different voices. There are cheerleaders that say, [00:07:00] you can do this, go on. And then there are other voices saying that who do you think you are that think that you can pull this off and shouldn’t you instead be focusing on this and why on earth did you say that to her that was really stupid so like the kind of judgy and controlling sides of ourself so we work with getting to know that sort of the team that you have inside your head and finding strategies on, okay, so how can I now with this knowledge, knowing what typical voices I have, how can I work with them so that they favor me instead of harm me?

Annika: So that’s another part of it. The next part that comes after that, is about habits. And there we go, like basic habits for eating, sleeping, and moving. Our physical well being and our mental well being is so tightly interlinked, so that we need to have good habits in place in order to stay also in a good place mentally. So there we work with the clients, they get to identify what, what works for me, what can I do? What are [00:08:00] some small shifts that I can take to do one thing better for eating, one thing better for sleeping, one thing better for moving. And then we work with a habit tracker to start to see the progress and and so on.

Annika: So that’s nice now too. I have a client now. When she brushes her teeth, she always stands on one leg. Cause that’s keeps her, calm, grounded. She practiced, being there with all of her senses and can’t be busy with anything else. It’s a simple thing, 

Rob: I’ve heard that before.

Rob: I think it was in martial arts, but it’s yeah, it’s, it gives you balance as well. 

Annika: Yeah. 

Rob: And coordination. 

Annika: Another thing that we work with is I’m quite fond of Paul Gilbert’s work on the emotional systems or motivational systems, the red, the blue and the green. I don’t know if you have read about it.

Annika: It’s a UK professor and he did this work talking about the calming system the performance system and the threat system. I think 

Rob: you’ve mentioned it before. 

Annika: I think so. We might have had a little bit of writing [00:09:00] in our comments. 

Rob: I’ve got his books, one of those books that I don’t think I’ve ever got round to going through, but I think I’ve got a couple of his.

Annika: There’s a piece in the program around that, what that is and how, Many of us, when we seek to rest, sometimes we rest still in the blue system, the performance system. We rest with our phones we go shopping, we do, and that’s still, back to the, to what you said earlier on dopamine, it’s still that.

Annika: But what we need to do is also to be in the green system and find green activities. That helps us to soothe and calm and that can be just sitting and gazing out a window. For me, it’s winter bathing, it’s reading, it’s doing a puzzle. It’s gardening or working with flowers or something that’s calming.

Annika: So we talk about the importance of having that system in balance. 

Rob: Can you just run me through the three systems again? 

Annika: Yeah, so it’s the threat system. It’s also called the red system. It’s a fight flight. So it’s [00:10:00] when we become like really threatened if, back in the day we were hunted by lions today, it can be, a deadline coming up or you have a super important presentation to a group of managers that you really dislike. And that sort of will get those hormones going. 

Annika: The blue system is the performance system. And that’s when we feel we get rewarded. We feel appreciated, recognized taking things off a to do list, a pat on the back, you did that well but also all things related to to our phones and to yeah those dopamine releases just package job. 

Annika: And then the green, the calming systems or the soothing systems. That’s oh, let me see if I can say those hormones in English endorphins. 

Rob: Endorphins. Yeah. 

Annika: Yeah. And oxytocin that releases when we go calm. 

Rob: So it’s reacting, doing, and then recharging. 

Annika: Yeah. 

Rob: Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Annika: So I can send you a cheat sheet. 

Rob: You gave me a link. I think yeah, I remember reading them thinking it was really [00:11:00] useful model. 

Annika: The reason I really like this and to bring it in was that it was a little bit of game changer for me myself, because I’m a super active person.

Annika: I like to be engaged. I’m social. I like to keep busy. I have my fitness training classes and and I’ve always felt that, okay, but I recharge. I rest by doing things. And I think that was a little bit of trap for me. But when I caught eye on this through my coach, that was eyeopening.

Annika: And I realized that, okay, yeah, I may feel that that I’m doing something else and my key, I keep my mind off, work or maybe other things that were troubling me. But I had missed then that I needed the green system things. That, that knowledge has helped me a lot. And that’s why I like to pass that particular piece along as well to, to others who may feel that, that you just go. And if you don’t really know, back to the knowledge again, how can you even then apply it? 

Rob: Was listening to something yesterday and basically [00:12:00] the sweet spot of work is about 35 to 40 hours.

Rob: More than that, you’re lowering the quality. And once you get past 55 it’s more of a detriment. So the difference between 55 and 70 hours, you’re not adding any more, but I know, yeah, I know. I’ve, you get I’ll get in the afternoon, especially after eating it and that’ll be a slump and I know I’m not going to do productive work.

Rob: And in the past I would have pushed through. Yeah. Just do something and you’re there like, and it’s not high quality. 

Annika: What made you change what happened that made you stop that pushing through? I think that’s really interesting. 

Rob: I think. I think it more like reading and just seeing different things and the understanding that when we talk about productivity, I think we’ve got to look at it’s the percentage of energy you have in time. So half an hour of really engaged, really high quality work is worth maybe three, four hours of really low quality. So yeah, I think, and it’s just [00:13:00] shifting that’s when I’ll go and do the dog walk or I’ll have some downtime. Or I’ll just do something that away from work and then I’ve had a little bit of a break and then I’m for my second wave 

Annika: okay. So you have split up your workday. Is that what I’m hearing in two, in sort of two, two chunks, a morning chunk and a 

Rob: yeah. I basically I know that when I get to later afternoon, once I’ve eaten then there’s going to be a dip and then I’m going to wake up and then I’m going to be.

Rob: I’m more of a night owl. So it’s also the being able to switch off which has often been because like you keep going and you yeah, I’m really into this and I’m I don’t want to stop. So I never want to go to sleep. But then that means in the morning, I never want to get up.

Rob: And so I’ve had to get in a pattern so that same time bed, same time sleep, even if it’s, even if I am doing well, because it will mess up my sleep for the next few days. 

Annika: Yeah but if it works, and I think, that’s, just, if you keep an eye on it and it works well for you and the rest of the family, then that’s great.

Annika: [00:14:00] Otherwise, you need to find some, another way of doing it. I’m also more creative in the evenings, but that’s also when, people around. We have three kids teenagers, they will all be teenagers this year our son will be 13 this year and the girls 17 and 19. So the kitchen is always open and they’re so hungry which is okay but they, at 9, 9 30, that first one comes and just Oh, Snack and then the other one.

Annika: Oh, is there something to eat? 

Rob: Yeah, it’s just adapting to your environment, isn’t it? Something that you’ve said you start with values so it makes sense to And it makes me curious to understand your values So what are your values that drive you?

Annika: I would say that my top four values are freedom authenticity, playfulness and trust. 

Rob: Okay.

Rob: Freedom is one of mine as well. I think my I originally, after I came out of university was based on happiness. That’s my first book. And I think happiness is really about freedom. Authenticity is another [00:15:00] great one. I think authentic is one of those words that just becomes it’s become devalued and I’m reluctant to use it often, but it’s, the cliches are cliches because they’re so true.

Annika: Yeah it’s a word that I also hear being used more and more. And I think let’s take the opportunity then if it’s being used more and fill it with a meaning that, that makes sense. And that is valuable which is staying true to your. true self. And then the next question is, so how would you know what is that?

Annika: And that’s when I think the values come in to play, knowing what really matters to you. What is really important? What really pisses you off? Because the opposite of that is likely a core value of yours. So that you can choose, that’s why we work on it. So that, can choose more of that and bring it in into your life.

Annika: If you would do like a value scan and say, okay, so how much of these things do I have in my life today? And maybe you want to use like a scale of 10 or something and you find, Oh, there’s too [00:16:00] little playfulness, let’s say. So what can I do to to get more of that in? And then, yeah, and you fill that up and the more you’re in tune with your values, the the happier you feel, the happier I feel, at least.

Rob: Yeah. 

Annika: That’s one thing I’ve noted for myself in these in this fitness class. training classes that I do. But playfulness is a big element there for me to be around those people, twinkle in the eye to cheer the what do you say? The trainers or the exercisers.

Annika: What’s the proper word there?

Rob: I don’t think there is one. No. Participants, but that’s more like a psychological study. Yeah. 

Annika: The gym visitors, 

Rob: let’s say fitness enthusiasts. Yeah. Yeah I can see those like I love models and i’m mapping out that free freedom and freedom and playfulness go together and authenticity and trust go together but what i’m looking at is you talked about you were in corporate for many years and You love the communication and you love the leadership. 

Rob: It would [00:17:00] seem that meetings are in the middle because that’s where you communicate as a leader.

Rob: But you said that was one of the things made you unsatisfied with it. So when I look at your values, I think I can see why, because you weren’t able to be authentic. You weren’t able to play. And you didn’t exactly say, but I’m reading between the lines that there was probably politics and things that you didn’t always agree with.

Rob: So there wasn’t the trust and you didn’t have the freedom to really be yourself. And I’m guessing that’s why you’re discontent with corporate world. 

Annika: In the end felt that, yeah, we have grown apart now. So yeah, it’s a really good analysis and also a conclusion, Rob, I think that’s exactly it.

Annika: I felt capped. At last, because it was always so many people to go and and check things with and get a alignment and approvals from here, there and everywhere. And with a freedom, I like to move. I like to be independent. I understand that there are processes to be respected and, stakeholders to be informed [00:18:00] and decision makers to take care of, but you can do that in a simple way.

Annika: Or you can do it in a complicated way. And, yeah, the last years it just became so complicated that, it created for me a feeling to be a little bit stuck. 

Rob: I think many people are feeling that. I think there’s a maybe a paradox or dichotomy where the organization needs certain standards and it’s done them traditionally through rules and through constraints.

Rob: But what those constraints do is they also tie off Someone’s whole self, their ability to really be and the freedom to be themselves, to be authentic. And I think organizations are going to have to find ways to allow people to have that freedom to be themselves and yet still deliver the same standards and not. Have the kind of problems of because before there were all those standards. Like when you look at McDonald’s, uniform and that’s what those standards bring. But what you’re limited then to [00:19:00] is the quality of a McDonald’s. You can’t have. Michelin star by that process.

Annika: Something to that, because something wakens up here when you say that. It limits maybe the, to be your true self. And also I think it hinders Maybe the possibility for the task as such to be carried out the best way, because let’s say, you’d hire a social media specialist.

Annika: That’s maybe half your age coming in, being all excited and knows and navigates these landscapes like in their own pocket. As a manager, then I think you need to understand that maybe you don’t understand as much and trust that person again. So there we go again with the trust and trusting that the other person has the answers.

Annika: Because if you then come in and you’re being hired for the talent that you have and the skill set that you have in an area, and then not being able to use it best way, because somebody in the hierarchy that’s leading you. They don’t trust you. So it goes too slow. [00:20:00] And I think that’s it.

Annika: It’s a way of killing creativity and it’s a way of killing talent. If you don’t trust the sort of the youngsters that come in with all of these new skills. 

Rob: It’s also the way of killing productivity. Because there was a huge growth in productivity from the Industrial Revolution and it was because we specialized.

Rob: But what that specialization did was constrained people and it didn’t give them, like Adam Smith’s example of the pin factory, like people just had this little bit, so they didn’t have the sense of fulfillment of a complete creating anything. They just, press buttons and 

Annika: yeah, 

Rob: cut up metal or whatever they did.

Rob: And since 1970, the productivity has Dramatically slowed down in its growth and technology hasn’t made any impact. And I think that’s because now we’ve moved to knowledge work. We haven’t learned to specialize knowledge work. And so within the team, like [00:21:00] everyone’s doing sales, but there’s going to be someone who’s great at one part of sales and, or maybe sales isn’t even the best example, but maybe something like marketing where someone’s great with coming up with the idea and someone’s great with I’m now using these contexts that I don’t know enough about, but basically we need to, whatever we do, we need to separate like the part that shines for you in what you’re doing, where you’re authentic, where you’re really enthusiastic about it. If you can do that and someone else can do the other part. And I think that’s what we haven’t really developed in knowledge work. 

Annika: It could be that. And it could also be. that we haven’t really learned how to lead the specialism knowledge.

Annika: How, because leading someone just doing pin work, it’s the same for everybody. But how do we lead knowledge? Specialism. 

Rob: Yeah. 

Annika: Yeah, just as an additional thought to explore. 

Rob: I think that’s very true. I think the structures and the style of leadership, when you go from where humans are [00:22:00] resources to now, what we need is we need creativity, we need engagement, we need enthusiasm, we need ideas.

Rob: We need people to be at the best of their game. And all of the things that frustrated you in corporate as being tied up, not having autonomy not being able to express yourself, needing so much approval to get anything done, all of those things are inhibiting people. 

Rob: We need to lead in a different style, which means that people need to be at different level. I think like the growth that you’re talking about, people need to be more comfortable. They need to be they need to manage their ego more. They need to be able to. Let go of their ego. They need to be active, listening, all of those types of qualities.

Rob: But also I think traditionally we’ve always put focus on the leader. And there is so much demanded of a leader. We’re basically asking for a superhuman, we’re asking, can you put your so what we’re saying is in this [00:23:00] team, the team members can, Come to work, but the leader has to be able to manage conflict and all of these things. 

Rob: My thesis is that we need to upgrade the team members so that they manage, because when you look at the data on communication and conflict, managers are spending a huge amount of time, even resolving conflict or trying to deal with communication blockages or.

Annika: Yeah. 

Annika: And the time that isn’t spent there is spent in meetings. 

Rob: If we can upskill the team members so that they manage the relationships, they manage the conflict and they manage the communication, then the lead, they have what I call the leader ready team, which is ready to be led, but also ready to lead.

Rob: When you have specialists who have. knowledge that the leader might not have, they need to also have the communication skills, the ability to argue their case to the ability to deal with conflict, resolve differences so that they are able to lead their aspect. So you’ve got a team where you’ve got an overall leader who’s [00:24:00] coordinating and supporting all of these, but each element is a node in that, which is also leading their specialism.

Annika: It starts with them. It’s self leadership. In that is one point and another thought, then I want to try with you is it can also sit in a perspective shift of the manager? Because I think so. It’s quite common that leaders, they come in as parents and the team, the children, this is transactional analysis, right?

Annika: But what if you shift? So that it’s two adults meeting. One is super strong at social media marketing, let’s say, and then you have the leader, but you meet eye to eye. It’s too, it’s two adults that have gone to work that morning. It’s two adults that meet and have a conversation and trust that the other one wants to do a super good job either as a specialist or as the manager for this person. I think that also shifts something when you move away from the [00:25:00] parent perspective and just take the adult perspective. I don’t know what you say. 

Rob: I definitely agree. I think there’s two, two points to that. One is The problem of hierarchy, traditionally, we’ve had hierarchy because it made sense.

Rob: There is a natural hierarchy. Ken Wilber talks about that. And he said there’s a move to shift hierarchy, but, there’s a hierarchy in nature. It naturally occurs. And so there’s a hierarchy, but it’s about having a flexibility of hierarchy so the leader has the hierarchy when they’re coordinating, but the specialist has hierarchy over their specialism.

Rob: Yeah. Yeah. And so it is definitely about it’s definitely about, moving to adult, which is raising the team member, but someone has to go first. And so the leader has to have that level above of maturity emotional regulation and the ability, the big picture.

Rob: But what also comes to mind there is the typically our model has often been family. We’re one family, but actually that becomes [00:26:00] dysfunctional because the basis for every organization is transactional. We join and we have to be really clear on the purpose of why we’re joining. Netflix has done something because they’ve explicitly said we’re based on a high performing team rather than a family.

Rob: Yes. 

Annika: Yeah. I’ve seen that too. I think that’s a metaphor. That’s resonates far better with me to see it like that. You can’t have all the forwards. That would not be good. Also, not only goalkeepers would also not make sense. The blend. 

Rob: You cover quite a wide range of, Aspects. You’ve been a leader, you’re very interested in fitness.

Rob: We’ve talked about your values and program that you do. If you were going to do a TED talk or write a book, what would it be about?

Annika: The first thing that comes to mind is about how to make the best popcorn. But that’s something else. I’m really good at making popcorn on the stove and I can talk for a long time about, what fats to use, should it be rapeseed oil or olive oil or butter and how does that affect [00:27:00] the popcorn and so on.

Annika: Maybe it wouldn’t be material enough for for an entire TED talk. I realized that when I’m pitching the idea to you here now and I see you’re a little bit hesitant. So it’s not going to be on popcorn let’s decide that here and now. 

Rob: Okay. Let’s go with that a minute. Why popcorn?

Annika: Oh, I love popcorn. That was my favorite snack when I was when I was a little, and every weekend we could make a big bowl. Me I have two siblings, so we each made a big bowl and it was like, Private personal bowl, no sharing so that there wouldn’t be any arguments because someone ate faster and someone ate slower.

Annika: And then in the end, how many did you have? And all of those discussions that anyone having a brother or sister would be familiar with. So I’m just very used to that. I love the crisp. I love the combination of fat and salt, probably a horrendous thing to say, but I think it’s really nice. And the popcorn is just a wonderful carrier of that.

Rob: Yeah, I always look at what someone does now is usually rooted in something in [00:28:00] childhood. So it’s maybe a way that you were playing and a sense of experience generally popcorns when you watch film. 

Annika: Yeah, 

Rob: so it’s family time. 

Annika: I think you’re right in that that it’s a reflection of some things that you have enjoyed in the past.

Annika: And I had dream professions when I was when I was a kid, I used, I love to play teacher and my. poor brother and sister. They were the very reluctant students alongside with Barbie dolls and teddy bears and, that I put in place in a school classroom formation, et cetera.

Annika: So that’s one part. The other dream job was to become a a journalist or a writer. So me and a friend, we wrote a little tabloid paper that we then printed out with the help of my dad’s copying machine and walked around, knocked on doors and tried to sell. And I can see today, how that is what I enjoyed doing today.

Annika: I like to teach. Instruct my classes transfer knowledge, transfer energy transferring [00:29:00] inspiration. And I also like to write and create and craft things and that creative side of me. So I think when I look back I can see that it, it started there along alongside the bowls of popcorn. 

Rob: Okay that’s interesting because my eldest she loved to, to teach. She was always coming down when she was a child and she would have her sister and she, yeah, all these things and she’d be teaching them or she’d be mum. And she’s graduating soon as a journalist. It combines those two things.

Annika: Yeah, same 

Rob: pattern. Okay. So let me get to own your journey, that’s about, that says authenticity. And it says freedom and I suppose playfulness. And then when you have that, people can trust. Where did that idea come from? 

Annika: It came from, I think from, I think from different parts.

Annika: Some, you know that it comes from different ways or different, yeah, from different places. One place was that I really want for people to trust themselves and be true to [00:30:00] themselves and listen inwards to what they want so that they don’t just become a doctor or a teacher or a lawyer because that because you’re imposed to. Choose for yourself, and you have to have some self knowledge and through coaching. I’m in a good position to help people to find what that is for themselves. When you have it, you can make those choices. So that was one driver. The other driver was me 10 years ago, just trotting away in the hamster wheel, doing all of these things.

Annika: And who was it for? Always pleasing others, forgetting a little bit myself. Even if I’m lucky enough to always have been interested in training and fitness and eating well I think that was what also kept me going. But only up until a certain moment in time because then the wall was there and I had to go home for burnout leave.

Annika: Just having to take it on so much. And had I had the tools that I now know of, I think I could have avoided that. And that’s the second [00:31:00] driver of it, to help people become more conscious, knowledgeable, and taking the right actions for themselves. so that they can last for a long time.

Annika: Yes, you can be productive and have a high productivity, but you want to have that over a long time period. Not just here and now and the next week and up until next vacation when you can rest, but still maybe can you. Put your phone off and away, or is the expectation that you will have to be reachable.

Annika: So it’s a little bit about the boundary setting there, which I have not always been being great at. And yeah, that’s why I created it to help others. 

Rob: When you talk about coaching did you have a coach, what was the step from you being dissatisfied to making that leap? 

Annika: I think it was a long process maybe longer than it needed to be because things need to land. Need to find the courage to go and do something else. It’s easy to say follow your heart and off you go. In reality, maybe you have a house, maybe you have some [00:32:00] kids to provide for, et cetera.

Annika: And not everybody can just take that leap. Yeah to work with that and to process that and then finally realize that, all right so this is what’s right for me and I now know that this is the right path. But that, it didn’t come overnight for me because I really like to work and I loved also my colleagues. I had fantastic manager and there were so many things that were good. And also now, when looking at it, it was a fantastic place to work. I worked there for 17 years and it has given me so much. Ultimately, the everyday work day didn’t fit my values any longer.

Annika: And then I guess I grew in the coaching to realize that this is always, this will be a glitch now. And then it’s better to do something proactively about it than, hang around and maybe risk being bitter and even more tired and less energized and being annoyed at my family, because that’s where we can be really ourselves.

Annika: So I didn’t want that to happen. [00:33:00] Yeah, makes sense. Okay. So if you okay, so who would be the kind of person who would join your program and really benefit from your program? 

Annika: What I’ve seen that I work quite well with people that are quite driven, that are ambitious.

Annika: They have busy agendas both at work. And they can’t really see how they will get time to themselves. And that’s also one thing. You have to take that time. It’s a matter of where do you put yourself on the to do list at the bottom? You need to flip the list then. So people who have started to feel that, something is not quite right.

Annika: This is not going to be sustainable in the long run. I need to do something. I’m not sure exactly what it is I want to do. I want to change because I want to feel happier. I want to have more peace of mind. I want to feel lighter. I want to feel that I have energy left at the end of the day to spend with family or with the kids without being irritated with things popping up, but just be calmer be more [00:34:00] balanced. So those are person. And usually it’s women don’t know why, but that’s how it has been a couple of men too, 

Rob: but mostly women.

Rob: I suppose looking my background is relationships and when you look it was like 70 percent women who would look at the relationship. Men tend to not look so much for, to other people for help. 

Annika: Interesting.

Rob: So what I’m seeing is basically people are stuck in a mindset and they can’t see how to carry on with, I think if you go into If you live the default life, which is you go into corporate you follow the rules, you do, you turn up every day. I think that grinds people down.

Rob: And I think it’s not sustainable for most people. Because there’s going to be more and more pressure, the more that you rise and less time. And. One of the keys now is we have so much more choice of where to give our attention, where to spend our time than we actually have time or attention.

Rob: And so what it seems to me is what you do is. You break people out of their box [00:35:00] of what they can see so that they can zoom out and see more possibilities. So how they can do the same job or how they can have the same lifestyle that they want without having without being bogged down by the, and also have more capacity and energy and joy from their life. 

Annika: Yeah, I like how you summarize that. So yeah, it’s self awareness, a sort of self knowledge and habits and tools to steer yourself with so that you can come from a place of of choice. intentional choice for yourself. 

Rob: By your name, you have a little logo, like a plant growing.

Rob: I’m interested in the significance of that because immediately you started drawing, I started In my head had I can’t draw but it was like a growth of a flower or something. So i’m interested in where that came from. 

Annika: I just wanted to choose something that’s signified or displayed That you’ll grow you can grow and we grow together.

Annika: If we work together, we grow together because that, that, that’s the case too. That, in a [00:36:00] coaching relationship or a partnership, both parties grow, both the coachee and the coach. So I wanted to just find a little way to, to show that and I chose that emoji 

Rob: I don’t know if it was subliminal that i’d noticed it.

Rob: But when you were talking about personal and professional growth. And the way that you were talking brought to mind, like a little plant growing. And I think really the way that we get out of our trap that we create problems are at level of thinking. And then if we grow up we can grow past the problems or we know how to deal with the problems.

Annika: We can. And there’s another thing to that too, to the growing part. It’s that it grows where we water. 

Annika: That’s a very Swedish saying. What grows it is where we put the water. So we need to water the the positive sides and and the conscious sides of ourselves.

Annika: So that they grow and not the other ones. 

Rob: Which goes back to what you were talking about at the inner 

Rob: team. Now if you had a message for someone who’s stuck in that position, maybe where you were 10 [00:37:00] years ago. What is the key message that you would want them to know?

Annika: I want them to know that the answer it’s somewhere in you. Maybe it’s hidden because of others expectations or overloaded agenda. Others, what do you think are others desires or demands and what you need to do and don’t but you do know what’s right for you.

Annika: Give yourself time to figure that out, start by unplugging and going outside, spend time in nature, go for a long walk and listen inwards. 

Rob: Yeah. I suppose that’s really the problem, isn’t it? Is that the speed of life and the amount of stuff that we’ve got coming at us means that we’re moving faster and it’s hard to have that time to stop.

Annika: For sure. The faster you drive, the, the less visibility you have on what’s, what’s actually happening alongside the road and you just go to maintain the speed. 

Rob: If someone is in that position and wants to reach out.

Rob: How should they get in contact with you? 

Annika: It works lovely with a direct [00:38:00] message on LinkedIn or visit my website. It’s in Swedish though, but contact is the same word in Swedish and English. Yeah so there’s there’s a link there with an email address. Or the good old phone, if somebody would fancy just, giving a phone call.

Rob: Okay, so if they look on your LinkedIn profile, that has all that information. All 

Annika: of those details are there. That’s the short and packaged answer, of course. Yes. 

Rob: Okay. That’s great to put more detail to the person I’ve, that I’ve seen online. 

Annika: It’s been great to chat 

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