Say YES to life! Exceed your limits in order to succeed

Say YES to life! Exceed your limits in order to succeed

By Fatima Gorezi

Women consist of about half the world’s population and have an important place in economic and social development. They often face unpleasant problems, including discrimination in the labor market (although they are protected by various laws and conventions).

Anne Kristine Aksnes is aNorwegian teacher, writer, coach and public speaker. She is also a loving mother of three, a leader and a role model who walks her talk.

Her passion is to help others to create the life they love, and she is committed to help them achieve their goals by giving them the tools needed to transform their lives. Anne has been working with children and parents for over 20 years, devoting her life to improvement of children’s and parents’ lives across the world.

She is an avid learner, having taken several courses over the years, both on parenting styles, communication, leadership and how to treat children dealing with trauma. She has also studied psychology, developing particular interest in neuroplasticity and body – mind connection.

Tell us about your early life and the journey that influenced you to become the person you are today?

I grew up in a small village in the west of Norway. I would say that I had a rougher childhood than most kids, as I experienced sexual abuse, violence, bullying, loneliness and anxiety from a young age.

Among the biggest difficulties I had was dealing with my mum’s mental illness, depression and suicide attempts. An amazing mum when she is well – and I really love her – but as a child I learned to be as quiet, kind and helpful as I possibly could be in order to prevent my mum from getting sick. Her state even discouraged me to speak out about a man that abused me.

One of the interesting things to look back at, is that I took the responsibility for everything that went wrong. I was carrying the responsibility for everyone around me, and I believed that I was to blame for everything. The guilt, shame and condemnation that I felt growing up, became my companion into adulthood, and I wasn’t even aware of it. But it impacted how I perceived the world, how I assumed that others thought of me, my expectations and also every decision that I made.

I realised that my upbringing had caused me more damage than I thought possible. Forgiveness and self-love became a necessity in order to be able to reclaim my life. And I was not alone when it came to carrying pain from the past. As I have been helping people, studied and talked to people, I have come to understand that people can struggle even though not necessarily experiencing the so called “ugly events” growing up. The reason is that any kind of trauma, even the smaller ones, the “everyday traumas”, impact a child more than acknowledged before. Being yelled to or rejected can be as damaging as what I went through.

When I was 16, I met a man whom confirmed everything that I believed about myself. I hated myself. I had gone through so much, and after being abused, lonely, bullied, and later raped several times in my youth, I honestly thought that “this is what I’m here for, this is what I deserve”. When I met him, I just continued the pattern of submitting, and I tried to please him, taking the responsibility for everything that was wrong and accepting a lot of what came my way. We never had a chance of being happy in our marriage. I was way to damaged, and so was he. I won’t say that he is an evil man, because I don’t think he is. He had his own wounds from the past, and as I have learned more about those things, I now understand how some things can seem to be inherited.

I got married at the age of nineteen, and a few months later I found that I was pregnant. This was both planned and wanted, and I was very happy. I got a baby girl in June of 1998, and spent the next year at home with her. I then begun studying at University to become a kindergarten teacher, and realised very quickly that I didn’t know what kids needed, or how to be a mum. I was scared and anxious about a lot of things. I grew up with both my mum’s anxiety and my own, and I had no role models when it came to parenting. It became obvious that I had to study in order to give my children a chance to have a better life than I had had so far. My education and passion for understanding and learning saved my children, and it also influenced me to choose the professional path that I am on today.

It’s quite interesting to look back at my life. Cause even though I wouldn’t want for anyone to go through what I went through, I am still grateful that it happened! It’s because of my journey that I am this person today. And I’m so proud of what I have done, what I have achieved in life and of who I am. It fills me with gratitude and amazement.

You wear many hats; teacher, writer, coach and public speaker. Why have you chosen a career like this?

There are many reasons for it, but the main reason is that I want to impact as many people as possible, to enjoy a better quality of life.

I know that I can’t help everybody, simply because different people will connect based on communication style, “chemistry” and needs. Yet, in my early stages, it was clear that in order to reach as many people as I possibly could, I would have to make some huge changes in my life.

I know that I can’t help everybody, simply because different people will connect based on communication style, “chemistry” and needs. Yet, in my early stages, it was clear that in order to reach as many people as I possibly could, I would have to make some huge changes in my life.

It’s quite interesting, because if I hadn’t experienced hat I did when I was younger, and even as an adult, I never would have had the passion and compassion necessary to do what I have done. I had a comfortable job with a good salary, and I lived a nice, peaceful, private life in Norway. It was predictable, and it suited me quite well. I’m not fond of a lot of attention: I didn’t like being on stage, and I never dreamt about becoming an entrepreneur or someone that others would recognise on the street. If I should have chosen my life out of selfish reasons, I would have stayed the same. That is how it is with most people. We love the safety of what is known to us, and we fear the unknown.

However, I got more and more dissatisfied with my job, especially after I got divorced. All of a sudden, I had the energy and freedom to study and do whatever I wanted, and I already knew that I loved to help people. I had coached people of all ages for years, helping them to deal with their past and to live the life they love. As the years went by, I continued working as a leader of departments in different kindergartens, fostering close communication with parents, I also continued my studies, reading and finding answers on how to support people in the best way possible. I discovered that by helping others I actually helped myself as well, and that I felt a fulfillment and true happiness by helping others that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

This is why I quit my job in May 2019 to pursue what I feel is my mission: To enable a better life for children all over the world, by encouraging adults around them to become the best version of themselves. I am still as passionate about studying and learning as I was before, and one of the most fascinating things I’ve learned recently, is about the healing power that one loving relationship has on a person.

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