Ms. Pommer, you grew up on a farm as one of four children and learned how to deal with people in extreme situations at an early age.
To what extent did these childhood experiences shape and change you?
I have always asked myself the question: How to simplify, improve and make people’s lives “bigger”, create the “next level” for humanity, so to speak. That’s what I asked myself as a little girl and that’s why I taught myself to read and write when I was already 5 years old. I simply wanted to understand why some people lead successful, happy and fulfilled lives and others do not. As the daughter of a psychotherapist and an event manager, I spent a lot of time among homeless people and prison inmates as well as on the golf course and with politicians, managers and actors. This had a tremendous impact on me, most importantly it awakened a thirst for understanding how the human psyche impacts life and success.
Do these experiences still find their way into your therapy work today?
Yes, of course.
Among other things, you are a non-medical practitioner of psychotherapy, a relaxation therapist for children and adults, a meditation leader, an author, a mediator and a coach – how can your individual roles be linked?
The individual areas of expertise can be wonderfully combined with my developed method THE PROCESS. The main goal is to dissolve early childhood traumas stored in the subconscious without having to lead the client into this situation again. For me, it’s much more exciting to see how my business can be reconciled as a mom of four. Reconciling family and vocation is one of the most important issues for women. Because women in particular have incredibly high expectations of themselves. They want to do a lot of things right, especially with regard to their children and their careers. If a mistake happens to women, they justify themselves far more often than men and often feel significantly guilty. Which can lead to depression or burnout in the long run. That’s why I recommend to all mothers who want to reconcile work and family life to be sure to choose an environment of family and friends who will support them both in everyday life and emotionally in bringing themselves gently back down to earth again and again.
The pressure must be taken out. Women should not often have the inner feeling that they have to prove to God and the world that they can do it. Everyone needs support, especially when it comes to balancing work and family. Not only women but also men are stuck in this inner dilemma. Never before has there been a generation as a role model who showed us how to manage life as a parent and a working couple. We are the first generation to test this for ourselves. In the process, we need room for “try and error”. In concrete terms, this means that when mistakes happen, it makes sense to be open to taking a change of course or two.
What advice would you give young women on the subject of self-employment?
When I found out I was pregnant at 18, my dad said, “That’s your ticket to the life of a cleaning lady!” and I was like, “No, that’s my ticket to my life and I’m holding that!” So I started very early to build a clear life plan, a vision. I tapped into that little inner part of me that knew this was not the end, but the beginning of a long, sometimes very hard, but infinitely precious journey. At that time I had neither schooling nor money and a partner whom I had to leave as soon as possible because he drank a lot of alcohol. If I’ve managed to build my own business, so can other wonderful women!
Many women often feel torn, as balancing their professional lives with their roles as mothers and partners presents unique challenges. You are also a mother of four children.
Do you have a special secret recipe for achieving a good work-life balance?
It’s true, a family is a business, so is mine! Managing four kids, a big house, cats, dog, guinea pigs and whatnot takes the ability to create a work-life balance. And beyond that, it takes an enormous amount of organizational talent. My days are structured anyway, as I am an endlessly creative and flexible person.
I believe that a work of art only comes into its own when it has the appropriate frame. The challenge for me has always been to spend as much quality time as possible with my kids and the fact that I am a very passionate mom. I didn’t put all my kids in kindergarten until they were 3.5/4 years old and before that I cared for them from home.
I have therefore built up my business for the most part at night or on the weekends.
Because I love my job so much and it became more of a “This is me” than a job, it was always a smooth transition between work and family. Meetings with business partners or my team take place at my home on the lake, all my business partners know my children. Of course, this also brought challenges. My tip: As a matter of principle, only work with people who appreciate and respect your way of life and work.
Is there a decision you might have made differently in retrospect?
Because I became pregnant at 18, I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to show everyone around me that I was very capable of raising my child on my own and having a career. In retrospect, I wish the young girl of that time had asked for more support.
If you recall individual moments within her 10+ years of coaching and therapy experience. What moment in particular has stuck in your memory?
I had the pleasure of meeting and asking a few questions of a 70-year-old multimillionaire who has been married for 40 years, has eight children and still runs marathons. I asked her, “Are you happy?” She said, “No.” I could not believe my ears. I paused for a moment and asked her, “What has to happen for you to feel happy?”. She said, “I must never be frustrated, I must do the Ironman, not just the marathon. I have to make at least 4 million a year and right now it’s going bad. I’m only making 3, 8 million.” When asked why she has to do all this, she said, “So everyone can see how good I am: as a woman, an entrepreneur and a mother.”
When I was in the hospital for six weeks during my third pregnancy, there was a woman in the room with me who was over 80 years old. She had had major surgery and tubes were hanging out of her body everywhere. Since we shared the room, I heard the doctors’ prognosis telling her that she didn’t have long to live. I noticed that this woman was nevertheless always smiling. So I asked them, “Are they happy?” She replied “Yes!” I asked her “why” and she replied:Jeder Tag, an dem ich über, anstatt unter der Erde aufwache und meine Liebsten sehe, bin ich glücklich. Click To Tweet
WOW! It reminded me of my grandfather. Also he, informed me exactly the same rule. Life had reminded me again how important it is to create a self-determined life. I pass this on in my coaching sessions.
“It is not external circumstances that are responsible for inner balance and happiness.”
Now I ask you: What is the probability that this woman, despite the external circumstances, feels happiness? Now ask yourself: Which values are important to me in my life and by which rules do I believe I can achieve them?
Are there also moments when you reach your methodological or personal limits and how do you deal with such situations?
My life has already thrown me a few balls that have cost me a lot of breath. Among other things, a cancer diagnosis, numerous hospital stays and a near-death experience. But at the same time, it also gave me so many precious moments and opportunities to realize that every apparent limit can give an incredible amount of self-confidence and strength as soon as we realize that we are capable of overcoming it.
Looking back, I am very grateful for every obstacle, because I learned a lot from it. On the one hand, I became more compassionate and benevolent with myself and life, and on the other hand, I developed a strength and trust in life and the people in it that I would never want to do without. If we are able to look at the past with appreciation, living in the present is possible. I think all of us know situations that we thought, “I’ll never make it!” And now, years later, the so great obstacle of that time seems to be a small memory of the past. If we manage to focus on what we have learned from it, we can give a wide berth to bitterness and depression.
They have developed the so-called PROCESS method. What differences and advantages do your clients experience with this method and how does it differ from common coaching methods?
The PROCESS is a web of different methods and theories, which the human subconscious mind makes up in retrospect, so that you can say: “That cured me”. I personally believe that The PROCESS has helped tremendously in curing my illness. The method does nothing but activate the memory, the knowledge that lies within us.
Through this, I have learned to balance my emotional state, overcome fears and doubts, and shift my focus to what I really want rather than what I am running away from.
The PROCESS acts directly on the subconscious. We all know by now that this is 90 percent at the helm of our lives. Through it I discovered, for example, that there was a part of me that was absolutely certain to grow old and gray in a healthy way and another that thought, the next moment I’ll keel over and be dead.
Why did a part of me think that? When I was about 11 years old, I was talking to my grandfather and when he turned around, he fell down and was dead on the spot. At the time, I thought I was to blame and that death comes quickly and unexpectedly – as if out of nowhere, like a robber who comes upon us in the night and we have no chance of escaping him. This part of me wasn’t really looking to fight, it had surrendered to the diagnosis. With The PROCESS, I work precisely with this share and was thus able to give it a lot of confidence.
On 05. and 06 May 2018 the next Katharina Pommer event will take place in Bad Kissingen. What can visitors learn here and what added value is offered to them?
At the Next-Level-Event I will give you tools and impulses to raise your life to the level you have always wanted. Take control of your life. In addition you feel on 2 days with div. Exercises intensely every moment. This gives you the chance for personal growth and the fulfillment of your dreams.
Warning: If you are now looking forward to the next “Chaka Seminar”, with loud motivational screams and uncoordinated state techniques, you are wrong here. At my two-day “Next-Level-Seminar” I will show you, together with Martin Limbeck and Edgar It, how you can finally take the big leap and leave all your fears and obstacles behind you in a short time. One of my clients described the feeling afterwards like a phoenix rising from the ashes – radiant and full of strength. And that is exactly what I would like to give you.
In closing, I would like you to finish the following sentence, “In five years, I will…”
…Continue to be happy!
About the author
Kinga Bartczak advises, coaches and writes on female empowerment, new work culture, organizational development, systemic coaching and personal branding. She is also the managing director of UnternehmerRebellen GmbH and publisher of the FemalExperts magazine .