"That soon turned out not to be the real problem".


Anke Bergmans, 37 years old


Self-employed entrepreneur in market research.

Coaching question

"How can I get the things done that I want to do? I want to be more decisive and resolve my procrastination, but how?"

The reason: inexplicable procrastination

"It was 2019. I was on the road as a freelancer for 1.5 years, and at the point that I didn't want to do any assignments for a few months to further shape my own business.

But I got stuck. I started every day with a to do list, but by the end of the day nothing had come out of my hands. So frustrating! I thought: I know I can do it, because when I have deadlines for clients I manage. So why can't I do it for my own company? I am analytical, but couldn't find the cause of this procrastination.  

Then I thought: it might be useful to find a coach to spar with. One that can help on a deep level. Because of course I had already tried all the time-management tricks myself".

The intake: in 15 minutes to the core

"The intake was intense. Don't chat quietly, we went straight into the depths. Within fifteen minutes Marco was able to pinpoint what that unrest, chaos and agitation that I feel had to do with: my father. He died when I was 4 years old and I have never been able to process that. Marco said: "Actually you're always looking for your father".

I found that intense. And fascinating. Because it was far removed from the work problem I was facing. But I did think: this is what's going to help me. You can't plan mourning and I had to do it once anyway.

During the intake I felt at ease with Marco and had confidence in his approach, because he could fathom me so quickly. Also because he said: "If I get to the point that I can't help you, I'll really send you on". If things are wrong on a crisis level, you need someone who can point that out at the right time. I don't think less experienced coaches can assess that very well.

Marco about the intake: "Something is not right here.

"From the first moment I had the idea with Anke: "Something's not right here." Because if you are highly educated, know what you want, there is a clear list of tasks, and you don't get to what you have to do, then something else is going on.

This was a gut feeling I had, based on almost 15 years of experience. But I didn't know what was going on.

I started scratching around a bit in the toolbox in my head that I've filled in all these years. And I thought: "If someone is not able to put down what she clearly has in her head, then it's good to explore what 'male energy' has been lacking in the development. Because I am trained in systemic work, I know that in these situations it is often the father who has been lacking.

We clearly needed a new path in the intake after 15 minutes. That is why I asked her: "Tell me about your father. And then it soon became clear to me and Anke".

The coaching process: enabling the loss, to say goodbye to the blockade

"Because I have no memories of my father, I have never allowed myself to acknowledge the pain of loss. Through the sessions with Marco I was finally able to feel for myself how extreme it is that your father, one of the most important persons in your life, suddenly disappears.

Marco did an assignment with me, in which I was allowed to point out 3 places in the space. A place of mine, a place of my father, and a place of loss. Marco asked me to sit on the place of loss. When I sat there, I felt: it is ok to be here, to admit that this is there. By paying attention to it, I could suddenly experience peace. That made a difference of day and night in my head and in my body. Really bizarre.

We had 6 conversations in 1 year. But we hardly talked about procrastination. Because the lack of my father in my life always played a part under the surface, I first had to work with that to get out of that 'writers block'".

Marco about his approach: "If you do where your desire lies, it starts to flow.

"If someone comes to me for something practical like procrastination, and we suddenly make such an unexpected deepening so quickly, then I understand very well that this is precarious and vulnerable. The coachee is always the one who makes the decision to go that deepening. Anke dared to do that.
It was quiet at many moments during the conversations, because those new connections needed time to land. It was on Ankes body and sometimes at a glance that all kinds of things happened. Then, as a coach, I have to slow down and realize that I don't have to take the intercity to the end station. She was in charge.

In the coaching process she took the space to get some rest in the fact that her father is no longer there. From that rest every to do list can be taken care of. Work is then no longer a main thing (what needs to be done), but a heart thing (what am I in the mood for now). And when you do where your desire lies, it starts to flow. I saw that happen at Anke as well. She now uses the wisdom of her head, heart and belly: that has something magical about it".

The results: a world of difference

"Because of the journey with Marco I am finally rid of my restlessness and with that also of my choice stress, indecisiveness and procrastination. This allows me to confidently look to the future and make really clear choices.

Previously I worked on 100 things at the same time. Now I finally have focus and am a lot better at finishing things as well. For example, my website is finished and I do more with LinkedIn marketing.

Of course, this focus helps enormously. I come to concrete choices faster. That results in great things! My business runs the way I want it to. Clients call me now with the remark "We've heard that we need to be with you". Really cool.

So I notice that it works. More than that!

Marco's tip to other professionals who, like Anke, want a lot, but feel that they don't get enough done.

"The first question you may ask yourself is: are you wanting the good things? Check where your desire really lies. And see what's left of your to do list."

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