Meet Winnie Anderson – Best-selling Author, Award-winning Brand Strategist and Copywriter, Online Broadcaster, and Business Coach for Adult Survivors of Abuse, Trauma, or Childhood Maltreatment.
I constantly heard that I was stupid, worthless, and would never amount to anything.
I was neglected, as well as emotionally, psychologically, and even physically abused.
I thought I had dealt with it in my early 20’s but in reality I had just stuffed it down inside where it began to play itself out in a variety of ways ranging from self-neglect and incredibly low self worth.
I had abusive friends, abusive bosses, and manipulative lovers.
And I would self-sabotage my success in a wide variety of ways because I secretly believed I didn’t deserve the dreams and goals I had for myself.
It took a car accident in 1999 and the Traumatic Brain Injury I trigger an avalanche of memories. It forced me to come face-to-face with the fact that the strategies I used to navigate the toxic stress I was exposed to every day as a child were now actively holding me back as an adult.
As I worked to re-invent myself after my accident and figure out what to do with the rest of my life, I struggled to do the things I knew I “should” be doing to build and grow a business.
In my corporate life as a Human Resources manager and director I designed and delivered dozens of training programs to thousands of people at every organizational level.
As a brand strategist and copywriter I effectively sold my employer’s services and those of our clients, including ghost writing columns, creating packaged programs, developing marketing and brand building strategies for companies ranging from startups to decades old organizations. I even created a sales kit that sold $400,000 worth of new business in just four months for one of our clients.
But when I was out on my own I was ineffective at selling myself and would make every excuse possible to avoid taking action that could result in getting potential clients.
I had to admit I couldn’t face the potential rejection.
I struggled to market myself powerfully because I was afraid of being criticized.
Oh cognitively I knew that made no sense and I had to get past it.
But in reality I believed I was so worthless and so undeserving of the awards and praise I received that if it wasn’t for my husband I would have been homeless.
I was actually living down to my mother’s predictions.
Recovery Starts with Awareness
One day it hit me — the behavior patterns I had adopted as a child in order to survive my abusive home life were now actively in the way.
Things like perfectionism….people-pleasing…and an avoiding conflict management style to name a few.
That day I realized I was allowing my past to control my future.
I got good and mad at myself and threw myself into my recovery.
I suddenly stopped attracting unfocused, poor quality clients.
I created strong boundaries and began to charge what my work is actually worth.
I began finishing what I started, which led me to publishing my first best selling book which was endorsed by legendary management guru Ken Blanchard (who wrote classics like The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus).
As I continued to study the impact of abuse on adults I began to see the way the emotional scars would show up in behavior patterns of my some of my clients.
From that moment, I committed myself to telling my story and helping entrepreneurs who are also survivors of abuse, trauma, and malreatment to break free from the past and break through to achieve their biggest goals.
You Really Can Move Forward and Achieve Your Goals
Don’t worry. All isn’t lost just because you grew up in an awful environment. As a matter of fact, your greatest gifts probably developed through a combination of your unique DNA and the experiences you had.
The key is to leverage your biggest strengths, face what you’re not good at and are likely not going to learn how to be good at, and build a business that works with your gifts. That means, for example, if you hate sales like I do, developing a strategy that clearly positions you as the unique trusted adviser that you are so you have an easier time of attracting clients, referral partners, and opportunities.
The impact of growing up in an abusive environment is powerful. Studies show that it impacts the brain’s physical development along with a person’s emotional development. If you’re early in your recovery journey, I recommend you get help. For me, that meant reading books, visiting survivor support websites, and getting therapy.
If you’re solidly on the path of Healing and are in full Survivor mode and ready to become a Thriver — but aren’t easily achieving your business goals — I encourage you to take the Abuse Impact Assessment (TM) I developed. This abbreviated version of the deeper assessment I do with clients will help you to recognize how beliefs and behavior patterns developed as a child may now be limiting your success as an entrepreneur.
To learn about the work I do with clients head over to the Services page...