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"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want."

-- Margaret Young


Empowerful Changes - Jumpstart Your Life...
Erin Yoshimura, Transcultural Change Agent/Coach

Columns by Erin

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It's All in the Perspective

This month's article has been a tough one to write. I've been doing just about anything to avoid writing, including helping myself to unfathomable amounts of junk food! After I inhaled my last mini powdered doughnut (yum!), I realized that my mood didn't support writing an "inspirational" article. I wasn't my bubbly self and couldn't get into a bubbly mood to write. But I've decided to just write from where I'm at, so here it goes.

Building a business is tough! Especially building a business that's based on intangible services, like Coaching. Most days, I feel full of hope and I'm eager to meet new people so I can share my excitement about what I do. Then, there are days (more than I care to have) where I have major doubts about myself and my chosen field. It depends on my perspective.

We always view things from a certain perspective! Anything that happens in our lives, we're in a perspective about it - we assign meaning to things. That's what we do as humans. But there are dozens of ways to view every situation, and unless you realize you're in one perspective, you won't see the choices available to you to move forward.

Here's an example:

A few months ago, I received an e-mail inviting me to submit a videotape "audition" for a new television show featuring Life Coaches helping people change their lives and inspire audiences on a national level. My first thought was it was some sort of scam, and people like me don't get invitations like this!

That was one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it was that they only wanted me to list my name, phone number and e-mail address on the tape, so my risk of getting kidnapped was probably very low.

Then, I thought what if this was real -- it'd be great as an Asian American to be seen nationally and who knows, maybe I could develop TV skills! I recalled seeing Oprah's audition tape for her first big job as a reporter for a TV station in Chicago. It was a far cry from the Oprah we see today.

Finally, another way to look at this whole thing was that it was simply a great experience and would help me hone my skills on talking about what I do. It was an opportunity to practice speaking in front of a camera about my personal philosophy on coaching. This wouldn't have happened if I didn't get the e-mail.

This is the perspective I decided to take, and it helped me feel compelled and positive about sending in an audition to something that I still wasn't sure was for real.

Well, needless to say, it pushed my comfort zone and made me stretch. I don't know how many takes it took - Gil finally left the room leaving the camera running. I wasn't happy about my presentation and knew I could do better, but the post office was closing and I had to get the tape in the mail that day. It would have been so easy to abandon this project and let the voice in my head convince me that this was stupid and not to make a fool out of myself. I don't know what kept me going, but we raced to the post office in time and mailed off the tape.

Occasionally, something would remind me that I hadn't heard anything from the producers and figured it must have been a scam after all. Even if that was the case, I was still proud of the fact that I forged forward and sent off the tape.

Then a few days ago, I received one of the dozens of coaching newsletters I subscribe to and learned that this wasn't a scam.

Rhonda Britten, a Boulder-based Life Coach, author and gifted speaker announced that she would be changing women's lives on NBC's "Starting Over" beginning in the fall. Rhonda has had an amazing life journey: She watched her father kill her mother and then himself, and she has fought many demons since. I bought her first book "Fearless Living" in 2001 when it first came out, and was very impressed at how she transformed herself from victim to victor.

I later saw her in person at one of her "Fearless Loving" workshops, and was excited to find a motivational speaker that I wanted to model myself after. I sought her out for advice on how she cultivated her skills as a public speaker and was impressed with her savvy marketing abilities and how well she knew her stuff as a Coach.

When I learned that she was to become daytime TV's Life Coach, I had no doubt that she'll be wonderful. I felt a pang of jealousy, too, but that's because I yearn to be that great at what I do. But you know what? After writing this, I feel better, and don't need another mini powdered doughnut.

I now have the perspective that I can be just as successful with just a bit more experience.

This month's Empowerful Enquiry: What's a perspective that I have right now that doesn't serve me? What are some empowerful ways to look at it? If you have a hard time finding another way of looking at it, ask a friend to give you one.

Share your perspectives with me at You can visit Rhonda Britten's Web site at:

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Copyright 2002-2003 by Erin Yoshimura -- not for use without permission.

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