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This is an empowerment blog written by life coach and strength trainer Yaromil Fong-Olivares for women and feminist allies who are committed to holistic healing, living, and loving.


Entries in life coaching (43)


How to Eliminate Fear in 3 Easy Steps

How to Eliminate Fear in 3 Easy Steps

By Yaromil Fong-Olivares/ April 5, 2011

According to Wikipedia “fear is a distressing emotion induced by a perceived threat.” It is a natural reaction to foreign, sometimes uncertain, experiences, and it can be induced by positive or negative situations. Biologically speaking fear is intended to keep us safe from jumping off cliffs and getting hurt. Fear is also why we may have a difficult time falling in love after heartbreak or taking a solo trip after a dear friend experienced a rape or another type of abuse.

But, what about the times when we want to do that very thing that makes us afraid? I still recall sweaty hands and cold sweats the first time I went rock climbing.  I also recall my sister describing a similar experience the first time she had to give a presentation at school, something that I never had a problem with. Hence, while the feeling of fear is universal, the causes of our fears are individual.  Which leads me to conclude, that we can actually eliminate fear. 

So I set out to experiment fear reversal during times when the fear is real but the danger is in our heads

I recently tried this method with my acting debut (clip coming soon).

Step 1 - Prepare

This is a two-pronged process.  First, figure out the root of your fear by listening to yourself.  Is it a fear of embarrassment or humiliation? Is it fear of change? Is it previous trauma?  Did you try this activity before and had a major fail? Secondly, evaluate the task. By understanding the task you learn exactly what’s expected of you.  For example, if you are terrified of public speaking but you must give a speech for your new job, look up speeches, discuss with the organizer what the audience expects from you, and ask about what previous audiences have complained about. 

Step 2 - Practice

Practicing allows you to be spontaneous and witty because it gives you confidence.  After you complete the internal and external research you must use that information to practice.  If during your preparation phase you discovered that participants complained about length, then make your speech shorter or add an interactive portion.  Similarly, if you discovered that your fear comes from your mother’s constant criticisms when you were a child, you must remind yourself you are not a child anymore and even speak to your mother if you have to. 

Step 3 – Be Proactive

Always try to go first.  The longer you wait the more nervous you make yourself.  This helps a lot at the beginning of fear reversal. In my case, I arrived at my acting job before everyone else and I asked the professional actor to rehearse with me before we were asked to do so.

Finally, NEVER ADMIT THAT YOU ARE AFRAID. I did not mention to anyone on my set that it was my first acting job nor did I mention my internal panic attack.  To reverse fear we must first learn to act fearless. That includes practicing the art of keeping your fears safe and that means keeping them to yourself.

Fearlessness is a state of mind, are you there?

Yaromil Fong-Olivares is a life coach and personal power blogger residing in New York City.  Contact her for coaching, trainings, and speaking gigs at yaro@yaromilolivares.com.



Who Shot Ya? A Conversation with Creativity

Who Shot Ya? A Conversation with Creativity

By Yaromil Fong-Olivares/ March 30, 2011Gaudi's Casa Batllo ~ Barcelona

Does creativity answer the question of what is or does it answer the question of what and how it/us/our world could be?

I define creativity as the unique lens with which each of us sees the world and its parts; therefore we are all creatives.  But what if I am wrong?  What if creativity as we know it is dead? What if we are just regurgitating and vomiting the advertisements we see, what the art teacher said back in 1991, and what our first grade teacher said when we thought we had created our first of many original works of genius.

Ever since I returned to New York City from Gaudi's Barcelona I have been obsessing with my definition of creativity and what it means for my own creative projects.  Gaudi’s creativity is haunting me. Art for Gaudi was about showing the world his own vision of what the world could be.  In many ways, the work of artists is about opening the doors of the future.  We all hold the keys, but not all of us are willing to use that key and share what we find.

Antoni Gaudi lived ahead of this, yes, our time. In the early 1900s he took risks I don’t see many artists (including myself) take often enough.   We are on this earth for a very short amount of time and during that time I want to see everyone be art, live art, enjoy art.  Forget waiting for permission to create or waiting to have more time or money.  When you allow others to sit in your unique front seat view of the future in the form of a painting, a short story, or a photograph, you release yourself from the shackles of anti-creativity socialization.  You get closer to your internal holiness.

What if creativity is not about what we see, but rather, about the goodness, beauty, and pleasure we wish for the world?  No more tsunamis, levees breaking, no battles for Black women's wombs, no rapes, no abuse, no pretending to be healed while hiding deep wounds from unfulfilled lives. 

Go! Use your key.

Yaromil Fong-Olivares is a life coach and personal power blogger residing in New York City. Contact her for coaching, trainings, and speaking gigs at yaro@yaromilolivares.com.



How do you know if you should be a life coach?

By Yaromil Fong-Olivares / March 28, 2011To coach or not to coach, that is the question.

You rather listen than talk- everyone knows I can talk A LOT! But the truth is that I talk in response to you.  I listen intently, I look at body language, at your eye movements, at your hands, sometimes I connect with your spirit and listen beyond your words.   The coach’s primary job is to listen and ask questions that are relevant to the client, not to try and fit the client into our own inner dialogue or to “teach” the client based on our experiences.  Listening in a real way and receiving the insight of the client facilitates a trusting and authentic relationship between coach and client.

You can go deep into someone’s orbit without getting sucked into the abyss of enabling someone and her habits - Personally, I like to go deep, get real and have fun all at the same time. Outcomes, goals, plans are important in coaching because they reveal the client’s inner workings and thus allow for coach and client to work together to achieve necessary internal change.  It’s not about the end result, it’s about the healing and empowerment that unravel as you move toward your goals.  Coaching is not about a destination, a doom and gloom ride toward feeling sorta ok with yourself.  It is about unleashing your inner fearless goddess and approaching all aspects of your life with that attitude.  As soon as you accept your unique gifts and talents you will start to enjoy all aspects of your life, even the difficult times, like the “failures.”

You care about others, like for real - Yes, life coaching is a business, and truly amazing coaches deserve every penny we get.  Why? Because I give everyone I work with (and some are pro bono clients who are low and no-income women) my most important gift: my commitment to help you get to REAL happy.  I want you to be happy for you but also because it benefits everyone.  If you are happy it means another happy, self-loving, contributing member of society.  That’s priceless.

You work hard - I am my own dominatrix.  Discipline is my middle name.  Being a coach sometimes involves working alone.  Being able to hold myself accountable to my work is a huge asset.  There’s no hunting me down for an initial meeting, if you contact me you will get a response.  I am always thinking about new and interesting blog ideas, and although I send out my newsletter once a week, plenty are in the draft box and ready to go. 

Play hard- I don’t work on the weekends.  When I am not working as a coach, I am at the gym, I am writing screenplays, practicing my photography and video skills, I am building my sister bond, I am out with friends, I am reminiscing about my high school years with my 3 teenage sisters, dancing around the living room with my nieces or nephew, preparing to be a bridesmaid for my BFF’s dream wedding, reconnecting with old classmates or friends  I haven’t seen in a while, connecting with new friends, watching a sappy romance movie with my lover, or discussing why coaching is a real job with my mother, among other crazy things she likes to bring up.  My needs, my creativity, my family, my friends, and my loved ones are top priority. 

Practice what you preach- This is the most important question here.  To be a coach you must be committed to your own personal development.  You must  bring to all interactions your authentic self.  Coaching is intimate and you must build your core in order to be able to help and support your clients in whatever way they need.  If you are weak, whether in terms of emotional or physical well-being, core values, mission, or passions, you are not yet ready to coach. 

But if you are ready, welcome!

Yaromil Fong-Olivares is a life coach and personal development blogger residing in New York City.  Contact her for coaching, trainings, and speaking gigs at yaro@yaromilolivares.com.



Lin Yu Tang ~ From Pagan to Christian

Quote from Lin Yu Tang's From Pagan to Christian - The Great LearningFrom Lin Yu Tang's Facebook Page

This is a gift from 2006.  The sun is out, Spring is here.  It's reflection Friday and browsing through my old journals, I found this Lin Yutang quote:

"The principles of Great Learning consist of refurbishing the (originally) clear character of man, in renewing the people, and in coming to rest in the ultimate good.  Having a point of rest comes before stability of mind, stability enables one to have tranquility, tranquility enables one to have peace of mind and peace of mind enables one to think discriminately." 

I am here to heal myself and others. I am here to reach full, true humanity & beyond.  Are you?

Yaromil Fong-Olivares is a life coach and personal power blogger residing in New York City. Contact her for coaching, trainings, and speaking gigs at yaro@yaromilolivares.com.



Doing it and Doing it...Even if not Well

How to eliminate mental masturbation?

By Yaromil Fong-Olivares

Mental Masturbation

“I do not seek, I find” – Pablo Picasso

The difference between doing and trying is that when you do, even if you fail, you learn.  Mental masturbation (pleasure received from thinking about doing something) has its value but teaching you a lesson is not one of them. 

When you act/do/call/write/perform you expand your repertoire of experiences.  You grow a little or a lot as a human being.  You contribute your brilliance to the world.

Don't let trying get the best of you.   Let doing expose the worst.

 Yaromil Fong-Olivares is a life coach and personal power blogger residing in New York City.  Contact her for coaching, trainings, and speaking gigs at yaro@yaromilolivares.com.



How to Quickly and Effectively Kill Your Intuition

By Yaromil Fong-OlivaresTina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ever wonder how some decisions seem to miraculously bring joy, opportunities, and even new friendships and lovers? I do. So I went back and looked at how I got there. Not surprisingly, the common thread to each wonderful decision was intuition. Intuition, also known as “gut feeling,” is the deep internal affirmation we feel when we can see ourselves post decision making, doing the activity we are wondering about, smiling, and yes feeling fabulous.

So how does one kill intuition? Well in a similar (but less pleasant) process, I went back to my failed decisions and looked at how I arrived at those decisions.

Usual suspects in my intuition massacre:

  • Pleasing someone
  • More money
  • More prestige
  • "Should" do
  • “The best option” trap – i.e. I can’t get a better job/lover/house/etc.
  • Prove someone (including self) wrong
  • Impatience

When you choose your intuition, you choose happiness. Even when you must choose a less than ideal situation, acknowledging your intuition gives you clarity, internal peace and a better understanding of what you should work toward.

But, as with everything else, if you don’t nurture your intuitive power, she goes away. You kill her. Your intuition dies a little more every time you ignore her.

When it comes to your intuition, are you killing her softly? Allow yourself to answer honestly, and she’ll quickly come back.

Yaromil Fong-Olivares is a life coach and personal power blogger residing in New York City.  Contact her for coaching, trainings, and speaking gigs at yaro@yaromilolivares.com.



“I want a perfect body” – On body image

image from freedigitalphotos.net

By Yaromil Fong-Olivares

Yaro la fea  + self-disclosure = introduction: Geeky, awkward, with access only to “immigrant” (anti-fashion) style, and with some trauma skeletons in the closet, I grew up feeling a lot less than desirable…you know, ugly. Through many years of holistic personal work, including lots of intellectual muscle strengthening, and a immense dose of spiritual anchoring, I found liberation within myself by discovering that beauty, like many other coveted western attributes, is not inside or outside...it’s in what you see in the mirror; a reflection of your innermost fears, longings and accumulated self-criticisms.  If you shatter the mirror and choose the right one for you, radiance and beauty are yours to own, forever.  This is an excerpt/draft from The Ugly Girl Advantage, my upcoming extended ode to expanding definitions of beauty, self-love, and feminist superpowers inside ourselves and beyond our wildest nightmares. Beauty doesn't have to be painful and ugly can unleash the deepest, fullest well of power - our own.  

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Your internal transformation does mean the world to me. 


Yaro la bella/inteligente/compassionate/grounded/loved/whole.

The Ugly Girl Advantage ~ On body Image 

I am a true believer that “thinness” is internal.  I use "thinness" because that's what most (not all) strive to be in our body conscious western world.  But, truth be told that some of the most charismatic and hypnotizing femme rulers I know are also big and voluptuous.

So what's the secret?

Eliminate the fat only you see in the mirror.  For some women it is the slight belly pouch, or meaty arms, I have even heard of the fat fingers (someone whom I love and may I say has a "banging" and head turning body).

We must deal with the fat in the mirror.

Nike has it right: "just do it" already.  But, you must deal with it in real time and with everything you’ve got.  As if tackling a sumo wrestler. 

I do believe in healthy life living and for me that translates into going to the gym, eating my veggies, and being disciplined about it (you wouldn’t skip an important meeting, right?).  If the gym is not for you, adopting some kind of physical activity regime that works for you will do.  If you need a buddy (which I do), find one.  Ain’t no shame in the buddy game.  It’s part of many gym’s marketing spin for a reason. Find your buddy even if the buddy is far away and you have to Skype exercise or if you have to make a new friend at the gym, let’s say a trainer. 

Secondly, pay attention to your diet.  I am not a nutritionist but there are plenty of resources out there for you.  If you are in Harlem, do join our fitness meetup group at brownstone fitness.

Most importantly, you must stick with it. 

Here is the secret:  you will not notice any changes within the first month.  So don't expect them.  The change in the mirror starts when you begin to feel good about who you are not how you look.

Blasphemy? Lies!  No, seriously.  You may be expecting a sales pitch for some new exercise program, diet pill or power nutrition bar… seriously, it’s that easy. Or is it?

Here is the hard part: it’s all about discipline, commitment and being your own dominatrix.

When you choose to empower yourself by sticking to your exercise and eating routine you set in motion the process of reinventing yourself into a person who is committed, consistent, and prioritizes self-care…doesn’t that sound nice?  Your subconscious progressively becomes less and less concerned with the body fat in the mirror.  

You increase your self-esteem not by achieving Britney's post-babies makeover body, but by releasing happy endorphins (not a technical term).

The most effective workout is the one you give your brain and your soul.  The body workout provides you with the access code to your inner fierce femme ruler. 

Let your femme ruler out, now!  We are waiting.

Dedicated to all the women and men who suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).  Look around you; it affects our loved ones more often than we think.

Please leave your comments below.

Yaromil Fong-Olivares is a life coach and personal power blogger residing in New York City.  Contact her for coaching, trainings, and speaking gigs at yaro@yaromilolivares.com.