Empowering Yourself into a Successful Career

Usha asks:

Hi Dr. Kuhn,

Your articles light up my day! They are kind of answering the next hurdle I’m facing.

I read your most recent write up Start to Finish about your mother not working for a living and being taken care of, and that you wanted that lifestyle too. I totally relate to this. My mother is a homemaker and I imagined that I always wanted to work. However, I found that when opportunities came I just didn’t go for it. I think I always wanted to be taken care of financially. Now, I want to get out of this comfort zone and I’m committed to making it happen.

How do I do this and keep myself afloat? I don’t know if the feeling of being able to take care of myself financially will make me feel empowered but this is what’s driving me. There are times when no one turns up for my yoga class. I’m so discouraged when this happens. At other times, people call and ask for my support. This feels so fulfilling! This is such a dilemma! I worry about whether I can make it over time; will students come?; the bottom line: How will I earn a living? I’ll be receiving my certificate in July and will then begin charging for my yoga classes. Will this work? Please help!

P.S., I like the way you write. It motivates me to take another step ahead and feel closer to my goal of being empowered (financially).


From Dr. Rosie

Thanks Usha for your letter.

Usha has lots of questions and I suspect she is providing herself with a lot of answers that aren’t answers at all but only potential "what ifs" that, more often than not, create worry and anxiousness. So many of us cultivate scenarios in our minds to counter the "I don’t know if I can do this"; "I don’t know if people will come"; "I don’t know if there’ll be enough money." These "I don’t knows" are part of every endeavor we take on, and, are probably the most important challenge to face. What would you have to be with, Usha, if you empowered yourself to stay present in the moment with the "I don’t know?"

You are not alone! Very few of us have cultivated a capacity to comfortably be with the unknown, yet, by doing so we empower ourselves enormously.

No one knows whether their dreams will ever come true. The only way to know is to live into them one step at a time, one day at a time; saying to yourself "I don’t know what’s going to happen because of this step but I’m going to take it anyway!" Empower yourself to take on this practice courageously and your life will blossoms in untold ways.

Usha, you’ve already begun, in that you are so close to finishing your courses in yoga training. You’ve invested a lot of time and energy to make this happen. Congratulations! What’s it like, in your body, as you realize how far you have come? What’s the quality of the experience that you are feeling? Excited, empowered, and confident that you’ve taken the next step? These are very important qualities to continually experience, reminding yourself of what you’ve accomplished thus far, in service to your dream.

What most of us do at this point is to forget the good feelings and begin to worry and fret. Here’s a question to ask yourself: When feeling excited, empowered and confident, what’s the next step to take? Make a list of everything that comes to mind. Now, for just a moment, choose to worry about all those things you worry about. Again, make a list. What steps do you want to take from here? You get to choose, Usha, the qualities of what you want to experience and what steps you’ll choose to take in service to what you want. This for me is what will bring success “ that is, choosing to choose what you want to choose. This is so empowering!!!!

Exercising the muscles of choosing to choose the qualities of being that feels best to you is something we aren’t used to doing. However, it is very much like practicing yoga; it’s a matter of just stretching and strengthening muscles to increase the range of motion, resilience and comfort for what’s next. Does that make sense? I often avoid going to yoga because it creates too much discomfort. In this way I’m kind of a wimp, and the outcome is that my body is achy and not as resilient as when I was younger and more active. Professionally, if I avoided what I need to do to bring my coaching practice to fulfillment (Stretching, strengthening and increasing my range of comfort in being with the unknown) I wouldn’t have a practice at all. I have to be with the discomfort of being with the unknown, stepping into my dream little by little.

The conversation that occurs inside your head determines whether you’ll empower yourself to step courageously into what’s next or not. And, this is where you will do the most amount work “ shifting your thoughts and the qualities of being you are wanting. Again, so many of us avoid this practice and the outcome is then less than satisfying.

In the practical world, as your coach, I would ask how you are generating income right now. I would ask you how much you need on a weekly, monthly and annual basis. What do you need to generate from each class? How many students will you need for each class and how much will you need to charge in order to bring in what you require? Are there other ways to generate income that you’d like to do? This is the beginning of a basic business plan that each entrepreneur has to create.

Many of us in private practice cobble together a number of things we like to do. I, for instance, coach, facilitate leadership seminars, run teleconferences for coaches, facilitate women’s retreats and write books and articles. Each of these generates currency and clients. Discover what you like to do and see how you can cobble them together. And, many of us have to stay in our "day jobs" for awhile until we’ve got the momentum going and generating the kind of currency we want. One last thought: There are many micro-loan and grant type possibilities out there. Do some research and see what’s available for you.

Bottom line: Notice when you are worrying and being anxious. Exercise the muscles to stop the worrying and anxiety. Shift this to other feelings that will inspire you to take the next step. Just one step at a time! You can do this!

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