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Coaching Video Series - Inspiration

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Featuring Michelle Yozzo Drake

Watch segments of Michelle Yozzo Drake's most inspirational and motivational presentation on the power of perception and finding fulfillment in our lives.

Inspiration and the Power of Perception

The power of perception can have an unbelieveable hold over us. How you see yourself can be greatly affected by how others see you, and while the positive effects can build you up, the negative effects can be devastating.

I was not the best student in school. I didn't get the best grades, and that led me to have a less-than-stellar self-image. My teachers never told me I was smart; they didn't encourage me to learn. Instead, they told me, "You're a nice little girl." The comments on my report cards were always, "Michelle is a joy to have in class," or "her smile lights up the room", and my personal favorite: "She's a little bit slow sometimes."

Michelle is slow.

The impact that statements like that had on how I saw myself were very detrimental. We often see ourselves and define ourselves by looking through other people's eyes and accepting their perceptions as fact. My teachers saw me as being slow; I saw me as being slow. I was a really nice person, but I wasn't smart and I never would be so I didn't bother to try. Then, in the third grade everything changed. It was revealed that I needed glasses and my poor vision was the reason I didn't do very well in school. I was seated in the back of the classroom, and my teachers all taught by writing on the blackboard in the front. I couldn't see the board and therefore couldn't learn the material! I wasn't slow; I was near-sighted! Once my vision was corrected, my grades improved dramatically, but I still held onto the perception that I wasn't very smart and it took me a very long time to realize that this perception is completely wrong.

Now I'm the president of a corporation that has handled over $150M in projects in the last five years. Not too bad for the slow kid in the back!

I learned how to overcome that perception and focus on creating a life of fulfillment through a bunch of little steps, small pieces of progress over the years. The moment that I am in today is a different moment than when I was a student struggling to read the blackboard, but I am the same person. I take the gifts and tools of who I am and now I try and apply them in a different way. The who I am remains the same. The talents and the gifts I have remains the same. The actions that I am taking and applying them out in the world are what is different. I was the soft touch, I was easy, I was nice. The teacher was right, I was nice. I was pleasant to have around. But, what I think now of who I am, I think I am effective. I think that I have tremendous impact where I go and that I am a much stronger woman then ten years ago, I ever would have thought that I could've become.

The challenge of life is to know not only who you are, but to be able to take your talents and you go out and share them with the world. 

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�Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.� � Helen Keller