Would-be-doctor-turned actor, writer, and creative life coach. INFJ. Capricorn. Foster dog mom, yogini, home chef, and foodie.

Author’s screenshot of an audition tape

Oh gosh, how I’ve been wanting to write here and dreading the whole time! Articles and listicles are not as half challenging as this one, because…well because I have too much to say and there’s no formula.

Kinda sorta like my trajectory — no formula, just guts. I trusted the roadmap would appear and it did.

Before I jump in to tell you about me, you might want to read a story about my name:

I was a medical student in China and did two surgeries on real people as an assistant. During my last year in college, I was…

I had to learn tactics to cope with uncertainty, instead of being constantly triggered into “fight or flight” mode

Person doing a one-handed handstand.
Photo by Blake Weyland on Unsplash

Growing up, I was probably the “most confident person” in my cohort. I aced everything, won awards, got articles published… I thought there was nothing I couldn’t achieve.

Then, in the last year of college, I started to have massive anxiety attacks. I lost a bunch of hair, couldn’t have more than three hours of sleep for over three months, and relaxation didn’t exist in my dictionary.

I was still not getting what I wanted. And the more I wanted it, the harder I tried, the more anxious I felt. …

It’s very easy to react to chaos with negativity—but you can choose to instead see it as part of leading a lively, exciting life

Signs showing people walking in different directions
Photo by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash

I had a “slightly turbulent” week. I booked an NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) workshop this weekend, along with an Airbnb for three nights. Then I got an audition from my agent and had to confirm I was available.

After my confirmation, my thoughts started churning:

“Oh gosh, why did I book the Airbnb? It’s non-refundable now.”

“This gig doesn’t pay much. If I got it I still have to do it for my agent.”

“When will I be able to do this workshop if I miss this one?”

I was already making up a juicy story when nothing had happened. For…

Why I Gave Up 34k Followers on Tik Tok China

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Last August I signed with an MCN (multi-channel network) in Beijing and became a Tik Tok (known as Douyin in China) influencer — teaching English to the Chinese audience. I invested in a vlog camera and studio lights and was posting 3–4 times a week.

Within two months I hit 10k followers. Then another 10k in the next two months. This February I reached 34k followers and was approached by business partners. I moved to a studio and thought I should monetize this thing.

In our MCN, a lot of the influencers from the same company were making 5 figures…

Honest communication will set you free.

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

When I googled “red flags”, 276,000,000 results showed up in 0.7 seconds. The majority of them are about dating and relationships.

I can imagine singles and couples searching, reading, and watching behind their computer screens, hoping to find the perfect answers for their burning questions:

Is that a red flag?

Well, friends, if crowdsourcing could help you figure things out, you would have figured them out a long time ago. Why are you still clicking and scrolling?

The Problem about “Red Flags”

If you pull up 10 articles on red flags in dating and relationships, you will get at least 10 different answers, most likely…

Don’t get hijacked by Shiny Object Syndrome

A bored and tired woman
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

After a few months and a few clients, I was bored. With an online business, life is pretty much the same: Emails, content, coaching calls, and networking.

My ADD brain told me I should try something new. And I bought it.

I kept googling, kept adding things to my plate, kept meeting new people until I exhausted myself.

It was not the same kind of exhaustion when I ran a half-marathon 2 years ago. …

You will thrive in the space you create and hold

Photo by De'Andre Bush on Unsplash

I haven’t seen my family since January 2, 2020 — when I hopped on a plane back to New York. On January 3, 2020, China reported the COVID outbreak to WHO.

The travel ban has made it difficult for me and my family to reunite. I missed some significant family events: my father’s 60th birthday, my cousin’s wedding, and the birth of my other cousin’s son.

There is an empty seat for me in their world. Every time my family has a get-together, they’d mention how much they miss me, and how happy they’d be to see me again.


Learning is valuable, beating yourself up is not.

A woman holds a blue egg and covers her mouth
Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

If you were like me — not the most cautious person in the world and makes careless mistakes from time to time, you know how it feels when the following happens:

How come I just spent the last half hour looking for glasses when they were sitting on my nose?

How come I forgot to bring the umbrella again and got caught in the rain 5 times in a row?

How come I made the same mistake again on a sales call?

The next thing you know? …

How would you like to perceive your life?

a mirage: water, pavilion, and a ferris wheel
Photo by Bart Ros on Unsplash

The month of July was like a roller coaster: At its peak, I scored the highest monthly income so far, got a book deal, won two film awards and two nominations.

Then all of a sudden, my foster dog had intense episodes of bloody diarrhea and went to the ER; I myself went down with a week-long cold that had me use up a box of Kleenex a day.

I sat in my bed, holding a book and trying to make my foggy brain work for me of little avail. Then I smiled: Hmm, this is interesting.

Then I asked…

Yiqing Zhao

Actor/Writer/Creative Life Coach. Mental health advocate, animal activist, foodie. https://www.instagram.com/yiqingzhao1222/ https://coaching.yiqingzhao.com

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