PERSONAL: Female. Education: Attended University of Minnesota.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Elly Sidel, John Hawkins & Associates, 71 West 23rd St., Suite 1600, New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Life coach, radio and television host, and author. Former marketing director for a hotel chain; actress; Rhonda Britten Public Relations, founder; Fearless Living Institute, founder and CEO; life coach to senior management at various Fortune 500 companies. Has appeared on talk radio and television shows, including Oprah, Montel Williams, Sally Jessy Raphael, and others; host of Here's Rhonda, broadcast on U.K. television; co-host of television program Starting Over, National Broadcast Companies, Inc., beginning 2004.
Fearless Living: Live without Excuses and Love without Regret, Dutton (New York, NY), 2001.
Fearless Loving: Eight Simple Truths That Will Change the Way You Date, Mate, and Relate, Dutton (New York, NY), 2003.
Change Your Life in Thirty Days: A Journey to Finding Your True Self, Dutton (New York, NY), 2004.
Columnist for Today's Woman magazine.
Britten's books have been translated into twelve languages.
SIDELIGHTS: In Fearless Living: Live without Excuses and Love without Regret, life coach and media personality Rhonda Britten tells her personal story—at age fourteen she witnessed the violent deaths of her parents—and discusses her efforts to shed the fears that kept her from success. Britten, an author and founder of the Fearless Living Institute, believes that men and women live their lives according to two patterns of behavior, which she calls the "Wheel of Fear" and the "Wheel of Freedom." The key, she claims in Fearless Living, is to get off the "Wheel of Fear" and on to the "Wheel of Freedom," where one can take risks, seize opportunities, and nurture self-confidence. In addition to Fearless Living, Britten has also published two related volumes: Fearless Loving: Eight Simple Truths That Will Change the Way You Date, Mate, and Relate and Change Your Life in Thirty Days: A Journey to Finding Your True Self.
In an interview published on her Web site, Britten explains that the power of her "Fearless Living" plan came from her daily battles against her own fears. Therapists, self-help books, tape sets, and seminars told her what to do, but not exactly how to do it. "I listened as spiritual leaders advised me to 'be more centered and release my fears,' but left on my own, I was in the dark. The words of the best-selling self-help authors encouraged me to 'change my attitude and become positive,' yet no one gave me clear and realistic tools. I was inspired and motivated, but after each failed attempt to 'be spiritual and successful,' I realized that my healing was all up to me. And what I wanted was a foolproof, step-by-step process to bridge the gap between spiritual principles, psychological theories, and my everyday life." From there Britten devised the rules for her "Fearless Living" agenda.
As a reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented, "Britten defines fear generally as a self-esteem problem—the conviction that one is 'not good enough'—that results in a range of unpleasant or harmful behavior from addictions to people pleasing to negativity." She then goes on to offer exercises for raising self-esteem and overcoming such defeatist behavior. Reviewing Fearless Living, the contributor commenting that "While many strategies seem worthwhile (building strong support networks, fostering self-acceptance, avoiding toxic people), the work feels too gimmicky to be persuasive as a cohesive program." Still, the book was popular with readers, and Britten quickly became much in demand as a public speaker and consultant. In addition to appearing on several nationally syndicated talk shows, she also went on to host her own television program in the United Kingdom, and in the fall of 2003 began co-hosting Starting Over, a reality television show.
The role of life coach is something unique to contemporary society. As Britten explained to Denver Post interviewer Barbara Hey: "Therapists help you heal from wounds of the past. A life coach takes you from where you are now and helps you move forward … get unstuck, change careers, have better relationships." In an interview with Maya Donevska for Dymocks.com about the jargon-free style of her writing, Britten explained, "I set out to write a book that was geared to someone like me. A person who may have read a ton, maybe even had been to therapy, but still didn't feel better about themselves. I wanted it to be filled with exercises that actually showed someone how to change their life rather than just talk about what happens when you do change your life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Denver Post, June 12, 2003, Barbara Hey, "Overcoming Your Fears" (interview), p. F2.
Publishers Weekly, February 19, 2001, review of Fearless Living: Live without Excuses and Love without Regret, p. 79.
Dymocks Booksellers Online, http://www.dymocks.com.au/ (March 26, 2002), Maya Donevska, interview with Britten.
Fearless Living Web site, http://www.rhondabritten.com (February 16, 2004).