I try not to get overly emotional anymore, and I try not to share my emotions if I can avoid it. But this time, I’m going to make an exception, because I feel like it needs to be put out there, and might be able to help and inspire someone else…
I got into yoga about 2 months ago. I struggle with depression (which, for me, is often made worse when I’m super stressed) and body image issues, and I needed a way to re-connect with my body, give it a new physical challenge, and to learn to deal with stress in a healthier way. Apparently yoga is pretty good for that kind of stuff! I lucked out and found a really great studio near my house, and started attending regular classes. I’ve gradually been getting better, in small steps. Anyway, Monday night’s class involved some practice of scorpion pose. Everyone else took up positions near the wall to practice. I made an excuse that my back was sore and sat out. I was scared of falling (failing). So I sidelined myself and watched everyone else.
I stewed on that all day Tuesday. I reflected on how much I’d missed out on in life because of my fear of failure. I’ve always felt pressure to be perfect, to get everything right. I’ve never wanted to be outstandingly good at anything, because that’d mean I’d stand out, which I’d hate. I don’t like to be noticed, even if it’s because I’ve done well. But I’ve never wanted to fail at anything either, because that’d be noticed, too. So, I guess I’ve spent my life aspiring to be a wallflower, invisible and unnoticed. But, I digress. After spending the day thinking about that, I decided that my lifelong fear of failure could finally stop.
I got home from work, changed into some workout gear, set up my mat, and swallowed my fear. I gave it a try. I was terrified, trying to kick my legs up high enough to touch the wall, literally a few inches in front of me. But I kept at it, I eventually got one foot to the wall. Kept trying. Got two feet to the wall. Took a break to catch my breath. Got back up and tried again. Got both feet up and managed to drop them down a little. 2 hours later, and here’s where I got to. I only held it for a few seconds before I tumbled out, but I did it!
Despite my exercise science degree and my black belt, I am NOT a natural athlete. This is really, really challenging for me. But, I managed to overcome my fear of falling and failing, and somehow garnered enough mental and physical strength to get this done. This, from the child who wouldn’t even attempt a handstand in kiddies gym class. That’s right – 28 years old and finally attempted something resembling a handstand for the very first time in my life hahaha 🙂 Once I caught my breath, I realised that when I am practising yoga, I really can mentally step away from my problems and stresses. I’ve had a shitty few weeks, but when I practise yoga, I don’t think about anything that’s been going on. It requires my full attention, so much so that I simply cannot think about anything else. It’s really meditative for me!
Anyway, the point of this is that it’s pretty damn liberating to overcome fear, even if it is something as ridiculous as falling out of a yoga pose. We all have our crap to deal with, we all have our own stresses. My wish for everyone reading this (and everyone else who isn’t) is that they have a way to get their peace in those tough times, a way to overcome a fear, and manage to get a win this week, too 🙂