I’ve been wanting to share something with you that has been on my mind – perhaps too often.
This past Saturday I had close to forty students in my yoga class and the week prior I had almost fifty students. That’s a good look in my line of work.
As I walked into the very crowded yoga studio, I was thrilled to see so many yogis ready to get their weekly sweat sesh on. I’ve been teaching this particular class for the past four years. It’s my baby and I know I shouldn’t say this, but it’s my favorite class on my schedule. The energy is high, the students are consistent and eager to learn. Every week I leave there feeling lucky to have the opportunity to be in that space with those people.
Even with that being said, I concluded that due to a temporary change in the schedule for the day, my class must have been one of the only options for people to come to hence the large attendance.
A few months back I was offered a really unique (and fun) opportunity to project manage an Uber pop-up at O’Hare airport. My love for airports and travel elevated my excitement.
When I was introduced to the other on-site project managers and asked what events I have managed, I responded that I don’t manage events, that I am just a yoga teacher and blogger.
My friend and supervisor for the pop-up chimed in and reminded me of all the events, retreats, and fundraisers I have successfully planned, managed and executed. “Oh yeah! You’re right, I guess I do manage a lot of events”, I responded with a nervous laugh.
After we wrapped up our walk-thru for the pop-up, I got in my car and cried all the way home from the airport.
I cried because I am shitty to myself. I cried because I don’t give myself enough credit for the things I do in my life. And I cried because I know me thinking I am not good enough just isn’t true.
At the sametime, I was so grateful for my friend’s reminders, she really opened my mind to something I had otherwise not been paying attention to.
I don’t know if these moments of deafening self-doubt can be attributed to imposter syndrome or just your good old-fashioned lack of confidence, but I do know they can be troublesome and disheartening.
I find myself getting stuck in this diffident type pattern more often than I’d like to admit. Often over checking something I know to be correct, not thinking people like me, sometimes thinking I am not deserving of success in my career, and of course, fearful of failure. Just to name a few. Oh and let’s not forget how much courage I need to drum up to ask a question in public. I freaking public speak for a living.
Recently, I discovered that my project management skills can come in handy on set with my husband who asked me to be an Associate Producer for his short films. Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity. Are you kidding?! I live for this kind of stuff!
However, I jokingly referred to myself as “his bitch” to his crew, which my feminist brain immediately regretted saying. I chose to not give myself credit.
That is the bad news.
The good news is, I am now acutely aware of this inner dialogue. I know when my brain shifts to Negative Nelly mode. I would never speak to my best friend or anyone with all that pessimism. So why do I do it to myself?
I suppose it’s how I am wired. I need to retrain my brain to think in a more positive light. To allow me to be proud of myself for what I do, create, and achieve.
This isn’t about not getting recognition from others, this is on me. This is a solo mission.
A few days ago I felt a bit overwhelmed with everything I had on my plate, I looked at my to-do list along with my hefty set of deadlines and thought to myself:
How the hell am I going to get this all done?
Immediately, I combated that thought with:
I can do anything.
Trust me, I was shocked when I said it, but oh my goodness did I feel empowered.
And I did it. I did it all! I helped produce my husband’s short film, I threw him a wonderful 40th birthday at our home, taught my yoga classes, and took care of The Sister Project. All in one weekend.
I felt something that I have to work hard to feel…I felt proud of myself.
Before I go I want to leave you with a wonderful tip my sister, Michelle, offered. I implement this exercise when I find myself buried in self-doubt:
For every negative thought I have about myself, I think of two positive ones to outweigh its mental presence.
Keep that tip in mind the next time you are giving yourself a hard time.
You got this.