Hey there, friends! I’m here today with a solo episode of The Refined Collective!. Let me know what you think of solo episodes and be sure to DM @therefinedwoman if you have specific topics you want me to talk about!
Yoga is constantly a metaphor for my life. How I show up on my yoga mat is how I show up in all other areas of life. Recently, I was sitting in a yoga class and I have to say I was feeling good about my performance that day.
The beautiful thing about yoga is that in any given class there are students who are trying yoga for the first time and students who have practiced yoga every day of their lives. There are advanced versions and beginner versions of every pose.
We got to a particular posture and I found my limit for the posture. But then I heard my yoga instructor’s voice right in my ear: “C’mon. Let’s go. Go further.” I shook my head no. He doesn’t know my body’s limits—I do. But he insisted.
I trusted myself and pushed further. I thought, “Wow, I’m stronger than I thought.” As he walked away he said, “Why are you holding yourself back?” By the end of class, he had encouraged me to push my limits two more times. And he was right every single time. “Why are you playing so small? You’re stronger than you think.”
Nobody in that class was telling me where to stop in a pose—I wasn’t being limited by anyone but myself. This leader had the audacity to point out that I was playing small. You need people in your life to drag you out of your comfort zone, even if it makes you angry in the moment.
“No one is telling me no but myself.”
If you’re going to make progress in areas of your life, you have to ask yourself ‘Why am I holding myself back?’
A few years ago, I took on the challenge of memorizing a long poem and performing it at a large event in New York City. I had memorized this poem so well, I knew it like the back of my hand.
The night of the event, I get halfway through the spoken word and freeze. I could feel my palms start to sweat. I started from the beginning… and it happened a second time. I stood there deciding if I should just run out of the building and never look back. Finally, one of the lines came back to me and I just picked up from that line and finished the spoken word.
After I finished, I felt so embarrassed. I thought I would never be invited anywhere as a speaker every again. I wanted to rush out, but I was the host of the event.
Over the course of the night, people came up to me and said how much they loved the spoken word. I expressed to every single one of those people that I messed up.
My best friend had to take me aside and remind me that nobody noticed I made a mistake, and if they did—they didn’t care.
Fear has as much power as we choose to give it. After I moved through this experience, I decided I would book two speaking events where I would perform this spoken word.
Fear doesn’t have the final say. It’s possible to acknowledge the fear we have and our past while not letting it be in the driver’s seat of our lives.
You are called to a purpose. But you have to say goodbye to the fear.
You can go further than you think.
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