Where your attention goes, your energy flows.
When doing this exercise make a special effort to focus only on what you did well. Ask yourself, “What did I do well?” over and over again. Often the brain will say, “NOTHING!” But you know in your heart that that is not true. So keep asking yourself this question and let your memory run wild. If you want, keep a journal of these things. They will have a massive impact on how you see yourself when you return to a similar situation in the future.
Master the ego.
The ego is an important part of who we are. It is there to keep us safe. In our evolution, as fragile creatures, it was essential that we were always looking out for what could harm us. These days, because the threat of being eaten by a saber-toothed tiger is no longer there, the ego now decides to keep us “safe” by making sure we don’t make fools of ourselves. So we never step outside of our comfort zone. We never take chances and keep doing the same old thing over and over and over again. This causes many people to fail to realize their potential. Someone very wise once said to me, “If you want to live a rich, full life, you must do three things: RISK, RISK, RISK!” These words have been my mantra as I am obsessed with leading a rich, full life. It has also enabled me to be the master of my ego, instead of my ego mastering me. In yoga we sometimes need to risk in order to progress with the practice, to “find our edge", and use it to propel us to new heights.
This wise person also said, “Dare to be who you are!” But what if some people don’t accept or like who you are? Well, remember the opening paragraph. There will always be these people. Be glad that they show their true colors so you can get to work on weeding them out of your life.
Anxiety, stress and panic often accompany new situations where we don’t know what to expect. I only know a handful of people who would totally embrace being pushed into a room full of strangers. Difficult situations, as mentioned above, are essential to finding our inner strength - although that can be really challenging and easier said than done.
A technique I learned last year that has changed my life is known in NLP circles to “act as if”. This has a two-fold dimension. The first is to remember a time in the past when you had total confidence and felt great. Now bring back the memory of how you walked, talked, stood, breathed, your whole physiology. The second dimension is to use that physiology when you’re in the difficult situation and “act as if” you’re already a master at it – even if you’re not just yet. How you would act, perform or do anything if you could already do it – “act as if” you could. As a yoga teacher, I used to get very nervous before every class, which would impact my teaching. When I started applying this technique it made a huge difference in reducing my anxiety, and gave me the confidence I needed to teach a great class. Now I get my students to do this before we attempt difficult postures and it works! The students don’t always do the postures perfectly, but they feel good about even just attempting the postures.
Realize the truth.
The voice in your head that is always telling you that you are not enough is not the real you. This is years of brainwashing by the media and people projecting their insecurities on you. Once you silence this voice you will begin to see the real truth. You are limitless. You can do anything you set your mind to. And ultimately you are perfection personified. Oh, and you TOTALLY ROCK!
By Celest Pereira
Celest is a trained dancer and martial artist with a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy and over 10 years yoga practice. Celest completed her Yoga Teacher Training in India in 2009 and has been teaching full time since then. Witnessing her classes really begin to buzz with increasing numbers of regular students she founded CITYOGI, a website aimed to make yoga more accessible to the city professional. Celest's greatest passion is to teach Vinyasa Flow Yoga. She has classes in top yoga centers in London, such as Triyoga and Evolve and regularly takes groups to exotic locations for yoga retreats.
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