Stepping Out Your Comfort Zone
When I started doing yoga regularly, I fell in love with the practice and how it made me feel. The immediate release of stress and relief from my previous back pain sparked my passion for yoga. I never thought that one day I would be stepping out of my comfort zone by teaching yoga, let alone in English to a group of savvy yogis.
Let me paint my background story. As a Spanish-speaking immigrant, I was very self-conscious of my accent due to a series of incidents that happened when I first moved to the US back in 1995.
The thought of speaking in public to people I did not know in a language that was not my mother tongue added to my fears and insecurities… Especially when it came time to teach my first yoga class.
I had not even finished my 200 hours of training when I found myself auditioning in front of a seasoned yoga teacher who was opening a new studio.
Somehow, the studio owner liked me and my class audition…. hiring me on the spot.
I was excited beyond belief and terrified at the same time.
My fears started to creep in and this was my inner dialogue:
- What have I done?
- I never intended to teach yoga. Why did I show up to begin with?
- Will people understand me when I speak?
- What about if I flop in my first yoga class?
- She (will remain nameless) is right, “I’m not good enough to teach”…. I need to practice teaching a lot more before I can even attempt teaching a real class.
Then my instincts kicked in and my feisty, non-quitter, “let me show you” personality showed up.
- I can do this
- I’m not a quitter
- I’ve come a long way
- If they don’t understand me… laugh it off and demonstrate
- My accent is my asset… They will have to pay more attention to what I’m saying.
So, there I was ready to step out of my comfort zone and teach my first class EVER and one of my teachers who I admired and looked up to, showed up to take my class!
I wanted to throw up, run, and hide…
I was already super nervous and now this seasoned teacher is going to take my class…
Then I took a deep breath in and said to myself:
“You have two options”;
- “Panic and surely flop, letting the studio owner and yourself down”
- “Be yourself and be of service to these people that have taken the time to get here to take a yoga class… some even showed up to support you”
So, I started class by setting an intention in my mind and heart…. but that did not stop the knot in my throat, the pounding heart about to come out of my chest and the pit in my stomach.
Within the first 5-10 minutes, I had made a few mistakes confusing right with left, arm and leg… You know the usual stuff but soon after, I got into a rhythm.
I relaxed and let go of the need to impress anyone. I surrendered and let myself be a messenger and I got into a state of flow.
People were able to sense that I poured my heart and soul into the preparation and delivery of the class… From the theme and music to the sequence and the inspirational notes I shared through out the class.
- Was the class perfect? No.
- Was the best class ever taught? No.
- Was it meaningful, authentic, and playful? YES!
- Did I need to grow, learn and improve from that experience? Absolutely
- Was I glad I did? YES!
People for the most part loved my class, my accent, and the whole enchilada. They were smiling, and went out of their way to pay me a complement.
Thankfully, I had this positive experience because about two months later, a student walked into a class I was subbing, saw me, and walked away because the original teacher wasn’t there. YIKES!
What Really Matters
The point is, none of that matters… Some people will come to your class, business, or seek your services because of what have to offer but mostly because of who YOU ARE![tweetthis]People will come to your class, business, or seek your services because of who YOU ARE![/tweetthis]
So, when you are ready to step out of your comfort zone and teach your first yoga class, start a business, or try something completely new…
- Remind yourself WHY you are doing it.
- Believe in yourself.
- Take a few deep breaths and go for it.
- Let go of the need to prove something or be perfect
- Be yourself
- HAVE FUN!
Remember that whatever you think your shortcomings are, they actually may be your biggest assets.