Do you ever feel a sense of worry at the thought of teaching a large group of yoga students? Feel anxious about fluffing up your instructions? Meticulously plan every detail and follow your plan down to the T? Maybe you’re fine with your teaching but the thought of putting yourself out there to social media fills you with dread? Perhaps you’re lost for words or hate sharing details of your private life? Even sharing your photo/taking a photo of yourself feels terrifying? Does it take a lot of energy to be seen and heard?
Do you relate to some or all of these? Are there more that you can think of when it comes to running a yoga business?
For me, yes and yes!
I have been running my yoga business full time for over 6 years. I have been through tough times and I have been through the most amazing times. What I have learnt over these 6 years is more about myself than I could have ever imagined.
I’ve really had to step out of my comfort zone in order expand and grow my business, which has ultimately forced me to expand and grow in myself too.
Maybe you’re just starting out on your teaching journey, or you may have been teaching for a while. If, like me, you relate to some/all of the above, you’re probably going to relate to being an introvert.
Introverts have lots of different variations, there’s not one size fits all. You may be an introverted extrovert or vice versa, you might like social interaction but feel it gets draining after a while, maybe you’re more of a thinker than a do-er, anxiety around being seen and heard may be a very familiar feeling to you and so on.
When it comes to running a business, there’s always going to be an element of discomfort. What I have found is that there have been instances when I’ve really had to step out of my comfort zone in order expand and grow my business, which has ultimately forced me to expand and grow in myself too. These moments have felt so difficult and scary, and at times I have wanted to just hide away and be left alone. This was one of the reasons I started to work with a coach, who taught me that on the other side of resistance is transformation.
And so, with this in mind, I found it helpful to see my resistance as a process, a symbol even, for my growth and expansion. Here’s what my resistance process shows up like:
· Having an idea
· Feeling excited about this idea
· Researching (a lot)
· Planning (a lot)
· Anxiety kicking in: Knowing I need to actually do something in order to make this idea happen outside of my head
· Procrastination: I don’t think my idea is quite right, better get back to research
· Frustration: OMG I need to get this out there
· Worry: Fuck, I’ve got to do a social media post or speak to someone
· Fear: I don’t know what to say, what if people troll me or say no or ignore me
And so on. Do you have a similar process?
Sometimes this process gets the better of me and it takes an age for the idea to happen in reality. Sometimes, my courage pipes up and I get the confidence I need to put it out there, and when that happens, the feeling is immensely satisfying, I feel amazing. The transformation has been able to take place and I can really feel myself and my business levelling up.
So, how have I been able to work with myself in running my yoga business with all those feeling’s going on at the top? Followed by my resistance process happing when I feel a transformation about to happen?
· Owning that I AM AN INTROVERT
I always knew this about myself from a child, who’s both parents are introverts, but it’s only recently that I am OWNING this and seeing the gifts that being an introvert has to offer.
Take some time to think/meditate/write to connect with your introvert, give them a name and get to know them. Ask yourself, what are the gifts of your introvert?
Mine is Quiet Cora, she doesn’t like to be centre of attention as she is scared of being humiliated in some way. She needs a lot of time and space to re-charge, and she needs to do things in her own time. Her gifts are that she is highly sensitive to the needs of others and her intuition can help her tune in to situations to see things form an alternative perspective, with space and time she can be highly creative in her thinking and loves to serve others in a calm, thoughtful way.
If I’m having a moment where things feel super difficult/anxiety provoking/overwhelming etc. I tell myself that it’s ok for these feelings to be there and that it’s part of the process. I give myself a break. Understanding my process gives me time and space to feel and be present and allows the feelings to flow. Being kind to myself in this way means that the resistance can start to dissolve and eventually allows me to shift into my space of courage and confidence, easing the process towards what it is that I set out to do.
I’d love to know how your introvert does/doesn’t serve you right now...
Talking about these aspects of ourselves that often stay hidden helps us to make friends with ourselves on a deeper level, to trust ourselves and ultimately put stuff out there that feels authentic and aligned with who we are.