By Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500 –This week, after a mid-day yoga class, for probably a little over an hour, I got “schooled” in the limiting power of internal dialogue. If you have ever gotten to practice with me, either in studio or online, then one of the things you will probably recognize I say a LOT…generally before a particularly challenging part of a sequence, is “tell yourself you can do this.”
The biggest reason for that? Well, it’s because just before I started to do that part of the sequence earlier that day, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. That little voice in my head said, “Are you Serious, Jennifer?”
Well, actually, that little voice is usually a little meaner than that, but I’m sure you get the idea.
That’s the internal dialogue and that’s what you and I have GOT to get a handle on. It’s that little voice inside you that is louder than the one telling you how awesome you are. It’s the little voice that has the front row seat in the discussions between what you can and can’t do, what you are and aren’t capable of, and what you can and can’t overcome.
Dude, trust me, I get it.
That’s why this conversation on Tuesday was so important. It reminded me of an exercise that our dear teacher, Kathryn, had me go through probably about a year ago, about my limiting self thoughts. I’d love to invite you to try this exercise when you have a moment. She did this exercise with me after a particularly challenging day in a particularly challenging week, probably in the middle of a particularly challenging month and, if I’m being completely honest, a particularly challenging year. I will be honest, I have my fair share of them…challenges, and I need to practice this exercise more often to remember the valuable lesson.
Kathryn’s Change Your Perspective Exercise
- Go stand in the corner, nose to the corner. Yup, Any corner is fine, but I like to do this in a corner of a room that means something to me, or in a place I am struggling with. Kathryn had me stand in the corner of our studio.
- Look around. Ask yourself, as you stand, facing the corner, what do you see? –the answer here is, the corner. Not much to see if your nose is in the corner, and you just have two walls coming together right in front of you, right?
- Turn Around. Now, have the back of your head to the corner, what do you see? You see the entire space in front of you. You can take this even deeper and see the possibilities of the entire space, you can see the history of the space, you can see your dreams for the space….the exercise is endless and it’s priceless.
What does this exercise teach you?
Well, for me, it taught me that I needed to turn a few things around (and I have to continue to do that by the way.) I need not focus on where the walls were coming together around me, but I needed to turn around and look where the walls led and what I could do with the space between them. This exercise taught me that if I just stepped back a step, I could turn around and see the whole wide room around me–this could be a whole new world for you–and that the possibilities truly were limitless. This exercise can teach you that you truly can and do have the ability to change your perspective, and it can open up doors to possibilities that you never even knew existed.
For me, this exercise is so important. I can get lost in the details (usually negative) of the thoughts that are hitting me a million miles an hour. When I stop and think about those negative thoughts, and what they are doing to me, and how limiting they are to me personally and professionally, it makes me ashamed I allow them to go on in my head! I’d never talk that way to someone in real life, why can I say that sort of stuff to myself?!?!
Yes, it is good to have a motivating voice inside you to keep going, to keep pushing you forward, but when that little motivating voice is telling you that you failed yet again, or that the bills are never gonna get paid, or that your relationships are never gonna improve, you just tell that little voice to take a hike. Go do something that you know you can do. Come practice a yoga class that you know will make you feel better, that will encourage you to stop and breathe and recognize the beauty that is moving your body with your breath, and then maybe you can take a step back, turn around and see that the possibilities truly are endless.
This holiday season, if you get hit with a million arrows all at once, I invite you to stop, take a deep breath, turn around and see what perspective you can change. I promise if you practice, it does get easier. However, you’ll probably need some encouragement from time to time. (I KNOW I DO!!) So, join me! Get a friend to join you and us! We can practice controlling that nasty voice and sending it far away, as we build up the smaller, more uplifting voice that tells you, “YES! Yes, you CAN!” One great way to get that positive voice a little louder? Yup, you guessed it, Get on your mat! 🙂
If you’re in the Chattanooga Area, come check out one of our amazing classes. Even if you’ve never practiced before, you’ll be welcomed and encouraged. Trust me, we ALL started somewhere. Before my very first heated power class, I had the doppelganger of Rocky’s Coach teaching and he just looked at me and said, “get in the back and fake it til you make it.” I haven’t forgotten Joe’s advice, and I encourage you to do the same! You’ll be right next to quite possibly your new best friend, and you’ll be surrounded by people that care, and want you to succeed. If you’re not in our area, then I invite you to check us out on Youtube. (Be sure to like and follow us because new content is being added weekly –sometimes more!) You can also join us in the Thrive Online community, where you can have access to specially curated, super strengthening yoga as fitness sequences that’ll help you get stronger and increase balance every time you practice. I can’t wait to see you on your mat!