A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there – Unknown
I’ve been teaching yoga for a little over two years now, and the truth is told, I still get nervous before class…
I know there are plenty of amazing instructors out there who don’t even think twice about leading a room full of ambitious yogis through a stellar sequence of sun salutations. Unfortunately for me, I’m just not one of them.
As I prepared for my class this past week during my lunch break at my regular nine to five, those feelings of nervousness, dread and self-doubt began to take over me. “I should really just quit,” I thought to myself. “I love to practice yoga, but that doesn’t mean I should teach it,” I tried to convince myself. “Ugh, I’m already so drained from work, how am I going to muster up the energy to lead a class?” I asked myself.
You see, when it all boils down to it, I’m a pretty shy person at heart (although I typically prefer to use the word “reserved“). I was never the type of student to raise my hand in class, even if I knew the answer. Never the type of girl to approach a guy at the bar, even though I do consider myself confident. Never the first to break out my moves on the dance floor, even though I took lessons all through my adolescence. Basically, the more attention I get, the more awkward I feel and I had accepted that. Embraced it, in fact.
The funny thing about any comfort zone is that we can only live in them for so long before we’re bound to get bored.
Bored of the repetition. Bored of the monotony. Bored of living each day exactly the same as the last. Bored of not reaching our full potential. And I suppose that’s eventually what happened to me.
Although the idea of teaching yoga was “out of my comfort zone,” there was a deep urge which pushed me forward and convinced me to obtain my instructor certification anyway.
I’m sure part of that desire had to do with the fact that despite my shyness, I’ve always had a thing for a good challenge. But more so than that, I think a large part of me felt a sense of duty. A desire to give to others what had been given to me. A want, a need, to share the peace and joy that yoga brings to my life.
I strongly believe that the main reason we’re given talents and passions in life are to share them with others.
Whether it’s painting, dancing, singing, acting, coaching, teaching, speaking, writing, etc., our talents are meaningless unless they have a purpose.
Let me tell you this. Despite all the dread in the world and pre-class jitters, I make a choice every Wednesday night at 6:30 pm to step out of my comfort zone and share my passion!
I may not be the best yoga teacher out there (yet). I may get nervous beforehand. I may doubt myself, my abilities, my talents, but I go forth and share it anyway!
I share it in hopes of bringing my students peace, inspiration and happiness. I share it for that sense of accomplishment I feel afterwards. But the main reason I share it, I must admit, is because I fear what would happen if I didn’t. I fear a life where I don’t honor my gifts and those who’ve so selflessly given them to me.
I fear a mind that stops learning, questioning and challenging me. I fear a heart that stops caring and nervously beating. And most of all, I fear the world that lets fear stand in its way. The world that stops loving and sharing. The world that keeps its passions to itself, because it’s too afraid to give them away.
Step out of your comfort zone, find your passion and share it with the world.
Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman