Several years ago I was in a yoga class and injured my shoulder getting into wheel pose.
I could say it happened because the instructions weren’t clear enough. I could say I wasn’t warmed up enough. Or I was distracted. Or my proportions made it hard for me.
But none of that was true.
I injured myself because I wanted to look like everyone else in class. I wanted to get it right. I wanted the teacher’s approval.
I wanted to fit in.
I muscled my way into the pose before my body was ready—and my body protested.
Reflecting on that injury, I realize I've been an “all or nothing” kind of person. I approached my life, choices, obstacles, and decisions with an attitude of beat it, nail it, get it right—or die trying. The effort wasn't as important as the outcome.
The destination was the ultimate goal—not the journey. I was focused on outside approval for my worth.
On the upside, this attitude helped me work through things in my life. I learned how to focus, dedicate myself to projects, and I accomplished a lot. I learned so much.
But this attitude also hindered my growth and acceptance of myself.
I’m finally learning the journey is just as important as the destination. I’m becoming more honouring of my limitations, and can look at them with more compassion and empathy instead of competition.
I continue to practice accepting my body and my life as they are now. I witness this struggle in others also—I understand how they feel.
When you want to accomplish something but feel stuck or are pushing too hard (on or off the mat), these five steps can help you honour yourself:
In the end, what we believe about ourselves matters.
Where do you push yourself in your life beyond your abilities? How is this working for you, and has it changed over time? I'd love to hear from you, in the comments below.
In loving acceptance,