The Stories We Tell Ourselves
October 22, 2012 § 4 Comments
“I can’t do this, it’s too difficult”
“I’m not flexible enough”
“I’m not strong enough”
“My body’s not cut out for this”
“I have no sense of balance”
“I’m not living in the right city”
“I’m too old”
“I don’t have the right qualifications”
“I’m not well-connected enough to get where I want to go”
“I’m going to crash and burn while dropping back and make a fool of myself”
I dropped back, on my own, for the first time yesterday. Could not believe I actually did it when it happened the first time, so I got up and tried it again and promptly landed on my head. Sobered up, I went back up for a third try and landed on the hands, saving my poor cranium for another day (today). Same pattern again today – decent first try, head-landing second try, somewhat respectable third try.
There was a serious mental battle going on yesterday before I finally decided to go for it. Even then, remains a lump of fear in my chest as I realize that I’ve leaned back to the point of no return, and that there’s nowhere else to go but land. While this new development is progress and definitely worth recording for posterity, its lessons extend beyond the mat and physical abilities. This whole process is about getting out of my own way, getting to know my body’s capabilities, trusting its strength and breaking through the fog of stories I tell myself that are all spun with the same thread: FEAR. Of change, of the unknown, of failure and humiliation. You may have noticed (or not) that I’ve stopped my dropback reports earlier this year. That was because I decided it was too painful a process for an impossible goal, and so I gave up. I stopped trying, on the pretext that my body is not made for this action.
“It’s possible for others, but I’m built differently”
“My body’s not ready”
“I’m not open enough”
And other similar declarations of disability. Yesterday, I took the first step towards undermining these stories and made the leap. You can too. And I’m not just talking about asanas. No. Every time we tell ourselves we “can’t” do something – we’re shortchanging ourselves. It’s time to change.