Teaching is humbling. Back when I was an elementary school teacher, I poured my heart out for my students for 180 days of the year. However, looking back now, they were assigned to me and really didn't have a choice to not be in my class. I had 180 6-hour days to build a relationship with these children and teach them, gain their trust, and watch them grow.
As a fitness-related instructor, we get one hour to build that trust, and then we might gain a new follower, or we might never see that person again. Being a self-critical, sensitive, and over-analytical person, I sometimes wonder if I am in the right occupation. It definitely hurts when I know students choose another class over mine. Or I've had classes in the past get cancelled due to low enrollment. Or in these recent weeks, I have been teaching a new Pop Up Saturday class and one week I had a surprising 50 people and the next I had a disappointing 9.
But what is most harmful is if I take it personal and let it define me. I can't let that happen. In the end, I am running a business and I will have peaks and valleys just like anybody else.
So this week, I wanted to share 5 techniques I use (or try to), to remind myself that "Hey, I am enough."
1. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
I love the quote above. Seriously, a flower blooms and it is beautiful. The flowers around it bloom and they are equally beautiful. I do my thing. You do your thing. We can all grow together, right? When I catch myself comparing to someone else, I make a choice to praise something that they do well and then tell myself something that I do well too. It is not a competition.
2. Speak Kindly To Yourself
Oh the inside voices are so mean! When I find that I am criticizing myself, I try to visualize that I am another person. Then it automatically changes the tone of the conversation, as well as the actual words spoken to myself. It is hard, but it works!
3. Remember What You Are Grateful For
Gratitude is the foundation of my life. No matter how upset or sad or down I feel, I can always pull out of the darkness by listing out, literally listing out, each and every person I am grateful for, my home, my safety, my health, my freedom... the more I list, the happier I become.
4. Treat Yourself
How do you shower someone else with love? A card, a gift, a favor? This is a hard one, but you have to make time for yourself. Maybe that looks like saying "no" to a social obligation and gaining some "me" time at home. Maybe that is getting a massage, or watching a movie. Maybe that is having that yummy dessert without giving yourself any guilt trip. That's what I love.
5. Stay True and Just Be You
Finally, I think self-love really stems from knowing who we are. Our core values, our truth, our passion... and living that from the inside out. I know I care about helping people be happier. I know I care about helping people become healthier. I know I care about people feeling accepted and loved.
So even though it is terrifying and humbling to do what I do, and put myself out there as a dance, fitness, and yoga teacher everyday to potentially be judged or rejected, I know I am meant to be here, sharing all these thoughts with you right now.
I am enough. You are enough. Let's love ourselves more.