Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Building Confidence - Adding a Notch to My Belt

Photo Credit

At yoga the other day I was confronted with a situation I noticed I was totally resisting...

The instructor was demonstrating with a partner how to do an assisted handstand that he wanted everyone to pair up and try.

The voices in my head went something like this:
"You've got to be kidding me. I can't do that."
"I don't have enough strength."
"I have to pair up with a stranger and show them how I can't do it?"
"I don't want to look around and catch anyone's eyes."
"Of course he can make it look so easy, he;s been doing it for years."
"How can he expect us to do that?"
"I'll never be able to do it. Maybe I should give up yoga altogether?"
"I wonder if anyone would notice if I sneaked out of the room right now?"
"If I'm reacting like this does it mean I'm a chicken?"
"Yup, it means I'm a failure! I will never be able to succeed at anything in life..."
"I never do anything well. And even if I even try I will just stumble and crush some poor little yogi underneath my mammoth body..."
"Shit...he's finishing the demonstration...the door is only 3 metres away..."

Then, through the momentum of everyone starting to move and pair up I locked eyes (whoops!) with this fit looking girl about a head shorter than me - she smiled and started walking in my direction...

Then I gave in - better than resisting right?? She introduced herself and I warned her that I didn't really have confidence in being able to pull the position off and apologised in advance if I toppled her over. Brave woman that she was she still wanted to give it a go with me!

I offered for her to go up first with me assisting and she gracefully arched into position and went up into a perfect handstand. I was super impressed and told her so.

Then it was my turn. Buoyed by her success but still caught up in the distrust of my ability I reluctantly arched into position. She supported my shoulders and told me to start lifting my legs. I hopped up a little and my feet landed back on the ground. Another bunny hop and I could feel my face filled with blood and effort.

I stood up and said I didn't know if I would get it but that I'd have one more try since we were there anyway...

Deep breath, hands down, positioned outer shoulder width apart, core in, legs lifting, trusting in her support. Then...


I was in an assisted handstand! My legs splayed wide, then came together again. Then I splayed them wide again just for fun and then brought them in to touch! WOW! I was in control of it. I DID IT! I was basking in my headstand glory! My red face was grinning wildly! I wanted to stay up here forever.

My mind was officially blown...

After all that blah blah bullshit that was raging on in my monkey mind, I managed something that I clearly didn't believe was possible for me at that time.

In that moment something shifted. I gained an understanding that I can do things I never thought I would be able to. I looked at the different situations that I am currently facing and it gave me renewed strength to tackle the daunting tasks I've set for myself.

From that experience I have gained a valuable amount of confidence. The issues that I am 'freakin' out' about I am much more willing to give a good old go with.

Maybe they'll be just like that handstand. Something I thought was impossible, but with some effort perhaps success will show up again...

What are you thinking is impossible in your life SSSs?
Make it as you wish!

PS. A few months ago I thought the below position (wheel) was impossible for me. I worked on it and can now do it. Another notch on my confidence belt!

Photo Credit


  1. Wow - congratulations! I have been in the same situation myself. Our yoga instructor wanted us to try it with the help of a wall behind us. I have to admit, it was too scary! But I saw around and everyone else seemed to look forward to this.

    In the end, it came out to be not that bad. Good on you for trying and sharing this. :)


  2. Thank you Pooja! It definitely feels great to push through things we find scary :)I'm glad you gave it a go too!


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