As chance would have it, I stumbled upon a DVD I recorded back in March 2008. It’s the video that I had to submit to get certified to teach a yoga fusion class called BodyFlow at my local gym.
Aside from the terrible lighting and emo haircut (who doesn't love a good emo bang?!), in the video is a very anxious and innocent 21-year-old me.
You see, in the months leading up to this recording I had decided that teaching was just not for me.
I struggled with depression and an eating disorder and didn’t see what good I could possibly contribute to the world. In December 2007 I recorded another video and submitted it. What came back was a twelve-page evaluation and an email telling me I had failed.
Was I disappointed? Sure. But a big part of me was actually relieved. All my fears and self-doubts were validated.
“I’m not good enough to teach. I’m clearly not meant to teach yoga. I’m not good enough, wise enough, flexible enough…” You get the picture.
At least that’s what I thought.
My friend Erika (who is an integral part of my Nigel Walker Wellness team now!) had other plans for me. After getting the failed evaluation back and seeing this as a confirmation that I shouldn’t teach, Erika insisted that I re-submit. She spent hours training me at the gym to help me get stronger. She let me practice teaching her, giving me feedback and encouraging me to grow.
She heard my “if I don’t try, I can’t fail” philosophy as a signal for her to push back. To make me realize that the story I was telling myself was just that—a story.
The rest, as they say, is history. I’ve built a successful yoga training school, Teach Your Truth™, and this is the 8th year running my 200-hour foundations program. It’s surreal to think back on the scared, depressed person I was, who didn’t see how they could make an impact. And now I can say I’ve trained over 140 yoga teacher training students who have gone on to start businesses, teach others, and make the sort of collective social impact I couldn’t dream of doing alone.
This is not the first time I’ve watched the video since I submitted it. But I can see now that it captures the first time I truly saw myself as a teacher and acknowledged my own potential. Even though I didn’t know it at the time.
I had no idea where the journey would take me, but I trusted that something bigger than me had plans that I wasn’t able to fully understand at the time.
Related Post: The Importance of Change
It’s now 12 years since I started on the path of teaching and entrepreneurship. And it’s thanks to each and every person who believed in me. It’s thanks to you.
Through my business, my life, and my voice, I hope to inspire as many people as possible to step into the fire and create a life that challenges the status quo, honours individuality, and creates space for possibility.
If you’re feeling doubt, it means you’re challenging yourself. Try journaling about the doubt you’re feeling to see where the belief comes from. Most of the time the doubt we place on ourselves is our own doing. People around us believe in our abilities, so why not believe in ourselves?
It’s scary to do something new or to possibly be rejected, but we have to lean in and do hard things. It’s the only way we’ll get a result. And with that result we can make a better decision about what we’re doing.
Keep going, lean in, I believe in you!
Reply and let me know if you’ve ever had your own self-doubts about pursuing something you really care about. I’d love to hear about your journey and get to know you better.
Your friend in this journey together,
P.S. Are you interested in learning how to build a self-care routine that will help you reduce stress, manage your energy, and set healthy boundaries in your life? Get on the waitlist to be the first to learn about the Possibility Program™. This transformative 6-month program brings together all the knowledge I’ve gained over the last 15 years that, until now, was only available in my teacher training programs and one-on-one coaching.