Almost 17 years ago my first child was born. Before (and for a brief time after) his birth, I was following my career path in menswear in New York City. I had graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology almost 10 year prior and was focused on my path in that industry. I loved being around and working with product, I loved being involved with fashion.....BUT I didn't enjoy presenting product or speaking front of even small groups of people, in fact I dreaded it, was horrified but the idea of doing it.
Fast forward 5 years.....our small family had grown to 4 and we moved to Charlotte, NC. I found 2 yoga studios near our house and as I began practicing yoga with some regularity I wanted to learn more. So I signed up for a 230 hour yoga teacher training, yes, me who had a deathly fear of public speaking. The child who would never raise her hand in class, because it was terrifying; because it made her turn beat red and want to run home and hide. The teenager who was mortified when a teacher assigned a presentation, and who would therefore mumble and stumble her way through the words with white knuckles and a pale, sweaty brow. I was fine connecting one-on-one, but once I was expected to lead any type of speaking in front of a group, I would freeze up. I signed up anyway.
What was I thinking? Certainly, I didn't think I would excel at teaching, but something deeper within was pushing me forward onto this new path. My first audition was spent with wringing hands and in complete terror. I started teaching classes anyway. Underneath the surface I was absolutely terrified that I would mess up or that someone would realize I was feeling afraid. I did make mistakes but no one called me out on my fear. Since that first audition over a decade ago, I have completed many auditions, studied with amazing teachers, and I continue to teach not only group classes, but lead workshops and trainings. I also continue to study and learn. I am no longer terrified to speak in front of groups of people. In fact, I absolutely love what I get to do (even more than I loved being in the fashion industry)! Teaching yoga feeds every part of me, I get to share my passion and inspire others.
I recently came across this inspiring definition of fear:
F.E.A.R. has 2 meanings-
Forget Everything and Run
Face Everything and Rise
The choice is yours!
If you are feeling deeply drawn to a change in your life, to a new beginning or opportunity, remember the choice is absolutely yours. I hope you rise!