Don’t Give Up on Yourself

Manayunk Waterfall

I am embarking on something new and I am on a really strict and compressed timeline for completing it. I have been overcome with stress and fatigue which has led to me developing tension headaches, and they have lasted  anywhere from one to two weeks at a stretch. The fear of failure has been especially overwhelming, because on paper and in my mind I see absolutely no logical way that what I am trying to accomplish can result in a favorable outcome. However, I know that something can only be impossible if you never attempt it, so I am giving it my best shot.

The only thing that I have found that has gotten rid of my headaches, at least temporarily (besides stressing less, haha), is yoga. I have been attending yoga practices very sporadically, but I love yoga and have found myself trying to consciously make the time to attend more classes. My friend Anna invited me to a new yoga studio several months ago to try out a type of Yoga called Kundalini. It involves a lot of chanting, repetitive movements, and time for reflection. It was weird at first, but I ended up really liking it. Slammed by another onset of headaches, this bout lasting over two weeks, I sought solace in the class. The instructor for this course is extremely bright and cheery, and this really spills over onto the attendees and everyone was in a great mood.

At the end of practice, there is a time called shavasana, which is about 10 minutes of quiet reflection. It allows you to decompress and take notice of your surroundings. Whenever we get to shavasana, without fail, my mind drifts back into stress mode. “Did I remember to unplug my space heater?” “What will I eat for lunch?” “You forgot to check your e-mail this morning…” Eventually, my mind drifted over to my project and how I didn’t believe I will accomplish it.  Suddenly, the next thought to flow into my mind was “Don’t give up on yourself yet!” I quickly realized that I was being my own worst critic. Rather than focusing on all of the reasons why I am qualified to succeed, I was focusing on the negative things, and not leaving any room for the positive things to flow into my life. If I don’t believe in myself, why would anyone else?

I can’t honestly say that I have had nothing but positive thoughts about succeeding at this project, but I can say that I am approaching it from a place of optimism now rather than pessimism. This is an opportunity, not a challenge. In the end, I’ll either succeed, or be that much more clearer on what I need to do to succeed. Either way, I know that things will work out for me in the way that they are supposed to.  Get clear on what you want, and pursue it with full faith. Be your own biggest cheerleader.  -Sly


“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

~Robert Frost


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