“Just do it,” so many people would say to me regarding finishing my Certified Baptiste Teacher application. “Have you done it yet?” They’d ask regularly. “No,” I’d say guiltily. Then cue the Nike slogan. I knew they were right. It was that simple: I just had to sit down and do it. For whatever reason, though, I couldn’t.
At first I thought it was just me. Like, there must be something wrong with me that I can’t complete this easy task. I’d earned the Certification; what was stopping me? Then, as I connected with more people who had either completed or barely begun their processes, I learned I’m not the only one. And we all seem to get stuck in the same part:
Watching the video of our teaching.
I got really curious. What is THAT about? It was definitely true for me: It took me over a year since completing my trainings to film my class and another ten months to actually watch it. I’ve talked to people who would start to watch it and run out of the room. I’ve heard stories of people being locked in a room until it was done. I’ve decided it comes down to one thing:
We’re really, really mean to ourselves.
If you had to meet someone somewhere, but you knew when you got there the person you’re meeting was going to berate and discourage you the whole time, would you be psyched about going? Would you even go? I doubt it. That’s the same when we sit down with our videos and we’re hard on ourselves. We avoid it because we don’t want to deal with the inevitable abuse. And why would we?
It comes down to this: you deserve to be Certified. So, here are some tips to help you move through the harsh self-judgment and into personal empowerment.
Ask for support. I gave myself countless deadlines of when I was going to tape and watch my class. It wasn’t until I invited other people to my taping that I actually followed through. When I knew other people knew, I raised my own stakes and forced myself to operate at a higher level. Involving others in your process leaves you feeling connected and less likely to procrastinate.
Declare when you’re stuck. What makes a stuck person stuck-er is believing you’re alone in it. Simply telling people—particularly those who are still in or done with their Certification process—“I’m having a hard time with this right now” immediately creates connection, freedom, and flow.
Look for yourself to be great. And write it down. When you look for evidence of how much you suck, you’ll find it. The opposite is just as true. Even vulnerably standing in front of a room of people is an act of greatness. There, I gave you one. Write that down.
Don’t make yourself wrong. Every time I flaked on a taping or my own completion deadline, I showered myself in guilt. I beat myself up, as if that was going to get me to act (it didn’t). Whatever is showing up for you when you look at your teaching is what the Certification process is all about. It’s not getting in your way; it is your way. It’s customized especially for you, based on what you need. See every reaction and speed bump as “right;” as essential to your process and getting you where you’re going.
Jessica Kenny is a writer who teaches yoga or yoga teacher who writes, depending on the day. For a long time she did neither and was not very happy. She is in San Francisco and contributes articles to many online and print publications.