“Are you ready?!”
I must’ve heard this question at least 200 times over the last month, as the first Baptiste Yoga partnership studio was preparing to open in San Francisco. I was about to give up my routine to step into a bigger role leading new teachers, in a brand new space, which would share a style of yoga vastly unfamiliar to the people of the city.
So, no. I didn’t feel ready.
As I did the work needed to support opening day, one of the three themes of Baptiste Yoga–”You Are Ready Now”–kept popping into my head. Any time I got asked “Are you ready?!” and I gave my elevator-speech response (“Yes!” or “I’d better be!”), this theme was in my background. Almost like it was laughing at me: “You have no idea what you’re doing, do you?”
What never fails to astonish me is how I can feel like I’ve completely absorbed a piece of the Baptiste Methodology and then suddenly, when thrusted into uncharted territory, it becomes totally foreign again. That’s the beauty of Baptiste Yoga, actually: No matter how long I practice, old lessons can reappear as fresh and teach me something new, just when I need them.
Here are my three recent discoveries about being ready, right now:
- It doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know.
Or that you should know everything. I’ve often looked at being “ready” as having all the training, enough experience, or the right title needed to embark on a new endeavor. So when the you-don’t-know-what-you’re-doing voice showed up, and the honest answer was “No,” I made it mean that I must not try.
I can tell you firsthand that I had (and in many ways, still have) no idea what it would take to step into my role at a partnership studio, and that my Ownership Team had no idea what it would require of them to pioneer it. And I can also tell you what it would’ve cost all of us if we had let our not-knowing stop us from beginning: true joy, adventure, lightning-fast growth, and community. Focusing on what we don’t know will stop us. It’s not only okay that you don’t know enough, it’s better. Then, we can have all the fun discovering it on the way.
- It doesn’t mean you won’t fail.
Because you absolutely will fail. Multiple times. Failure gets a bad rep, though. We often see it as a sign of our shortcomings, rather than what it is: essential to moving forward. There have been lots of breakdowns in the new studio. I’ve had a lot of “misses” in my new role, as I uncover what works and doesn’t work. My missteps don’t cheapen how ready I am to be here, doing the work. “Ready” doesn’t mean you’re less likely to fail. It means you’re open to learn and bounce back from failure, powerfully.
- It’s true whether you believe it or not.
You are ready now, whether or not if feels accurate to you. So you might as well choose to believe it.
Jessica Kenny is a Director of Teachers at Baptiste Yoga San Francisco . She is also a freelance writer, ginger, and amateur sandwich eater.