I hate not being able to do something well. So much so, that if I can’t do it well the first try (or second), I usually stop trying.
But here’s the funny thing – even when I don’t do something well, I’ll assume “I know better” than anyone how to do it.
What I have learned though, is that this sets me up for some serious self-flagellation, embarrassment, disappointment and self-criticism. I beat myself up for KNOWING how to do it well – even better than the instructor – and not being ABLE to do it well.
I literally just did that.
I started my P90X yoga tape for the first time.
Now let me give you a bit of background. I’ve always “hated” yoga. But about 1.5 years ago, I decided to try Bikram’s yoga. You know, the yoga where you get in a 110-degree room with inches between you and the next sweaty person (and don’t get me started on the crazy yogis in their crazy yogi diapers) and do 1hour+ of the same poses, day in, day out. And it’s one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done – but I’m not sure if it’s the workout or the room temperature, but anyway . . .(there is a point coming, I promise)
I went to Bikrams for about 6 months and got pretty good at it. And I listened to the “Bikrams” cult-leaders at my studio (only one in my town) and they told us that “Bikram’s is the only yoga” and that “Without Bikram’s you might as well not exercise” and “Only doing Bikram’s for 30 days straight will get you anywhere” etc. And they were militant about THAT, but also they were militant in class. The two women that owned the studio were royal b*tches with a capital “B”. Seriously. Complete, utter b*tches – and I don’t use that word about other women lightly and, I’m a bit of a b*tch myself.
They were so evil that finally, one day, after one of them called me out for drinking water “at the wrong time” (yet another Bikram’s rule), in the most condescending, rude, school-teacher bullyish manner, that I walked out of class and never came back.
(And it ticks me off, because I was making progress, but seriously, I refused to give them $15 a class – yes, per class – to be treated like a five year old in time-out).
Now, don’t get me wrong – Bikram’s is probably great in other places, this is just my experience.
But back to my P90X yoga today.
So, I get the tape out and Tony Horton gets me to about my third pose and I am completely disgusted with myself. All my Bikram’s progress is gone. A lot of my “dancer” flexibility is gone. I can feel a fat roll in virtually every pose. I’m having trouble swinging my leg through to runner’s pose. Generally, I’m disgusted with NOT doing it well.
But what does my HEAD start doing? It starts nit-picking the tape to death using my “Bikram’s Yoga education.” The chatter in my head starts going “if they would teach this first, I might be able to get there. If they recommended a hot room, that would help. If they held poses for the same time every time, that would keep us progressing more. Etc. Etc. Etc.”
And then I got so IN MY HEAD that I KNEW BETTER, that I quit, with a huff. I was so caught up in “WHAT I KNOW” and “HOW MUCH I KNOW BETTER” that I completely lost any desire or ability or drive or determination. All because I THOUGHT I knew better.
And what a waste. Because as I sit here typing just moments later and feeling the lovely little twinges and tweaks of new muscles that haven’t been used in a while and little nerve endings firing – I realize how much I lost by letting my know-it-all self take over.
That’s a voice I need to calm, because it’s counter productive.
What if I had just had an open mind and had been willing to learn and looked at my not being a “superstar” at something as an opportunity to LEARN???!!!!!!
I think I’m starting to get there. I know with my “food issues” that accepting that I am BAD at living a rigid-perfect-eating lifestyle, and opening my mind to being GOOD at self-correcting, listening to my hunger, working on eliminating limiting beliefs, I have actually started to become GOOD at leading a NORMAL life where food is concerned. And frankly, normal is fantastic.
So, having written this, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to start trying to look at things I’m bad at as opportunities to learn. In fact, I’m going to ask the universe to show me way more things I’m bad at, so I’ll get a chance to grow and open my mind and APPRECIATE the things I’m good at.
And tonight, I might just try being REALLY BAD at that P90X yoga tape again!!!!