What my identity kept me from doing

About 10 years ago my then 9 year old daughter started a yoga business.  She wanted to help kids learn yoga as a tool for dealing with their emotions and struggles in a healthy way. She also felt she could help kids learn a healthy habit without telling them that it would be healthy.

A few years later she wrote a book that hit the bestseller lists on Amazon within 48 hours. It was exciting and, frankly, unexpected!

I was so proud of her for stepping out of her comfort zone and just doing it. (Reading and writing had never come easy to her, but she figured it out anyway)

As people started buying the book and the reviews started coming in, an interesting thing happened. We learned that she had an audience we didn’t even know about.

Her books appealed to adults who wanted to learn yoga but were intimidated by the poses or the traditional instructors.

We were all surprised!  As I was reading the reviews, a little light bulb went on for me.  While I have never identified myself as a yoga, I realized at that moment that a lot of people don’t.  (I know, I know…duh!)

For whatever reason I hadn’t realized that before. I had always assumed, I guess, that it came easy for most people, and that it wouldn’t come easy for me.

Fast forward to 5 years later and I find myself ready to change my physical health, wanting to try yoga.  Now, for me, this is a big step.

I have never identified myself as someone who practiced any sort of physical activity regularly. It just hasn’t been a part of my identity.

(For the record, I didn’t even realize that was an issue until this year!)

So, as I was determining specifically what change I wanted to make, and how I wanted my life to look, I realized I had a few qualifications for this new health program I was going to try.

First, I had to be able to “try” it in the comfort of my own home. I wasn’t ready to invest in, or commit to, a gym outside the house. There were a lot of reasons for that, but as we know through NLP, the “Why” is less important than the fact itself.

Second, whatever I did had to be able to ultimately produce profound results that I could see and feel.  I have a tendency, like many others, to get discouraged if I am not seeing progress.  

Third, while I wanted to be able to ultimately get profound results, it also had to offer quick results that were measurable, no matter how small.

Fourth, it had to be low impact. Like I said, I haven’t had a physical exercise habit (again, the “why” isn’t important), and I didn’t want to be dealing with sore muscles and joints.

Fifth, I had to be able to move at my own pace, and never plateau. If I get bored I’ll move on to something else.  

Finally, I wanted something that would build up my stamina and flexibility.  That was very, very important to me.

Knowing myself fairly well, and having studied my own motivation for many years, I also know that I do well with challenges and with timelines.

So…I created a 100 day challenge for myself and I chose yoga as my vehicle for getting healthy.  This made sense as it fit with my mentality, satisfies my requirements, and offers endless opportunities for advancement.

And I’ve started. And I’m keeping up on it.

And I’m enjoying it!

So what changed?  What took me from having a child with successful yoga books, but never even trying it myself, to someone who has committed to practicing yoga for 100 days straight?


That’s it.  I worked on my identity, and made changes that has made it easy to do yoga every day.

Now, don’t let the direct way I say this oversimplify the process.  It took work. It took time. It took vulnerability to identify what was holding me back. And it took commitment to making the needed changes.

I’ll walk you through my process, and share the specific steps, next week. For now, I invite you to take a closer look at something you’ve been struggling with. An area of your life, maybe, that you have been hoping to change and have, so far, been unsuccessful doing so.

Simply ask yourself, Why aren’t I doing this?  So for me it was “Why haven’t I started exercising yet?”

Next week I’ll tell you what my answer was. For now, focus on your answer. Ask yourself the question and be quiet. Allow your inner self to tell you the answer.  No judgement, no self-editing.

Just listen.

You might just be surprised. I was!

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