I’m going to do a very brave thing today.
It probably seems tiny and that’s because it is, relatively. It might even seem ridiculous, and I’m willing to say it is, in its own way. It’s also one of the bravest things I’ll have done for some time, and things being ridiculous and also brave don’t have to contradict each other.
I am going to a yoga class.
Here are some facts about me: in high school I was the kid casually strolling to the back of the line for everything, encouraging my competitive classmates to go ahead and budge me and walking myself into dodgeballs laying on the ground – “OH NO I GUESS I’M OUT.” For several years I was very sick and lived under the constant threat of my body putting itself into convulsions at any moment. Historically, my relationship with my body has been fraught with rough patches and I’ve always believed myself to be just not “coordinated/athletic/strong/skilled/good.”
I’ve challenged that belief many times the last couple years. I started running, before remembering I loathe it. I walked instead, then did Pilates, then joined a gym. Now I regularly lift weights and do cardio, and have done a few different challenges. On Saturday I did my first barbell workout. I still can’t walk.
Today I go to yoga. Because the only way to find out who you are and what you’re capable of is to try. You can live out of old beliefs, accepting old labels and encasing yourself in an outdated identity that may never have been true in the first place. I don’t judge you if you do, that’s what I lived out of for many years and still do in other areas. But while acquiring that identity might not have been your choice, living on with it, unchallenged, day after day, is.
Maybe your old identity is about your writing, your art, your organization skills, your ability to make friends or fall in love, your ability to lead, or something else. Maybe you’re comfortable with it, maybe not. Just remember, you don’t have to own labels you’ve been given if you didn’t choose them or they don’t fit you anymore. And while challenging them is scary- what if I fail? What if I *am* the thing I don’t want to be? What if I can’t change? – repeated challenges allow you to create your own identity and own only labels that are useful, meaningful, and valuable to you.
You can do this.