I recently celebrated my 10th month as a breast cancer survivor – and I have learned many lessons — but none so poignant as the lessons I learned when I took a Bikram Yoga class. I had taken many yoga classes prior to my diagnosis but thought that Bikram Yoga, with its rigorous postures combined with heat, was not an activity that I could easily participate in.
Well, being an adventuresome woman with an openness to possibilities, I was drawn back to try a class. As I timidly entered the Bikram room I was overcome with heat and fear – what if my life had changed so dramatically that I could not do this? That was all I needed – an opportunity to overcome fear. As I struggled though adapting to the reality of not being able to do some of the exercises because I cannot lie on my chest, I started thinking of how I could extract lessons from this experience. I completed the class, have continued going back and want to share some of my observations with other women business leaders about how one “bounces back.”
It’s not what you do but who you are, doing it
As I accepted my limitations and did not measure myself against any one else – I was impressed with what I could do rather than what I couldn’t.
Use fear as a motivator
Feeling fearful for me is a signal that I am putting boundaries on myself. It is a good barometer for action – a signal to figure out barriers.
Adopt a problem-solving mindset
I had some issues to overcome – rather than use these limitations as excuses – I approached them as solvable problems. This allowed me to gain control of the situation rather than sink into the victim mode.
Energy from the participants
Drawing energy from the other students was extremely helpful. Pay attention to resources surrounding you.
Stay open to possibilities
If I would have approached the class expecting to perform as I did prior to surgery, I would have faced defeat without even trying.
Embrace yourself with a smile
This needs no explanation.
I hope you are invigorated by challenges – I think they break the monotony!