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To Impress or to Impact

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Apr 25 - B
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Impression VS. Impact

Humans are social beings.

It’s human nature that we want to seek approval and be liked – to feel included. But to what extent? 😟

I’ll tell you my story.

As a teacher, I want my students to like my class, and that’s completely natural.

But again, to what extent?

I admit that there are times I found myself trying to please the crowd.

I once heard a student praising another teacher’s music playlist, then after, I found myself browsing Spotify searching for great music to use in my class.

Only, I actually prefer no music in my class. 😕

Then some time ago, people were really into handstands. So, I thought: should I teach upside down too? 🤔

While we should take people’s interests & opinions into consideration, we should not lose our own rules and always feel the need to seek approval.

By just doing things to please the crowd, we eventually wreck ourselves, because we don’t feel authentic anymore.

And when we’re not authentic, it’s hard to do something well. 😞

Some of us get imposter syndrome because we are doing things that are not aligned with our values.

And here’s a hard truth.

People’s opinions aren’t always that great. They are always flawed.

Yup, I said it. 🤷‍♀️

As teachers, we dearly value the opinions and feedback from our students but they are not always the best people to give you the best insight to improve the individual student and overall class welfare.

This is because you are the expert and you know what is right for them that they sometimes don’t know yet.

An example would be this scenario:

Many students avoid tricky poses for the knees like Virasana (Hero). Low Lunging (Anjanesana) with the knee on the floor, or Padmasana (Lotus).

Every time I teach those poses students would come to me after class and tell me how much they do not like or cannot do those poses. While deep in my heart, I know those poses can be good for them (except in some special cases).

Then, I found myself teaching those poses less and less.

And then, I practice these poses myself less and less. Until I found my hips getting tighter and tighter, and my lower back issue starts to resurface.

I have knee issues myself. I tore my ACL in 2017. It took me 2 years to sit back in Virasana again. And when it comes to injuries, most of the time instead of totally avoiding poses it’s better to find ways to work around them.

Instead of doing and avoiding some stuff to please, we should consider doing and pushing for what we know is right. 😉

I’m not saying that we should not listen to others’ opinions. It’s just that we need to carefully evaluate opinions and feedback and ask ourselves if they are really valid.

Because sometimes there are things that we will have to ignore and do what we know is right. 😇

“If you ever turn your will to things outside of your control in order to impress, be sure that you have wrecked your whole purpose in life.” – Epictetus

Ask yourself these the next time you find yourself in a pinch between your rules and favoring others:

Are we doing these things to IMPRESS?

Are we doing these things to IMPACT?

Are we doing these things to SEEK APPROVAL FROM OTHERS?

Are we doing things to SEEK ALIGNMENT WITH OURSELVES while bringing ALIGNMENT TO OTHERS?

Choose the opinions you consider wisely.

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