When I decided to do yoga teacher training, I was excited to embark on an eight-week journey with 11 strangers. I joined because I wanted to deepen my practice… but I quickly realized that this training would be about much more than perfecting crow pose. I was about to spend 200 hours working on my biggest fear: public speaking and leading.
The irony being that for the past two years I’ve been building a business centered around live, in-person wellness festivals, while simultaneously showcasing my life on social media and through my blog.
Despite the brands I’ve worked tirelessly to build, or the leadership and risk it took to create those things, I simply could not see myself as a leader. The confidence that shines through on my Instagram wasn’t automatically transferring to the yoga studio.
Yes, I get to attend awesome “Insta-worthy” events and can post a selfie like it’s no big deal, but I am still living with confidence that ebbs and flows. I can talk to 28,000 Instagram followers no problem, but I get nervous walking into crowded rooms and have a voice that stumbles and cracks when I speak in public.
One area of someone’s life is never their full reality.
But throughout my yoga training those two months, in front of 11 complete strangers, I laughed, cried, led a Power Vinyasa class (voice cracking and all) and showed my authentic self… unfiltered. Being raw and exposed, and not being judged for it, made me feel more human. In the yoga studio I was pushed to my limits, which ultimately led to a breakthrough — I learned that the biggest personal growth comes from being horribly uncomfortable.
Being raw and exposed, while terrifying, is tremendous for your confidence. Getting uncomfortable is redefining my character, and most importantly, reminding me that I have more growth ahead of me.
I’ve discovered the following:
1 | True confidence stems from the past, present and future you. All versions and iterations of you are worthy, beautiful and badass. They each come with strengths and weaknesses, just presented differently and at different times — but are impactful in their own way.
2 | Confidence pairs well with compassion — both for yourself, and for others.
3 | Confidence isn’t putting on a brave face, it’s shedding a mask. Vulnerability is confidence and leads to true connection.
4 | Confidence is owning who and what you are today, and not allowing society, social media or preconceived notions of where you should be mess with that. Trust the process and trust the timing of your life.
5 | Confidence is feeling proud of your accomplishments while knowing they don’t define you. We have so many opportunities to be labeled in our lives. So many chances to be defined or for our character to be judged. Feel pride in what you’ve done, what you’ve built and what you stand for, but remember, none of it embodies you completely. There is room for more than what you do, there is always room to evolve beyond.
I’m grateful to my yoga training for pushing me outside of my comfort zone — for building the real life confidence that I somehow manage to portray so well online. And maybe after this journey, I’ll be a little less nervous as I grab the mic at my next event. My confidence is no longer hiding behind my iPhone screen… and I’m ready to share that with the world.
Kate Van Horn is one of the three founders behind The GOOD Festival. She is a wellness blogger and recently became a RYT200. She enjoys light-hearted Vinyasa yoga flows, any and all live music, chlorophyll water and gluten-filled donuts.
The GOOD Fest is the culmination of three wellness lovers and friends Jen Clark, Jess Baumgardner and Kate Van Horn. Their individual definitions of wellness differ, but they all have the same goal: to live their most vibrant, fullest lives. They’ve found that wellness is not one-size-fits-all, and today they’re here to help you find the wellness path that works for you. They’ve dedicated their collective, extensive experience and credentials in the wellness world to create approachable wellness events that build community and unity. The GOOD Fest offers innovative and elevated experiences that give people the support, knowledge and tools to find their own vitality and be the best version of themselves.
The Fullest readers can enjoy $20 off tickets to the upcoming GOOD Fest in LA on February 3rd. Use code THEFULLEST to receive the discount at checkout.