It always seems like the messages in yoga resonate with me more than any other forum. I don’t know if it is a heightened sense of attentiveness that yoga creates or just being in a more relaxed and focused state of mind. Whatever the reason, yoga leaves me feeling inspired very frequently. Last Saturday was no different. It started out as a normal yoga class until the teacher challenged us all. She said, “I want you to be unapologetically, you in this class.” As soon as she said that it made me start thinking of the meaning of that. In the context of yoga, she meant to not be afraid to do something different than the rest of the class. If you wanted to take a pose a little deeper than everybody, she encouraged you to do it. If you needed a break, she encouraged you to take one. She went on to elaborate on the concept of being “unapologetically, you” in a much deeper context. She talked about taking this concept out of the yoga room and into our daily lives. She mentioned it probably 30 times throughout the class. Each time it took on a deeper meaning to me. I immediately wrote down the words, “unapologetically, you” after class in my car. It is a very thought-provoking concept. What does that mean to you? How can you be more of yourself each and every day? How do you become more of yourself with no inhibitions or apologies to anyone?
There are a lot of societal pressures for people to fit into a certain mold. To be a certain person. If you are being unapologetically, you – you don’t care what other people think. You know what makes you happy and are therefore pursuing it. It implies decisiveness. You have decided what you want and you are taking steps towards it. That is the ultimate success in life. Whether you want to be a professional violinist, a UFC fighter, or an entrepreneur who builds businesses and sells them. Why should you have to apologize for doing what you want? I admire anyone who relentlessly chases down something that excites them. It takes a lot of courage and often times, a lot of failures. Each failure is an opportunity to dust yourself off and try again. Success always lies in trying just one more time. At anything. The only person you should ever have to apologize to is yourself. And only if you are not being true to the person that you are meant to be. Don’t put yourself in that situation.
Give yourself permission to be unapologetically, you. Not just today but every day. Don’t apologize for pursuing a career that doesn’t align with your college major. Don’t apologize for risking everything you have to start a mobile recruiting app. Don’t apologize for giving up your career as a teacher to travel the world helping underprivileged children. If it makes you happy, then do it. Period. If it excites you. Do it. Don’t be scared of the possibility of failure. You have the inner resources to recover. We will always regret the things we were too afraid to try more than the things we have failed at. Make a decision today. Decide to be yourself, unapologetically. To do that one thing that scares you. Go speak in front of a large group. Go skydiving. Face your fears head on. They are never as bad as we build them up in our heads. Be proud to be – you.