I’m an introvert, an intuitive, feeling and judging introvert (INFJ) according to Meyers-Briggs.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that hiding behind a keyboard and writing my story as opposed to standing up in front of a public crowd is my preferred venue.

Being behind the screen is a safe and comfortable place for me. I find courage and strength in composing and editing and only sharing my words when I think they are “just right”.

For the past year, I have been studying to become a yoga teacher. Being a yoga teacher requires one to be in front of a crowd, talking and instructing students into poses using specific verbal cues to guide them safely and with ease.

These cues are verbal, did I mention? I can’t hold up a sign and expect students to read my words. They must hear my words.

Needless to say, I’ve struggled getting in front of students and have only found the courage to teach my fellow yoga teacher trainees…until today!!

With butterflies in my throat feeling like I was going to suffocate and run away to catch my breath, I broke through and taught my very first 60-minute class to a bunch of folks I did not know.

I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed those 60 minutes. To be honest, I was terrified. I stuttered many times and found it difficult to clear my throat.

I had students hold poses, not deliberately, but because my mind simply went blank!

At about the 40-minute mark, something clicked inside my head, and I decided to break free from the chains of trying to be something I wasn’t.

I’m not a veteran teacher; I’m green. So I switched things up. Stopped looking at my cheat sheet and moved the students through poses that came to me naturally.

I think I finally cracked a smile at the 45-minute mark and gave them 10 full minutes in savasana.

I’m sure they needed a break from me as much as I needed a break from me.

I guess I’m sharing this, mostly because I know for a very certain fact that if it had not been for my experiences with abuse in my life and my desire to give back the gift of yoga that has healed me in the aftermath of that abuse, I would not have ventured out of my comfort zone to face and shatter my fear of being in front of people–talking, hearing myself talk and not worrying about being judged in the present.

If I can do it, a person who has suffered panic attacks in public places when I have felt eyes upon me, so can you, so can anyone!!

What are you terrified of doing outside of your comfort zone but would love to have the courage to finally do?


mindfulness, Recovery, Spirituality, Writing, Yoga
, , ,

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Oh my, I never would have thought you felt more comfortable behind the screen. You are so very much alive and present for me when I see you on social media, or when I read your blog, or even when you and I chat via private messages. In my mind, you are going here and there, smiling, full of fresh faced life and out there. And lookit you here now in that class…see? I was right in my head and you are going here and there, smiling and full of everything in life that is good. ❤


  2. That is so wonderful Paula! & you are absolutely right. I taught aerobics for years but had stopped awhile ago so I knew that exercising & working out would help me physically & emotionally during my spiral into darkness with my now ex N but I just didn’t. I know emotionally I was devastated when my N husband told me when I asked him why did you choose this married older woman to have an affair with & bring into our home and he responded with, she is fit & fascinating, I felt like something broke in my brain and I just didn’t want to be anything like her, which was not rational but that is what I felt inside & I just didn’t work out & gained weight which made me feel worse about myself & my then N husband continued to slowly & surely strip me of every ounce of self esteem & integrity I had left. But now we are divorced & a dear friend of mine encouraged me to teach a class again about 2 months ago and asked me to set a date which I did October 1st. I am now older & heavier than I was when I was teaching aerobics & not in shape at all so I was really fearful & anxious to get back up in front of people, with only exercise clothes on! So I put together a class called Body Bliss 15 min stretch, 15 min dance, 15 min tone & 15 min stretch to music and we end the class saying 3 times “I love & honor my beautiful & healthy body” But I hadn’t done the routine from start to finish so the night before my first class I almost felt sick to my stomach & very fearful so the 1st night that I taught Body Bliss about a half hour into the class by body, mind & soul just clicked in and that amazing feeling of moving to music, sweating & endorphins flying changed me. After class my friends & students that took the class were thanking me for such a wonderful time, & how good they felt & how they could see by watching me that my body moved naturally to the music and I looked happy. I was so inspired after that first class! I am looking forward to the future & that nightmare with my ex doesn’t haunt me as much anymore. It seems to be fading away & I know the more I nurture, love & honor my my body & soul the better I will feel about myself & heal. So congratulations for slaying another dragon! Blessings & Love!


    • Oh, wow…Pamela! This is wonderful. I love your Body Bliss concept and especially love how you end with the positive affirmation. Wonderful. Congratulations to you also for slaying another dragon. Beautiful and amazing things start to happen once we put aside all of the negative self-talk and the echoes of our tormentor’s devaluation and discouraging words that nurtured that destructive self-talk. Woohoo! 🙂


  3. Paula, another INFJ here so I know what it took for you to get up there and teach a class! I can talk a blue streak to my son (like he said my best and my worst traits are I talk a lot!!) but try to say the same thing to someone I barely know and my mind goes to mush and I walk away thinking of all the things I wish i would have said.
    good for you!! it will get easier and I am sure the class enjoyed themselves more than you know.
    Proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone. you inspire me.
    Hugs xxx


  4. Awesome Paula–geting out of my comfort zone would be the opposite–trusting that my written words have value.


  5. Paula, courage that’s all it takes!
    You remind so much of one of my instructors. Years ago I told her that she knows it, has the skills to demonstrate it and ‘just do it’…Looks like you got over that hurdle that wants to stop us…good for you.


    • Thank you, Gert! So many wonderful friends from teach training have been telling me the same for months. My biggest and best cheerleaders. Their encouragement echoed in my mind as I prepared for class last night and this morning. 🙂


  6. That’s great Paula! I am out of my comfort zone every time I speak to someone new! (INFJ)…me too…I get it💜


    • Hehe! Thank you! So you know all about cheeks that instantly turn the deepest shade of red in a split second? I’m so glad the lights were dimmed. I’m sure that helped, too. 🙂


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: