Why is it that businesses can so quickly challenge our every core belief and values? I mean honestly? I’m the first to say I’m new to having my own business after having been a corporate employee prior. Now - whilst I’m so aware that there need to be compromises in business, there really are just some things which CANNOT be compromised on. Here I’m talking about my values, my core beliefs.
Through negotiations with other businesses it's been brought to my attention how many corners people are prepared to cut in order to get ahead, to race to a finish line (which never appears). But this is done at the cost of what? Their integrity, their authenticity? Quite simply, cutting corners and jeopardizing one's values are done at the cost of themselves. I just don’t understand this. Yes, money is important as this keeps us sustained and being able to do the things we love. I would be a total and utter liar if I said i wasn’t driven in some capacity by money. (It’s always nice to eat dinner!) But what I’m absolutely not prepared to do is seek money from sources that mean compromising my personal values and beliefs. How I teach is a perfect example of this. People often wonder why I won’t teach at other people’s studios and am going out on my own (NEW BUSINESS ABOUT TO BE LAUNCHED!!!! YAY!! KEEP YOU’RE EYES OPEN FOR THIS!!). The answer is very simple. I will not teach in a way which suits a particular style of another studio in order to get paid by them. It would be inauthentic to do so and go against everything I believe when it comes to yoga. My approach to yoga is very traditional in its approach which is really rare here in the west. This makes it foreign and for some, unappealing as it challenges their beliefs or experiences with yoga. I totally get it! Since returning from India earlier in the year I’ve met only one teacher who has undergone similar training as myself. Most teachers have been trained here in Australia - which is totally fine, but it’s just another way of learning and teaching, a way I cannot resonate with. Think of it like Chinese whispers. The message gets lost the further away you are from the source - hence I wanted to get as close to the source as possible so I have the best guidance and training I could possibly get. For others, this wasn’t important which is absolutely fine - but this means their approach will differ from mine. Whilst some teachers are happy to mold themselves to the needs of a particular studio, in my case that would go against everything I’ve learned and as such, I cannot and will not do this. It would be disrespectful to my students, to the practice and more importantly, to myself.
So back to my issue with business and compromising my beliefs and values - it’s just not something i’m prepared to do in order to try and get ahead. There are other ways. I may not know the answers yet or have everything mapped out, but at the end of the day I know i will find a way to move mountains if i need. This is why my messaging to the world is so strong when it comes to being authentic. If we are inauthentic in our lives, then what type of life is that? Personally, I wouldn’t think it leads to feelings of joy, success, abundance, gratitude and love. Rather I would think an inauthentic path leads to resentment, anger, frustration and procrastination.
So I have a mini task for you to do, or think about. Ask yourself: “Am I living the life I have truly desired for myself? Do I allow myself to be vulnerable with others? Do I stand by my core values even when they are challenged?” If you’ve answered yes to all three of these questions, then that it totally awesome and I take my hat off to you. This is a challenging and often confronting way of living but it is completely authentic. It’s just plain real. If, however, you answered No to any or all of these questions, then take some time to work out the areas of your life you feel are most compromised, seek to understand why you allow this to occur and then set in place some strategies to help you stay true to you next time you feel external forces are pulling you in a not-so-desirable direction.
I would love to hear your thoughts about authenticity and what you found from answering those three questions above.
Just remember: love yourself, respect yourself and believe in yourself - from this place life will be so beautiful. Never settle for less than this as it will only take from you.