A couple weeks ago I f’d up my knee.
While playing basketball, I made a quick stop and turn to defend a pass when my right foot slid out from underneath me and I jarred my knee out of place. I immediately hit the ground.
If you cringe just reading that, it was a hell of a lot worse actually experiencing it.
I went to the ER that night, and now Derrick Rose and I have something in common.
I’ve been on crutches for the last two weeks, and am scheduled for minor surgery soon.
This injury was super inconvenient timing because, as you may recall, I’m in yoga teacher training on weekends.
Reactions to Experiences
Life is not comprised of experiences. Life is comprised of REACTIONS to experiences.
How we choose to react to a given experience—and we have a choice, positive or negative reaction—dictates our mindset.
Types of Mindsets
Our reaction to an experience dictates our mindset, and depending on how we react, we’ll have one of two mindsets:
A MEH mindset—driven by a negative reaction
An AWESOME mindset—driven by a positive reaction
We explore dozens of MEH and Awesome Mindsets in our Master Class because they play a major role in molding our personal brands. Negative reactions build a Meh brand. Positive reactions build an Awesome brand.
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How I’m Reacting to My Injury
Here’s how I’m choosing to react to my knee injury and how that’s shaping my brand:
I badly injured my knee playing basketball, it hurt like hell, I’m on crutches.
I’m not gonna feed you BS and act like it’s amazing to be on crutches, because it’s super f’ing annoying. And I would obviously rather be 100% healthy right now. But after the initial shock of getting injured, I CHOSE to react POSITIVELY to the experience. I could have said, “I can’t do yoga anymore, I can’t teach now, I’m screwed. I give up.”
Instead, I said, “It won’t be the same, but I can make this work. I can still lead a class from the front of the room on crutches. And now I have a chance to figure out how to do yoga while seated. Just because I’m injured doesn’t mean I can’t keep learning. I can make this work.”
This POSITIVE reaction dictated my entire mindset the weekend after the injury during training, and moving forward. We took 5 different classes that weekend, and the first one I lowered myself slowly onto the mat, set my crutches to the side, and spent the next hour figuring out how to do every pose either on my butt or laying down.
It opened me up to a world of possibilities and experience yoga in a whole new way.
Each class since, I study the mechanics of the people around me as they get into a pose, and I refine my seated modifications. I observe their knee movements and think about how I can speak to that when teaching a class.
I’ve embraced an AWESOME mindset, and now I feel I'll be better able to teach yoga to people with low body injuries. It’s similar to owning your Desirable Difficulty.
And you know what else happens when you carry an AWESOME mindset? Other people see you for your possibilities, instead of your limitations.
I am super grateful to my fellow teachers in training and instructors who helped me carry things, or rolled up my mat, opened doors, etc. but beyond that, because I didn’t sit around feeling sorry for myself, they didn’t treat me like an inferior. Instead, they asked me questions about my modifications, and what I was learning. The last thing I wanted was a pity party, and no such party was thrown.
Consider the alternative. If I had a negative reaction and a MEH mindset, I would have either sat in those classes and said “I can’t do this, I'm injured” , or I would have said "I'm done with training altogether, why don't I finish up when you offer training again in 6 months". The Meh mindset would enable me to sink deeper into my limitations.
How YOU Can carry an Awesome mindset
Remember, life is not made up of experiences. It’s made up of REACTIONS to experiences. You can have negative reactions which generate Meh mindsets, or you can have positive reactions which generate Awesome mindsets. Your brand will grow in the direction of your mindset.
If your job sucks, and you continue to react negatively, creating a MEH mindset, you’d say, “This is the way things are and I have to deal with it.”
But if you choose to react positively, you’ll embrace an Awesome mindset and say, “Why don't I take a personality test to help me find what environments and situations would make me happier? What if I meet with new people to learn how I can help them?”
If you want to start a blog, your instinct might be to react negatively before getting started, and your MEH mindset would have you say, “What’s the point? Other people are already writing about this anyway.”
But with a positive reaction, your AWESOME mindset would have you say, “People haven’t heard MY point of view yet, and that’s what make the difference.”
Where in your career are you carrying a MEH mindset?
Leave a comment below, because I KNEED to know (see what I did there?) ;)
Take care and be awesome today,
written by Rajiv Nathan