I started mentoring a group of first year students through the leadership academy as a part of my growth and development as I continue on my MBA journey. Last week in one of my coaching meetings, I caught myself saying, “Take inventory of yourself and what you need and let go of what you don’t”. I realized that I was reciting the words of my yoga instructor from the particularly steamy class I had taken the night before. Later on when reflecting back, I came to the realization that so much of what got me through the first year of my MBA, I learned on a 71”x 24” rubber mat.
I have been practicing yoga now for about three years and I am still terrible at it. As a former college athlete, I do not take kindly to being bad at things. Despite my lack of headstands, splits or generally any cool trick, I have gained so much from developing a consistent practice and have carried those lessons off my mat and into the halls of the Kelley School of Business.
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:
Lesson 1 - Leave Your Ego at the Door
Did I mention I’m really bad at yoga? When learning more advanced poses, there is a high risk of toppling over in a grand fashion time after time. But one of those times when you flail yourself up into one of the seemingly impossible positions, you won’t fall and all of those other times when you crumpled into a sweaty heap will be forgotten. Kelley is very much the same experience. I failed a lot in my first year. I bombed exams. I bombed interviews. I applied for many jobs I didn’t get. However, I also took first prize in a national case competition and scored internship offers from my dream companies. At Kelley, we are encouraged to take risks and not all of those risks work out. But the way this community celebrates our successes and lifts us up from our disappointments makes it that much easier to jump again.