Since launching my Xen Strength Yoga DVD, I’ve been floating around on CLOUD 9- thanks to all the wonderful people who helped me sell hundreds of videos in the first few weeks that it was released. Not only did my students and friends buy it, but I had orders coming in from Canada, Australia, and every state in between; plus orders from Collage Video and Total Fitness DVD’s, which are two of the biggest online fitness retailers. I had gotten a few GREAT REVIEWS from fitness bloggers I sent copies too, and my classes were starting to fill up.
Awesome, I thought.
Then I made the mistake of looking on Collage Video’s website to check where they placed my video, under toning by the way- not yoga (?). I landed on my page, clicked on reviews, and saw this:
“Did not like it at all! WOW, I was expecting more of this yoga, strength training DVD. First off, not crazy about the instructor. and, the white background got to me. There are so many yoga DVDs out there really a lot better than this one.” – posted by Sandra
OUCH! I have to admit, that really stung- I mean REALLY, really, really, bad. I had heard nothing but great feedback from all those sales, and suppose I never really thought about how I would feel when I was faced with that first confidence buzzkill. Believe me, I knew there would be people who didn’t like the video, or me personally for that matter, but I never took the time to actually think about how I would ALLOW it to affect me. But affect me it did- all the way back to being a chubby girl with glasses and braces. Oh yes, the dark years- those when I felt awkward, insecure, and not pretty, skinny, and fashionable enough.
I wondered why I thought making my own yoga video without any support from a big brand or corporation behind me was a good idea, why I skimped out on having someone do my hair and makeup, and why I’m so stupid that I can’t “mirror cue” like all those famous aerobics instructors. Then I took a breath, and did what has become routine when in crisis mode about business: I put a post up in my online business group where amazing women support each other as we launch our dream projects.
Within minutes they came to my defense with words of wisdom, stories of their own haters, and much needed tough love about growing a thicker skin. I LOVE those ladies, and there was one nugget of wisdom that especially stood out, which I think represents what SO MANY OF US do when judging ourselves- only looking at the ugly; she had gone to the site and questioned why I ignored this 5 star review:
“This is the perfect combo of yoga & weights! I do a lot of dvd’s – so i was looking forward to trying this one, and it doesn’t disappoint! Very original explosive plyo moves at the end of each segment. Thanks danielle -I hope you do another dvd! (and please consider coming to SF to do a class!)” – kim
Why couldn’t I shake off Sandra’s un-constructive criticism and take in the kind words of Kim who said it was “the perfect combo of yoga and weights.” Conditioning, I suppose…. I honestly wouldn’t have been offended if Sandra gave examples of how I could have made it better for her, or WHY I ANNOYED HER, instead I went on the defense because she was just a bit, well, harsh.
Isn’t this reaction what I’ve been trying to eradicate by meditating for 10 years? To get past letting outside influences disturb my contentment, and focus on what I already know to be true.
Yes, it is! It’s exactly why I meditate: to reach that state of YOGA where the fluctuations of the mind stop, and all that is left is the truth. When we turn off our senses in Pratyahara, the 5th limb of yoga, we are able to tune in to what we know is true.
So when I went back to my cushion and those fluctuations stopped, what did I know to be true? Thankfully that I have many students who think I am a wonderful yoga instructor, that I did the best job I could making this video with a VERY limited budget, and that I’ll take what mistakes I’ve made and learn from them. Oh, and that there is NO WAY I’m ever going to please everyone, so I shouldn’t try, nor be disappointed when I don’t. And most importantly, that if I keep on being true to who I am, and doing the best job I can, I will attract the RIGHT kind of clients who appreciate the brand I am trying to build, and are willing to deal with some growing pains along the way.
I LOVE getting constructive criticism on how I can deliver the 8 limbs of yoga to you with a “real life” vibe. Let me know if you have any ideas….
Want to learn the #1 yoga mistake you’re probably making? I tell you HERE