Resilience comes from a lack of alternatives; what Julie Montagu taught me about success

Never judge a book by its cover. London-based Yoga teacher Julie Montagu was recently named one of the Top 10 Holistic Health Icons in the world, but she fought harder for her place at the top than one might assume.

After completing a mentoring programme for Yoga teachers run by her company – WholeSelf Yoga – I felt compelled to share how and why Julie inspires me, and why I would urge young entrepreneurs especially to attend her yoga classes and training programs.

Here is what Julie’s story taught me about success…

Self-belief, resilience, and getting on with it…

It was early in her Yoga teaching career, her husband was sick, she needed income to support their four kids. No studio had hired her yet. She rented a church. It was £25 for the hour. She had spent hours in the days before dropping flyers door-to-door, with her kids in tow, to advertise the class.

No one turned up.

Refusing to feel sorry for herself, she used the time and money she spent on renting the space to strengthen her self-practice. She practiced alone, in the empty church, after no one turned up.

When no one turned up to my first class, I cried. I took it to heart.

Lesson 1: It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself, it’s much harder to get on with whatever you need to do to make progress. We all know what we need to do. Few of us do it. We make excuses. We keep asking the experts. We keep looking to others, to avoid the real work. We get in our own way.

Lesson 2: Resilience comes from a lack of alternatives. When your kids’ livelihoods (or your own) depend on you getting on with it, you are more likely to do so. Assets and incomes are security blankets. Salaries are addictive. Security costs you your dreams. No one knows if it’s worth it. Because you’re either secure or you’re chasing your dream. Or you’re silly rich and you don’t have to choose. In that case you’re probably not very interesting. Adversity fuels growth and is absolutely necessary for achieving anything that has meaning or value.

Lesson 3: There is absolutely no room for feeling ashamed when ‘no one turns up’. Don’t let it stop you from trying. Most would have thrown in the towel. Most worry about what other people think of whatever they create or endeavour to create. Julie has shown me that other people’s opinions of your perceived failures are so extremely irrelevant to your long-term success that they not only need to be entirely eliminated from your thought process, but preventative action should be proactively taken to minimise the probability they enter it. Julie’s story is an example of the power of positive thinking and making the most of what you have right now, today. And what you can turn that into.

Thank you Julie.

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