Where to Find Your Teaching Confidence!
Are you a new instructor who is feeling nervous about getting into the studio? Or maybe you’ve been teaching awhile but you still seem to lack the confidence in your ability as an instructor.
First off, what is confidence? Tim Sanders, best selling author and keynote speaker says, “Confidence is your belief that you are going to do well in a specific situation.” As he says, general confidence is ridiculous and he does not believe in it. For example, I am confident in my baking abilities because I have experience in that specific situation. However, I do not have confidence that I am good at flying a plane, as I have never done that before! So confidence is specific to the situation.
So how do you gain confidence in something that you have never done before, like teaching yoga?
We get confidence from three sources.
· Within- This confidence comes from believing that we can do the task at hand. We can build this confidence by doing things that help us to be better prepared and get more experience. Take your time to sequence a class, practice teach that class out loud, continually study yoga, and stay consistent with our own personal practice. And of course teach, teach, and teach some more! Even when you are scared to sub for an instructor that you perceive to be better than you, just do it. As you gain experience you will start to feel more comfortable and relaxed, increasing your confidence from within.
· Team- We also get confidence from our team; our loved ones, friends and fellow yogis. Our team believes in us and they give us feedback that puts wind in our sails. For example, you might recall your yoga instructor telling you that you had a wonderful voice for instructing and that you led savasana really well. By drawing on his or her belief in your ability you can feel confident that she/he believes you will do well. It must be noted, that in order to get this feedback you must be part of a team in the first place. Yoga is all about connecting so get to know your fellow yogis, reach out to other instructors, build a network. From this network you will be able to draw much inspiration and confidence as you learn and grow together.
· Karma- I believe wisdom and energy follows that which is good and pure. If you are teaching with good intentions and from the heart then only good can come from that. You could call it faith in whichever spiritual power you believe in. Some people would call it manifesting with positive thoughts and actions. As my yoga teacher says, “Do all that you can and then surrender.” In other words, prepare as best you can, do your best and then surrender to the mystery of life. Surrender and have faith that as long as your actions are to help others and be of service then all will work out as it should.
When you are confident, you will release stress and live more in the present moment. This allows you to be more creative, have better social skills with less worrying and over thinking. Also, you’ll be more playful and open with your students. Basically you’ll be more at ease in the situation and you’ll be your best self. Making you a better instructor!
As you grow, you’ll get more positive feedback from your team, giving you more confidence from within and reconfirm your faith that all is well. It’s a circle of confidence with each layer feeding the other.
How do you become confident? It is what you do on a daily basis and what thoughts you ‘feed’ your brain. To gain confidence from within prepare and do the work; study, continue your yoga education, and prepare for your classes accordingly. To gain confidence from your team, reach out to them for support and positive feedback. To gain confidence from Karma be sure to take time to connect and go within by continuing your personal practice and staying positive in your thoughts. Make every action you take as an instructor come from a positive place and have faith that all is well.
Now go practice teach and know that you've got this!