This last weekend marked my first Take It Off Yoga Retreats Staff Training. I, along with 5 other ladies, took a trip to Tahoe, where we worked together to not only develop ourselves (like we do on every retreat), but to also work on our facilitation as individuals, and as a brand.
Throughout this weekend, each of us led an activity and a yoga or meditation class. Each of us had a chance to really make an impact on the group, and level up as a teacher, communicator, and coach. It was such an awesome opportunity to experience our own leadership, while still getting to be students for each other.
By the end, everyone had made such huge strides in their personal growth, and their growth as leaders of their own (future) retreats. But there was a fear that I saw coming up, and after communicating with them, it became clear. The fear was something like, “I can’t lead a retreat if I don’t have my life together,” or, “Who am I to guide these women through this, when I can hardly do it myself?”.
So here’s the thing. I know this feeling. All too well. I feel it almost everyday, even if it’s only a fleeting moment. And sometimes it really consumes me.
And, I think it’s an important thought because, we don’t want just anyone teaching us important things like how to love yourself, and to become a better you. So in some ways, the fear is valid.
However, I think it comes with a misconception, and therefore a limiting belief. The belief is that “teachers” are supposed to be these beings that stand at the front of a class and write on a whiteboard, or put up a powerpoint and give you information. This information is expected to be true, because, well, the teacher said so. But who were your best teachers? The ones who made the greatest impact on your life, not just your grades? Were they the teachers that told the facts the best? I doubt it. Were they the teachers that had the neatest powerpoint? Probably not. They were the teachers that captivated you. The teachers that told stories, and related the information to things that were important. The teachers that weren’t afraid to say, “I don’t know,” and look it up with you. The teachers that were human. These are the teachers that not only communicated information to you, but had you learn and grow. They inspired you to step up in your life, in some way, even if it was simply to do the homework. They taught you how to understand the material, or how to get excited about it. They showed you passion, and you felt it, so much so that you were inspired to move forward.
So a teacher, is not really someone who passes on information. A teacher, in this case, is like an illuminator. The teacher guides you, and brings to light the things that you need to look at in order to further understand the material. (In fact, the Sanskrit definition of a guru is a person who shines light on the darkness.) The teacher lights up a path for you, so that you can choose to walk through it yourself. But the teacher doesn’t have to be all knowing, nor do they have to do the work for you. Instead, the teacher inspires you to do it, sometimes by not knowing. By encouraging you to dive in to yourself, and understand deeper. In that way it becomes the job of the student, to acknowledge that everything can be a teacher. A successful, growing student is always looking for the teacher in all things.
And what’s more is, often the teacher’s personal experience, as they are learning and growing themselves, serve the students further.
So this fear of not being good enough to share knowledge or growth - what is that?
Tony Robbins talks about how if it weren’t for his mother abusing him, and him being very stuck in a victim mindset - he wouldn’t have been able to create big change in the world.
Ed Mylett says that he believes it is because he is actually very insecure, shy, and anxious, that he can really connect with people, and inspire them to grow.
For truly, seeing the person in the gym who is super buff, doing everything perfectly, and looking sexy while doing it, is not nearly as inspiring as the person with one arm, showing up to the gym and putting in hard work, regardless of their circumstance.
It is your “flaw” or “defect” or “setback” that qualifies you for the job, actually. Not the other way around.
Now of course that’s a pretty vulnerable way to be. And, there may be a long way to go before you can really be impactful in the way you desire. But, how do you get there?
Take the leap. It is in the leaping that you get to experience your own strength and courage, and begin to develop a deeper faith in yourself.