“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
As a young therapist and yoga teacher—I often question my capability to teach or to counsel. There are moments I seem to believe I am an imposter. Not qualified!
In the context of counseling, I often get caught up in feeling the need to say the “right thing.” I get caught in a stream of doubt about what I do say— (Maybe that wasn’t the most “therapeutic” thing to say….Did I self-disclose too much?…..what if I just made things worse by being honest….)
As a yoga teacher, a similar phenomenon happens—(what if I am not teaching this correctly? What if the students all know I am a fraud? Did I mispronounce utthita trikonasana again? Did I forget to do a half moon balance on the 2nd side…..)
I have a wonderful supervisor at my work place, and he reminded me this week that my job is never to say the right thing, but to be myself. Only when I am connecting with someone from a place of authenticity can genuine connection transpire. Truthfully, that is why I went into the field of counseling—to connect.
That’s what teaching yoga is about for me too. If you’ve ever taken a class with me, you know I can be pretty goofy—but that’s who I am. When I am overly focused on saying the “right thing,” getting all the Sanskrit names right, taking myself too seriously— I am not being myself, not connecting, and sure to lose my flow as a teacher.
So even though some days I feel inadequate or “underqualified”— I still dive in to my therapy, yoga teaching, blog writing, and art making. I have to put it all out there, because if I wait until I feel like I am an expert, good enough, appropriately qualified, etc. etc. I will never start. I have to take a risk, plunge in and do the things I love, that make me come alive. Otherwise I am being selfish— holding back from the world the gifts I was meant to share.
It may be easier to wait to do those things we love, but at the end of the day I would rather take a risk and mess up, than wish I had made that connection.
Are there places in your life you are holding back because of fear or being a fraud, or not being “good enough?”
Are there risks you wish you would take, but tell yourself “not yet?”
I promise you, you are already good enough. When you are genuine and operating from a place of authenticity— you are more than qualified, in fact, you are the expert in that moment. Move away from that safe and comfortable place, let yourself make mistakes and get messy—- because that is where the magic happens.