If you’re a yoga teacher, chances are that at some point or another you’ve felt like an imposter. That’s natural, 70% of people experience Imposter Syndrome. We all have our moments of self-doubt and insecurity. But when these feelings become chronic, it can be difficult to feel confident as a yoga teacher.
Yoga teachers are some of the most compassionate people in the world. They put themselves outside their comfort zone and share wisdom with others, even when they feel like they don’t have anything special to offer. The reality is that we all have something special to offer. It’s just a matter of what you choose to share and how you show up for your students. Yoga teachers can overcome Impostor Syndrome by building confidence through understanding who they are as an individual, knowing their values, and trusting in the power of yoga!
It’s Normal to Not Be Confident
But first, let’s talk about confidence. It’s a common struggle to feel like we need to be confident no matter what, when in reality, it’s something that needs to be built up over time and with practice.
When was the last time you did something for the first time? Did you feel confident? Take ice skating for instance, the first time on the rink you wouldn’t glide to the centre and perform a double axel jump would you? More likely you’d hold on to the railings and take a few tentative steps. Then with every lap around the rink, your confidence would grow until you felt ready to glide!
Teaching yoga is just the same! Every time you do something for the first time it’s an emotional rollercoaster. Your first group yoga class, your first yoga workshop, first yoga retreat, your first marketing email or live stream on social media will feel scary – this is normal! But know this, if you’re a yoga teacher who suffers from impostor syndrome: the only way out is through. The more you put yourself out there and teach, the more feedback you receive from your students, the more you trust in the life-changing power of yoga, the more confident you’ll become.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
It’s a self-limiting belief created by you and given a label to make you think it’s permanent! What does this word mean, ‘Imposter’? Pretending to be someone else. Why do people pretend to be someone else? Usually because they want to fit in and be liked. We want to be the perfect yoga teacher. It’s time to realise that there are no perfect people in the world, no perfect yoga teachers and it’s ok to just be you!
What does a yoga teacher look like, well probably just the same as a yoga student. So what does a yoga student look like? Do they need to be slim, bendy and totally Zen – NO! They just need to be a human trying the best they can to show up authentically and with kindness. Students and Teachers come in all shapes and sizes, with all different backgrounds and interests and life stories and this is ok!
Don’t Fit In – Stand Out!
If you struggle with imposter syndrome as a Yoga Teacher, then it’s likely you’re trying to perform the role of the perfect yogi and fit it. Try exploring how you can stand out instead. You don’t want to be just another yoga teacher, the world needs you to step into your uniqueness, own your story and shine! So stand up against those insecure feelings of not being good enough by embracing what makes YOU special instead of fitting into the mould.
3 Layer of Differentiation
What are the 3 ways in which you are different from the world view of a ‘perfect yoga teacher’? How do these align with what you teach, your world view and the people you are here to serve? Did yoga help you overcome a specific life challenge/physical ailment, how does yoga filter into your hobbies and family life, what other passions do you have that add a flavour to your yoga classes? Share these publicly and openly so that people get to see and relate to the real you!
Your Value Statement
You’re at your most confident when you are being true to yourself. When your actions align with your values. Take a moment to reflect in your life and as a teacher what is your purpose and values that you live by. For me, my purpose and my life value is to Elevate others. I use this value to assess the truth of my actions. If I’m not feeling confident or feelings of Imposter Syndrome are bubbling up, I check back in with my value. Is the action I’m about to take Elevating Someone, if it isn’t I know that is why I feel off and then I course correct!
Finally, it’s important to give yourself a break! You’re doing the best you can and that is enough!
The Yoga Teacher Collaborative
If you want to find a community of Yoga Teachers that will celebrate, support and champion you, just the way you are, come and join us in a FREE community on Facebook. Join the Yoga Teacher Collaborative.