Your Higher Self and Teaching Confidence
By Kristine Kaoverii Weber | March 11, 2022
I had a student I’ll call Cate. She took my RYT200 training. As I got to know her better, I discovered that Cate was a lifelong learner. Not only was she training to be a yoga teacher but she was also a licensed psychotherapist, a massage therapist, and an Ayurvedic practitioner. She had diligently studied everything from Somatic Experiencing to Craniosacral therapy to EMDR to shiatsu and more.
However, as much as Cate loved to learn and was passionate about studying, there was a dark side. Cate was unemployed. She froze when she thought about getting a job or starting to teach. She worried that she was a neophyte, that she wasn’t good enough, that she didn’t know enough, that she couldn’t help anyone in the deep, masterful way that she wanted to, or that she would hurt someone. So, she kept getting certifications, but never put any of them into practice.
Cate’s fear isn’t uncommon among yoga teachers, particularly mature women. Some folks train to teach not only yoga but lots of other holistic modalities – but still feel like they just aren’t good enough, that they don’t know enough, and that they haven’t learned enough to be of any use to anyone.
Now, I’m a huge fan of trainings and courses – I love learning new things, I love being able to share wonderful techniques that help people reduce mental emotional challenges, regulate their nervous systems, feel better in their bodies, deepen their spiritual connection, and learn more about themselves. So I totally get the course-junkie thing.
But eventually, you have to take the leap – and that leap requires some confidence.
Cultivating confidence in yoga teaching can be tough. After all, it’s a deep, broad field of study that would take lifetimes to master. A brand new 200 hour yoga teacher may not feel confident – still she knows something that might help her students (and that one thought could be the singular bud through which confidence can begin to bloom).
I used to think confidence was something you were born with – some people have it and others don’t. But I don’t believe that anymore. I think confidence in teaching yoga (or anything really) comes from a combination of a few things – knowledge and experience of course, and a sense of meaning, purpose and identity are important too. The idea that you are helping someone is huge too.
But then there’s this magic pixie dust that activates it all. I believe that comes as you grow an increasingly stronger and more intimate relationship with your Higher Self.
I like studying. I will always be a yoga student first. I take lots of classes, courses, and workshops because of the sheer joy I get from learning and sharing what I learn. But I also feel compelled to put all that knowledge into practice – it’s like I have to teach, otherwise I would be bursting at the seams with all that I want to share.
Teaching reinforces my sense of identity, meaning, and purpose. And it also gives me the experience (along with both positive and constructive feedback from students) that then further shores up my confidence. But I’m bursting at the seams to share not because of my confidence in my knowledge base, because of my relationship with my Higher Self.
If I sat back and thought, “Wow, I know SO much, I have been teaching for SO long, I have SO much to offer because I’m SO smart,” my confidence would quickly evaporate.
My brain is a freakin’ sieve.
Most things fall right out of it. And the older I get the truer that becomes. So, how could this sieve of a brain possibly hold all the knowledge of yoga?
Which means I need a bigger (and less porous) receptacle for it all – and that’s my Higher Self. It holds knowledge and wisdom and transfers it through my mouth (mostly 😍). I mean, how could my clueless, forgetful small little ego of a self be a good yoga teacher? That would be way too exhausting, and scary, not to mention impossible.
The great, twentieth century mystical poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote:
“My poet’s vanity dies in shame before thy sight. O master poet, I have sat down at thy feet. Only let me make my life simple and straight, like a flute of reed for thee to fill with music.”
Tagore – wikimedia commons
My yoga practice (mostly meditation) reminds me of Tagore’s poem. I can ask for the opportunity to make my life simple and straight so that the teachings flow through me rather than from me.
My little self has plenty of confidence issues – it’s not crazy about the way its aging face looks. It has bad hair days. It gets annoyed with its nasal-y New Jersey accent. But when I get out of the way when I’m teaching (or doing anything really) and let my Higher Self inform the experience, I can stop obsessing about whether or not I’m good enough.
Many older women, particularly the Gen X and Baby Boomers, have confidence issues. We’ve been acculturated from a very young age to see ourselves as less – not as smart, not as skillful, not as valuable, not enough. We’ve been acculturated to lack confidence, to see ourselves as second rate. And, this may seem like a weird thing to say, but it’s almost a blessing. It means that we don’t have as much ego to powder down in order to realize who or what is actually at the helm.
When I get out of my own way, confidence isn’t much of an issue. Something much greater, more powerful, more meaningful, and more helpful flows through me. The priority then becomes deepening the loving, expansive relationship with my Higher Self. The reality is that my Higher Self never lets me down. It is a bright, beautiful light forever guiding me along the path. It is where my confidence emanates from and where the fruits of my actions return to.
As I’ve strengthened that relationship with my Higher Self new opportunities have opened up and pathways have become clearer.
Things don’t always go the way I want them to – that’s the nature of life. But the world is much bigger than my small ego’s confidence can envision. When I allow my confidence to emerge from my Higher Self, along with a higher sense of meaning and purpose, anything is possible. Nothing is off the table.
Please check out my free ebook, Chakras: Is Everything You’ve Been Taught Wrong? to discover 4 differences between traditional and new interpretations of the chakra system.