Over the years as a studio manager and owner, I’ve had the opportunity to hire many wonderful instructors that are new to teaching Pilates. Even the best new Pilates teachers can struggle with confidence; it was huge roadblock for me too.
It’s common for these teachers to be knowledgeable, smart, eager, and passionate but it’s almost as if they want to be so good that they sabotage themselves. By trying to constantly be awesome at everything, they doubt themselves and clients lose trust because the teachers demonstrate a lack of confidence.
Self-confidence and vulnerability are linked.
You must make yourself vulnerable to teach. But you have to keep fear in check. This is a difficult balance to strike.
The issue for many new teachers is the fear that someone will know more than they know. Or the fear that someone will discover that they don’t know as much as they believe they should. This is not a minor fear. This is a BIG fear that can be debilitating. The well intentioned ego can get in the way of being a good guide and facilitator.
When this happens, try shifting focus from having to know everything (which is of course impossible especially when you’re new to teaching), towards sharing your skills with your clients. Focus on sharing a learning experience together. EVERYONE, instructor included, is learning.
First, let me assure you that you do not have to know everything. The very best veteran teachers do not know everything. They learn along with their clients everyday, for years. This is what’s so exciting about teaching!
One book that made a big impact on me as a teacher is The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer. This book along with some incredible mentors (thank you Aimee and Niki!) helped me to move past the fear, vulnerability, and lack of confidence, replacing these with bad vibes with courage.
Lastly, before you teach a session reconnect with why you wanted to be teacher. And perhaps even share these reasons for teaching with your students. They will understand you and in turn, you them.
Good luck and get out there!