I was at the back of the queue when Mother Nature was handing out confidence. My students are always shocked when I say how shy I was throughout my teens and twenties. ‘But you’re a teacher!’ They reply in amazement. There’s an assumption that all teachers must be naturally outgoing and confident, but I’m most definitely an introvert, albeit a fairly sociable one. I actually ignored the little voice which was urging me towards the front of the classroom for about a year before coincidence forced me to give in (see my earlier blog post ‘Ten Years a Teacher’). At college and university I had very few friends and spent a great deal of time alone; definitely not an obvious teacher in the making! So, when I eventually began teaching in my late twenties it was a considerable challenge to get up in front of my classes every day, and yet I knew that was what I wanted to do. I definitely had to fake it until I could find the confidence I had never had before. That self-confidence has since then gone on to influence other aspects of my life and my teaching has enabled me to grow and learn so much about myself in the process. I still have down days, of course. Who doesn’t? Yet I know that while I may feel low when I go into the classroom, I’ll feel lighter when I come out again because fake cheerfulness leads to genuine cheerfulness. So, if there is a quality you wish you had, fake it ‘til you make it!
This post was inspired by the following article from Yoga Journal: