Authenticity

Standard

Teacher training is underway and I love it! All yoga all the time? Sounds good to me!

I’m a pragmatic student too. I want to be good, I have some anxiety about doing enough to pass and teaching “well enough” to stand in front of other people, but on the whole I want to do “enough” and not “perfect”.

My first practice teaching – to four other trainees and three trainers – went pretty well. I’m not a natural speaker and I get nervous, but I worked hard and knew the sequence and cues well. We only got brief feedback so I asked for more. And I’m glad I did!

Generally it was good. But the piece of advice I found most interesting was: be more authentic.

I get this. My voice sounded nervous. It’s true that I didn’t sound like myself. I want to sound like myself! I want to feel less nervous and more confident. I think this feedback is great because there is this sort of vague quality of authenticity that I can build and work on.

All that said… I was teaching to a room of people who already knew the “intro to yoga” sequence, including three teachers. My inflection raised like a question at some times … because I was unsure! Confidence is a good quality, but I wasn’t feeling confident! My instructions weren’t actually necessary for teacher trainees and yoga teachers.  I think it would be MORE “fake” to act as if I was teaching to real beginners … because I wasn’t!

So … was I really NOT being authentic?

I think I actually have a problem in my life being too authentic. It’s hard for me to act in a way that isn’t in line with how I feel. It’s often hard for me to conceal my emotional response, even when I would like to. If I’m upset, you will know it.  This especially! Definitely there are times when it would be better to conceal this.

I don’t want to make this comment about the feedback. Because it’s true that I could have been more “me”, more confident, less unsure. And I will work towards that. But I think talking about “authenticity” missed the mark here. Maybe this term has taken on celebrity status, as a stand in for “all that is good”.

Authenticity is good! But it doesn’t describe every situation.

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