I am officially over half-way through with my 200-hour yoga teacher training (yay!). It’s been exhausting and amazing at the same time. This week we had some emotional development classes as part of our study. In one of our classes, we were to bring up a problem we are currently facing. I thought about my future as a yoga teacher and the fact that one of the biggest problems I feel is the self-doubt and lack of confidence. This is something I struggle with not just relating to being a yoga teacher, but other areas of my life as well.
During this exercise in class, we got into groups where one person talked about their problem and all the others did was listen and ask prompted questions. This exercise showed us that we already have the tools inside of us to resolve our problems. It might just take a little guidance from others – in the form of questions, not advice. This allowed for the person speaking to think things through themselves coming to conclusions and resolutions themselves. This exercise was good practice for the listener as well. Only being able to ask questions was hard at first, because I found myself wanting to give feedback and advice.
Below are the main things I took away from this exercise for both the one facing the problem and the one listening.
When someone comes to you with a problem try to focus on asking questions, not trying to provide your own advice. This is especially hard for me. When friends or family come to me with problems I want to help them as much as I can, and previously I thought providing my own advice really helped with this. I now realize it’s best to help them come to the resolution themselves. I know when I bring my own problems to someone I don’t always want advice, so now I need to try not to do this to others.
Ask Productive Questions
When asking questions, focus on solution-based questions. There were some questions in this exercise that really stood out to me and helped me with my self-doubt and lack of confidence. Answering these questions helped me feel as though I had already made progress in such a short time. It’s okay if there is not an answer to the question yet. Asking more questions can help them work through this. Leave the responsibility with the person dealing with the problem. Example of such questions are:
- What have you done in similar situations in the past?
- What would you like to have instead
- How would you like things to be?
- How are you at your best?
- What would you tell a friend to do if they were facing a similar problem?
- What tools do you already posess to help you with this problem?
- What would your friends and family say are the good qualities you already posess to help you solve this problem?
Set Aside Time To Discuss Problems
When you are facing a problem set aside time with someone to discuss your problem. This could be as little time as 10 minutes. Having specified time to discuss the problem helps makes the time more productive and structured. It also prevents the time from turning into an unproductive vent or gossip-sesh. Having a structured, scheduled time also helps both parties collect their thoughts and questions prior to discussing.
Working through this exercise helped me realize I already have everything inside of me to address my self-doubt and lack of confidence – especially relating to teaching yoga in the future. I am grateful that I already have opportunities to teach yoga once I finish my teacher training, but I’ve let the fear overcome me and this has impacted the excitement I should have. I know I’m not going to leave this training as the most amazing yoga teacher ever, but that’s not what this training is about. This is just the start of my knowledge and learning, but I have to put myself out there and practice in order to learn and develop as a yoga teacher.
This exercise did not solve all my self-doubt and lack of confidence issues, but it helped me realize how many tools I already have that will help me begin to improve upon this. I’m excited to use this method going forward when I face future problems.