How To Teach Without Over Thinking
Recently, I got an email from a SharQui instructor telling me that she struggles with “perfectionism” and “over thinking” whenever she’s practicing a routine. Every time she attempts to finish a routine, her brain swirls with something like this:
“Yay! I’m almost finished with my new, original routine! Except, hmm, wait. Does that block flow into the next seamlessly? I’m not sure. Also, will this one movement be too difficult for certain students? I don’t want to alienate any potential students. Also, maybe it’s a little too short. And is it “original” enough? Or does it look too much like last month’s routine? There’s a lot of instructors they can choose from, and honestly, they’re probably way better than me…”
Does that sound like the inner dialogue that bounces through your mind when you’re practicing? Pretty close?
Yup – I’ve been there, too. Here are some “truth smacks” that have helped from over thinking. I still have moments of intense perfectionism from time to time—I don’t think anyone is completely immune to those feelings—but these “truth smacks” really help.
“Truth Smack” #1 – Forget about being “perfect”.
If you’re waiting until your routine or teaching skills are “perfect” so that it will be loved my everyone, it’s time to let go of that fantasy.
Never. Gonna. Happen.
No matter how skilled you are—and no matter how much love, thoughtfulness, and effort you pour into your routines and students—some people will love it, and others won’t. It’s always “hit or miss.” You’re not going to have a “smash-hit success” every single time you teach. Rather than striving for an unattainable level of perfection, aim for “good enough and DONE.”
“Truth Smack” #2 – Be flexible and have a few moves under your belt.
Look, you never know who will be in your class that day. Maybe half of your class is new people and you know they won’t feel successful with the routine you planned to teach. Start with easier moves or blocks that you know works for beginners and then ease into some of the routine you had planned.
Yeah, I know it sucks sometimes as you had an intention for the class. But knowing that you have a few moves to grab from helps you to keep from thinking “Oh SNAP…what now?”
“Truth Smack” #3 – Forget about the “numbers”.
I know that all instructors want raving fans! But the tricky thing is that, when it comes to teaching, sometimes the “reward” isn’t always immediate. Answer…?
Patience and persistence is key! It takes time to connect with students, build trust and build obsession. So be kind to yourself and resist the urge to overanalyze the “numbers”.
Well, that’s all for today! Now hit the studio, finish practicing your routines and don’t over-stress about it.
Instruct & Inspire,