I’m sitting in a circle teaching a new group of theatre students on the second day of class this term. More than anything else, I want them to believe in themselves. To know that they are enough, exactly as they are, and that any techniques that they learn during their time as theatre students are meant to help them express their unique gifts and talents more fully. I want to help evoke their creative voices and, more importantly, their trust in their unique creativity.
While they look awakened and hopeful from the first day of class, many of them are still using language that clues me in to the fact that they are often driven or seduced by a desire for approval of their choices, rather than owning their creativity and then collaborating with others from there.
One student approaches me privately on a break. I share with her a moment from years before after a class in the very same room at the very same school with a very similar group of students.
It was early in my teaching career. After class, a female student about the same age as me (at this community college, students of all ages make up the class) approached me and said “When you follow your intuition, you look like you’re reading people’s minds. And the performances that you’re able to draw out of them when you work intuitively are incredible.“
Pretty nice huh? I was often subconsciously looking for approval myself back then. So my ego’s enjoyment of the compliment initially prevented my Soul from hearing her point.
Then she continued, “Unfortunately, you don’t trust yourself. You keep trying to do it like the other teachers. When you try to do it “their way,” it really doesn’t work for you. You’re different than the other instructors. I think you’re a coach. And if you go to a coaching class to learn what that means, you’ll understand and embrace your intuitive style.”
It was one of those moments when time seemed to stand still. I didn’t even know what a coach was, yet my Soul heard her and knew she wasn’t talking about sports. Long story short, I followed her suggestion (and my own intuition) and went to that coaching class. And the rest, as they say, is history. I now have my own business and my teaching is wholeheartedly grounded in my intuitive style – brought forth by coaching principles.
Why wasn’t I trusting my intuition? Because I thought everyone in the room must be seeing what I was seeing. It was obvious to me, so I assumed what I saw MUST be obvious to everyone else. My gifts came so clearly to me and with so much ease, I assumed they must be worthless. I didn’t even know they were gifts. That student years ago let me know that my gifts were not worthless – they were priceless. And that my students actually needed me to bring the best of myself to the table. That was infinitely more effective and valuable than trying to be like someone else.
After the break, I spoke with the whole class: What things about yourself do you dismiss as weird, quirky … possibly even worthless? What if those traits are your greatest gifts? What might feel so easy it’s like breathing to you, could be like speaking a foreign language to someone else. And what if we need you, your voice, your wacky traits … your gifts.
Our gifts are never worthless. My students’ gifts are rare, unique and of immense value.
So are yours.
With passion & love,
PS – If you want someone to be the mirror that helps you embrace your quirky gifts, sign up for a one-on-one with me today!