“Fake It ‘til You Make It”

In other words, act as if you know what you are doing and eventually you will…and success will follow.  It’s a quote credited to many individuals…among them Gayle Forman and Steven Tyler, but the premise holds true as it relates to instructing.  From years of auditioning potential instructors in health clubs, I can tell you that confidence, command of the room, and presence are three key attributes I always looked for.  So what happens when you don’t have the experience to have this confidence?  Fake it ‘til you make it!

Think of all you can do that will build confidence and allow you to take the reins.  Things like doing your homework to prepare for the audition/class.  After the actual certification, we’d like to think we’re set to stand center stage and be a phenomenal instructor.  But great instructors realize it takes time to build skills.  You weren’t a marathoner the first time you decided to take a jog, so what makes us think we can be a super star the first class out of the gate when it comes to instructing?  Building practical skills takes time (that’s where Instructor Toolbox comes in!), and recognizing that every class will get better and better as you get more proficient is key.

So you learn to fake it ‘til you make it, but how can this go wrong?  By relying on faking it – forever.  Allow this concept to buy you some time to make it, but don’t forget the goal is to sincerely make it.  To build a solid foundation, concrete knowledge, and amazing skills that will allow you to continuously take it to the next level with your instructing.  One of the most dangerous situations I saw during years of auditioning were the amazingly articulate and confident instructors who gave the wrong information.  Because I knew our members would believe anything they said based on their poise and self-assurance, but also knew what they were saying was blatantly wrong and sometimes risky advice.

Find the balance to fake it ‘til you make it to catapult yourself to the next level and success will follow!

Who Was Your Role Model?

Think back to that one instructor who either knowingly or unknowingly changed your life.  You know the one…the one who challenged you in and out of class, became your mentor and inspired you to teach group exercise classes so you could become “that instructor” to one of your students someday.  Every single one of us was touched by a special instructor during our time in the front row, before we transitioned to the front of the classroom.  So what was so special about your role model?  What did they bring into the studio that moved you?  What characteristics did they emulate week after week so that you kept coming back for more?

When I think back to my role model, she was professional, caring, creative, and passionate.  She moved me each week with her motivation and encouragement.  She made it all about the FUN, but the results that followed were nothing less than serious.  I know I never stood out in the crowd, but she always made me feel special and acknowledged each time I walked into her class.  She called me by name, she remembered if I missed a class (or two or three!), she could always tell if I was having a bad day.  In other words…it went beyond the choreography.  Although her step routines were new and different every week, with unprecedented creativity…it wasn’t just about the bones of the class.

So think of your role model when you teach class this week.  Can you emulate some of that positive energy to your students?  Think about what will happen when one of your students will pay you the highest compliment possible and became an instructor?  They might not stand out in the crowd, but I’ll bet you make them feel extraordinary!