So it’s the middle of winter. The cold weather has set in and your body has switched into energy conservation mode. Maybe it isn’t the weather though. Maybe something has happened to leave you feeling less giving, less motivated, less able to make it to your classes with a smile on your face. Whatever the reason, wherever it came from you’ve got it… You’re slumping. The thought of leading a group of students to fitness nirvana leaves you cold. How do you pick it up and find your joy of teaching again? Not only for your sake, but the sake of your students?
First off, recognize that you aren’t alone and you aren’t the first person to dread the class they have to teach. Then, identify is the source of your blahs. Do you have seasonal affective disorder? (I do) Has something happened that left you depressed? Are you burnt out? You can’t solve this problem unless you know the cause. Band-aids won’t help a broken arm, so to speak.
Identifying the cause of the problem can be a challenge. Sometimes it is too difficult to see the obstacles in our path for what they are. One method I have used with success to identify my ailments is Byron Katie’s The Work. It is best for healing relationships and stressful life events, but it can be applied to any problem you might be faced with. Visit her website and see if you can’t start to heal yourself.
Maybe it isn’t some grandiose problem, but just a simple case of burnout. There are a several ways you can deal with burnout:
Fake it. Sometimes there is no “answer” or enlightened solution. You are just in a bad mood or a funk. Faking it is the best way to get over it. Pretend that you are the most motivating coach alive and see what happens. Plan your classes with the mindset of a winner. It doesn’t matter if you feel like a loser: where your MIND LEADS your BODY WILL FOLLOW. Check out these posts: Three Things Every Instructor Should Do and Thank You For Coming.
Take a break. Either knock down the number of classes you teach or take a full on vacation from teaching.
Feed Yourself. Find ways to nurture your soul. If you give and give and give to your classes withour replenishing your stores of knowledge and motivation, you’ll fall flat. Take classes, attend a workshop or conference, comb the internet for resources. Speak with a mentor or other person who inspires you. Have a massage or make time for prayer/meditation. This category is only limited by your excuses.
Hang up your shoes. Sometimes you just have to call it quits. It doesn’t have to be forever, but maybe teaching is preventing you from achieving other goals or moving on with your life. Your soul is guiding you; you have to listen and trust your instincts.
If getting up to teach a class truly is a painful ordeal, there are ways to handle it. Here we only scratch the surface. The answers lie within you, just take some time to confront them and move towards the solution. Whatever the source, whatever the cause, you are the master of your destiny!