In my lifetime, I’ve had many teachers. Like you, I didn’t get to be who I am without the guidance of others.
My parents, siblings and family members shaped me in my first year of life as I learned how to do all the things babies do. It was the beginning of a lifetime of modeling, emulating, and copying.
During my childhood, I became what others – parents, teachers, family, friends – expected me to be. If I met their expectations, I belonged. If I behaved so that I would ‘fit in’ with others, I’d have friends, and I wouldn’t be so lonely. I was taught not to be conceited, or stand out too much as this would cause my friends to shun me.
When I moved into my early adult years, my teachers were bosses, peers, and friends. I continued to learn ways to belong and became keenly interested in impressing others with my savvy, humor, and intelligence.
I took on personality traits, ever concerned about the way in which others viewed me, and adjusted my game based on their reactions to me.
In midlife, I hit the wall and experienced my first existential crisis. Who was I? I could now see my desire to be defined by what mattered to me, how deeply I loved, and the difference I could make — when up until then I had based my life on what others wanted me to be.
It was at this time, amidst plenty of uncertainty that I discovered the world of personal development. Miraculously I had been unaware of the Wayne Dyers of the world, and I had a lot of catching up to do.
Since then, I’ve purchased thousands of books, participated in hundreds of webinars, workshops, and retreats, hired business coaches, writing coaches, health coaches, and creative coaches. I’ve spent thousands of dollars, millions of minutes and a whole bunch of energy listening and learning and elevating my way of being.
Eventually, I joined the fray — sharing my acquired wisdom and insights. I took on the dual role of student/teacher. For the past 10+ years, I’ve been a coach, mentor, teacher and even a guru to thousands of people.
I am who I am because of my teachers.
Consider the impact of the teachers in your life. Are you seeking them? Are they seeking you?