Over decades of training, mentoring, coaching, and simply hanging out with colleagues, I’ve heard far too often from practitioners that they graduated without the confidence they need to begin.
And it’s not just other practitioners…it was me, too.
This is how I experienced it
…and no matter what your modality, you may have had a similar experience upon graduation from your training.
In 1977, Moshe Feldenkrais handed me a certificate that said I’d graduated from his San Francisco practitioner training program.
Unfortunately, while that piece of paper gave me the right to call myself a Feldenkrais Practitioner®, it didn’t come with the bonus packet of confidence I needed in order to feel like I deserved the title.
To be honest, before graduation, I didn’t practice much. Although I did teach classes, I rarely touched anyone to practice private work the way we did when we were all together in San Francisco—even though Moshe had told us to recruit family and friends to do exactly that.
After graduation …I didn’t work with clients. For months.
I was a practitioner without experience and without confidence, so how could I work with clients?
I even struggled to practice with other practitioners who lived near me. We would get together to trade lessons, and I never wanted to “go first,” to be the “practitioner.” I hoped against hope that if I were the “client” first, by the time it was my colleague’s turn to lie on the table, I’d have had a magical download of inspiration about how to start and what to do after that, culminating in a moment when she sat up and told me something about her experience of “my work” that wasn’t demoralizing.
Then, one day early in 1978—several months after the San Francisco training concluded, I opened my mailbox to find an envelope containing an invitation to join Moshe in an advanced training that summer. It would be a 6-week practicum and everyone who attended would work with people from the public under supervision.
I flip-flopped between being overjoyed because I knew I needed more training and being aghast at the prospect of showing up like the less-than-beginner I felt myself to be. It was like trying to open my hand and close it at the same time. Only it wasn’t my hand—my entire being was in emotional paralysis: on one hand, I knew that I couldn’t afford to miss the training, and on the other hand, I knew that I wasn’t anywhere near ready to take advantage of it.
The only way I could show up without disgracing myself in front of my peers and my teachers was to get a LOT of experience, as fast as I could do it.
Except that I had no idea how to get that experience in the short time I had before Moshe flew to San Francisco.
Looking back on that time, I realize that this was one of my fork-in-the-road moments.
I could easily have decided that the training had been a good thing for me as a person, but I just wasn’t cut out to be a practitioner.
Why not just let go, give up, and do something else that would be easier for me?
Get a “real” job, maybe.
Explain to anyone who asked that in the end, it wasn’t what I wanted.
Except I DID want it.
I realized that despite how bad I felt about my level of ability, I was in my comfort zone and I had to push myself out in order to take action. And no lie–it wasn’t easy.
I offered a series of free sessions to about ten people, who committed to come weekly for ten times.
I created a learning plan for myself that made it possible to know that I was learning, getting better, gaining experience.
I arrived at the training feeling ready to learn because I had confidence that I did, in fact, know something I could build on.
You can do it, too!
In 2020, I created a FREE course that goes into detail about what I did and how I did it.
How I Found the Confidence to Charge walks you through creating a plan that works for you. In just 90 minutes you’ll know how to :
- get the experience you need to increase your confidence,
- find clients to practice on,
- decide how many sessions to schedule, and
- stop stressing about what to do with the people lying on your table.
I’ll also help you deal with your gremlins and determine when to take advanced training.
The course takes about 90 minutes.
All images are from Canva