Teaching and passion. Both have been constants throughout my life for nearly two decades. I have always taken my role as the teacher seriously but it has in fact been the area of my life which has taught me the most. My career started with teaching horse riding and like so many will agree, the more I taught the more I learnt.

How do you teach person to relax so that they can move with the horse? How do you create self belief? How do you teach self awareness? How do you unlock potential? How do you connect with a screaming four year old, who gets everything he wants? How do you create determination in sixty five year old that’s been beaten down by life? How do you know how far to push someone? How do you stop panic after a fall? How do you rebuild confidence and express the importance of not allowing fear to be transmitted to the horse? How do you calm ten riders when all of the horses bolt as a herd?

Over the years I have come to understand and deeply respect the enormous power that being a teacher has. You find yourself in a position where you are cradling, not only your students knowledge in a particular area, but also their confidence, happiness, self belief, ego, hope, plans for the future and their decision making. Your lesson could be the highlight of their week and your success in teaching it could determine their happiness for the rest of their week. It doesn’t matter whether you are teaching English in college, theatre studies in an evening or football on a weekend, the teacher has the ability to create something powerful, something crushing or to completely forget the power that they have.

As the years passed, I found that my own self awareness developed and with it my ability to pick up on microexpressions. The slightest flicker of confidence, a twinkle of happiness, a momentary haze of self doubt or swell of ego. For most students though, self doubt is a far greater problem than ego. I have found, as many will likely agree, that there is a clear link between an increase in self belief and success, compared to a decrease and failure. Self belief is to be nurtured but failure must be celebrated and supported. We seem to have found ourselves in a society where failure is seen as bad and is criticised! However, deep down, we know that failure is the route to success and that those who are most successful in life are the ones who have found a way to thrive after failure, instead being knocked off course by it!

As a teacher you are able to help mold another human and that is an honour and privilege to treasure. The truth though, is that whether your career involves teaching or not, we all hold that power in our hands. Only one question remains. Are you using your power to pull people forwards? Are you using it to knock people down? Or did you forget how powerful you truly are?

Originally published at www.imustnow.com on February 7, 2017.

Originally published at medium.com