Do you feel a yearning to help people, but are stopped by doubts of not knowing enough?
If you just knew enough, you could teach, and share your gifts.
I’ve been there and done that.
Doubts held me back for years before I finally realized that I did know enough.
I realized that I didn’t have to know everything, nor did I have to portray myself as an expert.
I only had to share what I knew.
Now, let’s dive deeper into this whole expert thing, shall we?
What is an Expert?
Expert means being proficient and knowledgeable about a certain topic.
It doesn’t mean that you know everything. If you’re teaching something advanced, then you need to know more, but not everything.
Some of the synonyms for expert are:
Nowhere does it say “all-knowing.”
That’s something we make up, because we see people out there pretending to know it all, when they really don’t.
No one knows everything, because that’s not how life works. When you think you know it all, life gives you a gentle slap in the face.
My Early Struggles
For a long time I avoided starting what would become Wake Up Cloud, because I was afraid of following my true passion.
I was scared of sharing what I truly cared about, because if people didn’t like it, what then?
I was afraid that I wouldn’t have anything to say. Why would anyone listen to me?
These doubts stopped me from taking action, until one day, I became so sick of my own excuses that I started anyway.
And once I got going, I discovered that I did have something to say. I realized that just because I thought I had nothing to teach people didn’t make it true.
Above all, I realized that I didn’t have to be an expert. All I had to do was share what I knew.
Once I began sharing, I exposed many hidden assumptions that were holding me back. One of them was the thought that if I found something mundane, I shouldn’t share it.
In other words, I didn’t want to share what I found simple, because I thought everyone else found it simple.
But as I began receiving feedback from my readers, I discovered that the opposite was true.
My “simple things” were changing people’s lives.
That’s when I realized that following my heart was more important than listening to my mind and its doubts.
How to Teach When You Don’t Know It All
You don’t have to know everything to share what you know.
Don’t pretend to be an expert. Be honest. Help people.
I don’t consider myself an expert. I just share what I find.
I’m not the best writer. I’m not the smartest person in the world. I don’t have amazing connections, nor am I fearless.
But all of that doesn’t matter, because I share my humanity with you.
I struggle with purpose, meaning, fear, worry, guilt, shame, just like you do. And I can share my journey with you.
When you do the same, you’ll discover that this whole expert thing becomes a non-issue. It’s only a thought that stops you from starting.
So what would happen if you simply shared what you knew?
What if you forgot about all the buts and what ifs and took one tiny step forward?
Take action and see what happens, instead of trying to predict the future. You don’t know what will happen.
And chances are, if you are passionate about what you want to teach, you’ll be surprised by the results, because when you’re excited about something, it’s what you were meant to do.
You just have to start.
The Calling to Share
Now more than ever do you have to heed your inner calling to share.
People need support and help, and you are here to help them. Yes, even if you “only” teach knitting, because it’s not always about what you teach, but how you teach and who you are.
Sometimes just you being there can change someone’s life, because we’re all a part of an integrated whole, and we all affect each other.
If you have doubts about taking action, you’re giving your mind too much power. Let those thoughts be and ask yourself: What next tiny step can I take, right now?
Listen to your inner wisdom.
What is it telling you?
So, Where Do You Start?
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Don’t wait for perfect circumstances.
Instead, take one tiny step forward, and your path will reveal itself as you walk.
Teach what you know, and as you learn more, teach more.
All the best,
Ready to Do What You Love?
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Fonzy Montenegro says
Freakingly amazing, Henri!
I thought I didn’t know enough and it’s holding me back more than it needs to. Your reminded me that it’s all about sharing what you know because there will always be someone better than you at something so it’s best to be honest with your customers.
Very brilliant post! Thank you for sharing this post.
Happy New Year my friend,
And there will always be people that know less than you and appreciate you sharing what you know 😉
I love this post, it’s like you’re talking directly to me. It really is so that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
Teddy Burriss says
I as well thought I could not do what I was passionate about. Today I am 2 years into my own business and my first book is @ the editors!! Thanks for the reminder Henri
Fantastic, Teddy. Thanks for sharing that.
Just goes to show that just because you think you can’t do something doesn’t mean it’s true.
Thank you, Henri for this post. It is definitely food for thought at the start of this new year. I constantly have to remind myself that I am “enough” as I am and that there is no need to be an expert or perfect in every respect.
Happy New Year.
If you have valuable knowledge and experiences to share with others, then you’re automatically an expert.
Some people may be bigger experts than others (more valuable knowledge to share), but as long as you can help someone improve their lives for the better, then you’re an expert.
The world needs more experts 🙂
It is simple yet hard slap on the face. This is indeed encouraging me to contemplate on my other avenues (passion)of life.
Best whishes & happy new year!!
Brenda L. Flores says
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your words are motivating me to begin.
Sergio Felix says
Henri, you are clearly my favorite lifestyle designer writer and this post is a resonant proof of it.
You have been key in getting rid of a few success killers like not having confidence in me and some others so I’m really grateful for your advice and time man, gracias!
Gracias, Sergio. I appreciate the kind words 🙂
Tom Southern says
So true! You hit the nail dead on.
We all know enough, what makes an expert is confidence in our knowledge and the ability to pass our knowledge on.
You all know something somebody else doesn’t. Just think of a time someone in your office wanted to do something for the first time: how to link documents using Word, or how to plan a presentation, how to change a wheel of their car, how to buy a house, and you were able to help them by showing them how and giving them the knowledge that they can use forever.
That’s what an expert does.
It’s not what an expert *is*, it’s what they do that counts to those on the receiving end.
If you know how to set up a blog, there are plenty of people who don’t and want to. To them your knowledge of setting up blogs is valuable.
They problably don’t care whether you’re a blog set-up expert or not, all they care about is that you know how to set one up, and that you’re willing and able to show them how. That knowledge is your product, or service, which ever name you chose for your provision of knowledge.
You just need to add courage and belief in yourself to offer your knowledge to those who want it. To overcome those doubts like Henri did. Once you realise you’re yearning to share your knowledge with others and provide them with the means to do what they want, you’ll discover how freeing and joyous it is.
Remember, your knowledge is valuable. People want it.
And sometimes not being the expert can be helpful, because you use the same language as someone who doesn’t know anything.
Excellent thoughts, Tom. Thanks for sharing them!
My first articles were rather bad, I think, because I was so insecure about not being an expert. I overcompensated and made myself out to be a big personal development guru, seeming way too sure about stuff which was closer to speculation or an embellishment of what grounding I did have in the subject.
I later realised that I didn’t have to know it all, and I could write down to Earth stuff coming from my experiences and intuitions without struggling to hide from my lack of knowledge in some areas.
In short I became much, much better by not trying to be perfect. 🙂
Yes! The more we take action, the more we see that we just have to share our truth. And it’s interesting, because when you come to that place, that’s when you start building a loyal audience.
Before that, you’re just putting up a facade and hoping people won’t criticize you.
This pulls at my heart strings! Stumbling upon this website and this article at this specific time was exactly what I needed. Thank you for starting up your passion.
Good stuff, Kendra!
persis shanker says
Awesome advise as usual Henri! I will be joining your academy. Exciting times ahead for us all. Can’t wait.
Glad to hear it helped, Persis!
I’m not sure how long its been since I subscribed to your website, but I must say this is my first time responding or writing a comment to any of the websites I have subscribed to over the years. So thank you.
You have a knack of not only simplifying the fear, but also the solution.
This email is so timely and so on point for me right now.
Keep doing what you’re doing. Its making a difference to my life.
Thanks Peter! Appreciate it 🙂
Veronica Sanchez says
Thanks Henri! This is just what I needed… I quickly fall into the insecurity and fear of not being good enough that I can get paralized and struggle to move on. This post has got me into motion again.
Glad to hear it!
these words are so wise. They perfectly describe my situation right now.
Stuck because I don’t think I have enough skills, enough titles, enough connections and so many more ‘not enough’.
You helped me seeing things from a different perspective and I got inspired to write on my journal about what is really holding me back.
I so feel like I have something to say to others and I so feel the call of helping someone in need out there.
Thanks for your sharing! You’re certainly helping a lot of people like me with your simple yet profoundly meaningful work.
Much appreciated, Donatella. Happy to hear it is helping!
As always, you hit the mark every time.
Thank you for this post, I ha ve started my personal improvement blog and going to write a book soon.