Are You Practising Competition or Collaboration?
That quote that you just posted on Instagram, did you credit the author for it? That blog post that you’ve just written, have you remembered to reference your teachers in it? That image you have just shared, did you credit the artist? Do your students, readers or followers even know who your teachers or influencers are?
Or are you afraid of disclosing your sources of inspiration because you think that will somehow distract your readers from your own brilliance?
I want to show you how referencing and crediting people can actually enhance your writing or social media account.
I used to be really afraid of championing my teachers. I felt that if I referenced them that I would get found out. I thought I wasn’t good enough to teach yoga and so I reasoned that if I mentioned my teachers anyone that was reading my blog posts or following me on social media would stop connecting to me and go and connect to my teachers instead. I thought they were all better than me. I didn’t realise that the people who were following me were following me because I was me. I would credit my teachers half heartedly, tagging them in a photo or saying thank you to them in secret.
Truth is, this type of championing was not serving anyone, least of all myself. I felt as though I was hiding something.
Referring back to the source of your inspiration will always be of benefit to you.
We are shifting from a patriarchal society where we learnt to use the masculine traits of competition to market ourselves to one that is more focused on the feminine traits of cooperation, collaboration and sharing. This means that the old ways do not work anymore, we don’t have to prove ourselves to be better than anyone else. In fact the way to progress is to collaborate, to join together and lift one another up. When we champion each other we all benefit.
This is the law of abundance, the more gratitude you give, the more gratitude you will receive.
Referring to your sources in no way diminishes your work, in fact it makes you look more credible as a teacher. People want to see who your influencers are. Life is a continual gratitude practice and by honouring someone else you put your reader first, allowing them the access to the tools that helped you so much.
Here are some things I learnt to follow when referencing inspirational people in my life -
Make sure as a minimum you reference your teachers on your website - where you did your teacher training, and with whom? Add links to your teachers, as much as you think you are putting in all the hard work, they have put in a lot of work to help you to get to where you are today.
When you write a blog post consider where your material originates from. Think about who you have been working with and ask yourself seriously who you need to reference as inspiration for your material. Don’t let your ego talk you out of referencing people for the sake of your own writing.
If you are quoting someone make sure you include their name and a link to them.
If you are tagging someone in a photo on instagram make sure you thank them or refer to them as well in the text of your post. A photo tag is not enough, you need to say “thank you @insertnamehere for your inspiration/guidance/teaching/love/support.”
I challenge you to reference at least 4 people a week if you find this practice uncomfortable. See how it makes you feel, I promise you will experience a shift. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised, I have found that when I mention my teachers explicitly with sincerity and love they mention me back.
Start a never ending circle of gratitude.
This post was born out of my continuing work with my inspirational teachers Paramatma and Elena who have both demonstrated to me how to credit and reference people with love and respect and led me to stand up for myself when others are not crediting my work. I am forever grateful to their guiding presence in my life.