Find Your Path With the Proper Teacher

Sometimes we’re interested in furthering our horizons in areas that don’t offer degrees and where teachers cannot easily be located. How can you find the right help, while weeding out the fakes and wannabes?

People tend to be eager when it comes to bestowing labels and titles upon themselves that they have neither earned nor even remotely represent. Sometimes the “unconventional” instructors or teachers tend to be even more ego-driven than one would expect from those who should “know better.” Many claim to be an expert and have “years of experience,” which can neither be substantiated nor really proven.

So here are a few ways to discover those who are worth to be sought out and deserve the fees they may charge.

The Label

It’s easy to build a website and dazzle people with stories of success that cannot possibly be validated. Sometimes, less is more! If someone claims to have 20 years of experience, find out where and with whom. Look for testimonials (the more the better, preferably over a longer time span) and shop around! Know that some of the most gifted people do not advertise and get most of their clientele via word-to-mouth and referrals. If someone is excellent in their field, others will make sure to spread the word.

The Interview

Any teacher, instructor or adviser should be able to walk the walk; and in some areas it is absolutely necessary to lead by example; if you want to get in shape, you don’t pick a trainer who is totally out of shape. It is difficult to respect someone who instructs you to do a certain thing and claims lots of knowledge in a field, when they can’t demonstrate how their knowledge actually works in their own life.

Yes, I am well aware that some people are great in giving advice and are absolutely incapable of following their own words, but generally, that type doesn’t charge you tons of money for their wisdom and doesn’t claim to be “an expert with a proven track record.”

Some areas don’t require that you walk the walk, i.e. people like Laura Schlessinger! However…I would argue that any type of knowledge that is supposed to show results requires someone who can SHOW you how and INSPIRE you to do the same!

Their Aura/Energy

The “real deal” tends to have a certain air of quiet confidence around them. They don’t have to state mastery, because there is something that makes you sense that they are truly gifted. In other words, if someone is “the s***” you’ll know it! Think Mr. Miyagi in the “Karate Kid.”

Their Talk

A gifted coach, trainer, teacher, instructor, etc. will make it about you! This is how it has to be if they charge you money. A therapist who starts talking about their own issues or stories while counseling you is a huge red flag. A proper teacher will give you the tools to do it yourself, without becoming reliant on them, without making it about themselves and without boasting about their own accomplishments, while charging you for it. Pay attention to their written and spoken word, as it usually holds the key to whom a person truly is.

I am all about getting help for one’s issues. As a matter of fact, the more helpers, the better. I am firm believer in coaches, instructors, teachers, masters or whatever else one may want to call them. I have learned that the proper ones will instruct me, not do the work for me. They listen and advise, but don’t make excuses for me or let me get away with my stuff. They demonstrate with their words, actions and whole being why I should be doing the same and therefore inspire me to keep going, while really noticing results.

The best teachers/instructors were those who had a lasting impact on my life, the way I view the world, the people in it and myself; and they inspired me to keep going, even, or especially, when I felt like giving up. They pushed me to surpass and overcome my own stopping points and continue aiding me in becoming the person I aspire to be, inside and out.

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10 thoughts on “Find Your Path With the Proper Teacher

  1. Samantha Harper

    I dont think it matters more about the years of experience then it does about helping people. I love to help people, and I dont think you can really put a number on helping people. Another thing I dont like is when you go for a reading or you look at something online, and someone says for $50 I will cleanse your soul or I will help you with this curse. Stay away from people that say that they will promise that, because they are scams.

  2. Rich

    For years it bothered me that I never seemed to cross paths with an inspirational spiritual mentor. Over time, I realized that my natural tendency to seek solitude didn’t put me in the way of very many people, wise or otherwise. But much of that solitude has been spent walking & quietly observing in more or less natural places. After many years of this, I came upon the first copy of the Tao Te Ching that I had ever seen. There I read again & again, that silence, solitude & nature are the best teachers of Tao, & I found this very comforting. I had been given my mentors as a small child, & had remained constant to them ever since. But had all of these years of quiet contemplation of nature actually made me more wise … more enlightened? I could not, & still cannot truly say. But shortly after, I found another little book of Zen quotations, & one of those leaped out at me. Apparently the famous master Dogen once said, “Do not think that you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment.” This struck me like a thunder clap. I realized two things. Enlightenment is not something that can be acquired as some sort of permanent possession, & it can be very subtle in the way it changes you. If you are seeking to learn a specific skill, by all means, find a teacher who has demonstrated mastery of this subject. But if you are seeking spiritual maturity, it may be best to practice stillness & observation of nature, & trust the universe to send you the wisdom you need without you having to go more than half way to meet it.

  3. C.Wright

    We actually live in a so-called society where the “fabricated bullshit/quackery” seems constantly promoted/marketed heavily as normal and true (i.e. mainstream music/entertainment, health/nutrition/medicine, lifestyles – name any industry).

    Mean while the “genuine articles” are usually something you have to put the intended effort into finding yourself for yourself.

    As mentioned in the article, ‘Pay attention to their written and spoken word, as it usually holds the key to whom a person truly is.’ You have to attune yourself to key words/symbols/codes/phrases and you will see/notice consistency of truth (and in this so-called society – deceit/misinformation/misrepresentation).

    With effort and in time you will intuitively know/sense, quickly when someone is being truthful/honest, in whatever they are presenting/representing.

  4. Velvet Over Steel

    Hi Carmen! This is another great piece full of the Truth. I had just ‘re-read’ one of your post that helped a friend recently and I have to say… You are a the ‘Real Deal’ my friend and a Great teacher.. even if you don’t call yourself so. 😉

    Thanks for all you do for all of us!
    Big Hug & Many Blessings,
    Coreen @ VOS

  5. Lbgurung

    Even the master of the masters in this world is never complete – the word complete is as I realise is The NATURE or GOD itself only which nobody can prove as ever.This universe possesses both negativity and positivity ideologies personalities hiding one’s own weaknesses always,though are our or everybody’s guidance tools which can only be felt and understood and get going or not but it could be better ideas not to pin point the personalities whatsoever.Because almost 99% personalities of this world never want to listen negative words against or do react, because this world is moving ahead since Creations of this UNIVERSE!!! I guess so also!!!!!

  6. Lisa

    Never worship false gods and to thine own self be true.

    I LOVED your article Carmen, too many quacks out there trying to make a quid. I agree with you, the most gifted healers, or whatever their thing, don’t have to advertise as people usually find a path to their door. Desperado’s who can’t back up their claims don’t usually last long and are soon dropped and gain themselves a bad reputation to boot.

  7. Jacqueline x9472

    As always you write the best articles, I especially agree with the part that those who say they all this wonderful experience, tooting there own horn over and over again, those people scare the heck out of me, they are fakes and narcissistic, they have no remorse or guilt for portraying to be someone they are not, not to mention how many lives they have effected.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

  8. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Carmen,

    I had to LOL when I read this article……there is much truth to it……

    You know I’ve read for, over past years, for some very famous folks in the ” self-help motivational ” field that did NOT walk their own talk and were really messed – up…..

    Nothing irks me more than when a client mentions some guru they follow or book they read, and take it as gospel…..when they really don’t know that author or teacher’s personal life at all.

    Kind of like, for example many years ago , the author of a book on how to marry a rich man , who was being evicted and couldn’t even pay their electricity and water bill, had no partner in their life, rich or otherwise, but yet was instructing others on how to snag a wealthy man….


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