Something crazy happened when I was surfing on the east coast of Taiwan.
It was my third time surfing and barely standing.
Someone asked me for surfing advice
In complete confusion, looking at the professional surfing coaches around us, I thought to myself, “Why me?”
But then, I proceeded to tell him everything I knew about surfing.
He said “Thank you” and we parted to hit the waves.
I almost let my imposter syndrome prevent myself from helping him.
Why did he seek advice from me instead of professional surfing coach?
Why do we ask peers for class notes instead of asking the teacher?
Because professional teachers teach the same thing over and over again, if they don’t love it enough, they could get irritated and fall into the trap of “Why they don’t understand?” mentality.
Your peer is on the same path of learning, he or she understands the obstacles and is empathetic about it.
Have you ever read a technical article with so much abbreviation that you need 10 different tabs open?
When you’re learning something new, you probably don’t know all the right words to describe what you’re doing.
When I described wave breaking, I just said, “when the wave turns foamy”
And he instantly nodded and pointed at a wave.
We were around the same level of vocabulary deficiency.
Lack of Motive
When your peer decides to toss you the rope, it’s usually because they genuinely want to help you.
Professional teacher/coach might have a monetary incentive to help you.
Although you might be new to this particular skill, your expertise in other field offers you a new perspective.
Sometimes, it’s the unorthodox perspective that pushes one’s learning to the next level.
Don’t let the fear of not being expert enough prevent you from helping others.