Are You An Expert?

You may have noticed, at the beginning of every Inner Warmup episode, Taylor addresses us as "expert guests".

What makes someone an expert? Is it a self-title? Is it a title that's given to you by the people who consider you to be an expert?

In this episode, we'll be talking about experts, but in the internal sense. As always, a deep reflection is on it's way. Let's find out who's a self-expert and what that looks like IRL. And if you're looking for a super cute, fun, and self-caring community, look no further.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Inner Warmup where your inner work begins. My name is Taylor Elyse Morrison, I'm the creator of Inner Workout and you as always are our expert guest. Thanks for being here today. We kick things off with a micro practice and today the practice I offer to you is to place a hand on your heart. And you can say this internally, or you can say this out loud, tell yourself, thank you for the gift of this time. Thank you for the gift of this time. It might be simple, feel simple, you're just listening to a podcast but these 10 minutes that you are giving to yourself is worth celebrating. This is an act of care. This is an investment in your inner work and I think it's worthwhile for you to acknowledge that. 

Before I get into today's question, I want to let you know what we're going to be talking about for this month, the next few weeks or so. At the beginning of every episode, I say that “you are our expert guest.” I've been saying that for about a year now, which is wild that this podcast is a year old, but I realized I never fully explained what I mean by that. What do I think it means to be an expert and a self expert? And why do I think it's so important for us to step into that? So that's what we're going to be exploring this month. And I'm excited about it. 

I'm excited for you to get to know where you feel like an expert, where you shy away from that term, and to see what self discovery pops up. So let's get into it. 

We live in an age where expertise in many ways is another kind of currency. We can broadcast our opinions whenever and wherever we want. To some extent, I do that on this podcast, right? It's not terribly hard to start a podcast. You can share your opinions on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, I could keep going. At work, you have all these different forums to share your opinion, to craft a message so that key stakeholders will be bought in. And really over the past couple of years, we’ve seen this age of expertise, this expertise as currency pop up right before our eyes. You can probably think of someone in your life who became an armchair virologist, or immunologist or public health expert during the pandemic. Someone who doesn't necessarily have experience with anything related to pandemics, epidemics, endemics..I don't know if an endemic is the thing. This is why I'm not a public health expert. But they didn't have any experience with it but they had very strong opinions about how it should or should not be handled. 

And as I'm recording this, war is breaking out in Ukraine and all of a sudden, people have very strong opinions and are acting as if they're experts on foreign policy. It's been really fascinating to watch this unfold, to watch people have these beliefs in perspectives that aren't necessarily owned as their individual perspective, but are shared as absolute truth. And this could be a whole other podcast episode about what this means for us going forward as a society, as humankind. But I think we can all agree, this age of expertise is here to stay. And we've got to figure out how we really relate to it. And I've been talking about opinions. Here's an opinion that I have: I think that being an expert isn't really something that you can declare yourself as. I think the role the title of expert is given to you by other people.

I'm not an expert in self care because I say that I'm an expert in self care. I'm an expert in self care because people come to me and they ask me questions about it. And I've created these frameworks that have been useful to me but then people have put them into practice in their lives, and decided, oh, Taylor has something valuable to say about self care

Being an expert is like an honor and a gift that you receive, rather than something that you just…I’m picturing being knighted. If you've ever seen in a movie, someone being knighted and the royal person takes the sword and they put it on their shoulders. And they say “I dub you lady Crawford", or whatever it is. I'm picturing making yourself an expert is like having the sword in trying to knight yourself. It's just really awkward. It doesn't work. You become an expert by having a point of view, having lived experience, having learned experiences, and generating results for yourself, and or for others. That's how you become an expert. 

And I see so many people prematurely declaring themselves to be experts, shout out to social media, where there are literally hundreds of thousands of people doing that. So you might feel a little bit called out now. I'm not trying to call you out, I promise. But you might see people who are in that rush to declare themselves as experts or you might see people or be one of those people who shy away from the title because they're like, oh, expert..oh, definitely not me. Definitely not me. 

Which brings me to kind of a pre-question, something to noodle on is who's allowed to be an expert? Especially if you're one of those people who is like, I definitely am not an expert on this. Why not? Is it because of your age? Is it because of your skin color? Is it because of your tenure, your level of experience? Who do you think is allowed to be an expert in whatever area you feel like you are definitely not an expert? It's worth considering. And I see people, sometimes it's me, candidly chasing this title of expert in work and in our careers. And we can get so focused on building that point of view, gaining more experience, creating more results that we forget to accept the place where we're actually experts already. 

We're all self experts, not to be confused with know it alls. Being a self expert does not mean I know everything about your experience and the advice that everyone should be following. No, a self expert means I know my experience. I know my body, my emotions, my needs, my desires. 

Why are we so quick to claim the title of expert externally but we don't want to claim that internally? So now it's time for me to pose this question to you. Are you an expert? And first I want you to just get your knee jerk reaction. Notice if you feel that repulsion that oof, couldn't be me. And maybe you have to clarify, am I a self expert? Why or why not? Are you an expert? Are you a self expert? Why or why not? Take some time to reflect and make sure you come back after the reflection because I've got a couple more thoughts for you.

Hopefully that helps you uncover some of your thoughts around expertise that maybe you haven't explored previously. I'm really excited because next month we're launching publicly our Inner Working Group Chat, which we're calling “a gathering of experts”,, a gathering of folks like you. And I'd love for you to be on the waitlist, if that's something that sounds interesting. So I'll talk to you next week. Thanks for your time and for your expertise. Take care!