It’s easy to get insecure about how good we are at the things we do. Perhaps you’ve been in a situation where you thought you had found your calling or a passion, but you ended up submitting to thinking “It wasn’t for me.”
In some cases, this could lead you to finding success in other areas. Basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson used to play football until he realised he was probably better off as a basketball player (he was right!).
But in many cases, the inability to master something becomes an excuse to quit. Maybe you’ve felt this while learning a new instrument or trying to break into a new field like graphic design or computer programming. However, this mindset shouldn’t stop you, because the truth is – anything can be mastered, and there are three steps to doing it.
Learning is all about understanding your craft. After all, how can you master something you barely know?
Perhaps you’ve experienced situations where something was so enticing that you jumped into it right away. Most people have desired to learn another language, and a lot have gone as far as downloading language-learning apps like Duolingo, but then stopped right after the basic nouns and verbs.
In order to be a master of something, you need to first learn as much as you can about it. You can’t learn French by just stopping at greetings and pronouns – you need to learn things like sentence construction and continually expand your vocabulary.
Here’s where you make discoveries, continue to strengthen your foundational skills, and learn to better appreciate the idiosyncrasies and aspects of your field of choice. In this phase, it helps when you foster a sense of constant curiosity. So keep challenging yourself, and be comfortable with what you don’t know, because that’s how you’ll be able to learn all that you can.
In the earning phase of mastery, you begin to put the things you’ve learned to practice. Here you’re starting to see the practical applications of what you’ve studied (and enjoying the results of your efforts!).
In the language-learning example, this is when you go from learning French vocabulary to maybe watching French films and reading French books without any help.
In business, earning is literally that – seeing profits in your bank account after learning how to run a business. And rewards like this are incredibly fulfilling!
But be warned – while it’s great to see the fruits of your labour, complacency is what will kill you. Because you might be earning, but you aren’t a master until you’ve created.
Here, creating doesn’t necessarily mean creating new things. What it means is being able to create the same successful/proven process over and over again. You need to create consistent results, because otherwise, it’s going to be dangerous when you hit a wall.
But consistency doesn’t equate to stagnation. All it means is that you’re able to do something that produces results without even thinking about it.
For language-learning, this is the part where you can speak conversationally. If you can go to France, and talk to locals without stuttering, this is the creation of consistent results.
In business, if you can keep your profits growing, then that’s how you’ll know you’ve created. When you can do something again and again without even thinking about it? That’s when you’re finally a master.
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