Are You an Expert? Achieving Mastery of Your Skills

Today I’m linking up with my friend Andrea at DreAm heART sMart ArT for her blog challenge. The prompt is “mastery.”

To be perfectly honest, when I heard today’s blog challenge prompt was “mastery,” I immediately thought, “What am I going to write about that?”

And that’s a terrible attitude to have. Why do women do that? Why do we immediately downplay our achievements and expertise?

OK, so let’s get to it.

Are you an expert? Have you mastered a particular set of skills?

I’ve read that it takes thousands of hours to become a true expert (see infographic below), so I thought about the things that I have thousands of hours of practice doing.

Things I’ve Mastered

  • Public speaking. I love giving speeches and getting up in front of a crowd. I was captain of my high school’s speech team, and I’ve had jobs where I had to talk to people and inspire them to take action (Weight Watchers leader, life coach). Maybe I just like having everyone’s undivided attention?
  • Finding solutions. And this is probably why I’m a life coach. After years of being the “therapist” to all kinds of people in my life, I’ve developed a way to see many angles of a situation and find opportunities where others get stuck.
  • Cutting paper. Huh? Maybe this skill isn’t going to win me any awards, but cutting paper is a central part of my meditation practice. I’ve been making paper collages since I was a little girl, and I’m super handy with a pair of scissors. I can slice straight lines with no guide, make lovely round circles, and ease around any curve to get the closest cut.

But before you start thinking I’m Superwoman, there are plenty of things I just suck at.

Things I Haven’t Mastered

  • Riding a bike. I never owned a bike as a kid, and my parents drove me whenever I needed to be. I bought a bike several years ago determined to teach myself how to ride. Um…it wasn’t as easy as I thought, and let us never speak of this again.
  • An appreciation for sports. Much to my husband’s dismay, I have little or no understanding of sports. The few times I try to focus and figure out how a game is played, who’s on which team, or why a certain game is so important, I get frustrated or angry.
  • Spatial reasoning. I’ve mentioned before that I get lost very easily when I’m driving (although I’m an expert driver!). It will take many more hours of practice before I instantly know which direction I’m heading or where one town is in relation to another. Maybe by the time I’m 80…

So, how do we master our skills and become experts? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall—practice!

Here’s an amazing infographic that shows you just how many hours it takes for you to become an expert in various fields.

Source: Udemy

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Tweet this!

Want to join the DreAm heART sMart ArT blog challenge? Click here for upcoming dates and prompts.

In what way are you an expert?

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  1. says

    I really struggle with believing that I’m good at things… even things I really love to do and have been doing for a long time. Mastery is a tough prompt! I can really appreciate your paper cutting skills, that would be helpful in my scrapbooking!

  2. says

    One of my biggest problems is that I have a hard time believing I’m a master at anything. I always think I can do something better but I’m starting to convince myself that I do have some skills that I’ve mastered. I think I’m a pretty good baker, I’m actually really good with directions, and I’m a really good researcher.

    Some things I’d like to master include getting my health under control, public speaking (I even taught a public speaking class in grad school – I felt SO UNQUALIFIED!), and yoga. I haven’t practiced yoga in so long and I loved it and I would love to become an expert :)

  3. says

    I’m horrible at spatial reasoning, too, and just can’t appreciate sports much at all. Riding a bike, though, I taught myself when I was a kid, so I guess there’s that. Maybe it’s too early, but I’m having a hard time thinking of things. I do know how to type well! Also, I did master shorthand at one time, but am pretty rusty on it now. :) Oh! and making dog treat recipes. I’ve got that down!

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