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Practicing like an expert

Be willing to have it so.
– William James

What was so hard for me that I can accept today?

My own abilities. I have always doubted my abilities. Even after practicing some skill for years, I would continue to look at myself as a beginner.

Not with a beginner’s mind, where I am open to new ideas in the field and not stuck in my ways. I am that at times, sure, but that’s not what I am talking about.

When I would look at expanding my knowledge in a specific area, I always look at beginner level stuff. Like I haven’t mastered the beginner stuff a dozen times before.

When self-evaluating my skills, the best I would ever rate myself is below the highest level. I never considered myself one of the best in anything.

I used to often think I wasn’t good enough to teach certain topics. People shouldn’t waste their time listening to me because my thoughts on the subject were unimportant. I was no expert.

But I am an expert. On a great many things. At work, I am an expert on Microsoft servers. I am an expert in networking. In my spare time, I am an expert at roleplaying games. I am an expert in WordPress. I am an expert in Reiki.

This does not mean I don’t have anything else to learn in these topics. But if you want to learn something in one of these areas, you should send your questions to me.

I believe like Les Brown says “They ought to take ‘perfection’ out of the dictionary. It doesn’t exist. As long as you are here, you can always better your best. You have not done your best work yet.” It’s probably why I have adopted the motto (stolen from The Equalizer) “Progress, not perfection.”

I am not going to lie to you and say I am perfect in this area. I have my moments of falling back into old habits. I don’t always know when a new skill hits the ‘expert level.’ But that’s what progress is all about. That’s what kaizen is all about.

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