As humans, we thrive when we can look forward to tomorrow. There’s no better feeling than being excited about going in to work the next day or learning a new skill. For many of us, this may not come naturally. Sometimes we have to utilize mindfulness practices, evaluate our lives, and put effort into incorporating these practices into our daily lives to ensure tomorrow is a great day full of growth and success. In this article, we explore a few practical ways you can do this, with small challenges to really solidify where you can improve your skills, what skills and expertise you have already gained, and how you can demonstrate those skills to customers and people you work with.
Continuous improvement requires a focus on consistency
There’s a great chance that the first time we do anything will be the worst time we do it, but it’s important to continuously look for opportunities to improve yourself. Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent! You don’t want to get stuck practicing things the wrong way, so make sure you know what it looks like to do it well.
Think of how you can “do less better,” meaning focus on doing a few things many times rather than many things a few times. This will result in an improvement of your skills.
If you want to become really competent, it’ll be helpful to learn the stages of competence.
Four Stages of Competence
- Unconscious incompetence: You are unaware of the skill and your lack of proficiency
- Conscious incompetence: You are aware of the skill but are not yet proficient
- Conscious competence: You are able to use this skill, but only with effort
- Unconscious competence: Performing the skill becomes automatic
Challenge: Write down 2-3 skills you are consciously incompetent or consciously competent at and why you came to that conclusion.
Value your expertise, skills, and knowledge
One of the best ways to gain confidence and improve your mindset is to acknowledge your knowledge. You’ve worked hard to get where you’re at today! Take a moment to recognize all that you have learned on your journey.
Challenge: Write about the various skills and expertise you have gained through your apprenticeship. Communicate that to someone who would appreciate it.
Demonstrating our expertise to customers helps us to develop trust… but how do we do that?
First off, our objective is not to be supercilious.
Supercilious: (adj.) behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others
Or another way of remembering this is:
“If you think you are better than someone, you are a silly arse! If you think you are better than everyone, you are a super silly arse!”
One could argue that this is one of the most important words you’ll ever learn. If you want to get through life, you must do so in a way where you don’t think you’re better than other people. In business, if you think you’re better than your customers, your suppliers, or your staff, you’re going to have problems.
- Know what you’re actually selling: How is your customer better off because of your business?
- When you’re talking to a customer, frame your expertise in a way that is valuable to them, rather than a way that just flexes your abilities.
Challenge: Think of your experience in your apprenticeship and the expertise, skills, and knowledge that make you excellent and complete this sentence:
“So, what this means to you is: ___________________”
Note: The more technical your expertise is, the more difficult this could be for you.
Once you finish all of these challenges, comment about your experience and/or what you have learned in the process.
Now that you have gained awareness around your competence and ability to improve your skills, as well as the expertise you have gained along your journey and how to demonstrate that, you can confidently go out and have a better tomorrow.
Keep these techniques in your back pocket and use them whenever you feel doubt or a lack of confidence start to creep in. You have the ability to keep growing and evolving in your career and in your life with a smile on your face. Now go out and do it!
Thanks for taking the time to read this article.
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