Mastery in any field requires two things:
Without skills, any success you find will have come from pure luck. Without confidence, any success you find will have come from raw will-power.
Want to hit a home run? You've got to know how to swing a bat and step up to the plate with swagger. Want to deliver a killer speech? You'll need the skills to tell a good story and the confidence to deliver it authoritatively.
Mastery is the perfect combination of skills and confidence that, when combined, make you orders of magnitude more effective than a layperson.
Think about watching a master in action. It looks as if they were born for their vocation. It looks as if it's in their blood. It looks as if their DNA has been precisely configured to achieve extraordinary results with minimal effort.
But the master has only maximized those two things:
Skills and Confidence
Skills can be taught. Read a book, get a mentor, watch a training video.
You can develop a new skill quickly with focused effort. Learn everything you can from the best teachers. If your teacher is a book, don't stop reading. If your teacher is a video, watch it over and over. If your teacher is a person, shamelessly siphon knowledge from them with good questions and a plan of study for when they're not around.
Confidence, on the other hand, takes experience and an unshakeable belief in oneself.
Experience will develop over time, by practicing the skills you learn. But that unshakeable belief? Sometimes we don't ever develop that. Sometimes, even though we have built the skills to master a craft, we never build the confidence to become a master. Luckily, you can develop confidence if you fake it 'till you make it.
Fake It 'Till You Make It
"Fake it 'till you make it," they say.
We usually take that to mean, walk around pretending to be someone you're not. And, to be clear, that's NOT what I'm talking about here.
In the context of skills development, fake it 'till you make it means to practice. It means role-playing. It means finding other masters in your field and mirroring what works for them. Carry yourself as they would. Walk with the confidence they would. Use the language they would. In doing so, you will develop the neural pathways in your brain so that, when your skills and experiences align, your self-belief will be ready and your display of mastery will be neither forced nor lucky...
Your display of mastery will look effortless.
So, if you're walking down the path to mastery (no matter the field), be certain you are developing your skills as quickly as possible, finding ways to use those skills to gain experience, and build up an unshakeable believe in yourself along the way.
Even if you have to "fake it," you'll eventually make it.
About the Author
Co-Founder | Mastering Business and Productivity
Mike Mehlberg has 15 years of skills, experience, and confidence in building organized, productive, successful businesses. He now spends his days learning new skills, gaining new experiences, and building his confidence in building organized, productive, successful businesses. Yes, true mastery is a journey, not a destination.