Because I own a successful business and teach others how to start their own, a lot of people act like my success happened because I was born that way.
It’s like the moment I came into the world, I was destined to be successful.
The reality is very different.
You aren’t born with the skills you need to become successful. Regardless of what you’re pursuing – whether it’s financial success or attaining your ideal weight – you’ll need to develop yourself.
With every skill, there is a mastery process that you go through to develop them. It’s inescapable.
If you want to do big things, you need to understand this process and how to use it to your advantage.
The first thing you need to know about mastery is that it’s a journey, not a destination.
There is no instant gratification here. To become a master at anything, you need time and you need consistency.
Throughout that journey, you also need to simultaneously learn and practice.
If you just learn, then you’re an information junkie: you know a lot of theory but can’t actually use what you know.
If you just practice but don’t learn, then you’ll make your journey A LOT more difficult because you’ll have setbacks that you wouldn’t have if you were learning from people who have been through the journey before you.
When you learn AND practice while you’re mastering a new skill, then you can make significant progress QUICKLY.
The thing though is that even if you learn the best information out there and even if you practice consistently, your development will not be a straight line from where you are now to mastery.
Instead of looking like a straight line, your progress will look a lot like stairs.
That’s because as you develop, you’ll experience plateaus. These will be periods where your progress will stall or even go backwards.
These are the critical moments that separate masters from dabblers.
If you’re a dabbler like most people are, you’ll hit your first plateau, get frustrated, and quit.
However, if you are a master, then you’ll hit these plateaus and plow right through them. When you look back at your journey, those will be the moments that stick out the most to you.
The reason plateaus are so challenging is because that’s when all the things you have naturally working against you come out in force.
Here are some of the obstacles you’ll run into at these plateaus…
– Your desire for instant gratification
– Your resistance to change
– Your ego will all work feverishly to convince you to stop.
These are all serious challenges. When you think back on times where you haven’t achieved as much as you wanted, these were probably things that got in your way.
Most people crumble in the face of them.
In these moments, your willpower will be tested. Whether you pull through or not depends on how badly you want it, along with the external motivators you’ve created to push you forward, like accountability.
If you want it bad enough, and if your external motivators are strong enough, then you will blow through the plateau and continue making progress again.
If they’re not strong enough, then you’ll add this to one of the many things you just dabbled in and ran away from.
There are two ways to smooth out the mastery process.
1. Get a highly motivated partner.
It is a lot easier to push through your plateaus when you have somebody by your side going through the same struggles. The key is that this person needs to be as or even more motivated to succeed as you, otherwise they might do more harm than good.
2. Find a mentor
Mentors are terrific assets when you’re developing a new skill. They’ve gone through the same journey, know the challenges you’ll run into and can give you valuable feedback to help you get to the next level.
They can also give you a good kick in the butt when you think about quitting! Believe me, there have been plenty of times when a mentor figure was able to give me a good kick in the butt when he needed it.
If you persist through your plateaus, then it’s just a matter of time. Just keep learning and keep practicing, and over time you will become a master at whatever you set your mind to.
About the Author:
Anik Singal is a Founder and CEO of Lurn, Inc., an e-learning company with a mission to change the world by creating information entrepreneurs worldwide.
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