The courage to go from novice to master

Posted by Sinead Millard
whatever it takes board

Mastering a craft doesn’t happen overnight. Upon closer examination of “overnight success” there are typically year’s and year’s worth of hard work, mistakes, and failures lurking behind the scenes of their so-called success.

Before learning something new, a new craft, skill, discipline we begin as a novice. A novice who is naive and unconsciously incompetent. Essentially, we don’t know what we don’t know.

We slowly begin to see and better understand our own incompetence.  We upgrade to “consciously incompetent” – an enlightened but low moment! The honeymoon period starts to dissolve, the romanticism of what we were once excited about starts to fade.

From there (if we don’t bail), the discipline must emerge. Discipline to commit and to practice. As the golf champion Sam Snead once put it, “It is only human nature to want to practice what you can already do well, since it’s a hell of a lot less work and a hell of a lot more fun.”

Let’s draw on an example here. Perhaps you have decided to learn the guitar, you may have even imagined yourself playing in your local pub or perhaps the late and wonderful B.B. KING has become your alter ego. You go to your first lesson and your enthusiasm and excitement slowly dwindles as the combination of self-doubt and classic learning frustration unfolds.

The truth is, no one is born a musician. No one is born a writer, a leader or professional sports person…it takes a genuine desire to learn, commit and practice.

Moving outside your comfort zone of achievement requires real motivation, sacrifice, patience and discipline – discipline to practice.

Being a novice can, at times, be exhausting both physically and mentally – a time of great practice that requires great patience. A cyclical pattern of good days and bad days, of ’failure’ and ‘success’ may emerge.

Stick with it. Progress will be made. You will slowly begin to see the fruits of your labor.

We’re all novices at something, we are always at the beginning of some area in our life.

Are you currently a novice? Are you at the beginning of something? Please do share – you could help us all!

If I haven’t yet bored you with mine – I’m a Podcaster novice.

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