How competent do you want to be at what you do? How competent do you want to be at something new? How do you base that competence? Do you have periodic tests, or evaluations against yourself, or against other perhaps? Do you put your work(s) on display in public for the whole world to see, or at least for your office & boss to see? You see, no matter how you demonstrate your competence in what you do – there is definitely always an objective way by which you can and should consider yourself a success in that activity or skill.
While, as I just noted, there is always a way to prove and evaluate your competence, what I find most peculiar is the fact that people who really think they are incompetent at what they do, will often not change their mind when presented with indicators of their success and competence. Their self doubt overrules the evidence of competence, like a judge in the court of their mind. However, this also works on the opposite side of the street. The proof of this would be most evident in all the reality shows we have seen explode onto the scene over the recent years.
One such show that has captured by attention features dancers from all skill levels and walks of life performing weekly to entertain and to win the shows grand prize. The early episodes have many of those people that ‘believe’ they can dance at a level they believe makes them worthy of appearing on the show but truly they can not. When they are given sincere critique by the judges of the show (all of which have been in the industry for many years) they balk at the critique and proclaim their future success in dance. All the while you, the audience member, sit there wondering “how in the world do THEY think they can dance?”
Now I am not saying that they will never reach the level they believe they already have, what I am saying is that their belief in their competence is a driving force and that same driving force can work to your own advantage. I say this from my own experience as well as the experience of people I have come across over the years.
From my own experience, I can share a brief story of how my own belief in my competence launched my programming business. Shortly after leaving the US Military, I did computer programming – mostly as a hobby. While in the military I did use it to make my job simpler by programming a few record keeping tasks and the like. But mostly I did it as a past time – reading up on what was going on in the industry and studying the current programming languages and seeing what I was able to do with them. After I got out of the service I decided to see what I could do with my hobby by trying to turn it into a career. I was able to land a job at a medical billing company as a systems analyst, and then a couple months later I was promoted to their programmer.
How? Well I believed in my ability and my competence in the programming language they were using for their billing system. But, here is the catch… I had only been programming in that particular languages for about six months. So it wasn’t my length of time or experience in their system or its langue that landed me the promotion. Nope it was my belief in my ability to use the knowledge I did have, and my ability to learn everything else I needed to in the time line they expected me to. That’s just what I did, I programmed their doctors billing system over the course of the next few months, by applying the all the best of what I had already learned. Applying all the knowledge and competence I had; not just from their system’s language but from other languages that I had alli and sales previously studied and read up on.
You see, I am willing to bet that you are like most other people (myself included) and that like most people the first step toward improving your job performance, sports performance, relationship performance or any other performance has nothing to do with the job, sport or skill itself. But rather it has to do with improving how they, and you, feel about yourself as a whole and how you feel about yourself relative to that skill or competence. Studies I have read bear out the fact that in eight out of ten people, it is self image that has far more to do with ones performance and competence then their actual level of skill or competence in that skill.
So, you see the next time your sitting down watching one of those reality shows and giggling to yourself as you see the person with that seemingly unrealistic belief that they have the skill to be a winner on that show. Stop for moment and ask how you can take on that same belief in your desired skill of choice. For that passionate belief will bear some wonderful fruit in your competence in that skill as you strive to build it.
Here are a few action steps you can take right now to build your own belief in your competence:
• Create positive affirmations in an area you would like to build competence in and stand tall and recite them with feeling – without feeling and passion the road to competence is much longer
• Read, listen, and study the different nuances of what you are trying to become competent in.
• Everyday practice your skill(s) in the area you are wanting to become more competent in. Do not focus on only one area but grow outward step by step growing your competence and confidence.
Think Successfully & Take Action (with competence!)
One of Today’s TOP Motivated Coaches & Author of Success Atlas programs