Your Special Abilities Could be Holding You Back

We are all born with special gifts and abilities. Some things just come more easily to you than your peers. You settle into a comfort zone of confidence about your innate skills, and you may even take them for granted, but your special abilities could be holding you back.

When a thing comes easily to you, it’s easy to just be aware that this is so and leave it at that.

If you are working with me or one of my contemporaries, there’s a good chance that you might be encouraged to focus on developing your innate skills even more.

Your first response might be, “But I’m already good at that.” And you might interject your desire to focus on developing other skills and abilities to augment your existing innate skills to maximize your efficacy, “I’d rather work on things that I’m not that good at.”

You have a point, and we will focus on some of those other areas, but not honing your special abilities prevents you from moving past the phases of competency and into mastery. Then, and only then, do your innate skills become superpowers.

This can make all the difference in your pursuit of achieving your highest and best and attaining your full potential in this life.

In the classes of ultimate high performance, those individuals who stand out far above the crowd in their ability to achieve unparalleled levels of achievement, they are said to be driven to excellence.

What does it mean to be driven to excellence?

Those who are driven to excellence are different from the rest of us because they approach life and honing their skills to a higher degree than the rest of us.

Top 4 Keys to Excellence

  1. Determination

  2. Persistence

  3. Passion

  4. Reverence

When applied to one’s innate skills and abilities, these four attributes separate the superstars in any given field from the rest of us.

To move to the level of mastery, you must not only be driven to excellence but also we willing to

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The best masters are also the best students of their craft. They are not content to be competent. They continually study their craft and desire to know more, never falling into the trap that they already know everything there is to know about a given thing.

Masters are also continually practicing their craft to keep that edge, never falling into complacency.

Masters are students, always open to learning more about their craft.

They do often find themselves teaching their craft to others, and report learning things that had gone unnoticed in their own training from experiencing the growth and advancement of their own students. Masters learn from students and others.

Unrelenting desire to achieve

Some masters are born to be masters, others have developed the skills to achieve mastery by the sweat of their brow, but in either case, there is an underlying compulsion to excel that supersedes the desire of their peers.

These are the masters of our day.

Will you be one of them?


Unconscious Competence

When you’re honing your skillset you start with an introductory level of expertise, but something amazing happens when you practice your craft regularly. After time (less time with individuals predisposed to a particular skillset that resonates with their innate skills) the practitioner achieves a level of mastery, referred to as unconscious competence.

playing the piano unconscious competence mastery

Unconscious competence represents a level of proficiency that has you skillfully performing your particular skill expertly without even thinking about the process, procedure or circumstance at hand.

An example would be driving an automobile. Remember when driving a car was complicated at first? What with keeping track of speed, all the other drivers on the road, directions, maintaining a safe distance between the vehicle ahead, looking forward at upcoming intersections to be prepared for what lays ahead, signaling well before turning, being careful not to step too heavily on the break, etc.

It took all your attention to just safely get from point A to point B in those early days, and look at you now: You can safely drive while you carry on an animated conversation with a passenger, singing with the radio blaring, talking on the phone, eating lunch, putting on your makeup, checking your map or email.

Multitasking is child’s play when one of the skills performed includes the proficiency of unconscious competency.

You have reached the level of unconscious competence in driving. With practice, you could achieve this level of performing a skill without thinking, as if it were second nature while playing a particular sport, keyboarding, playing a musical instrument, or any set of manual dexterity tasks moves from having to think about it to basic muscle memory and becomes as easy as tying your shoes.

The most effective therapists, coaches, counselors, consultants and other professionals utilize the learned skills of active listening and communication skills often enough that patients or clients perceive these skills as innate gifts and talents, as if they were born with it, even though they obtained the skills through education and practice.

How long it takes you to achieve this level of expertise depends on a combination of your innate skills, natural abilities and how much you enjoy performing the skill at hand. It could take anywhere from 500 to 10,000 hours of practice to achieve unconscious competence.

Whatever you do, whether professional, in business, personal or social skills you will find particular skillsets that you will desire to increase your mastery to expertly execute them without having to think about your performance.

One of the best ways to hone your skills while practicing them would be to teach others the same skillset, this helps to keep you on the leading edge. The conundrum rearing its contradictory head is the lessened ability to teach the unconscious skill because you just “do it” naturally now, while the steps and/or details are not comprehended, making it more difficult to explain how it is done to someone else because it has become a part of you and who you are.

Achieving your level of mastery or unconscious competence, takes time to educate yourself and practice the skill enough that the mind compartmentalizes all the functions of the skillset to the unconscious part of the brain. Then your confidence and competence are so naturally attuned that you feel as though you could do it blindfolded.

Mastering a particular set of skills is an important component when setting out to achieve your highest and best.