Skills and Confidence: Not A Destination

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skills and confidence not a destination blog dre baldwin dreallday.comBasketball players often ask me some form of,

“How long did it take you/will it take me to get good at ___________ (insert skill)?”

I was thinking about confidence the other day while people-watching in South Beach and this principle applies to both confidence and the skills needed in any craft, sport or not.

Being good is not somewhere you arrive at. How long did it take me to become a great ball handler? I don’t know — I am still, every day, working on remaining one. If it took me six years to reach “great,” and I celebrate by taking a month off of working on my dribbling, I won’t be great anymore. So there is no time schedule.

Being confident is not a goal achieved. There will not be a day you’ll wake up and say, “Finally! I’m confident!”

It doesn’t work this way. Confidence is continuous — every single action you take, every thought you think, either builds or destroys a part of whatever confidence you have. As long as you’re in the game of being confident, you are constantly building more reasons to feel that way.

Your skill level at your craft will never reach a level where you just stop practicing and kick your feet up. Because when you do stop, whatever level you were at, you no longer occupy that space.  As long as you play ball or design buildings or prepare meals for a big restaurant, you are either getting better or getting worse; you don’t ever “arrive”. There is no neutral space. Like rolling a wheel up a steep  hill, you are declining as soon as you stop advancing.

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