Taking Charge of your Knowledge and Skills

Sep 28, 2023

At some point in life, usually when we become adults, we want to walk our own path. We don’t blindly trust our parents and teachers anymore in the things they want us to do and learn—that these things are always correct. No, we want to walk our own path of self-growth and authenticity, so we start asking ourselves questions such as, ‘Who am I?’, ‘What do I want out of life?’, ‘Who is my type of girl?’, ‘Am I a good person for others?’, ‘Am I doing well or do I need to improve XYZ in my life?’.

There are two main reasons why these questions can feel so overwhelming when they strike us.

What you want out of life, which also defines who you are, is not fixed. You may authentically like to travel the world today, spending time with random people in strange countries, and in ten years' time you want to be a father, settled in one place with a small circle of good friends you see regularly. You may like curly-haired dark skin girls today, and in five years' time, you suddenly discover that you like Eastern European blondes.

As you are living life, you come across different people, you learn different things, and you change perspective. So, ‘what’ you want is something you can only define by doing the things you are authentically interested in today. And ‘who’ you are is someone you can only define by being the person that you are authentically today. Right now, at this very moment.

The second reason why these deep questions are hard to answer is the ‘how’. 

Let’s say you understand the ‘what’. You know what drives you. You have a dream, a vision that you want to get after because your authentic feeling inside tells you that this is what you should do. Now you get stuck on the ‘how’ part. 

The ‘how’ part is all about knowledge. You know ‘what’ you want; you know the end goal, the destination where you want to arrive. Now it’s all about figuring out the ‘how’; finding the steps in between you and your goal, and learning the knowledge and the skills (the how) in order to take these steps.

And this is where so many people get caught up. Because when they don’t have the knowledge or the skills, they immediately assume, ‘Well, I guess this is not for me’. They have a fixed mindset of limitations, rather than a growth mindset of possibilities.

When we were kids, we were growing all the time. Not just physically, but also mentally with everything we were learning. We learned how to speak, to walk, to cycle, to write, to swim. Later at school, we learned math, geography, history, culture, etc. 

But as I’m mentioning all these things, can you see a pattern? It was not you who made all these decisions. It was your parents who taught you how to speak, walk, and cycle, and it was your teachers who taught you how to write, to do math, and to understand geography. 

At some point, however, when you become an adult and when you are trying to figure out your own authentic path in life, you are the only one accountable for your own decisions. Not the obvious decisions, such as choosing a job, buying a house, or marrying a girl. Because if you are jobless, homeless, and spouseless, your parents will still keep you accountable and ask you for your progress on these things. Why? Because it’s considered normal. Because most people in your environment work, have a home, and are married. Just like most people in your environment can speak, write, swim, and know basic geography. The things others taught them they should do. 

But what happens with the plans, the ‘what’ that only you have in mind? The things no one keeps you accountable for? It’s these authentic decisions that you need to take for yourself. Want to develop websites? You have to learn how to design. Want to meet locals in South America? You have to learn Spanish. Want to help people with their mental health? You have to learn coaching or therapy. 

When I discovered my passion for coaching, I knew my ‘what’, but I didn’t know my ‘how’. That’s when ‘Maybe this is not for me’ started to kick in, supported by beliefs such as ‘Maybe I am too young’, or ‘Maybe I’m not good enough’. 

Fortunately, I realized that these beliefs were not true and that I needed to figure out my ‘how’. That’s when I started to design a roadmap. First knowledge, by following a coaching program, and then practice, practicing with people. And eventually, I designed my website and started to do marketing to spread the word.

Once we graduate, we are in charge of our own life. What interests you? Find books, topics, and thought leaders talking about that subject and begin taking in new ideas. Some ideas will resonate with you immediately and some will challenge your beliefs. Do not immediately dismiss ideas or people who challenge you, this is where a growth mindset is valuable.

There are eight key aspects of developing a growth mindset.

  1. Embrace Challenges: 

    With a growth mindset, you are more likely to take on new challenges and see them as opportunities for growth rather than as threats.

  2. Persist in the Face of Setbacks: 

    Be resilient and persevere through difficulties. Understand that setbacks are a natural part of the learning process.

  3. Believe in Effort: 

    Believe that putting in effort and utilizing effective strategies can lead to improvement and mastery in any area.

  4. Value Learning:

    Have a love for learning and be open to new experiences, knowledge, and skills.

  5. See Failure as a Learning Experience: 

    Failures are not seen as indicators of inherent limitations, but rather as feedback and opportunities for improvement.

  6. Embrace Feedback: 

    Be open to constructive criticism and use it as a means to enhance their abilities.

  7. Admire and Learn from Others' Successes: 

    Instead of feeling threatened by others' achievements, be inspired by them and use them as motivation for your own growth.

  8. Believe in the Potential for Change: 

    Understand that abilities and intelligence are not fixed traits, but can be developed over time.

Foster these traits daily and you too can build a growth mindset. As an adult, you decide what you want out of life. Is it knowledge, family or wealth? Begin learning the best ideas you can find on the topic and keep an open mind. Become your own teacher and opportunities will arise.