The Thrill of Mastery

By Silver Rose

The Thrill of Mastery

I’d like to continue the discussion about self-esteem and talk about mastery and its impact on self-esteem.

Most of us don’t think of ourselves as masters and that is a shame because every single one of us has areas in which we are masters.

There are masterful data entry clerks, janitors, doctors, retail clerks, entertainers, telemarketers (I’m serious!), social workers, students, parents, secretaries, scientists, managers – pick any profession and there are people who have achieved mastery in that field.

We seem only to respect mastery when it is something very public. We admire Pavarotti and his magnificent voice or Diane Keaton and her brilliant acting. Yet all of us are masters of something and we are robbing ourselves of self esteem when we don’t acknowledge it.

There are few more pleasant experiences than being waited on in a restaurant by a server who is at the top of his game. I don’t care whether it’s Denny’s or The Ritz Carlton, the pleasure is exquisite. And yet, I wonder if the server at Denny’s enjoys or even acknowledges his mastery as much as the waiter at the Ritz Carlton who is well paid for his. Does the server at Denny’s know his own mastery?

Once you are willing to acknowledge your mastery you begin to grow your self-esteem. It is not conceited. It is not self-centered. It is simply an acknowledgement that you have a gift. And gifts are to be enjoyed.

Therein is what I see as a great source of low self-esteem. Those who suffer from it do not acknowledge their own gifts. Truthfully, they don’t even see them. They are invisible. Until we are able to acknowledge and enjoy our gifts, we remain in a cycle of low self-esteem.

How do you find out what your gift is? Ask yourself the following question: What is something I can do effortlessly and well every time?” I promise you, it is something that hordes of other people would find difficult and maybe even impossible. For many of you, there will be more than one thing.

Most of us discount our gifts. I first noticed this when I was raising my teenage foster daughters. They were troubled teens and I noticed early on that if they were good at something, they were convinced that everyone else in the world could do it and that it had no value. I have artwork from both girls that is incredible. Myself,

I cannot draw a stick figure accurately. Yet these two talented artists had difficulty understanding that their art work represented a gift they had been given and developed.

I’m going to tell you a secret. There is no greater thrill than fully experiencing your own mastery. It is delicious. When you are able to say to yourself, “I’m REALLY good at this,” and experience that understanding at a cellular level, it is as close to heaven on earth as it gets. It’s the same feeling you get when you notice the gifts of your loved ones. And shouldn’t you be one of your own loved ones?

It doesn’t matter what “this” is. It only matters that you acknowledge and celebrate that you are good at it.

When I was in High School, I suffered from low self-esteem. Like many teens, (I found out years later) I thought I was stupid, clumsy and hopeless. I can still vividly remember the THRILL I received my first semester of typing when I discovered I had talent in this area. Finally! Something I could excel at! I loved every second of it. Today, I type 100 WPM and am still enjoying it. My point is, that THRILL I experienced was the acknowledgement that I had a gift

A gift is thrilling by itself but it takes (1) acknowledgement and (2) celebration for it to be so.