You can’t master anything unless you master yourself.
You might find yourself starting new things but never really make progress or get the results you want. A lot of times, fear takes over and limits your potential. Try anyway.
The road to success is not paved. It’s okay to be a beginner at things. Some pitfalls will continually trip you up and test your determination. But with the right tools, information, and guidance, anything is possible.
In this article, I will break down the levels of self-mastery for you and share my proven practice on what it takes to be truly successful in anything in life. You may have already tried and failed countless times, but right now, allow me to walk you through each step so you can finally get going towards your goals.
Level 1: Cognitive Mastery
We don’t want to fail, so we tend to do things that we are already good at.
Our comfort zone is our haven. But staying there is actually what holds us back. And this frustrates many people because they already know and understand what needs to be done, but they don’t have the confidence to do it.
Cognitive mastery is when you know how to do something and have an intellectual understanding of the steps you need to undertake.
This is the first level of self-mastery. And it is the exciting part. You become so pumped up and committed to doing the things you have recently started.
Level 2: Emotional Mastery
How many of you have started something but never really became mastered it because you stopped? Many people sacrifice what they want most for what they want now.
The second stage of self-mastery happens when the excitement starts to dissolve.
At this point, you may have already tried everything except sticking through it. You allow yourself to get distracted by what’s shining in front of you. And that’s when you get derailed.
But if you stay in the course, you can move on to the second level, which requires repetition and emotional mastery. Here, resistance gets stronger. And you have to feel it because the work doesn’t start until you get uncomfortable—the work begins when you start to sweat.
You will soon find out that when you consistently do something and start developing emotional mastery over it, you no longer let fear take over your decisions or your willingness to show up and do it. You stop negotiating with yourself.
You develop the discipline to do the thing in the face of discomfort. And you link emotional consequences to it because emotion is what moves us into action. Ask yourself, “What is the cost of not doing it?”
Pain is a motivator. If you don’t like the way you feel, change it. You have to learn how to be flexible to get the result you want. Emotion is what moves us into action.
Information without emotion is easily forgotten. When you apply emotion to it, it sticks in the brain. And so, if you’re learning a new skill, setting an emotional consequence to it will help you remember and recall it when you’re facing resistance.
How well you work with your resistance will determine how far you’ll go.
If you don’t have to put any effort into what you’re doing, you play at such a small level. Find something that requires you to learn again and master a new skill.
No one gets to the top on their own.
If you’re trying to overcome resistance in your life alone, you will fail.
So ask for help, get support, and join a community. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals. Be willing to be held accountable and reminded of why you wanted this so badly in the first place.
Support is an essential element of success.
Level 3: Physical Mastery
Physical mastery of the skill happens when you make a habit, turn it into a lifestyle, and eventually, an identity. It becomes who you are. It is the actual embodiment of what you’ve had cognitive and emotional mastery over. You now own it. It has become part of your subconscious.
Many of us never reach this point because observing other people is so much easier than actually doing it. Standing on the sidelines and watching everybody else play the game is safe, but you’re just a spectator in a game that requires you to be fully immersed.
It takes vulnerability and courage to try and experience something. You could fall and hit the ground, but that’s part of it.
You need to learn what you’re capable of, and you can’t do that if you’re not willing to try.
Step out of your comfort zone.
Don’t let fear paralyze you and keep you on the sidelines.
Dare to want something so badly that you’re willing to fail at it repeatedly until you get it.
What is in the way of you actually doing the thing you know you need to do? That is a conversation you have to have with yourself. And it comes down to fear—this primal desire to stay safe.
You are not in danger. Trying something and failing at it isn’t going to kill you. Allow yourself to be an experiencer. Life is your greatest playground for learning, but only if you’re present for it and willing to experience it. Don’t just report on it. The only thing that’s going to make you successful is you.
“Success is not owned—it’s leased. And rent is due everyday.”
A lot of us think that when we get to a certain point in life, we have already made it; that’s it. That’s not true. “Success is not owned—it’s leased. And the rent is due everyday.”
You have to consistently show up because if you stop, you lose it.
It’s not what we do once in a while that makes a difference. It’s what we do consistently. We are what we repeatedly do because all of our results are a by-product of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
When you get too focused on where you want to be, you overlook where you are now. Think about what you’ve already overcome—that stretch of the journey you’ve already completed. That was hard, but you got through it. Let that remind you that you can move through resistance and make it to the other side.
A Deep “Why”
Have such a deep “why” that it sustains you when things get challenging.
It takes a lot of courage and bravery to put yourself out there and try new things. You learn so much by observing, but that alone will get you nowhere. Knowledge is not power. Applying it is. And when you do it consistently, you gain confidence in facing every pitfall along the way.
As you start to progress, the pain gets a little duller. It’s not as sharp as it once was. And so you begin to get a little better.
Discover your purpose and start living it now when you join the Find Your Purpose Workshop. If you prefer a one-on-one session regarding this week’s topic, book your most convenient time here and be one of the 10 people who get to have an exclusive 60-minute call with me where we can deep dive into your goals and what’s standing in the way of you getting the results you want.
See you next week for our next podcast and other Coachable episodes!