The Trouble with Skills

Skills might be confused with outcomes or results.

Skills are infinite and with practice and patience you can continually get better at them.

Results are a snap shot – how successful something is at that moment in time.

Recently I heard someone say, “positivity and confidence are skills”.

I would assert those are outcomes. Because, whilst you can improve your positivity and confidence, it’s often a bi-product of accomplishment and mastery in a given skill.

Positivity and confidence can also be goals or aspirations, achieved by doing X, Y or Z – Taking a public speaking class, using a coach or enrolling in mindfulness sessions.

That’s the skill. Finding activities that stretch your abilities and learning and keep you in the zone of discomfort. Because if it’s not uncomfortable, it might need to be more challenging.

So then, how might it be less about finding positivity and confidence, and more about managing your emotions and resilience?

Some might argue that expressing your emotions is being authentic. I agree. We shouldn’t hide our emotions from loved ones and colleagues.

And then what happens when you are having a bad day, express your true authentic self and breakdown in front of a client who is expressing their own chaos and needs you to be the stronger one?

You might be a paramedic or a team leader. How might succumbing to your inner negativity affect your day and the progress of the tasks you have been given?

Being positive, even when you really don’t feel like it in a given moment, is about being a professional. Because someone is relying on you to be your best.

That’s authenticity I can get on board with.

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