Building “Mastery” = Confidence & Courage

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, NOT absence of Fear ” – Mark Twain

My continued learning journey is part of what I call building my “Mastery”. This means, I do things that are a bit difficult in order to build my sense of competence and achievement. 

As a child we have a natural sense of mastery. We pushed to learn to walk, talk, and run. We accepted that it wasn’t easy to learn and when we fell down, we got back up. We didn’t quit because it was hard. That’s where building Mastery changes as you get older.

As an adult, we want to accomplish different goals/tasks, but when the work becomes tedious or challenging, we want to quit. We have an urge to stop when frustrated. Most of us at one time or another have quit a new hobby or task because it was too hard or frustrating. I know I have. I wanted to share with you some tips to building Mastery to enrich your lives, as it has done for me.

The idea with building Mastery is that you can build self-esteem and confidence by engaging education in the areas you need to focus on to improve (You have to be really honest with yourself). When you are regularly participating in training, your mindset shifts to a more positive one. You start thinking things like “I can do this” and “I am worthy.” This allows you to be open to trying new ideas and techniques. It is also helpful to build resilience for when things don’t go the way you want or planned. When you are consistently doing things that build self-esteem and confidence, it doesn’t have such an impact when you encounter a negative situation or client. 

Building Mastery helps improve self-esteem and confidence. When you feel competent and better about yourself, it is easier and less stressful in the salon. Many times, when someone lacks self-esteem and confidence, it keeps them from actually trying to be better. The mindset is things like “I don’t deserve that,” “I’m not capable of achieving that,” and “I can’t do that.” This reinforces a lack of self-esteem and confidence, making it feel impossible to have a more positive view of yourself and your hairdressing career.

Here’s a few tips to BUILDING MASTERY:

  1. Do at least one thing a day that makes you feel accomplished: Make time each day on clients, even just 10 minutes, to partake in something that makes you feel good about yourself, such as “I am going to focus on my baseline or hairlines today or styling hair”.
  2. Plan for success, not failure: Make sure to do something difficult, but possible. EG. Let’s say you want to train to learn a graduated bob but have never done one before. It’s not a good idea to try to do a Graduated Bob straight up. Going for your end goal from the start is setting yourself up for more hardship and will make you question your capabilities. Therefore, it is better to start off smaller, such as, perfect a Lob or a Tier Drop Bob first.
  3. Gradually increase the difficulty over time: Once you have mastered and become skilful with your chosen techniques, up the ante. Such as the Graduated Bob – Start with a Lob and gradually increase in increments of difficulty to a Tier Drop Bob until you hit the zero graduation. Start with goals and tasks that are smaller and work your way up to bigger and more difficult things. For example, learn your Classic cutting/colouring skills first then learn more advanced techniques. As you build Mastery with more doable tasks, you can work your way up to those that are more difficult.
  4. Look for a challenge. Just doing things that are easy and take no effort doesn’t build self-esteem and confidence. Think about things that make you feel accomplished. This will be different for everyone.

Some examples of ways to build Mastery:

  • Try to work with different products to have a more open view.
  • Attend lots of courses/workshops that will challenge you and open your mind up to more techniques/opportunities.
  • Book seminars that you would never normally go to.
  • Learn more about your individual clients, so you understand them on a deeper level and therefore retain them.

There are no set things to do to build Mastery. It is dependent on where you are at personally, professionally and what makes you feel good about yourself. The idea is to find what makes you feel accomplished and capable and keep you moving and developing in your skill set.

It takes courage to work on a better future for yourself but if you do the work now, it doesn’t feel like work in the future, which is the ultimate goal.

Finally, always be kind to yourself.

Love Dario


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