Mastery Is Not About Perfection

Last month, I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Knights of the Round Table networking breakfast in New Jersey. During my keynote, I spoke of "mastery not being about perfection." This was not the key of my speech, but a belief I share when speaking about the stress we put on ourselves. Yet, it seemed to resonate.

After the meeting the host went around the group and asked what resonated. My assumptions about it resonating were correct, and got many nods when a member brought it up. So, here I am sharing it with you today by this article.

My take on mastery is that it is not a place we arrive and allow our egos to reign. It is not still, stagnant or unchangeable. It is not a place we arrive after much hard work. Neither is it a place we arrive so we can show off our ego.

For me, mastery is about practice, ritual and the journey. We practice so that we can learn without the burden of mastery. In this way, mastery is a path, a journey we take when we want to learn a skill or improve something about ourselves.

Mastery is about practicing enough so that the skill you aim to hone is made perfect simply because you are practicing. And, mastery is measured not by perfection, but by how readily available this skill or characterisitic is when you need it.

Let's look at meditation as an example (but of course). If you seek to master meditation you may not master it. Your mind may never be perfectly still, and the monkey may still jump around inside your head. Actually, with meditation, perfection and striving are counter productive. Yet, with practice, you may master the art of quieting your mind and enjoying the peace it brings to any given moment.

In the beginning of your practice, it may take more time or more breaths to find that peace you seek amidst the noise around you or in your head. Yet, with practice, eventually one breath may bring you the peace you sought when it took more time or effort.

For me, this is mastery, i.e. not that all is perfect, but that you can call on the skill you need in any given moment more effortlessly and quickly, as-needed. It is about the journey of practice, and the progress along the way.

Not striving or stressing are key elements of mastery. When you master something, perfect becomes the moment it seems effortless... even if you need to continue to practice.

Wishing you mastery of your peace and prosperity.

Hi, I am Karen, mom, volunteer and yin-inspired life and business coach for the whole woman. Founder and creator of Retreat Muse Studio and Virtual RetreatU. My passion is partnering with savvy, heart-centered women who know that real success is built from the inside out. Grow You! Grow Your Business! We'll blend ancient wisdom with modern practice to co-create your life of passion, prosperity, joy and balance! Visit my web site to learn more about my live and virtual coaching, seminars and retreats for individuals and small groups.
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