A Barrier to Personal and Professional Development

A Barrier to Personal and Professional Development

Vasiliy Ivanov Aug 07, 2018

At work and in everyday life I actively offer other people quite interesting (from my point of view) opportunities for both professional and personal development. Naturally, I get the same kind of advice from some more sophisticated acquaintances of mine.  

I’ve recently realized a curious thing. One of the greatest barriers in developing professional and personal qualities is a person’s self-assurance. The confidence that your current knowledge is sufficient, and you are competent enough to make a weighted decision whether the training is required or not.

The suggestion to learn a particular material or attend an offline course is often met with the counteroffer: “Could you please send me a link to read about the course and I will think about it”.

But what makes you think you are able to decide on the course necessity yourself? I’m suggesting you the training for the very reason that I notice your current inability to carry out particular tasks.

This problem has an even greater scale with programmers, having Google close at hand, where they can read “competent” opinions of the same “experts” in the field. What others write is the only thing that matters. Why on earth care about the opinion of real professionals or those who’ve managed to become more successful?

Ron Hubbard, in his Study Technology, described an education ladder consisting of 3 stages: I know, I don’t know, I think that I know.

Real professionals always find themselves on the stages “I know” and “I don’t know”. Shifting between these two states, they manage to find the right answers to any question and are able to make optimal decisions.

“I think that I know”, or, in other words, a strong confidence not supported by relevant knowledge, is the amateurish way of thinking. As a consequence, you simply cannot break the vicious circle of wrong answers.

As I discovered, it’s not difficult to cope with this state - you just need to actually hear the counterarguments. You also need to give a thorough thought to your own arguments and answer the question: “How can I verify what I believe is right?”

Don’t live in the delusion!