posted Mar 26, 2019, 3:43 PM by David Alan Binder



Seth Godin has written a small article that caught my attention (actually he emailed this to me and I think it bears being passed along to you, Dear Writers and Dear Readers.)


“At some point, grown-ups get tired of the feeling that accompanies growth and learning.

We start calling that feeling, “incompetence.”

We’re not good at the new software, we resist a brainstorming session for a new way to solve a problem, we never did bother to learn to juggle…

Not because we don’t want the outcomes, but because the journey promises to be difficult. Difficult in the sense that we’ll feel incompetent.

Which accompanies all growth.

First we realize something can be done.

[Second] Then we realize we can’t do it.

[or we can barely do it maybe need some help for a while]

And finally, we get better at it.

It’s the second step that messes with us.”

If you care enough to make a difference, if you care enough to get better–you should care enough to experience incompetence again.”


I get this feeling a lot when I am writing.  Sometimes a subject, sometimes a certain article, sometimes one step in a process (there are so many steps and it can be hard to master them all).


Most of us are good readers and good writers, but do we have the skills or are we incompetent?


No, we have never been incompetent; we are just at the beginning stages of learning.


NEVER, call yourself or others incompetent.


You are just learning, same as you did when crawling and toddling.  That is called cute in your younger years.


When you are older, maybe it is not cute, but it certainly takes time in the complicated life we live to master the TV remote, the computer, a certain software, even Google search has a learning curve of how to phrase your search.


It is just a learning curve.  Going into a 60 mile an hour curve at 45 mph is not incompetence, it is just getting familiar when speed, gas pedal manipulation, steering, pavement variables, engine RPMs, weather, other drivers, even the particular vehicle.  In yours maybe you can do it at full speed, in another vehicle it makes sense to be careful and take your time until you get used to that vehicle.


After all, well all have our own learning speeds.  Know what yours is and be comfortable with it.


A Think Piece by David Alan Binder