Welcome to this series about Confidence. Enjoy the precepts and principles. Enjoy the many benefits of good confidence.

High achievers usually work harder than those who enjoy lower levels of success. Maybe harder is the wrong adjective, because highly successful people often appear to be achieving their results effortlessly. They don’t necessarily work harder, but they definitely work smarter.

Preparation is the key to success in any endeavor. One excellent way to be prepared for both planned and unplanned tasks or situations is to have strong skills to draw upon, when needed. Unless you are born with a particular skill set, this means working constantly to improve your abilities.

Only you know those areas where you could benefit from improvement. That is because the core skills needed for a particular task will vary. Driving a car and baking a cake are two very different activities. In both cases however, previously improving the skills needed to engage in both of those activities greatly improves your chances of achieving a desirable outcome.

How to Improve on Your Core Skill Set

Retired professional basketball player Michael Jordan is known as possibly the greatest to ever play the game. Early on in his career, the only thing he didn’t do well was shoot from a distance. Had he never added a competent jump shot to his on the court repertoire, he would probably still have gone down as one of the all-time greats.

However, he wanted to make himself even more difficult to handle for his competition than he already was.

So, he began relentlessly and religiously practicing his jump shot. He spent countless hours’ week after week practicing scoring the ball from a distance. After a couple of years of dedication, Jordan became adept at shooting away from the basket, even adding a long-distance 3 point shot to his already indefensible arsenal.

What is the lesson here?

If you are good at something, you really excel at it, you should definitely practice. However, don’t spend most of your time working on areas of your skill set where you are already accomplished. Take those things you could do better, and focus the majority of your time improving those skills and abilities. Constantly take an objective look at the things you need to improve on, work on them regularly, and over time you will have reached a high level of confidence and competence in many rewarding areas of your life.

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Nick Thorne is the founder of NicksDigitalSolutions Limited a company that specialises in Education, Training and Writing. He lives in Levin, New Zealand