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Competence is not the same thing as imagination

Competence can be a trap – after all, if you are the best at doing something, why would you risk something new… especially if everyone knows you are the best at it?

Competence is a trap because it can take over how you see the world. Experts in their field see everything around them from the reference point of their expertise, making it harder to think outside the box. “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

In these turbulent times, where every assumption about how the world works is being challenged by facts (economic, social, environmental, scientific, and so on), can you afford to only be competent?

The future is created by those who can see beyond their competence and who are willing to reinvent themselves and the world around them on a constant basis.

In my life, I tend to reinvent myself on a five year cycle (change of careers, change of location, change of language). Each time I had to challenge my own competence and be willing to scrap it in order to build anew. And although it was very painful at first, I think each new version of me and my livelihood comes out the better for it…

What part of your competence are you willing to let go of, in order to learn something new and reinvent who you are?

(inspired by a post by Seth Godin)

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