Expertise is hard

As experts in a particular field, fixing a problem feels easy through the hundreds of hours of practice we have invested in that particular activity. A plumber or a bicycle mechanic is likely to solve in 10 minutes, what would take me at least two hours to accomplish with water dripping from my face and grease all over my fingertips.

But even as we gain expertise, our minds also construct our identity afresh with the passage of time. Along with the skill we gain, we forget what it felt like to not have that particular skill. This leads us to believe that anybody can do what we can do in 10 minutes, and could lead easily lead us to feel like impostors or lose confidence in our abilities.

Whatever feels easy need not actually be easy. Confusing the two could prevent us from making valuable contributions.

2 thoughts on “Expertise is hard

  1. This is an amazing insight, Anupam. Kind of on the lines of Imposter syndrome, but even more important to know because this can have so many implications – salary negotiations, fighting for a promotion, making a new team.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. … or launching a podcast 🙂

      Thank you, Preeti, for your comments. They certainly broaden the outlook of some of the concepts I outline here.


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