How, exactly, does one become an expert in something?
No, scratch that. I know how. I even wrote an entire blog post about it last November.
I guess the real question is, what makes others perceive one as such?
Life teaches us that it’s more than the right degree, training, and experience. It’s even more than documented success or publication in one’s field.
There’s a certain je ne sais quoi that sets experts apart from their peers. It’s a confidence — an honest-to-god belief — that they are the best at what they do.
And while I, like many others, can strap on a game face and appear confident, if I don’t feel it deep within my marrow, the confidence isn’t real.
And it shows.
Is the key, then, to become arrogant? To actually convince one’s self of superiority? Life experience tells us yes.
And there’s the dilemma.
If confidence is rooted in arrogance, then gone is the drive to learn, to evolve, to better one’s self, to create, to explore, to play, to listen.
I am an expert in my field. All of the quantitive and qualitative documentation is in place. But I cannot — will not — surrender humility to arrogance; compassion to apathy; Ego to Id.