During a trip with Lillomarka orienteringslag, I secured children who climbed up a 10-m high outdoor wall.
A challenge for many of them.
Some came up on the first try, others had to give up because of fear or other reasons.
It was incredibly fun to watch the sense of mastery children experienced when they reached the top. Especially those who did not reach the top on their first attempt. Those who gave up during the first day, but came back the next day with determination in their eyes: “This time I will make it!"
They were determined, and they succeeded.
The sense of mastery was greatest for those who struggled the most.
It's great to witness children master new things; it gives them so much pride and confidence. Fortunately, sense of mastery is not reserved children. The joy can be the same as an adult. Maybe not as visible…The pleasure of mastering something new however, can be just as great.
I decided to learn from the climbing experience with kids, and challenge myself more often.
The next day I decided to mountain bike. Mountain biking is one of my passions, but it has been a while since I biked trails. Running has been prioritized because it is more time-efficient. Now it was time for mountain biking again.
I recognized trails I know are challenging for me and decided "this time I will make it". "YES!"
The sense of mastery when you manage something you know is at the limit of your capacity is a wonderful feeling. It provides lots of energy and belief that you can manage anything. I had almost forgotten how much fun mountain biking is. The great thing about mastering something new, is that it's easy to transfer it to other areas. That is why it is so important to move out of the comfort zone, pursue passions that push the boundaries a bit and gives you a healthy sense of achievement.
When was the last time you challenged yourself? What gives you sense of mastery?
Next week I am training a new group of people to become yellow belts in Lean Six Sigma. I can't wait to see their joy when mastering something new:-)
I hope this story can inspire you to challenge yourself more often. Moving out of our comfort zone is what makes us delvelop and improve our skills.