Monday, March 31, 2014

Valued Competency and Adulthood

I'm learning that one of the marks of enjoyable adulthood is knowing you have a competency that a community values. In other words, you've developed a skill or an area of expertise that can serve others. One reason I love teaching college students is that I can watch their growth into their adult competencies. 

It feels so satisfying to say as a twenty-one year old that you've developed a true competency. You know what you can contribute. You have an area of expertise to continue to develop.  You have a skill to pass on.

The community needs this skill, and you therefore feel valued.

(Being famous, by the way, isn't a skill to benefit a community. They realize this.)

I meet with men and women who suffer from a certain kind of despair. They don't feel worthwhile or useful. They don't know their place in their communities. I ask, "Where do you feel most competent? Where do you feel most like an expert? Go serve there."

I remember the exact day when I felt like I was competent as a teacher and writer. This is my area of expertise, and once I began serving others with these skills, a particular sense of well-being and satisfaction began to fill my heart. I knew I was deeply valued just because I was a child of God, but I also knew God made me to serve and bless others. Developing some adult competencies to pass on not only provided a base for community living, but it provided a career and a lifelong endeavor.

I want to continue helping others identify, develop, and pass on their skills. You don't need a fortune to do this. You can read and study on your own and apprentice under other experts to develop skills. I love finding creative ways for others to figure out how to learn and grow into an area of expertise.

As a mom of growing young women, I'm on the look out for signs of their future competencies.  And as someone wanting to be used in ever-widening circles, I'm studying how to improve my communication and leadership.

What are your competencies? What could be your area of expertise? It's so fun to think about!

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