A subject matter expert is defined as somebody who possesses "complete competence in terms of knowledge, skill, and experience through practice and education in a particular field." I happen to find this to be a limiting label.
No matter how much I know about a subject in whatever space, I won't call myself an "expert." To me, there's only one thing I can and have become an expert at: my personal mindset.
Forever in Pursuit
I've worked in the automotive industry for over three decades. I've also added a career as a pro-aging fitness enthusiast and lifestyle influencer to my life, which was borne from several passions of mine: fitness, fashion, and changing narratives about aging. These spaces are very demanding and difficult to break through, particularly for the dynamic occupation of "influencer." I've thankfully enjoyed a certain level of success in my 30+ years in the automotive industry and 1.5 years as a fitness enthusiast/lifestyle influencer. However, this success did not come from me being an expert on anything.
What does being an expert even mean? Expertise is a moving target. Saying you're an "expert" in a particular field fails to address the fact that things change, hence why I think it's a limiting label. New facts emerge. People and industries fluctuate. Possessing a complete knowledge or mastery of something is a fleeting sensation.
But what if we could become experts in the pursuit of this mastery? That's what I specialize in. I'm not an expert on anything related to the automotive industry, or the fitness, fashion, and lifestyle spaces. But I am an expert on the journey to these goals, which is fueled by my personal mindset.
Master Your Mind. Master the Journey.
Those who are experts of their personal mindset are more adept to handle all the curveballs life throws at them as they pursue their goals. I've had to get over plenty of hurdles (a current one as it relates to fitness is an arthritic shoulder). But I've been able to persevere as a result of a mindset that is disciplined, committed, relentless, and mindful.
If you are able to incorporate these attitudes into your mindset, you'll find the journey much easier on your mind, body, and soul. It'll make you appreciate the process instead of torturing yourself by always thinking about the endgame. There's a Tony Robbins quote I love that goes, "It's not about the goal, it's about the person you have to become to achieve it." Perfect.
Like I said, becoming an expert in something may be a goal to shoot for, as it can lead to various forms of success. But it's like catching smoke. You'll only have it for a split second before it's gone. Slips right through your fingers.
The road you took to get to that beautiful moment of being on top of the world is where the growth occurred. Mastering your personal mindset is how you appreciate every mountain you scaled to get to that point. That is what you should become an expert in.