Expectations, Ease and Expertise

broken egg

Easy for you, not for me

Have you ever noticed how easy it is for you to accomplish some tasks yet others seem overly complicated and challenging? It’s common to undervalue what is easy for you but difficult for others.

Cooking and Connecting

For example, for the first half of my life, one of my favorite things to do was cooking. I loved experimenting with recipes. I remember taking on cooking for my family at around age 9, not because I had to, it was because I enjoyed it. My friends and family could count on me to cook up tasty and attractive meals.Gathering appreciative diners together so I could try out delicious recipes made me happy. I devoured books and magazines devoted to culinary arts. Parties were my opportunities to shine and demonstrate what I had discovered.

Then a funny thing happened

I had surgery to remove the disc in my left temporal mandibular joint. Following the surgery, I no longer had any desire for cooking. I thought my passion would return once I was physically healed. Days and weeks went by. My interest in cooking was lost. Luckily, my husband had developed an interest in cooking. It was something we shared. He was primed and ready to take over in the kitchen.

As more time passed, my interest in cooking remained a memory and my previous expertise had likewise disappeared. I nearly ruined several items of cookware before I decided to stay out of the kitchen.

While my prep skills have vanished, my appreciation of food and an ability to deconstruct recipes remains intact. My sense of culinary adventurousness also remains alive and well. These days, I’m a better observer than a doer.
I am appreciative of my husband’s talents in the kitchen. I know how much time and effort goes into making delicious food and what looks like ease is really a combination of passion, repetition and confidence.


I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what seems easy and what seems hard for me and my clients to accomplish. Sometimes the bumps in the road take on the dimensions of mountains and sometimes they are as small as gravel. The difference is partly due to perceptions and familiarity. Mastery involves practice and aptitude but practice trumps aptitude in many cases. When something is easy we anticipate success. Over time, this translates into expertise.

Learning Made Easy

I am constantly having to learn and adapt what I already know to new situations. I’ve noticed that when I am under stress to perform, it is more difficult for me to be resourceful and open to learning. Detaching from the outcome and shifting my expectations can have a huge effect on the ease with with I learn something new. When I remove the expectation of having to be perfect, I reduce my anxiety around learning. Here are a dozen ways you can set yourself up to learn with less stress and more success:

12 Tips for Learning with Ease

1. Picture the result you want
2. Relax
3. Eliminate distractions
4. Give yourself enough time to absorb information
5. Practice
6. Shift your expectations for perfection
7. Track your progress
8. Experiment and be curious
9. Teach someone what you have learned
10. Get help: read the manual, watch a tutorial or ask for help
11. Celebrate your improvement
12. Evaluate your investment of time and decide if what you are trying to learn is worth it or if it would be better for you to hire or delegate.


Sometimes it makes sense push ahead despite challenges. Other times it is smarter and less expensive to hire an expert. Just because you can do something, does it make sense for you to do it if it takes you more time than an expert and it would cost less to delegate so you can do what only you do best? Only you can decide what makes the most sense for you. If you find yourself struggling time after time with the same task without improvement, take a look at what is costing you to fail. What could you be doing instead that would generate money and a sense of accomplishment? It might be time for you to hire someone to take on what is difficult for you and focus on what you do well and with ease.

About Judy Baker

Judy Baker helps authors sell more books. She trains speakers to cultivate clients and grow their profits. Ms. Baker is a branding expert who builds brands, creates compelling conversations and memorable visuals. She transforms your passion into profits, one-step-at-a-time.