I was raised to believe I could always be better no matter how well I did on any task. I was not raised to believe I was the best. And I’m glad. Because I am not. And to be raised with such arrogance cannot augur well for anyone.

An employee learns a new skill and over a short period of time thinks he’s now an expert. Because of such arrogance, he starts making mistakes. I detest overconfidence.

This is what happens when achievements go to your head, when you think you’re the best—you stop learning, you stop growing, you stop improving. You grow a big, ugly head. And you become careless, not to mention, unapologetic.

You start doing things at the eleventh hour. You don’t bother to check your work multiple times. You think you’re so good at what you do. The work is so easy. You are incapable of error. You are so wrong.

Look in the mirror and repeat after me, “I am not the best.”

It’s easy to learn new skills with enough interest and initiative. But it is not easy to master skills unless you persist with discipline and pay attention to everything. The devil is in the details.

I make allowances in the beginning because you are still learning. You are bound to make mistakes and that’s actually good so long as you learn from your mistakes.

The problem arises when you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. And then imply you are blameless—you don’t know how it happened. These are red flags for inattention, indolence, indifference, arrogance and lack of accountability.

You see, after a period of time, you will have found your bearings, experimented with a few things, made mistakes and learned from them. You can only get better through time because of experience. This is the normal learning curve.

Those who do not get better through time are likely lazy, indifferent, arrogant, lacking in attention or talent. Acknowledge your flaws and overcome them if you want to succeed or get promoted.

Of course, there comes a point when your performance plateaus. Maybe, boredom has set in. Or you are burnt out. Time to switch careers or to retire. Or if you feel you are overworked then you should say so and not pretend you can do it all.

I always find ways to be more productive or to learn new skills that can help me work more efficiently. It is essential for me to stay focused and consistent and to never be complacent or overconfident.

The day you think you’re the best is the day you stop learning and growing. The day you think you’re so good at what you do that you cannot possibly make an error is the day you begin your own undoing.

You are not the best. And if you have the wisdom to see this, you will go far. Because you will constantly strive to be better at what you do every day of your life.