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Now it’s done, I passed my master’s degree in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). So I am now a Master, yet I do not feel like one. Rather, it raised the following question: what is a Master?

Dictionaries have a definition, but in fact, what is it? If for society it is a way to validate a period of study to acquire knowledge through a paper, does it really make a Master a Master? Regardless of the degree, some will spend a period of study to absorb a subject without integrating it, others will integrate it sometimes even before the end of studies. But all will have the same paper, the same validation. So what is this recognition in the end?

And to fuel my questioning even my word processing proofreader requests I write the word master with a capital letter as if it implies superiority. So yes, I learned skills, I learned techniques, I understood the functioning of the mind and all this was an experience that amused and nourished the life explorer that I am. But it also showed me all that was still to be learned, whether it was techniques or other people, because the students who followed the same training as me were rich in experiences and inspiring in many ways.

While society validates and upholds a degree as a sign of respect, I feel more like an apprentice than ever. And this is perhaps the most beautiful facet of the path of mastery: learning that we know a little and that this little may no longer be valid tomorrow. Learning that everything is still to be discovered and transmitted, sharing to allow others to grow with us.

This is particularly obvious in training that improves self-beliefs and self-positioning. Indeed, everything comes down to: today I am validated by peers, but tomorrow I learn again, I will be challenged by life, by circumstances. As the world evolves constantly, my understanding expands with each meeting and sharing that will shake my beliefs again and again. And all for what? Because life is made of change, impermanence, and the human experience is an experience of feeling and continuous adaptation.

This is the path of the Master, accepting that his mastery is only temporary, that he will have to learn and experiment constantly, but also transmit what he knows and understands while accepting to be challenged by an apprentice who will have seen further, understood differently, considered differently. In this we are all masters for someone and perpetual apprentices before life.

So how can we not go into perfectionism or the non-recognition of who we are, of our talents, if nothing is ever acquired?

By validating one’s knowledge and allowing oneself an open mind to revisit them, to enhance them. By celebrating stages that society presents to us in the form of a degree, welcoming that a level of knowledge has been recognized by a third party, but especially by acknowledging oneself for the path accomplished. And that is where the whole challenge of humility is, acknowledging oneself without falling into an ego, but not denying oneself either for fear of one’s ego. Not relying on a piece of paper to give us a social status, but not denying one’s place either in the name of modesty which ultimately could camouflage a fear of fully shouldering one’s qualities and skills.

While some will know how to do it, others will struggle to see themselves, to recognize themselves. It is sometimes in such situations that a personal and professional assessment can give a vision of who we are. It is also about asking oneself questions like what do I know and can share as expertise, know-how, knowledge. What do I like to convey … But it’s also about knowing how to celebrate your progress, these steps that make you accomplish something that has the right to make you proud without making you a conceited person.

I would love to see you share among you, dear readers, your ways of acknowledging your steps, your successes to integrate them into yourself. There are so many ways and some could be inspirational to others, so be the masters and share with us:

How do you acknowledge yourself?

How do you celebrate yourself?


Looking forward to reading your contribution!


Christel Mesey


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Author: Christel Mesey
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