Why Attitude Is More Important Than Aptitude

Dr. Purushothaman
October 7, 2013

One of the best personal development steps you can make is to improve your attitude. It is your attitude much more than your aptitude that determines your success level.

There are three fundamental things you can acquire in a learning process: knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Each one of these has its value, but as you progressively move from one to the next, you'll find the value grows significantly.

Having knowledge means having the data. This is important, but in itself doesn't do much for you. Aptitude (or skill) means having automatic, internalized ways of doing something that creates results: from tying your shows to delivering a speech.

Your skills dictate to a large extent how well you do something and thus, your performance. However, it is your attitude that fully makes skills come into play and has the most impact on your performance.

Your attitude refers to the way you perceive things and how you react emotionally to them. It is a reflection of your thinking and your beliefs, at an emotional level. Here's why your attitude matters the most.

First of all, you can have the skills to do something, but without the proper attitude, you won't actually do it. You may be good at public speaking, but if you see yourself as a bad speaker and you're afraid, you won't speak in public anyway.

Even before having a certain skill, attitude plays a vital role, because it's what gives you the courage and persistence to try something, to fail, to learn, to keep going, and eventually, to acquire a certain skill. But if you lack the right attitude, you'll never develop your skills.

Last but not least, attitude creates the emotional context for skills to run freely. You may be a good conversationalist but if the person you're talking with intimidates you, that skill won't surface and you may appear like a socially un-calibrated person.

It is your attitude that allows skills to develop and to come into action full throttle. This is why it is much more important than aptitude.

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