Why competence is important for your life


Kevin Mangelschots

Why is it that capable people typically get the best results in life, all the while seemingly getting over every hurdle that life throws on their path?

That’s because they’re qualified and capable. This is why competence is important. Because it makes you safer as a result.

Why is competence important for your safety?

Hand with marker writing, Skill concept. White background.

The world is full of dangers and new experiences/skills to discover and learn.

It is impossible to shield yourself, or your loved ones for that matter, from all the dangers the world has in store for you. Because sooner or later, a situation will arise that you will have to fix personally.

You will not be able to solve the issue at hand if you’ve never learned how to act and solve any problems that might pop up in life because you’ve been shielded from all the dangerous situations thus far. And things can go wrong.

  • Competence example one

    Image of the word “example” being written with a blue marker by someone's hand.

    A rather harmless example of how being capable makes you safer is when you’ve finally come of age and are moving out of the house. Of course, your clothes will need to be washed and ironed. If you don’t, people will not want to be around you for long.

    But if your mother has been washing and ironing your clothes for as long as you lived with your parents (god bless you mother) then you won’t know how to do this when you’re on your own.

    This means that you’ve got some catching up to do, and rather fast. Instead of learning these important life skills earlier on in your life, you now have to learn them at a much faster rate because of necessity. Because it’s required to survive.

  • Competence example two

    The word “example” written in red letters on a white background.

    A less harmless example is when someone tries to take advantage of your niceness and goodwill.

    Maybe they try to make you feel like a bad and selfish person to manipulate you for their gain. If you’ve never experienced this kind of emotional manipulation before because you’ve never interacted with other people or because your parents and friends shielded you from such malicious people, then you might react in the worst possible way.

    The worst manner to respond is by giving them exactly what they want and blaming yourself for being “selfish.” When in reality, it is the other person being egotistical and trying to manipulate your emotions for their benefit at the cost of your psychological well-being.

The hierarchy of competence, also called the four stages of competence.

It’s much better to make yourself and others as competent as possible in the various areas of life. This way, you can learn how to solve all the hurdles life throws at you, rather than shielding yourself or others from all the dangers life has to offer.

If you’ve learned that some people are manipulative and that drinking and driving afterward is dangerous, then you can take the necessary precautions and defend/protect yourself from it.

So to learn, things must be a bit dangerous and challenging.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is competence?

The words “competence is” being marked by a green marker.

Competence, in simple words, can be defined as having the ability to do something well.

Being capable involves having adequate knowledge of the topic at hand, in addition to having the required wisdom to make the correct judgment.

Why is competency important for safety?

Competence is essential for your physical and mental safety since it allows us to analyze and acknowledge the dangers that certain activities hold.
Not only that, it also means we’re capable of applying the right measures to manage, and mitigate, those risks since we’re competent.

What is the key to competence?

Image of a golden key in front of a black background.
The key to competence is:
  1. Skill
  2. Knowledge
  3. A continuous growth mindset
  4. A positive attitude
  5. Training
  6. Learning
  7. Experience
  8. Behavior

All these traits allow us to become competent, which will consequently lead to living a fulfilling life, employment, social inclusion, and becoming an active citizen of society.

Is competence a skill?

Competence is more than just a skill, seeing as it encompasses a broader concept such as combining abilities, attitude, learning, training, and behavior, among many other things.

Nevertheless, competence, and competencies for that matter, typically include one or more specific skills.

Why is being competent more important than being skilled?

The word “why” written multiple times on a blue background with question marks surrounding it.
Being competent is more critical than just being skilled since it’s a much broader concept. As such, it’s more well-rounded than simply being skillful.
Competencies are more detailed than an individual’s skills. It adds experience, knowledge, training, and one’s learning attitude along with an individual’s skills to the equation to determine whether a person can succeed in their career or not.

Why is professional competence important?

Illustration depicting the various professional competencies.
Firstly, many employees need professional competence to even get employed, and secondly to be capable of competing with other coworkers by being more productive and efficient than them.
Professional competencies include, but are not limited to, knowledge, the ability to learn, a positive attitude, and the capacity to communicate effectively.

Why is competence indispensable for success?

The word “failure” is crossed out by a blue marker, while the word “success” is being highlighted with a blue marker.

Competence is important for success since it leads to better performance across the board, and can be generalized to other functions as well.

Competence isn’t just about being skilled, but also about being knowledgeable, experienced, and behaving appropriately as well.

Why is competence important in health and social care?

Competence is important in health and social care because it allows healthcare professionals to present high-quality care to their patients.
When competencies, and overall competence, aren’t being met, then patient safety can become negatively impacted. This can consequently lead to decreased confidence and trust in health and social care by the general public.

Why is competence important in nursing?

Image of a female nurse caring for a child in the hospital.

Nursing means caring for people who are in need, and often in a weakened state.

Since they must rely on the nurses to preserve their health and safety, competence and the appropriate knowledge are both critical to executing their job efficiently safely, and soundly.

These competencies allow the caregivers to aid the patients’ well-being by giving them the best medical care that society can provide.

Why is competency important in business?

Image of multiple business people discussing work together.
Competence is essential in business because it allows for high, coherent performances by the employees due to creating a coordinated crew of workers.
These consistence executions of the employees help to establish a competitive advantage over other rivals by increasing employee retention and employment.

Why is competence essential in leadership?

Hierarchy, describing effective leadership.
Building business. Word Leadership with important components on chalkboard, panorama.
Competence is required in leadership positions to create, and maintain a team of capable people with the same vision, and to facilitate teamwork by engaging with the employees, all the while preventing work politics and poor work attitudes.
That’s why attributes such as abilities, being able to negotiate well, communication, intelligence, confidence, a willingness to learn, and experience, among many other features, are critical to a person who’s in charge.

Why is competence important as a student?

Image of a young child in school holding a book in front of a blackboard.
Competence is vital to a student since they should develop their competencies to give them an advantage in the workplace after they’ve graduated.
These competencies allow them to deal with difficult situations, or circumstances they’re unacquainted with. It aids them to build upon what they already know when acquiring and assimilating new information.

Why is competence critical to a teacher?

Illustration of a man scratching their head while holding a yellow question mark.
A teacher should be competent since their job is to guide and raise the youth in a manner that’s conducive to a well-functioning, cooperative society.

A capable teacher will be more effective at teaching by captivating the students and being able to explain things simply. This increases a student’s ability to learn efficiently.

That’s why they need to be skilled in a variety of competencies, especially when they’re responsible for many vital choices every day.


Lessons Learned statement on paper note pad. Office desk with electronic devices and computer, wood table from above, concept image for blog title or header image. Aged vintage color look.

In the end, life must be seen as a series of challenges that we need to overcome to live as safe, happily, and fulfilled as possible.

That’s why we must make it a point to become as competent as possible. And we can’t do that without failing, and without the required discipline to push through when the going gets tough.

So don’t be afraid to fail. Go out there and learn.