A clear sign that you’re improving at your craft is when your actions become intuitive and you don’t need to be as attentive anymore.
At first when you begin, most of your time is spent learning the rules and then implementing them.
After that phase comes the time when you start making blunders and hence grow careful.
That’s followed by a lot of practice where you diligently put in efforts to do things right and aspire for perfection.
Now obviously, none of this happens overnight or even for a duration of a few weeks. The effort, the persistence, and the practice last long enough – until you lose track of how far you’ve progressed.
And then you realize something
You’ve got so used to doing your work that it almost begins to feel subconscious.
Saying that your craft has mingled in your bloodstream wouldn’t be an exaggeration. You feel one with your work.
That’s a sign that you’re on the right track.
In terms of example, I think of how touch typing first feels tough and then becomes automatic.
While we do the usual tasks, our mind soaks-in what’s important and adds it to our repository of skills.
That’s what mastery possibly is
You develop an intuitive understanding of what you’re meant to do, and it begins to feel like an inseparable part of yours.
Now, people who have spent less time doing their work may have a primitive understanding of it, and those who have spent years doing the work may have a better expertise.
But in the end, it shouldn’t be difficult to realize how you progressed from being a novice to where you are today.