|What Do You Know?
As you travel through life learning new things, have you ever pondered that there are things in life that you don’t know that you don’t know? My guess is probably not because why would you think about what you don’t know? Technically called Unconscious Incompetence, this is just one state of the natural learning process.
The funny thing about this state is that you don’t know what you don’t know until you actually start to learn something and it is only then that you become aware that there are things that you don’t know. However, once you have awareness that you don’t know something you have actually moved into the next state of Conscious Incompetence, that is, you do know that you don’t know.
The great part about all of this is that as you start to practice the things you know that you don’t know, you then move into the next stage called Conscious Competence, where you know the things you know and you think about them as you do them.
When you practice repeatedly and implement the things that you now know, you will move into Unconscious Competence where you are not aware that you are actually doing the things that you do – a simple example of this is driving a car and not having to think about every driving action as you would have when you were first learning to drive.
Sports stars that excel in their sports perform in the area of unconscious competence – they know and practice their skills so well and so often that they are not consciously thinking about them as they perform. If however their game doesn’t go well on a particular day, they go back to conscious competence as they analyse what happened and make adjustments to their technique. Once the changes are implemented and practiced over and over again to become second nature or not in their conscious thought process, they are back in the level of unconscious competence.
Conscious competence, where you know that you know and have to think about it, is actually an ideal state to be in regularly because it allows you to adjust and make changes (fine tune if you like) to unconscious competent behaviour as required. It is in this area that you can actively produce results by consciously making changes and improvements to get the results that you want.
So throughout life we move through all these levels all of the time – it’s the natural process of learning.
When you’re wanting to learn new things it very important to surround yourself with successful people who are leading the life you desire to live: people who are all successful in their own right and genuine in their interest to share knowledge to others. By standing on the shoulders of successful people you are often able to short cut the time it will take to achieve similar results for your self. They have already made the mistakes, learnt the tips and tricks so why re-invent the wheel when you don’t need to.