When I was a regular at Toastmasters Coconut Grove, then president Carol Ellis- Cutler who had a very bright personality type. You know the type where positive, radiant energy flows out with a hearty lighthearted smile and laugh.
She gave me a boxset of C.D's, Yes I come from a time where I carried around a booklet c.d's! What grabs me by the bubu is that for the life of me, I can't remember the name of that set.
You see, that was from a time where I hadn't developed the habit of writing notes in my phone or, better yet carrying a notepad. I didn't understand that one never knows when two puzzle pieces in the brain come together. It took me a while to figure out I should have a better system in place. As of today, my note writing habit still needs further developing, but it is coming along. After all, I am writing this to share with you.
Listening to the CD's was the first time I came upon the concept of competence levels. When it came across my ears at the time it gave me an uneasy feeling. Looking back, I think it's that I was a younger, more egotistical me looking for direction.
The Competence Levels.
1. Unconscious Incompetence - This is where I felt the unease. First off, it's hard to admit that not only was I bad at ideas, concepts, and things. I hadn't even realized all the ideas, concepts and things there were for me to be bad at.
Come with me on this journey for a moment. Unconscious Incompetence is like a sperm and an egg. Those are separate bodies that unless they come into contact are oblivious to each other.
2. Conscious Incompetence - "Ok, Ok, I get it. I don't know, things! The thought enters my mind on" what can I do about this?"
To continue with our example. Now we've entered into the level Conscious Incompetence. High five! I knew we could make it to the next level. Makes my inner super Mario geek say "I'm coming for you Koopa!!!"
Now we know that we don't know. What's next?
Conscious Competence of course. Now, let's get back on our journey. The sperm and egg finally came together to from a newborn baby. Alright, looks like some consentual action took place and now there you have it. A brand new idea baby.
During this phase, the best practice if you want a chance at your idea to grow and make it to the next level, you'll need to feed and exercise your idea. Also, let your idea get some rest as well.
One of the quotes I have found myself saying often to clients is "Allow yourself to be a kindergartener." Oh joy, your idea baby is not a baby anymore. Take this moment to think of a child in your life that's between the ages of 4-6. Would you get upset at them for not knowing their ABC's perfectly yet? Actually, you'd start singing, smiling and helping them along their learning journey. You see, that's the way learning is done best. It should be reinforced positively. What great learning experience we'd all have if we never stopped singing, dancing and learning our way through life. Take this practice seriously you and your idea will be next level before you know it.
3. Conscience Competence - Wouldn't you know it. Your little Idea baby is all grown up and wondering where to go to get its masters and PH.D Programs. Now, you've got a foundation to build on. In this level, you know what you know. You've developed focused awareness on a topic. Some may even think you're an expert on the rise. You understand that although you know your stuff, you're very clear that you've got a lot to learn.
4. Unconscious Competence - Congratulations! You've made it! Your foundation is rock solid, there are ideas and concepts that you've focused on so much that you've made it a part of who you are. When you actually think about it, you don't much have to think about it anymore.
Here's a real world example: You know that feeling when you're driving and feel like you're not driving. It's a very lost in thought feeling, right?
That can happen when your mind is so in sync with the routines of a task that it can wander off and not think about the task at hand. Then we can use our brain power on learning new things instead of having to pay attention to South Florida traffic. I sure do love podcasts!
You don't think about your ABC's when you're trying to to communicate, right? Just think how many other ideas and concepts are incorporated into your unconscious competence.
Developing a practice of joyful learning is the cheat code I've discovered towards developing your best unconscious competent self and busting into the next level. Discovering that you want to purposefully go through the competence levels as many times as you can while on this journey is a hack towards making life worth living.
Here's to your idea, concepts and things becoming unconsciously competent.
Track Of The Day - Higher State Of Consciousness - Josh Wink