Unconscious Incompetence, Who Me?
Few people are adept or successful at anything... at first. And that includes yours truly in a big way. In fact, everybody has to go through four levels of learning every single time they attempt something new:
1) Unconscious Incompetence - you don't know how bad you are at a task or you do not even know a skill is available to solve the problem.
2) Conscious Incompetence - you realize how bad you are at that task
3) Conscious Competence - you can do that task with real focus
4) Unconscious Competence - you can do that task without even thinking
Think about learning how to drive a car, or in my case a motorcycle.
The car thing came easy for me, my Dad taught me at a very young age how to drive his big red Wheel Horse tractor.
At a young age I started on a mini bike, then I moved into a small dirt bike with gears, a clutch, a front brake and a foot pedal brake for the rear tire. Soon I figured out what I did not know, then I took it real slow and thought about each thing I had to do. Like shifting gears, I had to pull the clutch in and then let it out slowly and accelerate. Or how about slowing down? I had to apply the rear brake and then the front, wait I’m stopped. Quick! Remember to put your feet down so I don't fall over... too late.
But after sometime I figured it all out and was off riding and no longer needed to think about what I had to do in order to fly through the woods.
But think about it, driving and eating, texting, talking on the phone or to someone in the car, putting on makeup, playing with the radio. The next thing you know you are at work and if someone asked you how the drive was the moment you get out of the car. You might say “Umm, fine thank you”, without realizing you have no idea. This is called Unconscious Competence.
Now let’s switch to the life of someone who is visually impaired: I’m a person with an eye disease and I’ve been told I need to learn how to read and write a new way? What? I have been doing it this way for 50, 60, maybe even 70 years. I’ve been doing this at level 4 (Unconscious competence) for most of my life. And now I have to start all over?
Yes and it’s easy with a little practice, don’t stress!
But the scary part is, many do not even know there is a new way to live life with a vision impairment, until someone, usually other than their eye Doctor tells them. Thankfully there are a few Doctor's out there that are telling their patients there is hope after we diagnose you with an eye disease. How do I know this? We get the referrals at our store.
Most people blame others for stopping their progress. The most damaging statement we hear in the store is "I can't read anymore, I have Macular Degeneration". In truth, however, there's only one person who can put on the parking brake to your success:
The late, great Zig Ziglar put it this way: "Others can stop you temporarily. You are the only one who can do it permanently."
For years, that was me, blaming others and my Macular Degeneration. “I can't, I can't, I can't”, I would say, which eventually turned me into a victim.
Thankfully I have gone through the 4 levels of learning for hundreds of things now in my life. First, it needed to start with my eye disease, actually accepting my eye disease, making a decision, and then taking action.
The definition of competence is:
And I know you can too!