Thursday, 14 April 2011

Consciously Incompetent - A great way to be.

What do I mean by this? How can being incompetent be a good thing? Let me first explain the various levels in relation to driving a car:

Unconsciously incompetent - this is the point before you have any lessons and you haven't the foggiest idea where to start.

Consciously incompetent - this is when you become aware of what you need to do however haven't yet acquired the skills to drive. Even changing a gear is a mystery although you know you need to do it at some point.

Consciously competent - this is the point where you can actually drive but have to consciously think about the process such as apply clutch, changing gears, check mirrors. This is where you are at when you pass your test.

Unconsciously competent - at this level you just get in the car and everything comes naturally. This is achieved via practice and experience.

So lets get back to conscious incompetence and explore why this is such a great place to be.

It's quite simple.

This is the point where real learning starts and the potential for positive changes arise.

However you do have a choice to make.

You can choose the easy path and remain incompetent and this is your call to make. Or you can do the right thing (and there will be more about this in a later blog). So take up the challenge, change, and drive yourself forward to conscious competence. When you get there, enjoy the view, hone your skills, flex your worth and look for the next challenge.

This is a never ending journey and you may decide to take these skills to the next level of unconscious competence. But let's not get complacent. To get to this level takes perseverance. To stay at this level takes dedication. And don't be surprised if you drop back a little every now and again. It's all part of the fantastic process we call learning.


  1. What is wrong with people reaching a plateau and not continually striving for the next challenge, if they are happy?

  2. Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. It's a personal choice about what level you want to get to with whichever goal or skill you are focussing on. And if you are happy where you are - that's a brilliant place to be.